For most people who cannot afford vehicles of their own, Uber is an essential form of travel. Not only do people rely on Uber to take them to their favorite bar or restaurants, but they also rely on them for grocery shopping and getting to work on time. Unfortunately, some Uber drivers cannot ensure the safety of their passengers and other nearby vehicles. As a result, innocent people may be put in harm’s way due to the negligence of an Uber driver.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to the reckless conduct of an Uber driver, make sure to schedule a free consultation with an experienced vehicle wreck attorney. To get started on discussing the details of your accident, speak with a Western PA Uber accident lawyer.
Laws in Western PA Regarding Uber or Other Carrier Services
There are laws that apply to all drivers that exclude Uber and other common carriers. For example, the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law applies to private passenger vehicles. Therefore, vehicles that are not private passenger vehicles can be excluded from the requirements under that law. Uber, Lyft, taxi services, bus, or shuttles are considered common carriers. Common carriers include arrangements where a passenger is being transported in exchange for payment.
Steps to Take When Involved in an Uber Accident
The steps a person would take following an Uber accident is similar to that of a normal car accident. The first thing victims should do is to identify the drivers and insurance information for all vehicles involved. In the case of an Uber, the transaction information must be collected. Notifying the police is an important step so that the scene can be documented. A victim must make sure to seek medical treatment and testing to determine whether there are any injuries. Doing so would not only be beneficial to a person’s overall health, but would also add validity to their claim.
Collecting evidence is also important to a claim. Valuable evidence would include any records of their injuries, damages, and a digital record of the Uber driver who picked them up. Plaintiffs should also check to make sure if there are any cameras in the vehicle, whether they are facing forward, from the rear, or within the cabin.
Filing a Claim Against an Uber Driver
Passengers involved in an Uber accident may have cause of action against the Uber driver. Some of the things they would take into account is how the accident occurred and the circumstances that led to the collision or to their injury. Many Uber accidents tend to occur from pulling out from a stop sign or missing traffic signals. There are also some accidents that are only unique to Ubers, such as pulling away before somebody fully exits a vehicle.
If it is found that the Uber driver is at-fault for an accident, the plaintiff would file a claim against the policy covering the driver, whether it is Uber’s corporate policy or the driver’s personal policy. However, if another driver is at-fault for the accident, the plaintiff would file a claim against that other driver and not the Uber driver. There is a possibility that victims could file a claim against both the Uber driver and the other driver, if both are at fault. This would depend on the level of fault belonging to each driver and the circumstances of the accident.
Awarding Punitive Damages in Uber Accidents
Punitive damages are awarded by the court when the at-fault party behaved so egregiously that simply paying economic and noneconomic damages is not sufficient. In any type of accident claim, the court would be looking for egregious conduct. In an Uber accident, this type of conduct would include an Uber driver’s disregard for the passenger’s safety and other motorists as well, such as driving under the influence, being distracted by a cell phone, or speeding through a construction zone.
Contact a Western PA Uber Accident Attorney Today
When filing an Uber accident claim, plaintiffs may find it particularly difficult to determine who they would be filing a claim against. Since there are several levels of insurance typically involved, victims looking to recover compensation may feel overwhelmed by the effort it takes to file a claim. This is why it is important to work with an attorney who has experience holding ride sharing services and common carriers liable for injuries.
If you wish to file a claim against Uber or another form of common carrier, reach out to a Western PA Uber accident lawyer today. Doing so could have a positive impact on your ability to obtain compensation for damages.