Erie Uber Accident Attorneys
Being involved in an Erie, Pennsylvania Uber accident can be complex and confusing, especially when it comes to insurance coverage.
No matter what type of accident you are involved in, whether you are an Uber driver, passenger, pedestrian or the driver of another vehicle, there is usually an insurance policy to cover injuries sustained in a collision.
The insurance question is typically confusing because Pennsylvania is a “choice no-fault” auto insurance state. That means that every insurance policy can be either a no-fault or a fault policy. A no-fault insurance policy offers coverage of at least $5,000 for injuries no matter who is deemed to be at fault for the collision.
Uber is steadily gaining more recognition across the country and roughly 15 percent of Americans have used ride-sharing services such as Uber. However, Uber accidents are common across the country. Uber is the first on-demand smartphone platform ride-share application launched in 2012. By 2018, Uber had become so popular that it is now available globally in 789 cities and over 84 countries. Uber was the precursor to other ride-share applications, such as Lyft, Sidecar and Curb.
Uber strictly relies on drivers, referred to as independent contractors, with their own vehicles. Uber provides the platform to connect customers and drivers. The Uber smartphone application takes care of the whole ride-hailing and payment process.
Minimum PA auto insurance requirements:
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
$15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability Coverage
First Party Benefits
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
$15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident*
*Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is option in Pennsylvania. The law states all licensed drivers must carry liability insurance, but many drivers do not comply with the law.
Uber insurance for drivers
Uber insurance for drivers When you are involved in a car accident with or involving an Uber driver, the first thing to be aware of is that although Uber has relatively good insurance coverage for drivers, it has limits on when it applies. Uber insurance coverage will vary depending on which period an Uber driver was in.
Period 1: Insurance in this period is applicable when the driver is not using the application and is off-duty. A driver’s personal insurance covers accidents.
Period 2: When an Uber driver is logged into the application, but has not yet accepted a ride. Uber’s reduced contingent insurance policy covers these accidents. The insurance kicks in when the driver has their own insurance.
Period 3: When an Uber driver accepts a ride and drops the passenger at their destination. Uber’s $1 million insurance policy covers accidents. It kicks in when the driver is at fault. It is a third party insurance policy that protects other drivers/passengers when the Uber driver is at fault. If the other driver(s) was at fault, that driver’s insurance covers injuries.
If the other driver has a low/minimum auto insurance policy and it does not fully cover serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries or brain trauma, the Uber $1 million policy acts like an uninsured/underinsured policy and covers injuries beyond what the at-fault driver’s insurance handles.
My case was handled quickly and with no added stress to me or my family. I would recommend them to anyone in need of assistance after a motor vehicle accident.
How Uber may try and avoid settling insurance claims
Uber considers itself to be a technology provider, since they provide the Uber application and do not provide vehicles or drivers. This means they are not a transportation company and they attempt to limit responsibility/liability for Uber accidents. In keeping with that point-of-view, Uber drivers are not employees of the company. They are independent contractors and are therefore responsible to provide safe transport.
However, as a paying customer, you chose Uber to be safe. By shifting the responsibility for your safety to the driver it is then more difficult to obtain compensation from the company. Additionally, accident victims may also discover that many Uber drivers have limited insurance coverage because they are ride-share drivers, posing a higher risk for the insurance company and increasing rates for the driver, which explains why they may have limited insurance coverage, a fact that complicates the claims process even further.
Melaragno, Placidi, & PariniMaximizing your personal injury recovery
Each accident involving an Uber driver/vehicle is evaluated by our Uber accident attorneys at Melaragno, Placidi, & Parini. We can advise you on whether or not there is an opportunity to recover more than the Uber driver’s insurance and the Uber supplemental insurance.