West Chester Uber Accident Attorney
Navigating the aftermath of an accident in West Chester, PA, can feel overwhelming, especially when it involves ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. These companies have revolutionized how people travel, being available in countless cities and small towns nationwide. But when an accident happens, the legal landscape can be trickier than it appears at first glance.
In the majority of car accident cases, you’re likely going to interact with an insurance company. Although Uber and Lyft drivers must have their own insurance, it’s crucial to note that this insurance may not necessarily cover them while they’re on duty as ridesharing drivers. So, what happens if you’re in an accident?
The good news is that you can legally pursue compensation from your driver, and, in many instances, the ridesharing company’s insurance can provide coverage. However, Uber and Lyft have their insurance policies, and obtaining a settlement might not be as straightforward as it seems. This is where our qualified West Chester Uber accident lawyers come in.
Whether you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, the driver of such a vehicle, or a driver in another car, you deserve to be compensated for any injuries sustained during an accident. Our West Chester, Pennsylvania-based firm, Wilk Law, has extensive experience dealing with these cases.
Are Uber Accidents Common?
As a prevalent ridesharing service, Uber has millions of rides occurring daily around the globe. So, statistically speaking, accidents are likely to happen, though they represent a small fraction of total rides. Uber found that 99% of all rides ended without safety issues, including crashes between 2019 and 2020.
However, Uber’s US Safety Report for 2017-2018 mentioned approximately 58 fatal accidents per 100 million miles traveled, about half the national average for deadly accidents. In 2019-2020, they found 62 fatal accidents per 100 million miles traveled, and the national rate rose to almost double that. The survey also found that:
- Drivers who died while using the app dropped from 10 in 2019 to 4 in 2020.
- Rider fatalities went from 9 in 2019 to 10 in 2020.
- Third-party driver fatalities stayed at 9 for 2019 and 2020.
- Fifty-nine people died in Uber-related crashes in 2019, dropping to 42 in 2020.
The frequency of accidents can vary significantly depending on numerous factors like geographical area, local driving habits, regulations, and road conditions.
What You Need to Know If You Have Been in a Rideshare Accident
Rideshare accidents can be confusing and overwhelming, leaving many people unsure how to navigate the process or even unaware that they’re entitled to compensation for their losses. We’re here to clear that up. If you’ve suffered injuries in a rideshare accident in West Chester, PA, that wasn’t your fault; you have a legal right to pursue damages. We’ll walk you through three common scenarios where a West Chester Uber accident attorney from our team can help.
- Were you a driver or a passenger injured in an accident where the fault lies with a rideshare driver?
- Were you driving for a rideshare service and got injured due to another driver’s negligence?
- Were you a ridesharing vehicle passenger and sustained injuries, regardless of who was at fault?
If you identify with any of these situations, our experienced West Chester Uber accident attorneys are ready to stand by your side. We can help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
Who Is Liable in an Uber Accident?
Understanding the role of Uber drivers as independent contractors rather than direct company employees is crucial when dealing with accidents. Because of this classification, if an Uber driver’s reckless or negligent behavior leads to a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, Uber could potentially deny responsibility. Yet, there’s some good news because Uber provides its drivers with liability insurance.
So, what does this mean for you? First, if you’ve been in an accident during an Uber ride, there’s a chance that Uber’s insurance policy could cover you. This liability policy includes coverage of up to $1 million per accident for personal injury, property damage, and situations involving uninsured or underinsured drivers.
However, this coverage does hinge on whether the Uber driver logged into the app during your trip. If they weren’t, coverage from Uber is off the table. But don’t worry; you may still be able to file a claim against the driver and their personal insurance company.
A large portion of car accident lawsuits are rooted in negligence. Simply put, negligence happens when someone’s actions (or lack thereof) aren’t what a reasonable person would do in the same situation. So if you’ve sustained injuries because of someone’s carelessness, you may be able to file a negligence lawsuit.
Pennsylvania operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system. Here, you can seek compensation if you show that the other party was more at fault than you were. However, your own negligence could reduce your potential settlement. For example, if you were to receive $100,000 in damages but the court found 10% at fault, they would reduce your award to $90,000.
Navigating these laws can be challenging, but don’t worry; that’s what we’re here for. Our skilled rideshare lawyers can help you determine your best action following an Uber accident.
How Does Uber Insurance Work?
Let’s untangle the specifics of insurance regulations in Pennsylvania for rideshare services like Uber. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has outlined specific insurance requirements in its agreement to operate in Pennsylvania.
All rideshare companies must provide primary liability coverage and personal injury protection for their drivers when they’re ready to accept riders. However, the coverage level varies depending on the driver’s status at the time of the accident.
If the driver isn’t logged into the Uber app:
- In this case, Uber doesn’t provide any coverage. The driver’s own personal liability insurance should step in.
If the driver is logged in and ready for riders but doesn’t have a passenger yet:
- Uber provides contingency coverage, which comes into play if the driver’s policy refuses to pay. This includes:
- $50,000 coverage per person for bodily injuries
- Up to $100,000 coverage per accident for bodily injuries
- $25,000 coverage per accident for property damage
If the driver has accepted a fare and is en route to the destination or has a rider in the car:
- Uber offers more substantial coverage:
- $1,000,000 coverage per accident for personal injury
- $1,000,000 coverage per accident for property damage
- $1,000,000 coverage per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorist protection
Remember, these guidelines are complex, and navigating them can be daunting. But you don’t need to do it alone. As experienced West Chester Uber accident attorneys, we’re here to guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.
What Types of Compensation Are Available After the Accident?
Experiencing an accident involving Uber or another rideshare service is more common than you may realize, especially in Pennsylvania. The process of seeking compensation depends on the specifics of your situation, such as the Uber driver’s fault and whether a passenger was in the vehicle during the crash.
Pennsylvania operates under a modified no-fault auto insurance system. So if you get injured in an accident with an Uber driver, you might be able to access compensation through Uber’s insurance coverage.
For a Non-Working Uber Driver
Suppose you are in a collision with an Uber driver who is not actively working (meaning they’re driving for personal reasons, not providing a ride). In that case, the process mirrors that of a regular auto accident. For example, in Pennsylvania, you would typically file an auto insurance claim using your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, and most drivers in Pennsylvania would follow a similar process. However, if the injuries are severe and the insurance doesn’t fully cover your losses, you may need to consider filing a lawsuit against the driver at fault.
For a Working Uber Driver Who Hasn’t Accepted a Request
For example, an Uber driver is “online” and available to accept ride requests, but they don’t have a confirmed passenger when an accident occurs. In this specific situation, rest assured that liability insurance coverage is available. In these circumstances, there’s a minimum coverage of $50,000 per person and a total of $100,000 per accident. Additionally, $25,000 for property damage per single accident is covered.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an Uber driver who was online without a confirmed passenger at the time of the incident, it’s important that you understand the specific insurance coverage available in Pennsylvania.
For an Uber Driver with a Passenger on Board
If an accident happens when an Uber driver is online carrying a passenger, insurance coverage increases significantly. This could be especially helpful if you get injured in such a situation.
If another party is responsible for the crash, you may be able to tap into Uber’s uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. Once an Uber driver accepts a ride, Uber also provides liability coverage of at least $1 million. Depending on the specific details of the accident, this coverage may be higher in Pennsylvania.
Process of Filing a Claim in an Uber Accident
Starting a claim after an Uber accident involves a few steps, and we’re here to guide you through it. Uber’s insurance company, often James River Insurance, handles these cases. To initiate a claim, you’ll need to visit their website. You must report all new claims via fax, email, or regular mail; unfortunately, they don’t accept initial claims over the phone.
Your first step is to fill out the company’s online claim form. They offer different forms depending on the situation. For example, a ‘trip verification form’ helps determine if the driver was using the UberPartner application at the time of the accident. Other forms are designed specifically for Uber drivers, for passengers, or for directly reporting to Uber.
An Uber Driver Hit You
Filing claims involving Uber driver insurance can be tricky, with many gray areas. If you’re a pedestrian or a driver injured by an Uber driver, you’ll need to fill out online claim forms similar to the ones mentioned above.
The challenge lies in the ambiguity between the driver’s and Uber’s company insurance. The driver’s personal insurance might often deny your claim, given that the driver is actively working at the time of the accident. On the other hand, Uber might cover your claim, but that’s not a guarantee either. That’s why having solid evidence is vital, and hiring an experienced personal attorney specializing in Uber accidents can make a significant difference.
You’re an Uber Driver, and Another Car Strikes You
If you’re an Uber driver and you’ve sustained injuries in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you’ll need to report it to Uber through their Trip and Fare Review page. Following your report, you’ll typically receive an Incident Report Form via email from their staff. Once filled, you’ll send this form to Uber’s insurance company for evaluation.
Expect to hear whether they will cover your accident within a few days. Be aware that if any physical damage coverage applies, there’s a $1,000 deductible for which you’ll be responsible. Also, Uber might share your insurance policy information with a third party if they need to file a claim relating to your accident.
A Passenger Damaged Your Car
You have options if you’re an Uber driver and a rider has caused damage to your car beyond the usual wear and tear. Uber may offer you an inconvenience fee of up to $250 and could assist with insurance claims. To start the process, you’ll submit a photo of the damage and a description of the incident within three days of the trip. Additionally, provide a repair estimate form or a receipt if you’ve already had the repair done. Make sure to submit these within five days of the damage occurring.
West Chester, PA
West Chester, a charming borough nestled in the heart of Chester County, Pennsylvania, is truly a unique destination with much to offer. You’ll discover a blend of rich history, vibrant nightlife, and a thriving arts scene.
You may be hopping into an Uber to reach the Brandywine Regional Airport (KOQN), a convenient and friendly spot for local air travel, whether you’re heading off on a trip or awaiting an important visitor. However, Downtown West Chester should be on your list if you’re more inclined to a day or night in the town. It’s brimming with unique shopping experiences, diverse dining options, and historic attractions, making it a hotspot for locals and visitors alike.
For a more relaxed evening, you might find yourself traveling to Barnaby’s West Chester, a popular local pub known for its cozy atmosphere and delicious comfort food. On the other hand, maybe you’re looking for a unique dining experience. If so, take a ride to The Mezzanine at Teca. This elegant venue serves authentic Italian cuisine in an intimate setting, making it an ideal choice for a special night out.
Pennsylvania Rideshare Attorneys
At Wilk Law, we understand the complexities of rideshare and taxi accidents in West Chester and are committed to protecting your rights. Our lead attorney, Tyler Wilk, is deeply dedicated to every case and works tirelessly to ensure you get the compensation you deserve after a rideshare accident. We believe in providing personalized, quality legal services because your peace of mind matters to us. So trust us to be your reliable West Chester Uber accident lawyers, guiding you through your challenging times. We’re here for you every step of the way.