Ride-Sharing Accidents in Philly
January 27, 2017
One of the hottest forms of transportation these days is ride sharing. And even though this form of getting from one place to another is a great way to save money as well as time, accidents do occur from time to time. When this happens, it is imperative that those using ride-sharing services understand they are likely entitled to some form of compensation. Here is a closer look at ride-sharing accidents and what to do if you are involved.
What are Uber and Lyft?
Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular ride-sharing companies. Instead of hailing a cab, those using Uber or Lyft can secure a form of transportation from point A to point B by using a smartphone app. And instead of being cab drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers are just like you and me. They simply use their own vehicle to provide transportation to people who are in need of a ride. Just like any other drivers, though, Uber and Lyft drivers do sometimes get involved in accidents. Whether it resulted from their carelessness or somebody else’s, if you are injured, you need to make sure your medical expenses are covered and that any compensation due to you is paid.
After seeking necessary medical care, the next most important thing you can do after being involved in an accident is to contact a qualified personal injury attorney to explain the process of seeking compensation and to handle the complexities involved in a ride-sharing case. One of the most notable differences between taxi transportation and Uber and Lyft is that the drivers are not required to be licensed by any type of governmental entity. The drivers for Uber and Lyft are considered independent contractors, and they may or may not even have adequate auto insurance. It also means that they are not employees of the ride-sharing service providers that they contract through. Because of this, the service providers — Uber and Lyft — do not fall under the category of having what is known as “vicarious liability.”
When a company has vicarious liability, they are held responsible for the negligence of any of their employees during a period of time in which job-related tasks were being performed. Therefore, Uber and Lyft themselves cannot be held liable for the negligence of their independent contractor drivers. While Uber does offer a limited insurance policy to their drivers, the drivers themselves are still responsible for having their own personal auto insurance.
Please note, however, that insurance companies often have provisions against providing transportation for profit-making purposes. This means if an Uber driver gets involved in an accident while taking you from point A to point B for a fee, then this may disqualify him or her from being covered by his or her own personal insurance policy.
Determining who is liable for paying for medical expenses as well as any other compensation due to you after being involved in a ride sharing accident can be complicated. Your best remedy for this situation is to contact a lawyer who has a wide variety of experience in handling auto accident cases.
If you have any questions about this liability in ride-sharing situations, or if you or a loved one were involved in an accident while you were a Lyft or Uber customer, the attorneys at Wapner Newman can help. For almost 40 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. We encourage you to contact us today by calling 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out a free case evaluation form.