Uber recently celebrated its sixth anniversary and is steadily gaining more recognition around the country. Roughly 15 percent of Americans have used ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft, according to Pew Research Center. And while Uber has actually decreased traffic fatalities by approximately 17 percent each year (according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), accidents still do happen, and when they do, recovering injury compensation can be quite tricky.
Because ridesharing is a relatively new industry, the regulations are still evolving, and accident claims can get slightly complicated. However, a Pittsburgh Uber accident lawyer from Berger and Green can evaluate your case.
How Does Insurance Work with Uber Accidents?
Uber requires all its drivers to carry personal auto insurance, but the company has an insurance policy for covered losses. Uber has a $1 million policy that covers Uber drivers’ liability.
When an Uber driver causes an accident, Uber’s insurer has coverage of up to $1 million per accident for the victims’ damages. The policy will also kick in if an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes the accident. However, whether Uber pays depends on whether or not they are on the app.
Let us explain. Uber insurance covers your damages in an accident, but only while the app is on. Uber’s coverage depends on what period the driver was in:
- Period 1: The driver is on the app but has not accepted a fare
- Period 2: The driver has matched with a rider and is driving to pick up the said rider
- Period 3: The driver has a rider in the car
Uber’s $1 million policy only covers the driver in periods 2 and 3.
Uber will cover a driver in Period 1 only if the driver does not have insurance or if the driver’s insurance refuses to cover the accident. Uber’s Period 1 contingency policy is $50,000 injury, $100,000 total, and $25,000 for property damage.
For a free legal consultation with a uber accident lawyer serving Pittsburgh, call 412-661-1400
What Are My Legal Options After an Uber Accident?
Your options after an Uber car accident depend on two factors: your role (e.g., driver, passenger, or a third party) and which party caused the accident. Generally, the party that caused the accident is liable for damages. However, there are several potential scenarios:
Third-party liability: If another driver was at fault and hit the Uber car you were riding in, you can file a claim with that party’s insurance company. This applies to both Uber drivers and passengers. If that driver has no or too little insurance to cover your losses, Uber insurance will likely cover you.
Uber liability: If the Uber driver causes the accident, you can file a claim with Uber’s insurance company. This is true whether you are an Uber passenger, an occupant of another car, a pedestrian, or a cyclist.
Uber drivers’ options: Uber accidents are probably the most complicated for rideshare drivers.
- Scenario A: If your accident occurred while off duty, you will need to file a claim with either the at-fault party’s insurer or your insurer.
- Scenario B: If you were on duty (the app was on) when the accident occurred, Uber insurance would kick in, but as we stated above, the period will affect compensation amounts.
- Scenario C: In the rare cases where a passenger causes an Uber driver harm, such as in assault cases, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit against that passenger. Ask your attorney for more detailed information.
Pittsburgh Uber Accident Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
What Damages Are Available to Uber Accident Claimants?
Uber accident victims can pursue a range of damages. The National Safety Council, a non-profit, reports that the average cost of a car accident involving injuries is $29,200. Even with health insurance coverage, few Americans have the savings to offset this significant expense.
Economic damages available to claimants after an Uber accident, which cover financial losses, include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Reduction in earning capacity
Non-economic damages can contribute to the valuation of your settlement. These damages include an equally important aspect of Uber accidents: emotional fallout. Non-economic damages can reimburse you for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Reduced quality of life
Wrongful Death Damages
In some rare cases, Uber accidents involve wrongful death. If your case includes the passing of a loved one, we are truly sorry. Our legal team understands how difficult it is to lose a special person.
Surviving family members or spouses can pursue these unique damages in a wrongful death case:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- The loss of a close personal relationship
- A reduction in familial earning capacity
Usually, only parents, children, or the spouse of a deceased person can pursue a wrongful death case, per 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8301. However, this legal regulation could shift depending on the facts of your case. Our team of wrongful death lawyers can evaluate your case and determine your eligibility.
Who Can I Pursue for Damages in a Rideshare Accident Case?
Uber accidents typically involve one of two liable parties:
- An Uber driver
- Another driver on the roadway
Every Uber accident is different, meaning it is important to closely review the evidence associated with your case before settling on a liable party. Our team can assist you with this portion of the process and work to establish the four elements of negligence:
- That the at-fault party owed you a duty of care
- That they behaved negligently and breached this duty of care
- That this negligent behavior caused your accident
- That you suffered quantifiable damages as a result
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Can I Afford to Work with a Rideshare Accident Lawyer?
Hiring a Pittsburgh Uber accident attorney from our firm is more straightforward than you might think. We are fully aware of the fact that car accidents can be expensive. For this reason, we are committed to not contributing to your financial troubles. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that:
- You do not pay anything upfront for our legal services
- You do not have to pay us unless we secure you a settlement
We believe that financial concerns should not prevent Uber accident victims from seeking legal counsel. Therefore, we have completely done away with upfront fees and retainers to make your legal experience as simple as possible.
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What Types of Complications Might Occur with Uber Accident Cases?
As aforementioned, this is a new industry, so the players have yet to work out all of the legal kinks. One of the first hurdles will be determining fault/liability and filing the claim with the appropriate insurance company. It is not uncommon for liability to become a bit convoluted with these types of cases. For example, the involved parties or their insurers may disagree on fault and which party should pay for damages. This can result in long, drawn-out cases and delayed payments.
TIP: Collect as much evidence at the scene as possible for later use to speed up your case. Get involved parties’ and witnesses’ contact information, take photos, etc., and do not admit to any fault. You do not have to lose your cool and blame others, but you do not need to fall on that sword, either.
Another thing you should prepare yourself for is proving your damages. While most of your expenses and losses are recoverable, no insurance company will compensate you without evidence that verifies your damages.
You can use items such as medical bills, receipts, doctors’ prognoses, professional estimates, photos of injuries and vehicle damage, proof of lost wages, etc.
It is important to ensure you have accounted for all of your current and projected damages before settling your claim. Once you sign a settlement offer from an insurer, you cannot go back and ask for more funds later if your injury worsens.
How Long Do I Have to File an Uber Accident Lawsuit in Pittsburgh?
Rideshare accidents, as a general category, are filed into the larger group of personal injury law. This means they are subject to Pa. C.S.A. § 5524, Pennsylvania’s personal injury statute of limitations. This law provides claimants hoping to pursue an Uber rideshare accident lawsuit with a two-year deadline.
Most rideshare accidents are settled without lawsuits. However, it is important to note that lawsuits are effective legal instruments. They can be used to leverage insurance negotiations in your favor.
Similarly, building a strong legal case is time-consuming. The sooner you initiate your claim, the more time your legal team will have to contact witnesses and gather evidence. As time passes, witnesses may forget what they know about your case, and the evidence may become cloudier.
How Do I Get Started with My Uber Accident Claim?
Before filing a claim or taking any legal action, consider running your case by an Uber accident and injury attorney in Pittsburgh. We offer free case evaluations for anyone involved in an Uber accident, including drivers, passengers, and third parties. In addition, we can help you navigate confusing insurance policies, prove liability, and pursue the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
In cases where we cannot settle amicably, we can take the case to court and pursue a maximum award on your behalf. Recovering sizeable settlements and verdicts for our clients is what our team at Berger and Green does best.
Our attorneys are members of a national trial lawyers’ organization, The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Only lawyers who have won million-dollar or multi-million-dollar settlements or verdicts for their clients can be part of this elite group.
Call our office for a free consultation with a Pittsburgh Uber accident lawyer.
Call or text 412-661-1400 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form