As an Uber driver, J.B. Wiley was looking forward to making some extra money for the holidays.
The Kirkland resident says on Dec. 7, a car slammed into his 2017 Hyundai Elantra while he was working.
“It was a clear night, the roads were clear and dry,” he said. “And I was stopped at the light and got creamed from behind.”
The collision forced him off the road since the initial assessment of his car is a total loss. As a result, the supplemental income he had been relying on for the past two years isn’t going to come through this time around.
Wiley told Global News Uber isn’t paying out any compensation. He said only his private insurance is compensating him.
“I was kind of hoping that Uber was going to help me out financially because December is the biggest money-making month,” he said.
According to Uber spokesperson Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, the company’s insurance kicks in under two situations — if a driver is taking a ride or if a driver is en route to taking a ride.
Uber also clarified through another spokesperson that the service had been in touch with Wiley since his accident and that he still needs to supply more information to the service.
Wiley, for his part, disputes that statement, saying he hasn’t heard from anyone.
“It’s really hard to get in touch with these guys,” he said.
The situation represents an interesting wrinkle in the Uber pilot project since the only way to determine if someone was driving for Uber at the time of a collision is through the company’s application — but only Uber has access to that information.
Anne Morin, a spokesperson for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said the situation goes beyond insurance.
“I’m sorry to tell you, it’s not an insurance issue right now, it’s a legal one,” said said. “It’s one word against the other. The conflict right now at this step is between the driver and Uber.”