Are you currently suffering due to an Uber driver’s negligence? You may be eligible for compensation.
Uber And Lyft Auto Injuries: Can Victims Secure Compensation?
Getting around without your own car is easier than ever in Pennsylvania — especially in communities underserved by public transit. Services such as Uber and Lyft provide millions of rides throughout the United States every day. Dalia Research reports that 30 percent of smartphone users have used a mobility app at least once.
From vacation transit to visits to the local bar, mobility apps make life easier … and, usually, safer. The only problem? Some drivers are more responsible than others. From fender benders to deadly crashes, ‘professional’ drivers regularly put their passengers at risk. Speeding and texting are shockingly common on the job. Drowsy driving is just as concerning; many people rely on Uber or Lyft as a second job and continue transporting passengers long after it’s safe to operate a vehicle.
As the victim of a ridesharing accident, you’re angry — and worried. Who pays your medical bills? What if you can’t return to work? Read on for insight into your options as a personal injury victim.
No Guarantee of a Safe Ride
While most ridesharing companies use background checks and driver education initiatives to reduce the risk of accidents, passengers are never guaranteed a safe ride. Uber, Lyft, and the drivers they hire can control only so much. Roadblocks to achieving compensation in ridesharing cases may therefore mimic those in typical car accidents. Drivers may deny negligence and instead blame road or weather conditions.
Independent Contractors and Denying Liability
The powers that be at Uber and Lyft are rarely held accountable when accidents occur. Ridesharing companies avoid liability by classifying drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. Recently, Uber began offering Pennsylvania drivers the opportunity to obtain personal injury insurance coverage through an optional pilot program. This initiative was made possible through a partnership with One Beacon and Aon.
How Does Insurance Work for Uber and Lyft Drivers?
Whether your accident occurred in an Uber or a Lyft vehicle, you should be covered under a $1 million liability policy. Both ridesharing companies cover their drivers through James River Insurance. Coverage differs, however, based on the driver’s activity at the time of the crash. Uber’s policy does not apply when drivers use their vehicles for personal business.
How Does Comparative Negligence Impact Ridesharing Personal Injury Cases in Pennsylvania?
Like many states, Pennsylvania maintains strict comparative negligence laws. These allow drivers to obtain damages if they’re partially at fault — but reduce the amount of compensation available. This significantly complicates standard car accident cases, but can be even more confusing when ridesharing is involved. Thankfully, passengers are almost never deemed at fault for ridesharing accidents; no matter the driver’s share of the blame, passengers are eligible for full damages.
What About Uber and Lyft Pedestrian Accidents?
Experts argue that, as a passenger, a ridesharing accident is financially better than a taxi accident, as taxis need carry only $300,000 in coverage. Everything changes, however, when the victim is a pedestrian. If, at the time of the incident, the Uber driver was using the app but not presently transporting a passenger, insurance liability caps out at just $100,000. With taxi drivers, liability typically remains constant whether the victim was in or out of the car at the time of the crash.
Increasing Your Chances of Securing Personal Injury Compensation
If you were involved in a ridesharing accident, you probably won’t secure compensation from Uber or Lyft. However, all hopes of damages may not be lost. Your best bet? Holding the negligent driver accountable. The steps you take at the scene of the crash may determine whether you emerge empty-handed. The following actions are especially critical:
- Call 911. Ideally, the police officer who arrives on the scene will complete an accident report. If the accident is not investigated by the police (and if it leads to injury) the driver is required to file a report.
- Gather the names of your Uber driver, the other driver, and all passengers. Seek contact information from any other individuals who may have witnessed the crash.
- Take a screenshot of the Uber or Lyft app on your phone.
- Get in touch with an attorney well-versed in personal injury law as it applies to ridesharing in Pennsylvania. Your attorney will help you deal with insurance complications and determine whether personal injury damages are possible.
Are you currently suffering due to an Uber driver’s negligence? You may be eligible for compensation. Contact Pogust Millrood today to learn more about your options.