Philadelphia Uber Accident Lawyer
Why You Need An Uber Accident Lawyer
Ride-sharing companies like Uber are hugely popular in and around Philadelphia and most metropolitan areas in Pennsylvania. With thousands of Uber vehicles on the roads and highways of Pennsylvania, there are bound to be automobile accidents. Getting into a car crash with an Uber vehicle or being injured while a passenger in an Uber vehicle is not like other accidents. These types of automobile collisions can be more complicated. Therefore, it is extremely important to have an experienced lawyer in your corner that has handled hundreds of Uber accidents.
Nationwide, it is estimated that there are currently approximately 750,000 Uber drivers on the roads of America. Those drivers give about 40 million rides each month In Philadelphia alone, it is estimated that about 90,000 ride-sharing trips occur on a daily basis. With these numbers, it is no surprise that there are many Uber vehicles in motor vehicle collisions each month.
Recent Uber Car Accidents
In early 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a self-driving Uber vehicle, which was part of a testing program, crashed into another vehicle. The self-driving Uber vehicle did have a human safety driver behind the wheel, but the crash happened so quickly that the safety driver nor the self-driving computer software could stop the vehicle before the impact. Although no one was seriously injured, there was significant damage to both vehicles. Since driverless cars are being tested on the nation’s roads by several different companies, these types of accidents are happening more frequently.
In 2016, an Uber driver struck and killed a pedestrian in North Philadelphia on Cecil B. Moore Avenue. The victim, a 40 year old woman, suffered serious head trauma in the crash and was transported to the nearest hospital where she was pronounced dead. The Uber driver was driving a 2016 Honda Civic. It is unknown if litigation was filed on behalf of the deceased.
In 2018, also in Pittsburgh, an Uber driver was transporting two passengers when the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a bridge abutment. The two passengers suffered very serious injuries requiring hospitalization.
In March, 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Uber for a case where an unauthorized driver picked up a passenger and then was involved in a crash. The driver, who accepted the ride-hail from the passenger, had her roommate take the vehicle to pick up the passenger. Quickly thereafter, the Uber driver lost control of the Chrysler Sebring and crashed into a tree, causing the passenger to suffer significant injuries requiring a long hospital stay. Uber denied any responsibility because an unauthorized driver was driving the vehicle. The lawsuit is still pending.
In January, 2018 a woman, who was taking an Uber to the Philadelphia Airport but was abandoned on the side of a busy highway, filed a lawsuit against Uber. The incident began by the Uber driver making erratic turns and lane changes, taking a longer route to the airport and otherwise acting crazy. The issue came to a head when the driver became angry over the toll for using the turnpike. He then pulled the vehicle over and forced the passenger, a 45 year old woman, out of the car with her luggage. The passenger had to walk a mile to a nearby hotel to get help. This also made the passenger miss her flight.
Are Uber Drivers Unsafe?
Most Uber drivers are safe and follow the rules. However, Uber’s business model and how the company interacts with its drivers to incentivize them could cause otherwise safe drivers to be more likely prone to accidents. Uber’s main goal is to have as many drivers on the roads as possible. This will increase the likelihood that an Uber vehicle will be near a potential client, thus increasing business. To ensure that main goal, Uber encourages its drivers to drive as long as possible. There are no set maximum hours an Uber driver can drive, unlike what semi-truck drivers are required to follow under Federal law. When there are tired drivers on the road, this can be a dangerous situation and cause more crashes.
When a driver goes to log off the Uber app, the app will entice the driver about bonuses if just a few more rides are taken. Also, Uber drivers earn “badges” the more they drive. The company sends encouraging text messages for their drivers to keep going when the driver is close to a goal that will earn them more money. Uber encourages “binge-driving” by sending drivers a new ride assignment before the current ride even ends. All of these things promote more and more driving long into the night. This is a recipe for more and more Uber accidents.
Types of Insurance Coverage in Pennsylvania Uber Crashes
In 2016, Governor Wolf signed legislation that officially allowed Uber to operate in Pennsylvania. Under this new law, the legislature made Uber change certain policies for drivers and Uber vehicles operating in the Commonwealth. One of the changes is the amount of insurance policies that cover each Uber vehicle, including drivers and passengers.
The amount of coverage depends upon what the driver is doing at the time of an crash. If the driver is not on the app (meaning not on the clock) then there is no coverage and the driver’s own, personal insurance policy will take control. However, if the driver is actually using the app to look for rides, but does not have a passenger, then the insurance coverage is as follows:
- $50,000 for bodily injury for each person;
- $100,000 for bodily injury per accident;
- $25,000 for property damage.
If the Uber driver has a rider in the car and there is a car accident, the insurance coverage increases significantly. The coverage amounts are as follows:
- $1,000,000 in coverage for bodily injury per accident;
- $1,000,000 in coverage for property damage per accident;
- $1,000,000 in coverage for uninsurance or underinsurance in case the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to fully compensate the injured parties.
Uber and other ride-sharing services operate differently than taxi companies when handling accidents involving their drivers and passengers. There is a difference in compensation for injuries and damages sustained in an accident between ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft and taxi companies. If you were involved in an accident in a taxi, the maximum recover is only $30.000 per accident and $15,000 per person.
Uber automobile crashes can be complicated litigation. Many questions and issues can arise as to who is at fault and what types of insurance can be available to compensate you for your injuries. The best practice is to contact an experienced Uber accident lawyer to provide answers to all of your questions and to help you through this difficult time.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an Uber auto accident in the Philadelphia area, or if a loved one was killed, contact MyPhillyLawyer for a free consultation. Our Philadelphia auto car accident lawyers have more than 100 years combined experience representing clients and helping them maximize the compensation they receive. The initial consultation is free.