On February 4th 2018 my uncle, Jeff, was driving UBER as he did most weekends. At 330 in the morning he picked up a professional athlete on what would ultimately be the last trip of his life. About 10 minutes after picking up his rider, the rider started getting sick in the backseat of his car so Jeff pulled off to the side of the road as far as he could to allow the rider an opportunity to get some fresh air and finish getting sick outside. About 3-4 minutes after stopping, while calling 911 dispatch to get help for this athlete, a drunk driver veered off the road and struck both men killing them both.
Being a driver for UBER, Jeff carried a million dollar commercial policy for wrongful death and under-insured drivers. This policy was paid for out of each fare he took and he had no choice in the provider of the policy as UBER picked the carrier and mandated the drivers use this if they wanted to drive. This policy is there to protect him and his loved ones should anything happen. Well, it hasn't protected him or his widow.
Since there were 2 deaths it does complicate things a little. His passenger, the professional athlete, did not have a spouse or children so Indiana law is clear on the maximum amount he can receive from the policy. Even though this amount is in place, the insurance company chose to settle with the athletes family for double the state guidelines. Now, as a result of this, they are wanting my aunt, who was dependent on Jeff's income to survive, is being told she has to take way less than what should be allowable by law or wait to fight it out in court. She has decided to wait to fight in court, but has made so many sacrifices to be able to stand her ground.
My aunt has been forced to fight for what should rightfully be hers. In the process she has lost everything ( her husband, their house, her dogs) and has to pick and choose what bills to pay each month while relying on family to house her. UBER and their insurance carrier are multi million dollar companies who are forcing her to live a life of stress and worry so they can save a few dollars on the settlement.
Jeff was a caring and compassionate person who would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it. He lived a life that a lot of people, me included, should strive to live. To know that my aunt is going through this heartache, and just trying to get what is rightfully hers so she can try to start her life moving towards the next chapter, is painful to see. While 20,000.00 doesn't set her up for long term stability, it will help her stay afloat while fighting the giants trying to take advantage of her in her time of need.