Who Is Liable in Uber Accidents?
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies have all but replaced old fashion taxi services in many areas. The ease and convenience of ordering a ride through a smartphone app have made these services an indispensable means of transport for many people. Unfortunately, Uber drivers are also involved in car accidents, resulting in both property damage and injuries. Determining who is legally liable in these types of accidents is the same as any other automotive crash – an injured plaintiff must prove that the at-fault party was negligent. When an Uber driver causes an accident, they could be held liable.
Car accident cases often present numerous hurdles when it comes to determining liability and fault. Because of everything from discrepancies in witness testimony to significantly different statements from the parties involved, a successful car accident case requires experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers. When a claim also involves the nuances associated with an Uber driver, having skilled representation is vital.
The lawyers and staff at the Reiff Law Firm have been providing professional and aggressive representation for over three decades. Uber drivers provide a valuable service but sometimes present an undeniable risk. If you were hurt due to an Uber driver’s negligence, you deserve to be appropriately compensated. To arrange a free consultation, contact our law offices at (215) 709-6940.
Common Causes of Uber Accidents
Car crashes occur for a wide range of reasons. Uber drivers are not immune from the issues that plague other drivers on the road, such as texting while driving or ignoring traffic rules and regulations. However, there are some aspects of a rideshare driver’s job that could contribute to an accident.
A fatigued driver is as dangerous as a drunk driver. To earn enough money, many Uber drivers will spend long hours on the road. This is especially true on weekends when late-night fares are prevalent. While the app is designed to limit the number of hours a driver is permitted to log, an Uber driver could easily push past their safe window for “one more fare.”
Distracted driving is a common cause of automotive crashes. Whether it is texting, talking on the phone, or looking at a GPS, anything that diverts a driver’s focus from the task increases the chances of an accident. Unfortunately, the nature of an Uber driver’s job makes distracted driving almost a job duty. An Uber driver will regularly communicate with a potential fare, use their rideshare app to confirm a job, or rely heavily upon their GPS to navigate unfamiliar areas. All of this behavior could distract the driver from safely operating their vehicle.
Speed and efficiency are cornerstones of the rideshare business. An Uber driver does not want to keep a potential fare waiting long. After picking up a passenger, getting them to their destination quickly is almost expected. Because of this, some Uber drivers will drive recklessly or at unsafe speeds, resulting in avoidable accidents.
Uber Drivers are Liable for Accidents They Cause
Determining liability after a car accident requires figuring out who caused the accident. If a driver was texting or failed to stop at a traffic light, they could be held liable for any injuries that occurred. The job of our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys is to gather sufficient evidence to hold a liable party responsible. To do so, our office will have to prove that a duty of care existed, that duty was breached, the breach caused the injury, and our client suffered quantifiable damages.
Uber drivers are no different from other motorists on the road. They owe every other driver and pedestrian an obligation to safely operate their cars, avoiding accidents and injuries. If an Uber driver is texting a potential fare while driving, they are breaching their duty to others on the road.
Because Uber, and other rideshare companies, consider themselves a technology platform and their drivers independent contractors, it is difficult to file a lawsuit against Uber directly after an accident. Therefore, if you are injured in a crash caused by an Uber driver, your claim will be against the driver and their personal auto insurance carrier.
Uber Supplemental Insurance
Fortunately, Uber provides supplemental insurance for their drivers. This insurance is supplemental, meaning it becomes available if the driver’s personal insurance is not enough to cover your claim. However, if the coverage was in effect at the time of the accident and how much coverage is available depends on the status of the Uber driver at the time of the crash. Determining the driver’s status is a crucial piece in developing a personal injury case.
The driver’s status depends on what activity they were engaged in at the time of the accident. If the driver had been selected by a potential passenger and was on their way to pick them up or was transporting a passenger, then there is up to a million dollars of coverage available per accident.
There are times when an Uber driver is logged into their app, but they have not accepted a fare. If an accident occurs at this time, Uber’s insurance covers $50,000 per person, $25,000 for property damage, and $100,000 per accident.
If an Uber driver is logged out of their rideshare app, there is no supplemental insurance available. At this time, an injured plaintiff will have to rely on the driver’s personal auto insurance policy.
Our Experience Uber Car Accident Lawyers Offer Free Consultations
Car accidents often result in severe injuries, expensive medical bills, and lost time at work. When you were hurt through no fault of your own, the negligent party should be held liable. This is also the case if an Uber driver caused the crash. Our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers have the experience and resources to hold Uber drivers accountable for their reckless conduct. To speak with an attorney at the Reiff Law Firm, call (215) 709-6940.