When you get into an Uber, you expect to arrive at your destination, whether that be home, the office, dinner with friends, or anything in between, safely and without harm. However, the reality is that while Uber is a helpful service that’s become a daily part of many people’s lives, it’s not necessarily safer than other modes of transportation; in fact, Uber faces some specific safety challenges all its own.
Experiencing a Uber or Lyft accident can be extremely scary; not only are you facing the inherently traumatic experience of a car accident, but you may also not know who to turn to for help or how to get the compensation you deserve. Do you use insurance? Does Uber pay for it? Do you have to sue?
We understand that the aftermath of a car accident with a rideshare driver is an extremely overwhelming time, and we are here to help you through it. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our experienced car accident lawyers have decades of experience protecting victims’ rights, and we are ready and waiting to fight on your behalf to make things right. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Uber Accident Facts
In 2017 and 2018, there were 97 fatal Uber-related crashes, resulting in 107 fatalities across the nation. Uber notes in the safety report that contains this data that approximately 90% of these fatal accidents occurred in urban areas.
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in Pennsylvania and home to more than 300,000 residents; it has a density of 5,540 people per square mile. This defines it squarely as an urban center, as the average population density in the United States is 94 people per square mile. All of this is to say that as a densely populated urban area, Pittsburgh has a higher likelihood of Uber accidents than many other parts of the United States.
Uber also has a particular relationship to Pittsburgh, given that this is one of the cities where Uber tested versions of its self-driving cars. In fact, Pittsburgh was the first city that Uber visited to reinstate testing after a tragic incident in Arizona, where a self-driving Uber killed a pedestrian.
If you or a loved one has experienced an Uber accident in the city of Pittsburgh, you are not alone. With the help of an experienced and dedicated Uber accident lawyer like those at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, you can be sure you receive the compensation and justice you are owed. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and to learn how we can protect your interests.
Where are Uber Accidents Most Likely to Occur in Pittsburgh?
In 2019, the city of Pittsburgh saw 24 fatalities from car accidents, which involved a total of 39 vehicles. This is a significant increase from the year prior, in which the city saw just 15 fatal accidents involving 24 cars. Accidents can of course occur anywhere, particularly in a densely populated city such as Pittsburgh. But research has also shown that some particular areas and intersections see a far higher rate of accident than others. If you live, drive, or Uber in Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh, PA is located, it’s wise to be particularly wary of the following intersections and areas:
- West End Bridge at West Carson Street
- McArdle Road at the Liberty Bridge
- Saw Mill Run Boulevard at Whited/Colerain
- West End Bridge at Route 65 off ramp
- Madison Avenue at East Ohio Street
Remember, while these areas pose a particularly high risk for car accidents, collisions can happen anywhere. If you experience an Uber accident anywhere in Pittsburgh, do not hesitate to contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. Our extremely experienced and dedicated attorneys are waiting to take your call.
What Role Does Insurance Play in Uber Accidents?
Typically, after a car accident, your first course of action is to receive insurance coverage and compensation via your insurance company. The details of how this unfolds depends greatly on where you live; in some states, the at-fault party’s insurance covers the victim’s medical expenses. In Pittsburgh, however, drivers function under Pennsylvania’s no-fault policy when it comes to car accidents. This means that regardless of who is at fault, both parties use their own insurance to cover medical bills.
However, this is complicated when the accident involves an Uber, as the company has its own insurance policies and coverage. In most cases, if the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault for the accident, the victim will receive coverage under Uber’s insurance plan. This policy will also come into effect if another motorist caused the accident, but is uninsured or underinsured.
The benefits available differ depending on what “period” Uber considers the driver (and passenger to be in). The three periods are:
- Period 1: Period 1 begins when an Uber driver is active on the app, but has not yet accepted a specific ride request.
- Period 2: When the Uber driver has matched with a rider and is on their way to pick them up
- Period 3: When the passenger has entered the Uber and the trip has begun. This perdio remains in effect until the passenger exists the vehicle and the trip is over.
If an accident occurs during periods 1 or 2, Uber’s insurance policy offers up to $1 million in victim’s damages per accident. However, if the Uber driver is in Period 1 (ie has not yet accepted a ride), the coverage is different. In this period, drivers only receive limited liability coverage: $50k injury per person/$100k total/$25k property damage). Some exceptions may be made if the Uber driver is uninsured or underinsured, in which case the $1 million dollar policy may come into effect even if the accident occurred during period 1.
It’s important to maintain evidence showing what period of the trip the accident occurred during. For instance, Uber may try to claim that the driver was in Period 1 when they were in fact in Period 2 at the time of the accident, and this impacts the coverage available to all parties involved. Working with an attorney can help ensure all necessary evidence is maintained and used properly.
Who Has Access to Uber’s Insurance Policy?
It’s important to remember that victims of Uber accidents are not strictly Uber passengers whose driver caused a collision. Anyone who was impacted by an Uber accident deserves compensation, and may be eligible to receive coverage under Uber’s $1 million liability policy. These groups and individuals include:
- Other drivers who were injured in an accident caused by an Uber driver
- Passengers injured inside the Uber
- Passengers injured inside another vehicle in an accident involving an Uber
- Pedestrians injured by an Uber driver
- Uber drivers who were injured in an accident caused by another driver
Can I Sue Uber for My Accident?
Much discussion has taken place around the fact that Uber generally categorizes its drivers not as employees, but as independent contractors. Some argue that this is the company’s way of skirting the obligation to provide real benefits to drivers, such as health insurance, unemployment insurance, and more. Having their drivers classified as independent contractors also means that if a negligent driver causes or contributes to an accident, Uber is generally protected from being sued. Instead, as discussed above, they have large scale liability insurance that can pay out victims who have been injured.
Suing Uber directly is not impossible, but can be incredibly difficult, and it’s best to work with an attorney to see if this is a path that makes sense for you. Historically, some cases have been brought against Uber for failing to properly screen their drivers. If this played a role in your case — for example, if your Uber driver has an invalid license or a history of DUIs or violence — you may be able to bring a case against Uber.
In many cases it’s best to seek compensation under their $1 million liability policy. But even this can be challenging without the aid of a lawyer, as powerful companies and entities like Uber will always try to pay out as little as possible. It’s best to begin working with an experienced Uber accident attorney as soon as you can, so that you can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. It’s also often wise to send Uber and the individual Uber driver a letter of spoliation immediately after the accident; this letter alerts them to a potential claim and instructs them to maintain all evidence related to your trip and your accident. If they destroy or fail to maintain evidence after receiving this letter, that could potentially be cause for another lawsuit all its own.
What Can a Lawyer Do for You After an Uber Accident?
Uber accident cases are complex, and you have a far better shot of receiving all that you deserve if you work with an experienced attorney, such as those at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. Some of the ways in which a lawyer can assist you through this process include:
- Determining liability
- As with all car accidents, there’s a long list of potentially liable parties in an Uber accident. It may very well be the Uber driver’s fault, but full or partial responsibility can also lie with another driver, a pedestrian, or even the vehicle manufacturer. Your Uber accident lawyer will review your case in order to pinpoint who is in fact responsible for your accident; in some cases, multiple parties may share carrying degrees of fault.
- Accurately valuing your case
- Some of the elements of financial burden in Uber accident cases are very clear cut. For instance, you are certainly owed the cost of all the medical treatment you require as a result of your injuries. But the average person may not recognize the extremely wide scope of ways in which an accident can cause financial burden. This includes things like lost wages, a lowered earning capacity, and even the cost of pain and suffering. All of these things deserve to be compensated. Your attorney will review your case and accurately determine just how much it’s worth, in order to guarantee you get every penny you deserve.
- Mediate all discussions between you and insurance adjusters
- It’s no secret that every insurance provider’s goal is to pay out as little as possible. You very likely may start receiving calls from insurance adjusters just days after your accident, and although they may sound friendly, it’s important to remember that they’re waiting for you to say something they can use to undermine your claim. With an experienced lawyer on your side, you can rest assured you won’t be pressured into accepting less than you deserve or agreeing to something unfair. As soon as you hire your attorney, all contact with insurance providers and other parties’ lawyer can be funneled through your lawyer.
- And more.
- There is so much more an Uber accident lawyer can do for you, from gathering evidence to even representing you in court if necessary. We are with you every step of the way, ready to do whatever it takes to protect your rights. Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today to learn more.
Why Choose a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Uber Accident Lawyer?
Using an Uber to get from point A to point B should be a safe, comfortable experience. But the reality is that even the most mundane journey can result in an accident, causing emotional, physical, and financial distress for the victims. The good news is that if you have experienced a Pittsburgh Uber accident, you do not have to move through the aftermath alone. An experienced Pittsburgh, PA personal injury lawyer can ensure you get maximum compensation from your Uber and Lyft accidents.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we believe that all Uber accident victims have the right to justice and fair maximum compensation. You should not be pressured or kowtowed by a powerful corporation or insurance provider, and with a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Pittsburgh car accident lawyers on your side, you can rest assured you won’t. We will fight tirelessly for you, doing the legal heavy lifting so you can focus on your recovery.
We here at Munley have an incredible personal injury law track record when it comes to winning Uber or Lyft accident cases and achieving justice for our clients. We treat every case with extreme care and compassion, ensuring that you know we’re on your side every step of the way. We are so sorry you’ve had to go through something so terrible, but we can promise that you are not alone in it. We are ready to protect you after your Uber accident, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation.
Pittsburgh Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
510 Third Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219