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Top Rated Philadelphia Rideshare Accident Lawyers
Ridesharing has dramatically changed the way people commute. With a mobile app from a Transportation Network Company (TNC) such as Uber and Lyft, anyone can now get a ride from registered drivers who share their personal cars for a fee. It’s a cheaper and more convenient mode of transportation for passengers, and a source of additional income for drivers.
This new form of ‘taxi’ service is relatively new, but it has quickly gained popularity and is now much preferred around the world.
However, ridesharing as a business model is something the law was not prepared for. In Pennsylvania, Lyft and Uber have had plenty of legal snags, and today, important questions still abound. What happens if you are injured in a rideshare accident? Who should be liable in a crash, and whose insurance should cover you?
Rules and regulations have recently been put in place in Pennsylvania to address such questions. The Brod Law Firm is up-to-date and knowledgeable in this area, as our firm has been closely studying these developments in recent years.
If you or someone you love has been seriously hurt in a crash involving a rideshare driver, company, or insurer, you can count on The Brod Law Firm to effectively fight for what you deserve. Let’s talk about your accident.
Rideshare Insurance Policies: Uber and Lyft
The two leading rideshare companies today in the US are Uber and Lyft. These companies each have an insurance structure in place in case any of their registered drivers get involved in an accident.
Uber has three types of insurance coverage:
- When an Uber driver is off-duty and not available to passengers, that driver is covered only by his/her own personal auto insurance.
- When an Uber driver is available but has not picked up any passenger, that driver is covered by his/her personal insurance plus additional contingent liability coverage from Uber. This contingent coverage provides up to $50,000 per injury, with a maximum total limit of $100,000.
- When an Uber driver is carrying a passenger on a trip, that driver is covered by a $1 million liability coverage and a $1 million uninsured/underinsured coverage, both from Uber. (Uninsured/underinsured coverage kicks in when the other party in the accident does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for it.)
The Lyft insurance policy is similar, with some differences:
- When a Lyft driver has not received a ride request, that driver is covered only by his/her personal car insurance. But if the driver has no car insurance, Lyft provides a contingent liability coverage of as much as $50,000 per injury, with a maximum total limit of $100,000.
- When a Lyft driver has accepted a ride request, that driver is covered by primary insurance from Lyft, which has a maximum limit of $1 million per accident. There is also an uninsured/underinsured coverage, also with a $1 million limit.
These insurance policies have been standard for Uber and Lyft, but new state laws are reshaping these to better benefit accident victims. Still, a few existing legal loopholes could result in a rideshare crash victim getting denied due payment.
How Rideshare Injury Victims May Be Denied
Rideshare accident victims may feel relieved to know about the million-dollar policies of Lyft and Uber, but there are some very solid ways they could be denied insurance.
For one, it is possible – and even likely – that a rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance policy prohibits driving for hire, thus voiding the coverage. This means that, for some Uber drivers, being off-duty means not being covered by Uber insurance nor by personal insurance – they may be operating their cars without any insurance coverage at all.
In the event that they hit a pedestrian or injure a passenger in another vehicle, the victim may not be able to claim compensation.
Another potential problem in rideshare accidents is that registered drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees of TNCs. This gives Uber or Lyft the leeway to distance themselves from drivers who have displayed reckless or negligent behavior. In other words, these companies may be able to deny responsibility for the actions of their drivers.
There have, in fact, been instances across the US where rideshare companies were able to avoid liability for serious accidents, even ones involving fatalities.
Pennsylvania Laws On Ridesharing
What legal protections do you have in the event of a ridesharing crash?
Just this past November, Governor Tom Wolf formally legitimized the operation of Uber and Lyft in Pennsylvania. With this came permanent regulations that set forth requirements for these companies, such as thorough vetting of drivers, criminal background checks, and better insurance coverage.
The new legislation on ridesharing insurance requires TNCs to provide primary automobile coverage as soon as their app is turned on. It also increases the commercial coverage to $1.5 million.
These new rules are a victory for those who may need compensation for their rideshare accident injuries. But to ensure that you don’t get denied the compensation you deserve, especially in the face of multinational companies and powerful insurance providers, you will want to enlist the protection of a lawyer who is well-versed in this new legislation.
Pennsylvania Rideshare Accident Lawyer
The Brod Law Firm is proficient in PA accident law, including the latest legal developments on Uber and Lyft. This, combined with our 30 years of legal experience, can help you successfully claim the compensation and justice you deserve for your rideshare accident.
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