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Carbondale Rideshare Accident Lawyer

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An accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing driver can have unique challenges compared to other car accidents. When determining fault and compensation in a rideshare accident, all parties need to consider whether the rideshare driver did cause the accident, whether they were “on duty” when the accident occurred, and whether the rideshare company insurance or the driver’s insurance will have to pay.

If you’ve been in an accident in Carbondale involving a rideshare driver, reach out to the rideshare accident attorneys at Munley Law right away. We can help you answer your most critical questions and seek the compensation you deserve. With over 60 years of fighting for the injured in Pennsylvania, we have the experience you need to obtain justice. Call Munley Law today to get in touch with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer.

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How a Carbondale Rideshare Accident Attorney Can Help You

Rideshare attorney working late at night at deskHiring an attorney after a car accident is crucial to maximizing your chance of success in your case, especially so in the case of a rideshare accident. All car accident cases have their complexities, and any involved parties and insurance companies will try to avoid paying out the full compensation you are owed. When you already are trying to recover from your accident, handling a rideshare accident case on your own is a recipe for disaster.

Your ridesharing accident lawyer can work with you to:

  • Evaluate all of your compensation options, detailing the next steps to take in your case
  • Investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine liability
  • Work alongside medical, financial, and economic experts to determine your full compensation amount
  • Negotiate a settlement with insurance companies and other involved parties to ensure you are properly compensated
  • Bring the case to trial and represent you in court, if necessary for your case

Importantly, your rideshare accident lawyer will be on your side throughout the process. They will ensure your rights are protected and advocate for the maximum compensation you are owed.

Main Causes of Rideshare Accidents in Carbondale

According to the Pew Research Center, 36% of Americans have used ride-hailing services, and that number is rising. Rideshare drivers are subject to the same risks as any other driver, and many reasons behind rideshare accidents are similar to any car accident. However, rideshare drivers do have certain elevated risks when on the road.

Some specific reasons rideshare drivers are more at risk for car accidents than the average driver include:

  • Driver fatigue – Rideshare drivers often work multiple jobs and will drive as long as they can to maximize their earnings. This puts these drivers at higher risk of drowsy driving, which is considered as dangerous as drunk driving.
  • driver wiping his eyes while driving fatigued drivingDistracted driving – Rideshare drivers rely on smartphone apps to complete their jobs. Rideshare apps help drivers track their time, arrange pickups, and get directions, which puts drivers at a higher risk for distracted driving. Outside of smartphone apps, drivers may be distracted while looking for their pickup passenger or engaging in small talk with a passenger.
  • Aggressive driving – For a rideshare driver, time is money. Drivers are incentivized to complete rides as quickly as possible to complete more rides in a day. This can lead rideshare drivers to speed, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, ignore traffic signals, and otherwise drive aggressively.
  • Traffic disruption – To pick up a passenger, rideshare drivers may park or stand in the middle of busy intersections, disrupting the flow of traffic. Drivers may also drop off passengers in unsafe locations.
  • Vehicle defects – A rideshare vehicle is used more frequently than the average vehicle, leaving it more prone to wear and tear. Additionally, rideshare drivers may not have the spare time or money to make needed repairs. This puts rideshare vehicles at greater risk of accidents resulting from blown-out tires or other common mechanical issues.
  • Lack of training – While Uber and Lyft do run background checks on all drivers, there are no specific experience or training requirements for rideshare drivers. Drivers for Uber and Lyft do not receive specialized or formal driving training.

Who Is Responsible for Injuries in a Ridesharing Accident in Carbondale?

Determining fault in a ridesharing accident can be tricky. Uber and Lyft both offer $1 million in liability insurance. However, there are specific limitations on when that coverage applies to accident cases.

Two Drivers Arguing After Traffic Accident in ScrantonUber only offers coverage for a driver who is actively working, meaning they are logged into the Uber app. Uber also provides injury coverage if their driver is available and waiting for a ride at the time of the accident.

When drivers are available or waiting for a request, both Uber and Lyft offer third-party liability insurance if the driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover the accident. This third-party insurance offers:

  • $50,000 per injured person
  • $100,000 for injuries per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

For drivers picking up passengers or in the middle of trips at the time of an accident, Uber and Lyft offer the full $1 million in liability coverage. In addition, both rideshare companies offer coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorist injuries and some coverage for the value of the car.

To get coverage for your accident through a rideshare’s liability insurance, you will need to prove that the ridesharing driver directly caused the accident. You will also need to prove the driver was “on duty” at the time of the accident. Importantly, rideshare drivers are considered “on duty” anytime they are actively logging time on the app, which includes when the driver is on their way to pick up their passenger.

However, even if the ridesharing driver is at fault and on duty at the time of the accident, the rideshare company may still attempt to deny liability. That’s why it’s important to have a rideshare accident lawyer on your side.

When you work with Munley Law, our attorneys can work with you to:

  • Determine liability in the car accident
  • Prove all at-fault parties failed to perform their duty of care
  • Use police reports, medical records, accident footage, and eyewitness testimony to support your case
  • Prove the negligence of your rideshare driver directly caused your injuries
  • Calculate the damages you are entitled to receive, including both current and future economic and non-economic costs.

If the rideshare driver was not on duty at the time of the accident, they will instead be considered personally liable. While you will not be able to pursue compensation through Uber or Lyft, you can still pursue compensation through the driver’s personal insurance policy. Our experienced rideshare accident lawyers can help you determine how to best pursue your claim and obtain compensation for damages.

Understanding the Requirements for Rideshare Company Drivers

Uber and Lyft do have specific requirements for their drivers to ensure the safety of all parties involved.

Both Uber and Lyft drivers are required to:

  • Meet the minimum age requirement; 21 for Lyft, and the minimum work age in the city the driver works for Uber
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have proof of residency in their city and state
  • Have at least one year of licensed driving experience, with Uber requiring three years for drivers under 23
  • Provide proof of insurance
  • Pass a background check of the driver’s driving record and criminal history

Vehicles used for Uber or Lyft work must also meet certain minimum standards. Generally, all vehicles must be four-door cars in good condition that pass safety and emissions tests. Different cities and states may have specific requirements for Lyft and Uber cars.

For example, the state of Pennsylvania requires vehicles driven for Lyft must:

  • Have fewer than 350,000 miles
  • Feature 5-8 seatbelts, including the driver’s
  • Be 2008 or newer

Common Injuries in a Ridesharing Accident

Victims in ridesharing accidents are at risk for the same types of injuries as in any other motor vehicle accident.

Injuries commonly seen in ridesharing car accidents include:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Burns
  • Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Doctor examining xrays of a brain injury victimTraumatic brain injuries
  • Amputation
  • Disfigurement
  • Wrongful death

You may be a rideshare passenger injured in an accident caused by your driver. You may also be a driver or pedestrian involved in a collision with a rideshare driver. Each of these situations can lead to a greater risk for specific injuries, which can factor into your compensation award.

What to Do After a Rideshare Accident

If you have been involved in a rideshare accident, you need to take whatever steps possible to protect your legal rights.

After an accident with a rideshare driver, take the following steps:

  • Get medical attention – Even if you aren’t immediately aware of any injuries, you should get medical attention as soon as possible to identify any delayed injuries. Getting medical records soon after your accident is critical to establishing your injuries were caused by the accident.
  • Teenager that had a car accident speaking on the phone with his lawyerReport the accident – Provide just basic facts to the rideshare company and involved insurance companies. Making a report is important to establish the facts after the accident. However, you should also not say anything that could potentially hurt your claim.
  • Request a police report – After an accident, police will be dispatched to write a crash report. You should get a copy of this report as soon as reasonably possible by contacting the involved agency.
  • Record evidence – Where feasible, take and maintain records of the accident with notes, pictures, and videos. Keep records of your medical bills and other costs as you recover.

The insurance company of the driver or rideshare company may contact you to offer a settlement. Do not accept any settlement from an insurance company before speaking with a rideshare accident lawyer. Insurance companies often offer settlements worth far less than the actual worth of your case.

Compensation Available After a Ridesharing Accident in Carbondale

You may be wondering how much you can get in a settlement or other form of compensation after a ridesharing accident. Like in most motor vehicle accidents, your damages can vary widely depending on the type and extent of your injuries and other losses.

Damages in an injury case are generally divided into two types: economic, and non-economic.

Economic damages are any damages that can be directly calculated as monetary losses. Economic damages include:

  • Medical bills for hospitalization, surgery, medication, and additional care
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Lost income from being out of work during recovery
  • Reduced earning capacity in the case of permanent disability

Non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering, are more difficult to calculate. These non-monetary types of damages are intended to compensate you for:

  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement
  • Chronic pain

At Munley Law, we can put our decades of experience to work to fully calculate your available damages. We can work with economic and medical experts to calculate your potential future losses as a result of your accident, including these calculations in the total compensation you can pursue.

How Long Do I Have to File a Ridesharing Accident Claim in Pennsylvania?

For most personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years from the time of the accident. This means victims of rideshare accidents have two years to seek damages for their injuries. Minors injured in rideshare accidents have two years from the time they turn 18 to file.

Even if you are still well within the statute of limitations, you should reach out to a ridesharing accident lawyer as soon as possible. Involving an attorney early increases your chance of success in your case, as your attorney can work to preserve critical evidence.

Get Help From a Carbondale Ridesharing Accident Lawyer at Munley Law

If you were struck by a ridesharing driver or a passenger injured in an accident caused by a ridesharing driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Munley Law can work with you to get you the compensation you need to recover. Call Munley Law at 855-866-5529 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation. You do not pay unless we win your case.

    Munley Law Carbondale Personal Injury Attorneys

    41 N Main St,
    Carbondale, PA 18407

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