Frequently Asked Questions About Uber & Lyft Accidents in Philadelphia, PA 

Q: What Are The Basic Steps To Take After A Rideshare Accident?

The first step to take after a rideshare accident is to report the accident to the police. Law enforcement will alert emergency responders who can provide the necessary medical attention, and your accident will then be documented in a police report. Obtain the contact information from everyone involved, including their names, addresses, and insurance information. Look around for witnesses to the accident and obtain their contact information as well. Take photos of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles and any damage to the vehicles, traffic signs, weather and road conditions, as well as lighting at the time. If you have been injured, take photos of your injuries as well.

Q; Why Is A Rideshare Accident Different From Other Types Of Car Accidents?

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are similar to many taxi services in the United States, as neither of those rideshare companies own or operate the cars, nor do they hire the drivers. All car accidents require that the person filing the claim be able to prove liability and damages. If the at-fault party was a rideshare driver, then the claims process becomes complicated. Because the rideshare driver was driving for money, their personal car insurance policy will not cover the claim — standard car insurance policies specify that the driver will be using the vehicle for personal use. 

Q: Who Is Liable If I Am Injured In A Rideshare Accident?

A rideshare driver’s personal car insurance policy will not cover a claim for an accident that took place while they were driving for money, so Uber and Lyft offer liability insurance to their drivers. Drivers are required to submit accident claims to their own insurance carriers first, and when the insurance carrier denies the claim, this liability provides protection. So if the at-fault driver in your car accident is a rideshare driver, they can still be held liable for the accident through the liability coverage provided by the rideshare company.

Q: I’ve Been Injured In A Rideshare Accident: Now What?

If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, and the rideshare driver is at fault for the accident, you may file a personal injury claim for your injuries and other losses. But filing claims against rideshare drivers can be complicated. Because rideshare drivers are not employees of the rideshare company but rather independent contractors, claims must be filed against the driver’s personal insurance policy and then the rideshare company’s insurance policy. If the rideshare accident occurred at a time when the rideshare driver was not providing fares, or was in between fares, then the coverage varies depending upon when the accident occurred.

Q: Do I File A Lawsuit Against The Driver Or The Company In A Rideshare Accident?

If a rideshare driver was responsible for your accident, you may file a claim against the driver. Rideshare drivers are independent contracts, not employees of the rideshare company, and so holding the rideshare company liable is not an easy endeavor. It is best to consult with an knowledgeable personal injury attorney who is experienced handling rideshare accident claims, who can counsel you regarding your individual case.

Q: When An Uber/Lyft Accident Occurs, Who Is Held Responsible?

When there is an accident involving Uber or Lyft, the at-fault driver can be held responsible for the accident under personal injury laws. That being said, Uber and Lyft accidents are more complicated than regular car accidents. If the at-fault driver is an Uber or Lyft driver, the accident claim is first filed against their personal car insurance policy, because rideshare drivers are independent contractors, not employees of the rideshare company. The rideshare driver’s personal insurance policy will deny the claim, and then the liability coverage provided by Uber and Lyft kicks in, based on a set formula that varies depending upon when the accident took place.

Q: Who Is Responsible For The Safety And Maintenance Of Rideshare Vehicles?

Rideshare vehicles are owned by the rideshare drivers, and the drivers are responsible for maintaining the vehicle. Pennsylvania law requires that Uber drivers must inspect their vehicle every year or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Both Uber and Lyft have specifications regarding the age of the vehicle, type of vehicle, and the maximum mileage permitted.

Q: What Are The Common Causes Of Rideshare Accidents?

Common causes of rideshare accidents include driver inexperience, speeding, distracted driving, unsafe driving in poor weather and road conditions, and driving while drowsy. Distracted driving is particularly common among rideshare drivers, as they are required to use a cell phone to locate passengers and navigate to the destinations.

Q: Should I Call The Police If I Am Involved In A Rideshare Accident?

Yes. Any time you are involved in a car accident, it is important to call the police to report the accident at the time it occurs. Police officers will then call emergency medical personnel to the scene of the rideshare accident to deliver any necessary medical attention. Calling the police after a rideshare accident is particularly important because law enforcement officers will file a formal police report of the accident. This documentation can further support your personal injury claim.

Q: Why Hire An Attorney If I Am In An Uber/Lyft Accident?

Injury claims for Uber and Lyft accidents are far more complicated than claims for regular car accidents. To try and recover compensation for your accident injuries and other losses, you must first prove that the rideshare driver was at fault for the accident. If negligence can be demonstrated, then a claim must be filed against the rideshare driver’s personal car insurance policy first, even though the insurance company will deny the claim because the driver was driving for money at the time of the accident. Next, a claim may be filed against the liability insurance coverage provided by Uber and Lyft, providing it satisfies the established criteria for filing a claim. A personal injury attorney with experience handling accidents with Uber and Lyft will provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to recover just compensation for your accident injuries and other losses in the quickest time frame possible.