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Lyft/Uber Accidents

Lyft/Uber Accidents in Pennsylvania

Ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber have increased in popularity in recent years, providing riders with a convenient way to get where they need to go. While it’s generally safe to use rideshare services, car accidents still happen, and they can result in serious injuries and financial burdens.

If you’re involved in a Lyft or Uber accident, consult with a Pennsylvania rideshare car accident attorney right away.

Pennsylvania Regulations for Lyft/Uber Accidents

Pennsylvania has its own legal requirements for app-based transportation services. Under the state’s laws, drivers must be at least 25, and rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber must keep every driver’s records, including information such as:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Criminal background check
  • Driving record
  • Proof of car insurance

Ridesharing companies must run background checks on every potential new driver. Specifically, these companies should make special note of any criminal convictions or membership on a federal sex offender registry.

Pennsylvania law prohibits Lyft and Uber from hiring anyone who has a previous conviction for:

  • DUI, drug crimes, felony fraud, or felony theft within the past seven years
  • Robbery, burglary, or use of a motor vehicle during the commission of a felony within the past ten years
  • Tier II or Tier III sex crimes, terrorism, or violent crimes at any point

Driving records must be fairly clean. Under state law, a person cannot drive for Lyft or Uber if they’ve received more than three moving violations within three years. Additionally, rideshare companies cannot hire drivers with major violations on their driving records within the past three years, including, but not limited to:

  • DUI resulting in injury or death
  • Driving without a valid license resulting in injury or death
  • Street racing
  • Hit-and-run
  • Reckless driving

In Pennsylvania, these violations usually result in driver’s license suspension. Once a license is reinstated, they must wait at least three years before applying to be a Lyft or Uber driver.

Along with the above requirements for drivers, Pennsylvania law also makes ridesharing companies keep records of every driver’s vehicle, including:

  • Make and model
  • Registration
  • License plate number
  • Proof of inspections

Inspections are necessary, and a vehicle will fail an inspection if it:

  • Has more than 350,000 miles
  • Is more than 10 years old
  • Fails a safety inspection or emissions test

Every Lyft and Uber driver must also have car insurance and keep a copy of the ridesharing company’s auto insurance information in case of a collision. 

Pennsylvania has minimum requirements for car insurance that applies to everyone. At a minimum, drivers need:

  • $15,000: bodily injury protection per person per accident
  • $30,000: total bodily injury protection per accident
  • $5,000: property damage protection per accident

Lyft and Uber drivers can obtain higher liability coverage. Rideshare companies require drivers to have their own automobile liability insurance in case they get into a collision at a time when the rideshare company’s insurance would not provide protection.

Pennsylvania law does not require drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage, but drivers can choose to do so. Minimum requirements for such coverage include $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Additionally, ridesharing companies offer this type of coverage for drivers, if applicable. 

Liability Coverage for Lyft/Uber Accidents

While Pennsylvania law provides certain car insurance requirements, Lyft and Uber have their own type of liability insurance. However, it’s important to note that drivers are not always protected by the rideshare company’s insurance.

For instance, the driver is not covered when using their car for personal reasons — when they are not working and have the rideshare app turned off. If a driver gets into an accident in this situation, their personal auto insurance policy will provide protection. 

However, drivers are eligible for liability insurance coverage when their app is on and they’re looking for potential riders. If a driver experiences a collision in this circumstance, even though they’re not driving anyone, they’re still considered to be working, so rideshare insurance would kick in. Liability coverage includes the following:

  • $50,000: bodily injury protection per person
  • $100,000: bodily injury protection per accident
  • $25,000: property damage protection per accident

A driver is eligible for the most protection from liability covered when they’re either en route to pick up a passenger or are driving a passenger to their desired destination. During this time, rideshare company insurance provides the most protection. This liability coverage includes:

  • $1 million in third-party liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage for up to the value of the vehicle with a $2,500 deductible
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury or first-party injury insurance coverage

There are substantial differences between most drivers’ personal auto insurance policies and rideshare insurance protection. For this reason, if you’re involved in a Lyft or Uber accident, you may be able to obtain adequate financial compensation through the rideshare company’s insurance.

Still, there are certain cons to substantial rideshare insurance policies. It can be more challenging to get compensation for your injuries and related losses, as the insurance company will likely put up a fight and try to limit their liability. This is one of the primary reasons to hire a rideshare accident attorney to assist with your claim.

Compensation for Lyft/Uber Accidents

Rideshare accident damages aim to compensate victims for their injuries and related losses. Damages can either be economic or non-economic. Economic damages stem directly from your accident. They are quantifiable and usually easier to prove. These damages include:

  • Medical bills: Reimbursement for your medical expenses, including emergency room visits, hospital stays, and treatment for both the past and future.
  • Lost wages: Earnings you missed out on as a result of your accident, which could also include PTO and vacation time.
  • Diminished or lost earning potential: Damages that result if your ability to work and make a living are affected due to your rideshare crash.

While non-economic damages are also a direct result of your rideshare accident, they are typically a bit more difficult to prove because they are intangible losses. These damages could involve:

  • Pain and suffering: The physical and mental pain that your collision has caused you to experience.
  • Emotional distress: An unpleasant emotional reaction to someone’s wrongful actions and your accident, including fury or anguish.
  • Disabilities: If you’re left with a disability, this could impede your ability to live life and engage in activities the way you did before the crash. 

Economic and non-economic damages are considered to be compensatory. Depending on your situation, your case may also qualify to receive special damages, like punitive damages.

Economic and non-economic damages are considered to be compensatory. Depending on your situation, your case may also qualify to receive special damages, like punitive damages.

To recover favorable compensation for your accident, you must determine how much your claim is worth. Several factors can help you calculate the value of your damages, including:

  • The type of injuries you suffered
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The total cost of your medical expenses
  • How your injuries have affected your ability to work, if at all
  • The total amount of your lost wages, if any
  • How your injuries have affected your mental and emotional well-being
  • Any other losses you’ve suffered as a result of your collision

Usually, after a Lyft/Uber accident, you’ll pursue compensation from the insurance company. As soon as possible following your collision, you’ll report your accident directly to Lyft or Uber on their app. This action begins the insurance claim process.

The insurance company conducts its own investigation to determine how much your claim is worth and provides a settlement offer. Ideally, you would settle directly with the insurance company and receive fair compensation for your losses. 

You may also need to file a personal injury lawsuit, depending on your circumstances. A rideshare accident attorney can handle your claim for you and determine the best way to pursue the monetary recovery you’re owed.

Legal Representation for Lyft/Uber Accidents

While you are not legally required to hire a rideshare car accident attorney for Lyft/Uber accidents, having an experienced lawyer represent you can yield beneficial results. A rideshare car accident lawyer can handle all of your case’s most important tasks, including calculating your damages. 

The insurance company will determine how much they think your claim is worth, but that may not be accurate. Instead, your attorney can determine how much your case is truly worth to pursue full and fair compensation.

Settling with the insurance company may require some back-and-forth negotiation, which can be tiring and overwhelming. Rideshare accident lawyers know how insurance companies tick and have extensive experience handling negotiations with them. 

Finally, if your lawyer determines that filing a lawsuit is in your best interests, they’ll continue to represent you until your case is fully resolved.

Consult a Car Accident Attorney About All Your Options

After a Lyft or Uber collision, do not hesitate to discuss your case with a qualified Pennsylvania rideshare car accident attorney. The sooner you consult with a lawyer, the quicker you can begin working on your claim and seeking the compensation you need.

The attorneys at McCormick and Vilushis are dedicated to assisting clients injured in car accidents to obtain the best possible case result. We’re passionate about pursuing justice on our clients’ behalf. 

Contact our firm today to schedule your consultation and learn how our firm can help you. 

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