Statistics show that thousands of car accidents occur in the United States every single day—with causes ranging from reckless driving to distracted driving to poor road conditions. Although we tend to forget when we aren’t driving ourselves, drivers and vehicles hailed through the Uber and Lyft apps are just as susceptible to being involved in an accident, and for the exact same reasons that apply to any other driver. The complications that arise in Uber and Lyft accidents only differ in that a third-party corporation is involved in facilitating the ride.
In past years, Uber and Lyft went to great lengths to characterize Uber and Lyft drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees, for whose actions the companies themselves could be held financially responsible. This created a period of uncertainty regarding situations where the Uber or Lyft driver was uninsured or underinsured and caused an accident that resulted in injuries and damages. Because the law in this area has changed, it is especially important to retain the services of a reputable Uber/Lyft accident lawyer if you have been injured in an accident involving a ridesharing service.
At Matzus Law, LLC, our experienced team of Uber/Lyft accident lawyers have been serving clients throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh, for many years—and we pride ourselves on always remaining current with the law so that we can work to develop the most powerful argument possible for recovering compensation in your case.
Legislation Designed To Protect Pennsylvania Uber/Lyft Accident Victims
Since Uber and Lyft were fairly new platforms, the laws that govern how they work in real life were still growing and changing up until recently. In 2017, the legislature passed a bill designed to make sure that victims of accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers are more fully protected after an accident. Under this law, Uber or Lyft drivers who are carrying a passenger in their vehicles are required to carry:
- $1.5 million in liability coverage (to compensate for bodily injury, property damage, and wrongful death), and
- $1.5 million in underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.
This means that Uber/Lyft passengers are now able to access $1.5 million in insurance coverage even if the Uber or Lyft driver did not cause the accident and the driver who actually did cause the accident was uninsured. Lower limits apply if the Uber or Lyft driver has his or her app turned on, and so is looking for a passenger, but not actually carrying a passenger. In those cases, the insurance requirements that apply include:
- $50,000 for death or bodily injury (per person),
- $100,000 for death or bodily injury for the total accident, and
- $25,000 for property damage.
When a passenger is in the car, these insurance requirements replace the normal “no-fault” insurance laws that are in place in Pennsylvania. If the driver is simply looking for a passenger, however, accident victims are required to first access their own insurance under the traditional no-fault rule.
Attorneys At Matzus Law, LLC Fight To Ensure Our Clients Are Fully Compensated For Injuries Sustained In Uber/Lyft Accidents
Even in cases where Uber or Lyft accident victims think that they are lucky enough to have health insurance coverage that is generous enough to fully compensate for all of their medical expenses, it often becomes apparent that the true cost of an accident will far exceed reimbursed medical costs. At Matzus Law, LLC, we will fight to ensure that Uber/Lyft accident victims are fully compensated for more than just their medical expenses, including:
- Lost wages. Accident victims often fail to consider the substantial recovery time that can be required after an accident, which can cause them to miss work without pay.
- Lost earning capacity. Serious injuries can make it difficult for an Uber/Lyft accident victim to return to his or her previous employment, potentially creating a situation where you are forced to work in a lower-paying job because of the accident.
- Pain and suffering. Recovering from a serious injury can be a difficult process, and when the accident was caused through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for this pain and suffering.
- Property damage. If any of your personal items were also damaged in the accident (for example, your laptop or your phone), we can also fight to ensure you receive compensation to replace those items.
Our lawyers understand how difficult it can be to watch your bills pile up as you recover physically from an injury, and we also know that recovering for all of these non-medical and non-rehabilitative expenses can prove to be nearly as important as recovering for the cost of medical care after an accident—and fight to make sure your compensation award is complete.
Wondering How Long You Have to File a Lawsuit After Being Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
As in other personal injury cases, Pennsylvania law requires that the lawsuit be filed within two years of the accident unless special circumstances apply (for example, the time period may be lengthened if you were a minor when the accident occurred).
What if You’re an Uber or Lyft Driver Who’s Been Injured in an Accident Caused by Another Driver?
Pennsylvania’s law also requires that the driver of an Uber/Lyft be provided with at least $10,000 for medical expense reimbursement. This means that you do not have to first look to your own personal insurance coverage for compensation for certain injuries, and can instead access the policy maintained by Uber or Lyft.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with the Knowledgeable Uber/Lyft Accident Lawyers at Matzus Law, LLC
In 2020, five million people hailed rides through the Uber app alone, and the prevalence of these ridesharing services is only increasing, so it stands to reason that the occurrence of Uber/Lyft accidents will also continue to rise. If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, call our offices today at (412) 206-5300 or fill out our convenient online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss any questions that you have relating to the possibility of recovering compensation for injuries and damages in your case. For your convenience, we have offices located throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh.
The articles on this blog are for informational purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.