Philadelphia Ridesharing FAQ
Not only does ridesharing across Philadelphia offer personal transportation when you do not have a vehicle available—the perfect solution for travelers to the City of Brotherly Love—it also gives people out-on-the-town a convenient option for avoiding drinking and driving.
Ridesharing does, however, bring with it some hazards. Do you have questions related to ridesharing or ridesharing accidents in Philadelphia? Contact the experienced Philadelphia ridesharing accident injury attorneys at the Levin Firm today. In the meantime, check below for the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about ridesharing accidents.
1. Do drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other services have to obtain special certifications to offer rides?
Unfortunately (in our view), no. Uber and Lyft require a minimum age of 21, at least a year of driving experience, a valid driver’s license, current insurance, and a clean, reliable vehicle. Other than that, drivers need no special certifications or training to drive for either company. If you get a ride from an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you should expect no greater safety precautions than you would expect from any other driver, and no safer vehicle than any other, either.
2. Who pays my medical bills if I suffer an injury in an accident with a rideshare driver?
As the injured person who sought and received medical care, you have ultimate responsibility for paying your bills. How you pay those bills, however, is another question with lots of potential answers, depending on the circumstances of your accident and injuries.
Some potential sources of payment for your medical bills include:
- Your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. In Pennsylvania, if you have a valid driver’s license and register a car in the Commonwealth, then you must carry personal injury protection insurance. Your PIP insurance coverage serves as your first line of financial protection if you suffer injuries in any type of motor vehicle-related accident (even one in which you were not the driver). Many licensed drivers choose to use Uber while traveling or after an evening of drinking. If they suffer injuries in an accident, then they may turn first to their PIP insurance to pay for medical and disability-related expenses related to the crash.
- Your health and/or long-term disability insurance. Any medical or long-term disability insurance you carry may pay a substantial portion of your medical expenses related to any type of accident. Contact your medical insurance company to learn how much coverage you have in the event of an accident, especially one involving serious injuries that may require long-term care. You may also need to notify your insurance company about the conditions that led to the accident, since this can affect the way your insurance company handles your claim.
- Seek compensation from anyone with legal liability for your injuries. You may have the legal right to seek compensation from the driver who caused the accident (and that driver’s insurance policy), or from any other individual or entity whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions led to the crash that harmed you. Speak with an experienced Philadelphia rideshare accident injury lawyer to learn more about your rights.
3. What if I suffered injuries as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle? Does the rideshare driver’s insurance policy pay?
As the passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you may have the legal right to seek compensation from that driver’s insurance policy if you suffer serious injuries in an accident. Both Uber and Lyft also provide extensive supplemental insurance coverage for their drivers when they have passengers in the vehicle. You may seek payment from the insurance coverage provided by the rideshare company to help pay for your expenses and losses related to the accident.
4. Can I still get compensation if I suffered injuries in an accident with a rideshare driver who did not have a passenger in the car?
Yes, but the amount of potential insurance coverage available to pay you may vary. Uber or Lyft drivers driving for their own purposes, with their apps turned off, typically carry only their own personal auto insurance coverage to protect them against financial liability for causing an accident. However, even if the driver does not have a passenger in the vehicle, if the driver has the ridesharing app engaged, the supplemental insurance provided by the ridesharing company will likely provide some additional coverage for victims if the driver causes an accident.
Uber and Lyft both offer $50,000 bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident when a rideshare driver waits for a ride with the app turned on or drives to pick up a passenger. This supplemental coverage (meaning coverage in addition to the driver’s own auto insurance policy) provides $100,000 maximum in bodily injury coverage per accident, even if multiple parties suffer injury. It also provides up to $25,000 in compensation for damaged property.
5. How much compensation should I expect after an accident with a rideshare driver?
It varies depending on the circumstances of the accident and your injury. Contact an attorney to discuss the compensation you should expect following any Philadelphia ridesharing accident
Multiple factors can influence the compensation you receive, including:
- Did the driver have a passenger at the time of the accident? Both Uber and Lyft insurance provide much higher levels of coverage—up to $1,000,000—for individuals injured when the driver has a passenger in the vehicle (even if the person injured is not the passenger). If the driver did not have a passenger at the time of the accident, but still had the app on, coverage drops considerably.
- How many people suffered injuries in the accident? Rideshare insurance policies, like other auto insurance policies, offer maximum coverage amounts per accident as well as per individual. If more than two parties suffered severe injuries in the accident, it may influence the compensation each injured party can receive.
- What did your financial losses from the accident look like? Compensation after a rideshare accident should pay for many of your expenses related to the accident. An experienced Philadelphia ridesharing accident attorney has the skill and know-how to calculate the compensation you deserve under Pennsylvania law for your injuries.
6. How will I receive compensation if another driver caused an accident when I was a passenger in a rideshare vehicle?
Every case differs. In general, however, in that circumstance you may have the right to receive compensation from the other driver (or, usually, that driver’s insurance policy), and potentially also from the supplemental insurance the ridesharing company provides to its drivers. Even if the other driver does not carry adequate (or any) insurance, the ridesharing company’s supplemental insurance may cover you by providing uninsured or under-insured motorist benefits. Speak with an experienced Philadelphia ridesharing crash injury lawyer today to learn more about your potential rights to compensation.
7. What should I do to protect myself after an accident involving a rideshare?
If you suffer injury in an accident involving a rideshare, the steps you take at the scene of the accident and in the days and weeks to follow can affect the compensation you may have the right to receive for your injuries.
Follow these tips to protect your rights.
- Call 911 and wait for the first responders to arrive. Never leave the scene of any Philadelphia ridesharing accident. Although you, personally, likely do not bear any legal responsibility for the accident, you are an important witness to it and the police need to hear what you have to say. Also, you may have suffered an injury, perhaps one you do not immediately feel, so staying at the scene ensures an EMT can check you over. Finally, leaving the scene could put your legal rights to compensation at risk. Your name appearing on the police accident report as a person present at the time of the accident can serve as evidence that the crash injured you, for example.
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not go to the emergency room in an ambulance. Even if you think you did not suffer serious injury in the Philadelphia ridesharing crash, go to a hospital or urgent care facility immediately to have even “minor” injuries evaluated by a trained medical professional. Some potentially life-threatening or severely disabling injuries do not exhibit symptoms right away, but still require immediate treatment. By getting medical care immediately (or no later than 24 hours after the crash), you protect your health and wellbeing. You also generate medical records that may serve as important evidence of your injury in a later legal proceeding.
- Contact an attorney ASAP. Any time you suffer injuries in a Philadelphia motor vehicle accident, including in connection with a rideshare, make sure you contact an attorney as soon as possible. You may have important legal rights to receive a substantial amount of compensation, but you must act quickly to protect and make the most of them. Do not wait to seek skilled legal advice. Contact a Philadelphia ridesharing crash lawyer today.
8. The rideshare driver’s insurance company called and offered me a settlement. Do I still need a lawyer?
Yes, you do. Do not make the mistake of thinking that an out-of-the-blue settlement offer from a friendly representative of the rideshare driver’s insurance company will pay you anything close to the amount of money you deserve for your injuries and losses. It won’t. The insurance company makes an offer like that hoping to take advantage of your ignorance of the potential value of your claim. Not only will accepting it leave you empty-handed when you realize how much money you really need to treat your injuries and pay expenses, it will also sacrifice your legal rights.
You need an experienced Philadelphia ridesharing lawyer to evaluate any settlement offer you receive from anyone’s insurance company. Lawyers for rideshare crash victims have years of experience calculating their clients’ present and future financial needs, and negotiating hard against insurance companies and defense lawyers to make sure they pay what they owe, not just what they hope you will take as a quick settlement.
9. Can I file a claim against Uber or Lyft directly, instead of going through the driver’s insurance policy?
Maybe. Speak with an experienced Philadelphia ridesharing lawyer to find out for sure.
As a general proposition, most ridesharing accidents—like any Philadelphia motor vehicle accident—get resolved through dealing with insurance carried by the drivers involved. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, it turns out that some other individual or entity took unreasonably dangerous actions that caused the crash. In those cases, those other parties may have legal liability.
In that sense, even ridesharing companies could have liability to you for your injuries and losses. These companies fight hard to avoid that liability, unsurprisingly, by insisting that their drivers are independent contractors for whose actions they need not answer. Still, in some circumstances your lawyer may have an opportunity to prove that your crash and injuries would not have happened were it not for the ridesharing company’s own conduct. A skilled Philadelphia ridesharing crash injury lawyer can determine if that is the case for you.
10. I did not think I suffered injuries at the time of the accident, but later discovered that I suffered back and/or neck injuries in the accident. Can I still get compensation?
Depending upon how long ago the accident happened, chances are good that you can. Contact an attorney to learn more about how you can seek compensation even if you did not receive medical care at the time of the accident.
11. How long will it take to get compensation for my injuries after a rideshare accident?
The length of time it takes to resolve a legal claim seeking compensation for a rideshare crash-related injury can vary widely from case-to-case. Some matters might resolve in a month or two. Others can extend over a year or more. Keep in mind, too, that no one can guarantee you will receive compensation for your injuries.
However, the most reliable way to give yourself the best chance at obtaining maximum compensation is to retain the services of an experienced Philadelphia rideshare accident injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Contact one of ours today.
Get the Legal Help You Need from a Philadelphia Ridesharing Lawyer
Contact the experienced legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia online or at (215) 825-5183 for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your rideshare accident and injuries. If you wait too long to take action, you risk Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations running out and not receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Levin Firm, we understand the struggles that come in the wake of a severe accident, and we are here to help. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, recovering our attorney fees only from any payment we obtain on a client’s behalf.
The Levin Firm
1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd,
Two Penn Center, Suite 620
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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