Ridesharing services are rapidly replacing taxis and town cars as the best way to get around Philadelphia. If you have been injured in a ridesharing accident while a passenger in one of these services or if you were hit by a rideshare driver, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills and lost work.
However, these types of accidents can be complicated, and, depending on the circumstances, figuring out who bears responsibility can be confusing. As you are probably aware, ridesharing drivers are not employees of the company they are driving for. If you are faced with such a situation, you need an aggressive and dedicated personal injury attorney to hold those responsible to pay for the injuries you have suffered.
Cooper Schall and Levy, Philadelphia’s premier personal injury law firm, routinely represents victims injured in ridesharing accidents throughout the Philadelphia area, including Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster and Philadelphia Counties, as well as New Jersey. Well-versed in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s complicated automobile insurance laws, we have a proven history of providing car accident victims with powerful representation. Whether you are pursuing a claim against the rideshare driver or company, we have the knowledge and skills to help you obtain meaningful compensation. When you become our client, you can rest assured we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights.
Ridesharing Accidents Are Complicated
Getting in an accident involving a ride-sharing driver is not like a typical accident. One of the main reasons for this comes down to insurance. Uber and Lyft both require that a driver has a personal auto insurance policy, or otherwise purchases insurance through the rideshare company itself before they can begin driving for them. The driver has to keep updating their policy so that they have proof of a valid policy at all times. Unlike many other drivers, there is almost always an insurance policy in place.
The problem lies in the fact that once the driver’s personal insurance company figures out that they were driving for Uber/Lyft when the accident occurred, they will try to avoid liability under the policy because a typical personal insurance contract does not apply to “commercial” transportation. Since you were a paying customer at the time of the accident, their personal coverage will likely not apply.
Insurance Coverage Depends on the Driver’s Status
In response to this, Uber/Lyft provides their own coverage for the driver who is “on the clock.” Under this coverage, the amount of coverage typically depends on what the driver was doing when the accident occurred.
- If the app is turned off, Uber/Lyft will not cover any accident caused by the driver. In this instance, the driver’s personal insurance should be in effect and unable to deny coverage under the terms of the policy.
- If the driver has logged in but hasn’t accepted a ride, he/she is “on the clock.” If an accident is caused at this point, Uber/Lyft has coverage of $25,000 for property damage, $50,000 for injuries and $100,000 total injury coverage.
- If the driver has logged in and accepted a ride, the Uber/Lyft coverage will cover up to $1 million for damages related to the accident.
The options provided under Uber/Lyft insurance are constantly changing, so it is possible that your coverage options will be different. However, the company responsible for covering the accident, the amount of coverage and the process for getting your injuries covered will depend mostly on whether the driver was on the clock or on a “ride” at the time of the accident. You will need aggressive legal representation to sort through all of these details, down to the second, and ensure that the right amount of coverage is available to you to help make you whole.
Attempting to sort through these details on your own is not advisable. If you make a mistake or get confused about the coverage, you may lose your right to receive compensation. After your accident, you should be focused on getting better and getting to your necessary medical appointments. The attorneys at Cooper Schall and Levy are experts at navigating these issues and are available to handle your case from start to finish.
Another major difference when working through a ridesharing accident comes down to comparative fault. Under Pennsylvania law, if you were injured in an accident, you are still able to recover, even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Under this law, each party in an accident is assigned a percentage of fault. This percentage reflects how much their action (or inaction) contributed to the accident and injuries. The degree of responsibility assigned to each party is important because, under Pennsylvania law, your degree of fault reduces your ability to recover by that amount. For instance, if you are found to be 10 percent responsible for the accident, the judge will reduce your award by 10 percent.
If you were a passenger in a ridesharing car at the time of the accident, you are almost certainly not at fault in any way for the accident. In other words, you did not contribute to the accident and you should be entitled to full recovery. Being involved in a ridesharing accident is unique because you were not driving either of the vehicles at the time of the accident.
Contact Our Philadelphia Ridesharing Accident Attorney
After a ridesharing accident, you will likely have many concerns. Instead of worrying, call the car accident attorneys at Cooper Schall and Levy. We understand that being injured in a car accident is an overwhelming experience, and we will offer you the knowledge, compassion, and superior personal service you need.
We will represent you in all dealings with each of the insurance companies involved in the case. We will navigate the complex and changing landscape to hold the driver and the rideshare company responsible. Above all, we will always put your best interests first and stand by you every step of the way. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.