Philadelphia Uber Accident Lawyer
Helping With Complex Uber Accident Claims In Philly
For many people in the Philadelphia area, rideshare services like Uber are extremely beneficial. There are many situations in which people open their Uber apps and have a ride ready with a simple touch of a button. Uber is quick, convenient, and can be a lifesaver if you do not have a working vehicle, have had too much to drink, or are visiting the city and do not want to rent a car.
Most Uber users do not think twice about taking a ride with a stranger. However, Uber rides can be risky for many reasons and can result in crashes and injuries. No two Uber accidents are the same, and each case can have unique legal issues that can complicate the insurance or legal process. For this reason, you want to seek help from a lawyer who specifically understands how to handle Uber accident cases.
The Philadelphia rideshare accident lawyers at The Levin Firm knows how to help clients injured in Uber-related accidents. We are ready to handle your claim, protecting your rights every step of the way. If you suffered injuries in an accident that involved an Uber driver, call our office to schedule your free consultation.
Philadelphia Car Accident Information
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reported the following statistics regarding car accidents in Philadelphia County for a recent year:
- Philadelphia had the highest number of traffic fatalities of any county in Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia had the second-highest number of reported accidents (Alleghany County was first)
- There were 11,160 traffic crashes reported
- There were 7,977 injury-causing crashes reported
- There were 91 fatal crashes reported
Reports indicate that about 36 million rideshare rides took place in one year in Philadelphia, many of which were Uber-related. This means that there is a good chance that many reported accidents may have involved an Uber driver.
Philadelphia Uber Accident FAQ
Any car accident can leave you with questions about your legal rights. Suffering injuries in an accident with an Uber driver, however, may well add complication to the legal process of seeking money damages for your injuries. Below, we answer some of the questions we hear most frequently from Uber accident victims in the Philadelphia area. If you need answers to specific questions about your rights after an Uber-related accident, then contact an experienced Philadelphia Uber accident injury lawyer today.
1. I suffered injuries as a passenger in an Uber accident. Where do I turn for compensation?
Seeking compensation for injuries suffered as a passenger in an Uber involves basically the same process as getting paid for any other type of accident. If you carry a Pennsylvania driver’s license and register a vehicle in Pennsylvania, then by law you must carry no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that covers your medical and disability-related costs resulting from any auto accident regardless of who caused it, even if you suffer those injuries not in your own vehicle, but instead as a passenger in an Uber ride.
If the cost of your injuries exceeds the limits of your PIP coverage, then you may also have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party, the form and amount of which may depend on the type of insurance coverage you chose to carry when you purchased your PIP policy.
As a general matter, however:
- If the Uber driver caused the accident, then you may seek compensation through the insurance Uber provides for its drivers, or from the driver personally, or both, depending upon the circumstances.
- If someone else caused the accident, then you may seek compensation from that individual’s or entity’s insurance or assets.
Speak to our experienced Philadelphia Uber accident injury lawyers today to evaluate who may have legal liability to you for your injuries.
2. How does Uber’s insurance policy work? How does it affect me if I suffered injuries in an accident caused by an Uber driver?
Uber provides insurance coverage for its drivers to supplement the coverage they must carry as registered owners of vehicles in Pennsylvania. This supplemental insurance kicks in during times when the Uber driver actively engages in Uber driving. In other words, the insurance does not cover accidents caused by an Uber driver not driving for Uber at the time of the accident (who has the Uber app turned off, in other words).
If, however, the driver causes an accident while actively engaged in Uber activities, then the supplemental insurance provides two tiers of protection:
- While the driver waits for an Uber fare, Uber’s insurance covers up to $50,000 in bodily injury per person and $100,000 in bodily injury per accident. Uber’s insurance policy also provides coverage for up to $25,000 in property damage per accident.
- While the driver has engaged an Uber fare (driving to the fare or with the fare in the vehicle), Uber’s insurance covers up to $1,000,000 in third party liability coverage. This coverage includes the value of the vehicle damaged in the accident as well as any injuries suffered by victims in the accident.
As a result of this tiered supplemental coverage system, the details of your Uber accident may influence how much money is available to pay you damages. Speak with an experienced Philadelphia Uber accident injury attorney today to learn about how to determine which tier of insurance may cover you.
3. How much compensation can I expect from an accident caused by an Uber driver?
The answer to this question varies from case-to-case. To begin, there is no guarantee that a person will receive any compensation because of an Uber accident—someone must have legal liability for your injuries for you to obtain money damages from them.
Assuming that someone has legal liability to you, the amount of the compensation you may hope to receive depends on a variety of factors, chief among which are:
- The harm you suffered as a result of the accident, both in terms of expenses your injuries caused you, and the pain, suffering, inconvenience, and damage to your quality of life resulting from them; and
- The amount of insurance or assets available to pay damages to you. As discussed above, in the case of an accident caused by the Uber driver, this may depend at least in part on whether the Uber driver had the app actively engaged at the time of the accident.
4. Is it harder to get paid for injuries in an Uber accident than other kinds of accidents?
Not necessarily, so long as you have a lawyer who knows the ropes. As in any motor vehicle accident, insurance coverage tends to play a significant role when someone seeks compensation for injuries suffered in an Uber-related accident. However, obtaining payment from those insurance coverages can seem a little more complicated than usual if you lack familiarity with how Uber-provided insurance works. That is why it is important to hire an experienced Philadelphia Uber accident injury lawyer to represent you in this type of case.
5. Uber contacted me and offered me a settlement for my injuries. Should I take it?
Many people hope for a quick financial settlement after getting hurt in a car accident. In some cases, Uber’s insurance company may make that possible. The insurance company may contact you soon after the accident and offer a settlement that appears to compensate you for your immediate medical bills and other expenses related to the accident.
Be careful. Although accepting this offer might put funds in your pocket fast, the amount of money you might receive probably will not account for the full amount you deserve for your injuries. Consult with an experienced Philadelphia Uber accident injury attorney before accepting any settlement offer from Uber or anyone else.
6. What if I was a passenger in an Uber when another driver caused an accident, but that driver did not carry liability insurance. Can I still get compensation for my injuries?
Very possibly. Uber’s supplemental insurance providers Uber passengers uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits. If the other driver in an accident does not carry adequate insurance or does not carry insurance at all, then Uber’s insurance policy may make up the difference in the compensation you need for your injuries.
7. If I carry personal injury protection insurance, do I have to use it after an accident caused by an Uber driver?
In most cases, yes, although as discussed above, you may also have the right to receive compensation from other sources (including the Uber driver’s own and supplemental insurance). In Pennsylvania, personal injury protection insurance, if you carry it, constitutes your primary coverage for medical expenses and lost wages related to an injury suffered in an auto accident, regardless of who caused the accident.
8. Do I ever have grounds to file a personal injury claim against Uber directly, rather than just the Uber driver?
Possibly. Most motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania involve claims against a driver-related insurance policy, and the same is true of Uber accident claims. However, circumstances could exist in which Uber, the company, made poor decisions or took dangerous actions that led to you getting hurt in an accident involving one of its drivers. If that happens, then you could have a claim against Uber directly.
Uber works hard to try to prevent those claims from happening, mind you. It categorizes all of its drivers as independent contractors in hopes of skirting labor laws governing an employer’s legal responsibility for its employees’ actions, for example. However, that legal position and others like it taken by Uber have caused controversy nationwide that remains unresolved. Speak with an experienced Philadelphia Uber accident injury lawyer today about whether you have a direct personal injury claim against Uber or any other ridesharing company.
9. What should I do if I suffer injuries in an accident with an Uber driver?
As in any type of accident, prioritize seeking medical care. You may need ambulance transportation directly from the scene of the accident, which will take you straight to the hospital to get looked over. Even if you believe that you suffered only minor injuries, however, seek medical care to rule out potentially life-threatening injuries that do not show immediate symptoms (such as brain injury or internal organ damage) and to ensure that you have a record of your injuries and when they occurred.
Next, get contact information for the Uber driver. Make sure you keep track of all information provided by the driver and by the app so that if you need to file a personal injury claim, your lawyer has essential information about your ride available.
Then, get in touch with the experienced ridesharing accident attorneys at the Levin Firm as soon as you can. An attorney can collect evidence about the accident, evaluate who may have liability and the ability to pay, and take care of pursuing a personal injury claim on your behalf. Simply having an attorney on your side may increase your odds of getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
10. How long does it take to resolve an Uber accident claim?
The length of time it takes to get to an outcome in an Uber accident claim can vary widely from case-to-case. Sometimes it may take no more than a month or two. Sometimes, the process of seeking compensation lasts for more than a year.
Factors that may affect the pace and duration of a claim include:
- The nature of your injuries and prognosis for recovery. Some types of injuries can make it difficult for doctors to predict the course of your recovery. Spinal cord injury victims, for example, may have a clear picture of their likely future medical and financial needs after a few months, whereas burn or brain injury victims may face an uncertain road that complicates the factual and legal analysis of your damages claim, and thereby stretches out the timeline for resolving it.
- The dollar amount of your claim. As a general proposition, the larger the claim, the longer it may take to reach a resolution, because insurance companies and people with liability tend to scrutinize claims for longer and to fight harder when lots of money is on the line.
- The number of parties involved. Adding parties to a legal negotiation also tends to add time.
- The effect of your needs on the negotiating strategy. Uber accident injuries can leave victims in dire personal and financial straits. They may feel pressure to obtain payment from at-fault parties quickly just to stay afloat. It will likely come as no surprise to hear that the more staying power a Philadelphia Uber accident victim has to remain in the fight and to press for the most favorable financial outcome possible, the longer a case may take to resolve, but also, the more money a case may yield. Be sure to speak with your Philadelphia Uber accident injury attorney about your financial needs and goals, and their potential impact on the outcome of your claim.
11. Do Uber drivers have to meet specific qualifications or receive extra training to drive for Uber?
Uber does not require specific training or certification for its drivers. Uber does, however, mandate that its drivers have a vehicle that meets certain minimum safety and cleanliness specifications (usually conditioned at least in part on local and state regulations), that the driver carry a valid license and be over age 21, and that the driver have at least one year of driving experience (three years for drivers under age 23).
Beyond those requirements, Uber does not mandate that its drivers undergo specific training, which means an Uber driver often has no greater experience or skill than any other driver on the road. As such, Uber drivers, while they provide a valuable service to individuals who do not have personal vehicles or who cannot drive themselves for some other reason, do not necessarily have any special skills or capabilities that can reduce the risk of an accident.
12. Do I need an attorney after a Philadelphia Uber accident?
Yes. We advise anyone who has suffered injuries in an auto accident to speak with an experienced attorney; but it is especially important to seek the help of an Uber accident injury attorney, in particular, if you sustain injuries in an accident involving an Uber driver. The law continues to evolve when it comes to Uber accidents. To ensure you recover the compensation you deserve, seek the help of an attorney who knows the ropes of dealing with Uber and who understands the tiers of insurance potentially available to cover your injuries.
Do not wait to speak with our experienced Philadelphia Uber accident attorneys about the facts of your crash and the nature of your injuries. You may need to act quickly to preserve evidence of the accident and to obtain important records from Uber. Waiting too long to obtain valuable legal advice could result in the loss of your rights altogether.
Contact the experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys at the Levin Firm today to begin exploring your right to compensation after a crash involving an Uber driver leaves you injured.
The Risks Of Uber
Driving inherently comes with risks, and Uber drivers are no different. Uber drivers can make errors on the road like any other driver, and these errors can lead to serious crashes.
Some common mistakes by Uber drivers behind the wheel can include:
- Failure to yield
- Running traffic signals
- Following too closely
- Failure to signal
- Improper lane changes
Any type of traffic violation can result in a collision, though there are some risks that are particularly prevalent when it comes to Uber rides. The following are only some examples of such risks:
This is a dangerously common concern when it comes to Uber drivers, as they often spend long hours on the road trying to pick up as many rides as possible. In recent years, Uber did limit the consecutive hours a driver could work. Specifically, a driver can be logged in to the app for work for 12 hours and then, they cannot log in again for another six hours. However, these restrictions are hardly effective in combatting fatigued Uber drivers.
Many rideshare drivers use Uber to supplement their income from a full-time job, often going straight from an eight-hour shift to a long night of driving. Consider the following:
- Adam works as a car repairman from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
- After his shift, he immediately logs in to the Uber app to start picking up rides.
- He knows that the demand for drivers often peaks as the bars and restaurants close in Philly or after sports games.
- He regularly drives with Uber until 2:00 a.m., when he goes home and tries to get a few hours of sleep.
- The next day, he does it all again.
The above scenario is far too common in the Uber driver’s world. While Adam was within the safety limits set by Uber for hours of work, he is likely regularly fatigued and at risk of falling asleep or losing focus, leading to an accident.
Anyone can get distracted while driving, even professional drivers. An Uber driver connects to the Uber app at all times they are working. The app allows them to accept rides, tells them where to pick up a passenger, and how to get to the passenger’s destination. Even if a driver has a hands-free phone mount in their car, they will still be regularly checking the screen for more information.
Even looking away from the road for a few seconds is long enough to cause a crash. For this reason, Uber drivers are at a constant risk of crashing, as they are constantly checking their phones as an inherent part of their jobs. They can also add in other distractions, such as talking on the phone, engaging with passengers, eating and drinking, and more.
Uber drivers get paid per ride no matter how long the ride takes. If a passenger agrees to a $12 ride, they will pay $12 even if the driver gets stuck in traffic for an extra 30 minutes. With the traffic in Philly, this situation is a common one. Therefore, drivers often look for ways to complete as many rides as possible in a short period of time, which can lead to aggressive driving.
Uber drivers may speed or swerve through traffic to get where they are going as fast as possible. Often, drivers know the roads well and may have an over-inflated sense of confidence when driving aggressively. Aggressive driving is always dangerous, as too many Philadelphians know from experience, and this behavior can lead to devastating Uber accidents.
For some reason, many passengers in Uber vehicles feel safe not buckling their seat belts, especially if they are sitting in the back. It is common for Uber riders to ignore safety restraints and trust the driver, only to be seriously injured if an accident happens. Head-on collisions and rollovers can be particularly dangerous for unrestrained passengers, as they may be ejected from the vehicle. It’s important to know that even if a passenger wasn’t wearing a seat belt, a negligent driver can still be held liable for injuries they cause in a crash.
Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance
Philadelphia Uber drivers must have a vehicle that meets the minimum standards, as well as maintain a valid inspection certificate. While a driver might meet these requirements when they begin driving, there is little to stop them from ignoring problems with their vehicles that arise in between inspections. A driver may notice that a tire is overly work, though puts off replacing it until it is necessary to pass inspection. In the meantime, the tire blows on the highway and the Uber driver crashes. Uber drivers are responsible for all their own vehicle-related expenses, so it is no surprise that some drivers try to cut dangerous corners when it comes to vehicle maintenance.
The above are only some reasons why Uber drivers may be at a particularly high risk of crashing. It is important to determine exactly what led to your crash to ensure you identify the proper liable parties. The legal team at The Levin Firm investigates crashes to gather evidence of negligence and prove liability for your losses. The sooner we start looking into the cause of your Uber accident, the better.
Representing All Uber Accident Victims
When you think of an Uber-related injury, you might immediately think of a passenger injured when an Uber driver crashed. While this is a common scenario, there are other ways that Uber drivers can be involved in injury crashes, as follows:
- An Uber driver crashes into another vehicle and injures a vehicle occupant
- An Uber driver hits and injures a pedestrian or a bicyclist
- Another driver crashes into an Uber, injuring an Uber passenger
Each of these situations will require different types of claims for the injured party to seek compensation, as well as different proof of liability. Whether you were an Uber passenger, riding in another vehicle, or a pedestrian or bicyclist, The Levin Firm can represent you.
Common Uber Accident Injuries
Uber accidents can result in the same types of injuries and losses as any other type of traffic accident. As mentioned, Uber passengers may often sustain severe injuries due to being unrestrained in the backseat of the Uber. The following are some injuries that may result from an Uber crash:
- Sprains and strains
- Torn soft tissue
- Concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Head trauma and skull fractures
- Internal injuries and bleeding
After an Uber accident, it is critical that you get the medical attention you need as soon as possible. You should always listen to first responders if they say you need emergency transportation. Otherwise, you should still visit the emergency room as soon as you can following the crash.
A doctor can discover injuries that you didn’t know existed. For example, you may think you are dizzy and disoriented because the crash “shook you up,” when in reality, you have a serious concussion. A doctor will record all of your injuries and diagnoses, which you can later use as important evidence of the types of injuries resulting from your Uber crash.
In the days and weeks following your accident, you may experience a variety of losses due to your injuries. Losses will vary depending on the nature of your injuries and the treatment you need, though some losses may include:
- Medical bills for emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, medication, doctor’s visits, and more
- The costs of the medical care you need in the future
- Lost income if your injuries keep you from working for a period of time
- Lost future income if you cannot return to your previous job
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
These losses can add up very quickly and can become overwhelming. Financial concerns can also cause problems for your household, including covering bills and regular expenses. It is important to act fast after an accident to limit the financial issues you face and help you receive the compensation you need as soon as possible.
Seeking Compensation For Your Uber-Related Losses
When another driver crashes into your car, you likely know that you can file a claim with their auto insurance company or with your own company, depending on the type of policy that you have. However, what claim can you file after an Uber accident? There are different policies that may cover your losses after this type of crash, and we can identify the proper claims you need to file. These can include:
- A claim with the Uber driver’s personal insurance
- A claim with Uber’s insurance policy, as long as the driver caused the crash while picking up or transporting a passenger
- A claim with a third party driver’s insurance if their negligence caused the accident
- A claim with a third party driver’s employer if the driver was on the job at the time they caused a crash
Like most states, Pennsylvania has rideshare laws that require Uber and other companies to cover drivers while they are engaged in a pre-arranged ride. This can be helpful, as these policies can provide coverage up to $1 million, which is critical for accident victims with catastrophic injuries and losses.
No matter who your insurance claim is against, the insurer will likely try to fight your compensation however possible. It is always a good idea to have an experienced Uber accident lawyer representing you from the very beginning of your claim. Most importantly, you should never accept a settlement offer from an insurer without first discussing your case with an attorney. Insurers are notorious for tricking injured accident victims into accepting much less than they need, though our legal team can prevent this from happening whenever possible.
Contact Our Philadelphia Uber Accident Attorney For Help Today
One moment, you call an Uber as usual and the next, you are on the way to the hospital in serious pain. In this situation, The Levin Firm is here to help.
Our Philadelphia Uber accident law firm can handle your claim from start to finish, so please call (215) 825-5183 or contact us online today.