Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become commonplace in Philadelphia. Many people in the city are using this service rather than a traditional taxi service. While some people may think that Lyft and Uber are just like any other taxi business, this is not actually the case. There are some basic differences between a car run by a ridesharing business and one that is operated by a taxi company.
Crucial among these differences is how things work out if there is a car accident. Ridesharing companies are very innovative and have grown rapidly. As a result, legislation is not yet in place that effectively deals with many of the liability issues that ridesharing companies have to deal with on a regular basis.
That is why it is so important to have a personal injury attorney, like the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian, on your side if you get into an accident that involves an Uber or Lyft vehicle.
Car Accidents Involving Lyft or Uber
Anyone who drives a vehicle runs the risk of getting into a car accident and Uber and Lyft drivers are no exception. In fact, it is precisely because ridesharing or professional drivers put in so much time on the road and have a vested interest in getting riders to their destination as quickly as possible, that these drivers might be at an increased risk of getting into an accident. Additionally, Uber and Lyft communicate with their drivers using a smartphone application, so their drivers are more likely to be checking their devices than other people behind the wheel, as they use their phones to look for their next pickup. Finally, those pickups may take ridesharing drivers to unfamiliar areas of the city, increasing the chances that they get lost or confused, either of which could result in an accident.
Uber or Lyft Accidents as a Passenger
There are a few ways that you could end up being in an accident involving Uber or Lyft. One way is if you are a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle. Just like in any other car accident, you could be injured and these injuries could require a hospital visit and extensive medical attention that results in a significant medical bill. Because they provided the ride, the driver, as well as the ridesharing company, could be liable to you for your injuries.
However, this is one of the gray areas that the law has not quite caught up with yet. Taxi companies are required to carry a certain amount of insurance to cover injuries that happen in accidents that their drivers caused while on the clock. However, Lyft and Uber drivers are not categorized the same way as taxi drivers in Pennsylvania. Instead, Uber and Lyft only insures their drivers when they are driving for commercial reasons. If there is any doubt as to whether the driver is on the clock or not, these ridesharing companies may be quick to deny insurance coverage to anyone that was hurt in an accident with their driver. Uber or Lyft may argue that their driver was driving for “personal use,” and that the driver's personal insurance policy must cover any injuries.
Who can be held liable in an accident can make a huge difference if you suffered serious injuries and could leave you in a position where you are unable to get the compensation that you deserve.
Uber or Lyft Accidents as Another Driver
These same issues crop up if you were driving your own car and got into a car accident with an Uber or Lyft driver. This type of accident can also lead to serious injuries, in addition to extensive damage to your vehicle. The ridesharing company that employs the driver may argue that the driver was not on the clock when the accident occurred and therefore they are not responsible for any injuries or property damage.
Uber or Lyft Accident Attorneys in Philadelphia
If you have been in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber, the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian can help. We advocate on your behalf in order to hold the proper parties responsible. Thus, if you were injured by an Uber or Lyft vehicle and the driver was working at the time of the accident, we will fight to show that the ridesharing driver was on the clock and therefore the ridesharing company's insurance should cover your damages.
Contact our law office online or at (800) 529-6162 to get the legal help that you need so that you can get the compensation that you deserve.