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 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 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.