UberX driver threatens to sue ridesharing company after serious crash
Fan-Yee Suen, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, August 18, 2015 8:40PM EDT
A Toronto UberX driver is threatening to launch a seven-figure lawsuit against the ridesharing company after he was involved in a serious crash earlier this year that left him with chronic pain.
UberX driver Tawfiqul Alam was behind the wheel of his minivan when his vehicle was T-boned by another vehicle in the intersection of Woodbine Avenue and Queen Street East on June 9. According to the police report, the traffic signal was green when Alam's Toyota Sienna went through the intersection.
"A guy came across the red light and hit me bang on my side," Alam told CTV Toronto. "That was a serious accident."
Both Alam and his passenger were transported to hospital. Alam was later released but was still suffering from neck and back pain at the time.
Alam's minivan was also written-off. He filed a claim for property lost and medical rehabilitation benefits but his application was denied because he hadn't disclosed to his insurance company that he would be using his vehicle for commercial purposes.
"His insurance company has formally denied his claim saying that he is driving the vehicle for Uber and therefore a commercial-use purpose only," Alam's lawyer Isaac Zisckind said.
Alam appealed to Uber but says he hasn't received a response or compensation from the company.
He claims that when he first started driving for Uber, company officials said his personal auto insurance was adequate.
"They said, 'We are a billion dollar company, you don't have to be worried about that,'" Alam said.
In a statement to CTV Toronto, Uber says it is looking over Alam's case.
"While I can't share specifics on a particular incident, I can tell you that all UberX rides are insured with liability coverage. Our insurer reviews these claims and we are committed to helping drivers understand the resolution process," spokesperson Susie Heath said.
According to Alam's lawyer, this is a potentially precedent setting case as Uber is still a relatively new company.
"Uber is blowing up and you have to ensure yourself that you have the proper insurance available," Zisckind said.
Uber's third-party liability coverage is in the amount of $5 million. If a lawsuit is launched, Alam could sue for up to that amount.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson