These types of services present many benefits to riders, like being able to call the car to your location through a smartphone app and often charging lower fares than taxi cabs do. These benefits make Uber and Lyft extremely popular. However, just like any other type of vehicle on the road, Uber and Lyft drivers can cause accidents that leave their passengers injured or that cause damage to other vehicles on the road. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident using a rideshare service, contact a Philadelphia Uber accident lawyer right away.
Causes of Uber Accidents
Many accidents involving rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are the result of an error on the part of the driver. Uber and Lyft both require their drivers to undergo background checks and driving record checks, as well as requiring their drivers to have insurance coverage for their vehicles. But despite these requirements, accidents do still happen if the drivers are not careful behind the wheel. Some rideshare drivers take on the job as a part time addition to their regular work, meaning they are working long hours each day and may be driving while fatigued or distracted.
Fatigue and Distracted Driving
Being tired or distracted behind the wheel is a common cause of car accidents, even for experienced drivers, and so a tired Uber or Lyft driver can easily cause an accident if they are not careful and alert while driving. Additionally, Uber or Lyft drivers can become involved in an accident if they are simply driving negligently or recklessly.
Speeding and Traffic Laws
These drivers must obey traffic laws and cannot speed, pass improperly, tailgate other cars, or weave in and out of traffic, all of which could cause accidents. Uber and Lyft drivers also should avoid taking dangerous or unlawful routes or shortcuts to get their passengers to their destination, because this kind of driving is also likely to cause an accident.
Nonetheless, many rideshare drivers do make mistakes and cause accidents that injure their passengers or people in other vehicles on the road. When someone is hurt in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, the victim may face difficulty pursuing a claim against the driver because of the complications the law presents regarding rideshare driver liability. That is why it is important to contact an experienced Philadelphia Uber accident attorney as soon as possible to assist you with your claim.
Filing Uber Accident Claims
The law is murky as to whether Uber and Lyft drivers are employees or independent contractors of the company, because the drivers choose their own hours and drive their own vehicles. Accordingly, it is also unclear how insurance coverage will apply if an Uber or Lyft driver causes an accident. Although rideshare drivers are required to have insurance, the insurance that the companies provide to their drivers is limited and only covers up to a certain amount.
For example, Uber's commercial insurance policy will cover drivers liability to passengers up to the amount of $1 million, as well as provide $1 million coverage if an uninsured driver of another vehicle causes an accident that injures an Uber rider. As a result, if the accident was especially severe and causes extreme injuries and property damage, accident victims may have to look to the drivers personal insurance to cover the difference.
However, the drivers personal insurance may not cover accidents caused when the vehicle is being used as a commercial vehicle instead of as the drivers personal vehicle. Dealing with insurance companies in these cases can be stressful, which is why your attorney can provide invaluable help by negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
If the Uber or Lyft driver is off duty and causes an accident to other vehicles on the road, they will be covered by their personal insurance policy. However, if there is a question about whether they were truly off duty at the time or whether they were in fact working by driving to another job, there will also be questions about whose insurance policy will cover the accident victims injuries. A qualified Uber accident lawyer can help sort through these questions and determine whose policy covers your injuries and how to effectively pursue a compensation claim.
When to Call Your Lawyer
It is important to remember that passengers of rideshare services are not the only people who could be injured in an Uber or Lyft accident. If the rideshare service driver causes an accident that involves other vehicles on the road, the drivers or passengers of those other vehicles may also have claims against the rideshare driver.
Whether you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle or an accident victim in another vehicle, the very first thing you should do after the accident is seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how small they may seem. Next, you should contact our offices for a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer who can help go over the details of the accident and begin work on your compensation claim.
Your attorney will help gather information such as the name of the driver, the drivers insurance coverage, and the facts of the accident itself to prove that the driver was at fault. Then, your attorney will negotiate on your behalf with the drivers personal insurance company and/or the insurance company that provides the commercial insurance policy.
Your lawyer will make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected and that the insurance company or companies give you the full amount of compensation for your injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, or any other damage claim you are owed. Our attorneys understand how complex these kinds of cases can be, and we will work with you every step of the way as you pursue your Uber or Lyft accident claim.