Philadelphia Uber Accident Attorney

uber

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 Levin Firm in Philadelphia 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 FAQs

Uber is a ridesharing service that pairs private automobile owners with people who need a ride via a smartphone app. For riders, Uber is essentially an on-demand taxi service, often cheaper and more reliable than traditional taxi companies. For drivers, Uber is a way of earning money by driving their own cars.

With the rising popularity of Uber as an alternative to calling a cab in Philadelphia, it was only a matter of time before Uber drivers started getting into accidents. Here at The Levin Firm, that has meant clients coming to us with questions about their rights as people injured in accidents involving Uber and other ride-sharing services. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we get asked. To discuss the specifics of injuries you suffered in an accident involving an Uber ride, contact an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney today.

Do Uber drivers carry auto insurance?

Yes. Pennsylvania law requires all Uber drivers, in addition to their personal auto insurance, to carry insurance specifically applicable when they are driving for Uber. For most drivers, Uber provides this insurance coverage. Here are the coverages Uber drivers carry:

  1. Personal insurance. Since this is the driver’s personal vehicle, and not a vehicle provided by Uber, the driver must comply with State law when it comes to having personal liability insurance. During times when the driver is not operating the Uber app, the vehicle is covered only by this insurance.
  2. On the clock. Uber drivers make themselves available for ridesharing by activating their app, which will allow riders to hire them. Uber provides drivers with the following amounts of third party liability insurance, assuming their personal insurance doesn’t apply, covering Uber passengers or people other than the driver who might sustain injuries in an accident.
  • $50,000 coverage for bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 coverage for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 coverage for property damage.
  1. Driving to pick up and during the ride. The amounts of coverage provided rise for periods when the driver has engaged with a rideshare through the app:
  • $1,000,000 coverage for 3rd party liability
  • Uninsured/under-insured coverage for motorist bodily injury. This insures against injuries to the driver or passengers if another driver is at fault in an accident but does not have insurance or cannot be found.
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision insurance. This covers the cash value of the driver’s car minus a $1000 deductible. This goes into effect only if the driver also maintains personal comprehensive and collision insurance.

Other coverage. According to Uber, many of their drivers are limousine chauffeurs, black car, or other professional drivers, and they might also be covered by their commercial automobile insurance policies in addition to the coverages Uber provides.

What happens if there is a crash involving Uber?

The driver, per Uber guidelines, must check on passengers or other people involved, making sure they are safe. If there are injuries, the driver should call 911. The Uber driver will contact Uber to report the accident and submit a report. Anyone injured in the accident should seek immediate medical attention.

What kind of training do Uber drivers get?

Uber is a rideshare service that utilizes, well, just about anyone with a car and a license. Not everyone is capable enough to handle this kind of responsibility, and unlike a unionized chauffeur service, no commercial license or training is required. Taking an Uber might be rolling the dice. Some Uber drivers might have extensive driver training and others might not be very good at what they are doing.

What kind of background checks should Uber perform?

A requirement of being an Uber driver is to have a clean motor vehicle history and criminal background check. Drivers are disqualified who do not pass eligibility, such as having a felony within the last seven years, especially for serious offenses. Drivers are also continuously reviewed to ensure they continue to meet standards.

How are Uber vehicles maintained?

Vehicles must pass state inspection, of course. Other than that, however, there is no required maintenance schedule for Uber vehicles. Ratings and customer input may help to weed out less-appealing vehicles, but otherwise Uber’s standards for the quality and cleanliness of vehicles are fairly broad.

What if I am a passenger injured during an Uber trip?

Address any medical injuries as you would if you were a passenger in anyone’s car. Your health and safety are a top priority. Do not assume that just because you feel okay that you have not sustained an injury. Let an EMT check you out, and schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor right away.

Collect any information you can. The more information you have, the better protected you will be.

  • Your driver’s insurance information.
  • The other driver’s insurance information.
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident
  • Get the names and contact information of witnesses (especially if your driver is at fault)
  • If making statements to the police, be sure to get their card or contact info.

Cooperate with EMS responders/police. Even if you aren’t injured, you may feel rattled by the experience. Be concise and polite with first responders to the best of your ability. Some people handle trauma in different ways, and getting on the bad side of police or EMS will only complicate treatment and hinder the investigation process.

Admit no fault in the accident. Fault is up to investigators to determine. Auto accidents are a very intense experience, and often with adrenaline running through your veins you might feel confused as to what happened. Your emotional state, nerves, and confusion might give you a skewed perception of what happened. Do not offer your opinions about who had fault in the accident. When talking to first responders, stick only to facts.

What if an Uber driver is at fault for an accident but had no passenger?

The insurance coverage available for injuries in an accident depends upon whether the Uber driver was logged in to the app when the crash happened, and whether the driver was en-route to pick up a fare. Speak with an experienced Philadelphia Uber accident attorney to begin the process of figuring out the driver’s app status at the moment of the collision.

What if I was in an accident with an Uber driver and I was not a passenger?

The answer is the same. It will depend upon whether the driver was logged-in, and whether the driver was on the way to pick up a fare. Depending upon the driver’s status, the insurance available to cover your injuries will consist of the driver’s personal insurance only, Uber’s logged-in coverage, or Uber’s active rideshare coverage. Speak with an attorney to learn more about your rights.

What safeguards can Uber customers use?

Within the app, there are several functions to help drivers and riders ensure safe trips.

  • An emergency button in the app: This function allows riders and drivers to be connected to 911 in the event of an emergency. The app transmits information about the accident to law enforcement and first responders where available.
  • Ride Check: Allows riders and drivers to see if any reported incidents or hazards are along their destination route and can check in with users periodically to monitor their safety
  • Share My Trip: This allows your Uber trip (for riders or drivers) to connect with others in real time so that they can monitor your trip.
  • Speed Limit alerts: One of the leading causes of collisions and rollover accidents in America is excessive speed. With this function in the app, the driver is informed of the posted speed limit wherever they are and notified if they are exceeding it.
  • Limited hours: Drivers are required to take 6 hours off from every 12 hours of driving to prevent accidents from falling asleep at the wheel, similar to OTR truck drivers.

Can I sue Uber?

In theory, yes, but Pennsylvania law may limit the circumstances in which Uber will have liability for the actions of one of its drivers. Uber treats its drivers as independent contractors which means, under normal circumstances, that it would not typically have to answer for a driver’s wrongful conduct.

However, in circumstances in which Uber controlled the actions of its driver, or negligently failed to take actions to keep a dangerous driver from its ranks, then a suit against Uber could be possible. The law in this area is still developing. Speak with an experienced Philadelphia Uber accident lawyer today to learn about the latest developments, and to find out if you have a potential claim against Uber itself, not just its driver or the driver’s insurance.

What compensation may I receive in an Uber-related accident?

As with any litigation involving an automobile accident, you will need to speak with your attorney to learn the best way to proceed and to discuss what expectations you can have for recovering compensation.

As a general matter, victims of Philadelphia car accidents may seek compensation for:

  • Costs of medical treatment;
  • Property loss/damage;
  • Lost wages and future income;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Wrongful death or dismemberment.

Not every accident involves the recovery of all of the categories of damages above, of course. Likewise, the amount of damages a person can hope to recover can vary widely, depending upon the nature of the injuries involved, and the amount of insurance or other assets available to pay damages. Speaking with an experienced Uber accident attorney is the best way to get a handle on your potential compensation after an Uber accident leaves you injured.

How safe is Uber?

Here is information Uber provides in its U.S. Safety Report, from Uber’s website.

  • 3.1 million trips were made each day
  • 2.3 billion U.S. trips in two recent years
  • 99 percent of trips were completed without reported incidents
  • 1.4 percent of trips had any support request
  • 0.1 percent of trips were safety-related, and this included customer complaints about arguments, sudden braking, or other non-accident issues.
  • 97 crashes resulting in 107 fatalities in two recent years combined.
  • Over 8.2 billion miles driven, there were 49 Uber-related fatalities according to this site. The national average is 1.1 death per 100 million miles driven. Uber estimated .57 deaths per 100 million miles driven.

This does not include accidents not resulting in death—this information is not collected by Uber, according to research). This also does not include drivers who are also driving for other ridesharing programs, such as Lyft, which could skew the results.

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 Uber accident attorneys at the Levin Firm today to begin exploring your right to compensation after a crash involving an Uber driver leaves you injured.