You hired an Uber and were involved in an accident. Who is liable to pay your compensation ?
Uber, and other rideshare services, such as Lyft, have become popular options for millions of Pennsylvanians looking for a cheap and convenient method of travel. However, like any car ride, accidents can and do happen. If you're in an accident while a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you are appropriately compensated for your injuries.
Who Pays If My Uber Driver Gets Into An Accident?
All Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry special car insurance that will cover them if they are in an accident. Currently, Uber also insurers its Pennsylvania drivers for up to 1 million dollars if they are in a crash. Note, however, that Uber's insurance in Pennsylvania currently only provides $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury. This means Ubers insurance policy will cover up to $50,000 of your medical bills. Therefore, if you are seriously injured in an accident with an Uber driver, you may need to contact an attorney familiar with Uber laws in Pennsylvania to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
Reporting Your Uber Accident
The most important first step you must take in any Uber accident is to report it. In Pennsylvania, car insurers can typically deny coverage for a claim if they do not receive timely notice of an incident. This means that if you sustain injuries in an accident, and wait six months before initiating a claim, you could be left with no means of recovery for your injuries. Therefore, it is crucial that you contact Uber immediately yourself and notify them of the accident. Your driver may not inform Uber themselves, especially if doing so could mean losing their job. Once Uber is notified of the crash, they will typically report the incident to its insurance company, initiating a claim for the accident. Even though Uber's insurance policy will likely cover the accident, you should also notify your driver's personal insurance company as well. You may have to bring an additional claim against your driver if Uber's insurance denies coverage, or if your medical bills exceed $50,000. As an added layer of protection, you should also notify your own insurance company if you are seriously injured and have underinsured motorist coverage. This may be necessary for the event your injuries exceeds both Uber and the driver's policy limits.
Documenting Your Injuries
To ensuring you can receive compensation for your injuries, you should also take great care to record and document your injuries. Taking pictures of bruises, seat belt burns, and other abrasions can assist insurance companies in paying out your claim more quickly. It is also important to seek treatment, even if you do not think you are seriously injured. A sore neck or back can turn into a long-term ailment, which will need to be documented if you are to recover for your injuries. Therefore, retain all medical records that can be used to ensure you receive full compensation for your Uber accident later.
What If I Am Seriously Injured In An Uber Accident?
As discussed above, Uber's insurance policy will only pay $50,000 for bodily injury. Although this sounds like a lot of money, it often is not when you're seriously injured, and hospital bills can range in the hundreds of thousands. If this occurs, it is essential to contact an attorney who can help determine other sources of liability. Although your uber driver may have been at fault, the other driver may have done something to cause the accident as well have been at fault as well. In Pennsylvania, all people who are responsible for an accident must pay their share of the damages. Consider the following example: You are in an accident with your Uber driver who was not looking at the road when the accident occurred. Your medical bills totaled $100,000. After performing an investigation, your personal injury attorney determines that the other driver was texting at the time of the incident, and also was not paying attention to the road. Both drivers would be responsible for your injuries. In this case, Uber's insurance would pay $50,000, and the other driver's insurance would also pay $50,000. If, on the other hand, the other driver was not at fault, your attorney can help seek additional coverage from the driver's insurance, or even your underinsured motorist policy.
What If I Discover My Uber Driver Has Been In Other Accidents Before?
Although the information above assumes that the Uber driver was the sole party responsible for your injuries, Uber itself may have played a role in failing to monitor who it allows driving for the company adequately. This means that if your driver regularly gets into accidents or has been reported as a dangerous driver on other occasions, Uber has a responsibility to protect the safety of future passengers by ensuring its contractors are safe drivers. If Uber did not take action, it could be negligent as well. If you have reason to believe Uber was aware that your driver had a poor driving history, an experienced personal injury attorney can assist with determining whether bringing a lawsuit against Uber may be appropriate. If you do choose to bring a lawsuit, you can recover various damages, such as bodily injury and pain and suffering. Getting into a car accident while in an Uber is just as likely as when riding in your car or with friends. Because of this, it is vital that you remain informed of your options.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Whether you’ve suffered minor neck pain or more severe injuries, a personal injury attorney familiar with Pennsylvania uber laws can help determine the best course of action for you. A failure to fully understand your options may leave you unfairly compensated or with little to no recourse. Contact the Philly Injury Lawyer for more information on how to pursue a claim against Uber.