While ridesharing cars such as Uber and Lyft can be very convenient for getting around the Steel City and maybe even lowering the number of DUI accidents, when an accident with injuries does happen, it can be confusing as to who should be held liable and pay for those injuries and related costs.
When injuries occur from car accidents in ridesharing cars, much like rental car accidents, multiple insurance policies may come into play, depending on how many people were involved in the collision and who is determined to be at fault.
Because Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors and are driving their own vehicles, insurance works differently than would a normal taxi service.
Even with the explosion of this industry, it is still in the beginning stages and the legalities may not be entirely clear.
The laws and insurance coverage may change and evolve as time goes on or as more personal injury lawsuits are filed against ridesharing companies.
If you were injured in a car accident involving a ridesharing vehicle or were the driver of an Uber / Lyft and were in an accident caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering and medical expenses.
Our Pittsburgh car accident attorneys offer free case evaluations and can help determine whether you have a case and if so, we can help you file the claims needed, investigate the accident to prove fault by gathering evidence and speaking to witnesses and medical professionals.
We can also help in negotiating with the insurance companies and prepare your case for court and litigation, if a settlement is not agreed upon. We do not collect any fees unless we recover money for you.
What Happens After Being Injured in an Uber Accident in Pittsburgh?
If you want to file a claim in order to collect compensation for your injuries after an Uber or Lyft accident, there are four possible insurance companies of which you may have grounds to file a claim:
- Uber or Lyft commercial vehicle insurance;
- The personal insurance of the Uber or Lyft driver;
- The insurance of the driver of another vehicle;
- The injured passenger’s own personal insurance.
Which insurance company will be the best option could depend on a variety of factors. You should discuss the cause of the crash and your injuries with a personal injury lawyer.
Pennsylvania has a no-fault program when it comes to car accident insurance coverage for drivers of a vehicle. Typically you do not have to prove fault in order to be compensated through your own insurance company – if you have a car and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. However, the money the insurance companies will payout is sometimes limited and if you do not have PIP, the other insurance companies may come into play.
If the rideshare driver caused the accident, an injured passenger could collect insurance money from the driver’s personal insurance company or the ridesharing app’s liability policy. If another vehicle was at fault, the injured party(s) could collect compensation from that driver’s insurance company.
The policy under Uber/Lyft is that only when the app is turned on, will the insurance policy be active. If you were driving an Uber/Lyft car without the application turned on and struck another vehicle, Uber/Lyft insurance will not cover the accident. Likewise, if you turn the application off while a passenger is still in the car, and an accident occurs, Uber/Lyft cannot be held liable.
If you were the driver in an Uber/Lyft accident, your personal insurance should cover the costs of the accident, regardless of whether or not the app was on or off at the time of the accident.
Who was at fault, the extent of the injuries and the insurance coverage of each party involved can all determine whether you should file a third-party claim and with which insurance company.
Our Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyers can help you determine the best option and help you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.
If your medical bills and lost wages exceed the amount your insurance company will pay, you have the right to try to recover those costs from the person who caused the accident or their insurance company. Recovering those costs will mean proving the fault of the accident.
Determining Liability in a Rideshare Accident
Who is liable in a rideshare accident depends on which stage of the ride the vehicle was in during the time of the accident and who was at fault.
You may be eligible to file a claim against Uber/Lyft if you are:
- The driver of an Uber/Lyft vehicle
- A passenger in an Uber/Lyft vehicle
- A pedestrian hit by a Uber/Lyft driver
- The third-party driver or passenger in another vehicle that was hit by an Uber/Lyft driver.
If you were injured in an Uber-related accident, you may be able to file a claim against Uber’s commercial vehicle insurance.
While the app is turned on and the passenger is in the vehicle, Uber will cover:
- $1 million for drivers’ liability to riders; and
- $1 million for injuries after a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Before the passenger is picked up, but while the app is turned on, Uber’s policy will cover the driver’s liability for bodily injury up to $50,000/individual/accident with a $100,000 limit per accident, and up to $25,000 for property damage. There is no deductible under this policy.
The commercial vehicle insurance of Lyft works much the same way as Uber, with a $1,000,000 per accident limit.
Before the passenger is picked up, but while the app is turned on, Lyft’s policy has a $50,000 maximum limit per person, $100,000 maximum limit per accident and a $25,000 maximum limit for property damage. There is no deductible under this policy.
PLEASE NOTE: There are other ridesharing companies besides Uber and Lyft. Look for the company’s commercial vehicle insurance information on their website to find out about the coverage they offer.
Compensation For Injuries After an Uber / Lyft Accident
Even though insurance policies cover the costs of certain injuries and hospital expenses, the insurance companies will try to pay as little as possible and may not cover everything, especially if you suffered a serious injury or if a wrongful death occurred.
And even though the ridesharing companies may boast about a million dollar coverage, that doesn’t mean they won’t try to get out of paying it or try to pay as little as possible. This is why it makes sense to call an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Personal insurance companies often will not cover accidents of drivers that were caused during a commercial transaction, such as rideshare.
If you were seriously injured and those injuries affect the rest of your life and cause you and your family lost wages, you will want to have an experienced and aggressive lawyer on your side to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Taking the first steps to contact an attorney is easy enough and at SMT Legal we never charge a fee unless we win compensation for our clients. We will give your case the best possible chance of winning – either through a settlement or, if appropriate, through litigation and court proceedings.
Do not accept the first settlement you are offered, especially if you think your injuries will cause you pain or suffering or disrupt your life in the future. We can investigate your case and provide you with the best options possible for getting maximum compensation. Uber and Lyft also have lawyers, fighting to keep every dollar. Don’t let them keep your dollars.
Our Pittsburgh auto accident lawyers can help you understand your rights and how you can recover the maximum compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Proving who is at fault is critical and the sooner witness statements, evidence, medical examinations and other important information can be collected and investigated, the greater chance of having a winning case.
You should not have to pay for your injuries because someone else was distracted or negligent. Call our law office for a free case evaluation today.
We will aggressively fight the insurance companies to get you the maximum compensation. We will investigate every detail of the accident and explore all the evidence.
We have years of experience investigating automobile accident injuries and a roster of client testimonials and case results to prove our success.
Our Pittsburgh attorneys do not charge any fees to victims of auto accidents unless we win their case. We are compassionate attorneys who will listen closely to your situation and answer your questions.
Our attorneys are not just here to collect a paycheck – we are here to make a difference.
Oftentimes victims will reluctantly accept the first sum of money offered by insurance companies because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of fighting.
Let us fight for you. Our goal is to get the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact SMT Legal to find out your options.