Philadelphia Uber Accident Lawyer
An Uber Accident Lawyer Near You
If you have been injured in a wreck and an Uber vehicle was involved, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. We have helped many drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other victims of automobile accidents obtain compensation for injuries sustained involving rideshare vehicles. Philadelphia car accident lawyer Edith Pearce, the founder of The Pearce Law Firm, has extensive experience in the auto insurance business, as she worked as an attorney for years for a major auto insurance company.
Included in this Guide:
- What is Uber?
- Issues with Uber accidents
- What to do if you’re in an accident with an Uber driver
- What if I’m injured in Philadelphia as a tourist?
- Uber Eats accidents
- Who is to blame if it’s a self-driving car?
What is Uber?
Uber is what’s known as a transportation network company, or a ridesharing service. Customers download Uber’s app on their cell phones along with personal and credit card information. If they need transportation to a destination, they merely contact Uber through the app, and a driver in or around their neighborhood picks them up and drives them to their destination. A photo of the driver and the vehicle’s license plate number are forwarded to the customer. The vehicle is also identified by a large “U” that appears on the windshield. Other than maybe a tip, no cash changes hands. It’s an incredibly convenient service, especially if your car is parked in a parking garage and you just need a short trip around town, you don’t have a vehicle, you plan on drinking alcohol, or if you’ve just flown in to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and don’t want to rent a car.
There are several car options in and around Philadelphia and New Jersey to pick when choosing to ride on Uber listed below from least to most expensive:
- UberPOOL: the least expensive where you share your ride and cost with another passenger (Each UberPOOL request can only have a maximum of 2 riders)
- UberX: Most basic Uber Service comparable to a taxi, allowing up to 4 passengers in your party
- UberXL: Basic Uber service with larger vehicle requiring SUV or Minivan that can take up to 6 passengers
- UberSelect: This is Uber’s entry-level luxury service that seats up to 4 riders (these cars must be approved by Uber as luxury cars and have leather or vinyl seating with no tears)
- UberBLACK: Ride in style with UberBlack. This service is used often for business or for that special ride. (the most expensive service requires the car to be a black luxury car. Most importantly, the driver is required to have a commercial driver’s license and insurance so there is generally more coverage available if you are in an accident. Drivers must maintain a rating of 4.85 or above to qualify as UberBLACK drivers)
- UberWAV, the wheelchair accessible vehicles
Potential Auto Insurance Issues With Uber Accidents in and Around Philadelphia
Whether you’re a passenger or a third party like a pedestrian or bicyclist who has been injured in an accident involving an Uber vehicle, there’s likely to be insurance to cover your injuries. What might come to issue is when different insurers start standing around pointing their fingers at each other. Which insurer might be on the hook for damages depends on what the Uber driver was doing at the time of the accident. Having a rideshare accident lawyer on your side is critical when the finger pointing begins. The driver’s activity is divided into three steps or time periods:
The first step: Uber App OFF
During this time period, the Uber driver has their Uber App turned off and is not actively receiving passenger requests. During this stage, Uber considers the driver’s vehicle as being used for personal purposes because the Uber App is not active. Since Uber does not own the car, the driver’s personal liability insurance is in effect and Uber will not provide additional insurance. This means the Uber driver may only have the minimum amount of insurance required by state law. In Pennsylvania, the state minimum only requires $15,000 of coverage for bodily injury per person. New Jersey’s minimum “basic insurance policy” may be even less.
The second step: Uber App is ON with no passenger
Now the Uber driver has logged into the company’s app, and he or she is actively available to transport passengers. Uber now will provide coverage on a contingent basis (coverage that pays only for losses not covered by driver’s personal policy) in case the driver’s insurance has lapsed, or the driver is otherwise uninsured or underinsured. That coverage covers personal injury up to $50,000 per person and continues to be in effect as long as the app is on.
The third step: Uber App ON and En Route
Once the Uber driver has accepted a passenger, another step begins. The driver now travels to pick up the passenger and transports him or her to the destination. From the moment that the driver accepts the passenger, Uber’s $1 million of liability coverage applies. That includes another $1 million for uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. Once the customer is dropped off, the coverage reverts back to either Uber’s contingent insurance or the driver’s personal insurance based on the status the app is in.
Insurance Statements and Medical Authorizations
After being injured in an accident, one or more insurers might contact you wanting signed medical authorizations and recorded statements from you. It is often in your best interest to tell them you want to check with your lawyer first, and then call us. While your own automobile insurance may require you to provide a recorded statement, you generally do not need to give the other insurance company a recorded statement. You are generally under no legal obligation to provide either a statement or a medical authorization to an opposing insurer, and you could hurt your case by doing so. This is important, as opposing insurers will likely try to use your statement or past medical history against you in the future.
What to Do if You Are in a Car Accident With Uber in Philadelphia
In November 2016, Governor Wolf signed legislation making Uber and Lyft legal in Philadelphia. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft continue to increase with taxicabs on the decline.
The standards to drive for Uber are not strict. Uber will accept you as a driver if you pass a minor background check showing a clean motor vehicle report with no more than 3 incidents in the past 3 years and no DUIs or reckless driving citations. Thus, with more and more Uber and Lyft drivers in Philadelphia, there are bound to be more and more accidents in Philadelphia involving Uber and Lyft.
According to Edith Pearce, a prominent car accident lawyer in Philadelphia, passengers that are traveling in Uber and Lyft are covered for medical expenses and other damages with a $1 million Uber insurance policy. Lyft also has a similar $1 million Lyft insurance policy. These policies are generally better than policies offered in taxicab accidents in Philadelphia. However, what if an Uber driver hits your car or hits you as a pedestrian. Whether Uber’s insurance will cover you will depend on whether the Uber driver was carrying a passenger at the time. If the Uber driver was carrying a passenger, you will be covered by Uber’s $1million insurance coverage.
However, recovering from Uber can be tricky. For example, if the driver was between a pick up and a drop off, you will probably have to file a claim with the Uber driver’s personal car insurance policy. If the Uber driver was available (using the Uber App tuned on), Uber may provide additional contingent liability coverage of $50,000 per injury and $100,000 total. You must file a specific claim with Uber and show that the driver’s personal automobile insurance did not cover all the damages.
In short, you need an experienced lawyer in the Philadelphia area who has decades of knowledge about automobile insurance policies. Edith Pearce worked for 10 years for an automobile insurance company and defense accident law firm before representing injured victims. She knows the ins and outs of insurance polices and how insurance companies work. Give The Pearce Law Firm a call today at 215-839-1026 for a free consultation.
Should I Represent Myself in a Case Against an Uber Driver?
We always recommend consulting with a rideshare accident lawyer when involved in an accident with an Uber vehicle. With at least two insurance companies being involved after a passenger or third person is injured in an Uber accident, the possibility of the insurers doing nothing and pointing their respective fingers at each other is likely, and increases with each added insurer. Remember, the insurance company has lawyers working for them round the clock in an attempt to limit the amount of money they pay out. Coverage could even be denied by all of the insurers. That’s more likely to happen if you try to represent yourself in an Uber injury claim. A rideshare accident lawyer will look out for your best interests instead of the interests of the insurance companies.
What If I am Injured in a Philly Uber Accident as a Tourist?
Each year around 40 million people a year visit Philadelphia. People drive in and fly in to PHL from all over the world, then most make their way to Center City to unpack at their hotel room. Once unloaded, people hit the streets to explore. Tourists quickly discover that their two most convenient options are walking and taking Uber.
If you are new to Philly and/or new to Uber you will quickly find yourself hooked with the app. Just tap the Uber app and you can see the Uber drivers swarming all around you, never more than a half mile away. After a few rides, you’ll begin to wonder if every vehicle in Philly is actually an Uber. If you’re traveling with young kids, an UberXL swill scoop everyone right up and transport them from Reading Terminal Market over to the Museum of Art for a little over 10 bucks and before you know it you’re using Uber for anything over 5 blocks away. Tourists don’t even need street addresses, Uber quickly picks up on places such as the Liberty Bell or the Betsy Ross House or other business names such as those popular restaurants selling cheese steaks.
What happens when things go wrong?
If you are involved in an Uber accident in or near Philadelphia while visiting and a serious injury has occurred you’re going to want to consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury and is licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania.
As a passenger in an Uber vehicle it is highly likely that your injuries were due to someone’s negligence. Unfortunately, in addition to the unexpected injury you are now faced with obtaining compensation for those injuries from insurers who wish to protect their bottom line and paying you as little as possible for those injuries.
If the Uber driver caused the wreck or if the Uber vehicle was hit by another driver, it is in your best interest to give us a call for a free consultation. While our services are not needed in each and every case, if needed and retained we will fight to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for you that you deserve.
Uber Eats Accidents in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is a city with great restaurants. Imagine not having to get off your couch to sample some of the best dishes in Philly. That’s the idea behind food delivery services like Uber Eats. The food arrives on your doorstep, hot (hopefully), and ready to eat.
It seems like a deal that’s too good to be true. And for drivers on city streets, it’s not all good news. The next time you get behind the wheel, you may notice the extra drivers making a lot of starts and stops because they’re on the clock.
Uber Eats Philadelphia Accidents
There are fleets of delivery vehicles now contributing to congestion on city streets. With the increased number of vehicles on the road, along with Uber Eats drivers perhaps being preoccupied with their next delivery, the risks for every other driver keeps rising. A driver’s mistake can send a car into a crash and an innocent victim left with serious injuries.
In these cases, a claim can often be made against the drivers and the Uber Company that employed them. A Philadelphia accident attorney with The Pearce Law Firm can help determine every party that may be at fault and make sure a victim’s hospital bills and recovery costs are covered.
Uber Eats And Postmates Merger
The traffic may get even more intense after two delivery giants merge their businesses. Uber has agreed to purchase Postmates in a more than two and a half billion dollar deal. Postmates is another delivery company that brings meals and groceries to customers’ homes.
Details on how this mega-deal, announced in June of 2020, will affect the delivery industry and Uber Eats has yet to be seen. Unfortunately for Philadelphia drivers, delivery traffic on local streets probably won’t be going down any time soon.
Uber Eats Behind the Wheel Distractions
In Uber’s own report on safety for 2017-2018, the company revealed that driver involved accidents led to 107 fatalities over two years. As you’d expect, approximately 90% of Uber-related fatal crashes occurred in big cities. 21% of the victims were Uber employees.
The Uber Eats threat comes down to more vehicles on the road with more drivers that may be distracted by their work. Those drivers may have their minds on some of the following:
- Customer Order-Up. The wait for the next customer. Multiple orders may come in at once. Some orders have special instructions. All distractions behind the wheel.
- Locating Destinations. The driver will need to find the restaurant to pick-up the order and then figure out how to reach the customer’s location. Delivery Drivers utilize GPS systems but even the guidance those devices provide has been known to suggest unsafe traffic decisions.
- Speeding to make their deadlines for delivery. Customers prefer their food to be warm.
- The food itself can become a factor if something spills or bags tumble.
- Drug or Alcohol use. Uber Eats has a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol consumption, but delivery drivers have been charged with DUI before.
Philadelphia delivery drivers can be distracted by so many more things than a normal driver. Factor in that delivery drivers are on the clock and the streets are their office. Their goals can be completely different from motorists just trying to pick up their children from school.
Uber Eats Insurance Policy for Drivers
Uber provides drivers with an insurance policy that covers any accidents that happen anytime from the moment an order is accepted until the delivery is complete. Uber Eats maintains a one million dollar third party supplemental insurance policy.
The policy provided is intended to be supplemental to the delivery driver’s own insurance. And beware, Uber Eats drivers may be on the road waiting for their next order to come in, but until they accept an order they aren’t on the clock. In most cases, the Uber Eats policy doesn’t fully cover the contract driver when they are listed as “available” but not on a delivery.
Seeking Compensation After an Accident In Philadelphia
The State of Philadelphia allows a victim to file a claim for up to two years from the date of the accident.
The auto accident attorneys with The Pearce Law Firm don’t recommend waiting until the end of this deadline to file. If you intend to file a claim, the sooner the better. Evidence and documents you’ll need for your case against Uber Eats will be easier to collect immediately after an accident. An attorney can help you with this important decision.
If you do decide to file a claim against a delivery company you may be able to get compensation for some of your hardships that you hadn’t considered. You may be able to recover things like short and long term medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, costs for disabilities rehab, and damages for emotional pain and depression.
Who’s To Blame in an Accident with an Uber Self-Driving Car?
Since Uber has taken its self-driving fleet to Pittsburgh streets, the clock is now ticking on what types of fender benders will happen—and who will be responsible for them. While these vehicles are automated, they’re not exactly driverless: They carry two front-seat Uber workers who can take control when things look hairy.
But what if one of these new-fangled rides crashes into you? Would you know who is responsible so you can seek compensation for your damages and injuries? The government, carmakers, and insurance companies are all scrambling to address this question as cars funded by Google, Tesla, and other pioneers are already on the road and causing accidents of their own.
And watch your rearview mirror, because massive, automated trucks are soon to follow. Uber has a piece of this action as well, having paid $670 million for a Google-staff-related truck technology company. While truckers will handle city driving, they can sleep in the back as computers navigate the open road for them.
All of this new technology utilizes multiple systems to guard against collisions and is widely projected to make the roads safer for us all. The Uber models boast dozens of sensors, lasers, radar, cameras, and GPS receivers to guide the car. But these computerized vehicles still have to adjust to human negligence, random reactions, and the ever-changing road conditions that we face every day.
For example, a driverless Google car recently swerved to avoid sandbags and was sideswiped by a bus. And even with all of its safety systems and a driver on board, a Tesla trial car still crashed into a truck. Road fatalities will always happen, but someone has to pay for the damages that occur.
Liability a Major Question
The most common answer to who will be liable in driverless car accidents is the carmaker. For instance, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officially recognizes the software in Google cars as “the driver.” Currently, standard carmakers can be sued for catastrophic failure of their product, and it’s possible that Uber, parts manufacturers, the GPS provider, and other participants will be pulled into cases as well. Add in the emergency-situation drivers, and things are sure to get more complicated.
As this market evolves, so will the laws and lawsuits around it. One thing is clear: Carmakers will need to absorb the huge costs of the onus being taken off drivers. Whether the federal government will pass beneficial legislation (since these driverless vehicles help public safety and save money since they cut down on expensive accidents) remains to be seen. Carmakers might have to factor the price of lawsuits into the cost of the vehicle. It’s also possible that insurance prices may shift due to roads being safer and accidents being fewer.
The main issues, however, are to make sure victims get fair treatment and that the public is protected.
Contact a Philadelphia Uber Accident Lawyer today
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against Uber or trying to collect against the Uber insurance policy is a complex process. Such a case would involve insurance, contract, and personal injury law. The rules of evidence and civil procedure would also be involved if you make a legal claim. You may have to make a claim under your own insurance policy for underinsurance if there is not enough insurance to cover your injuries. We are here to help. We’re aggressive, successful, and respected Philadelphia uber accident injury lawyers. Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation after being injured in an Uber accident. No legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Read what Briana had to say about us plus other reviews on Google:
“Nicole was my lawyer and I absolutely adore her! She helped me get through physical therapy after my back and shoulder injury. She always responded in a timely manner and was very informative throughout the process. I am more than pleased with my settlement and I 100% recommend Pearce Law Firm for Personal Injury and Accident Claims.”
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