Can pedestrians or other motorists sue Uber if they were hit by an Uber driver?
For those who have been struck by a Philadelphia ride-share driver, it is important to understand the potential sources of compensation. When most people think of a Philadelphia Uber accident, they picture the accident from the perspective of a backseat passenger. However, a large percentage of Uber accidents occur when the driver is not transporting a rider. Indeed, Uber drivers spend an estimated 40 percent of their time driving without a passenger.
Generally, when a motorist causes a car accident, they can be held liable for any injuries caused by their negligence. And while employers can be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees, Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This means that Uber cannot be held liable for a car accident caused by a driver.
To encourage both drivers and riders to use Uber, the company boasts a $1 million insurance policy. However, this policy will only apply to non-passengers in limited situations. Uber’s $1 million insurance policy kicks in only once a driver has been paired with a passenger, and lasts up through the end of the trip. Thus, any accident that occurs outside of that period will not be covered by the $1 million insurance policy. However, Uber’s insurance policy also provides limited coverage for accidents that occur while the driver has the app on and is waiting for a ride.
Thus, for pedestrians and other motorists involved in a Philadelphia Uber accident, the question of whether Uber’s insurance will cover the accident comes down to arbitrary factors beyond their control. If a driver was on their way to pick up a passenger at the time they hit a pedestrian, the crash will be covered up to $1 million. However, if the driver is waiting for a ride request to come in when they hit a pedestrian, the collision will only be covered up to $50,000. Finally, if the driver’s app is off or they are not accepting ride requests, Uber’s policy will not provide any coverage.
If Uber denies coverage in an Uber pedestrian accident, there may be other avenues of relief. For example, Pennsylvania law requires that all ride-share drivers maintain personal insurance on their vehicles that covers the “gaps” in the policies obtained by the ride-share companies. Anyone who has been injured in a Philadelphia Uber accident should reach out to a dedicated personal injury law firm to discuss their case and available options.