If you were in an Uber/Lyft/Rideshare accident in Lancaster, you may be confused about your legal options. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies have insurance policies that cover drivers who cause collisions, but these plans only apply in specific situations.

If you were hit by a rideshare driver or involved in a collision as a passenger, you may be entitled to financial compensation. An experienced auto collision attorney at McDonald at Law understands the nuances of rideshare accident cases and could help you file a successful claim.

Dangers of Uber and Lyft Rideshares

A large number of people use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft to commute around Lancaster. These services tend to be less expensive and more convenient than traditional taxis, but the tradeoff is that drivers receive informal training. Many rideshare drivers are average people who downloaded the app in hopes of making some extra spending money.

Even though Title 75 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 3316 prohibits texting while driving, rideshare drivers frequently check their Uber and Lyft apps to accept rides and input directions. Cell phones are incredibly distracting while behind the wheel, so frequently glancing over at a rideshare app could result in a car accident.

Rideshare Safety Measures

There are many different precautions that individuals can take to avoid being involved in a rideshare crash. When using Uber or Lyft, individuals can:

  • Ensure that the rideshare vehicle description, license plate, and driver match the information in the ride-hailing app
  • Meet a driver in a well-populated public area
  • Refuse to enter a vehicle if the rideshare driver seems intoxicated or otherwise unable to drive
  • Get out in a safe place if the rideshare driver operates the vehicle dangerously while navigating
  • Use the safety reporting feature now available in the Uber or Lyft app
  • Call the police for help during an unsafe rideshare trip

When an Uber or Lyft driver navigates recklessly, they put themselves, passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians in danger. Any observed instance of a rideshare driver acting recklessly should be reported to the police and the corresponding transport app. A dedicated lawyer at our Lancaster office could help determine whether a rideshare driver was navigating recklessly at the time of a crash.

Legal Action after a Rideshare Accident

Statute 75 Pa. C.S. §3744 states that Uber and Lyft crashes can be treated similarly to standard vehicle accidents. After seeking medical attention and reporting the incident to the police, victims and witnesses should prepare for their next steps.

For example, the driver or passenger of a car struck by a rideshare driver should determine whether the driver was acting under the scope of their employment at the time of the collision. This factor could significantly affect the trajectory of a legal claim. Victims of an incident involving a rideshare corporation should seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney at McDonald at Law immediately.

Recovering Damages after an Uber or Lyft Accident in Lancaster

Uber and Lyft will only assume liability for accidents caused by their drivers in certain circumstances. Whether the companies will cover injuries and damages caused by the incident depends on if the driver was logged into their app and if they were providing a ride.

If the driver was not logged in to the rideshare app, neither Uber nor Lyft will cover the collision. If the driver was logged in, but had not yet accepted a ride request, then these companies may provide limited coverage.

Uber and Lyft will assume more liability if the a rideshare driver had accepted a ride and was on their way to pick up a passenger at the time of an accident. If a passenger was in the vehicle at the time of a collision, a rideshare company will provide even more coverage.

Insurance for Rideshare Companies

Rideshare drivers are also required to carry their own private insurance policies if they wish to work for Uber or Lyft. If a rideshare company refuses to assume responsibility for a collision, the drivers’ private insurance policy might step in.

Finally, there may be situations in which the insurance coverage provided by Uber or Lyft does not cover the injuries caused by a rideshare driver. In these instances, statute 42 Pa.C.S. §5524 states that victims of a rideshare accident must file a personal injury claim within two years of the collision if they wish to seek further reimbursement. A knowledgeable local attorney could determine which situation applies to a victim’s case and help them file a persuasive claim.

Contact a Lancaster Attorney Today for Help with a Rideshare Accident

While convenient, rideshare services do not come without risks. Uber and Lyft drivers are frequently using smartphones while operating under the scope of their employment, which could lead to a severe collision. Distracted drivers can strike pedestrians or other vehicles, resulting in a life-threatening injury.

If you are the victim of an Uber/Lyft/Rideshare accident in Lancaster, you may be entitled to financial compensation. These companies are able to assume liability for a collision in certain situations, and a skilled lawyer at McDonald at Law could help you understand your reimbursement options. Reach out to our offices today for further information.

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