Rideshare Accidents in Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know in 2024

February 15, 2024

Whether you rely on ridesharing as your primary mode of transportation or you only occasionally request a ride to get home from the airport or a late night out, you face risks every time you get in the passenger’s seat. Not only are rideshare accidents common, but at least one study has found that you are more likely to be injured in an accident when riding with an Uber or Lyft driver.

If you have been injured in a rideshare accident in Pennsylvania, you have clear legal rights. Here is an overview of what you need to know in 2024:

Pennsylvania Law Holds All Drivers to the Same Standards

The first thing you need to know is that Pennsylvania law holds all drivers to the same standards. This means that rideshare drivers must obey the law at all times, and they must exercise due care to avoid collisions while driving. If you were involved in a rideshare accident and the driver wasn’t obeying the law and exercising due care, you are entitled to seek just compensation for your accident-related losses.

For example, some common causes of rideshare accidents that give passengers (and other victims) the right to seek just compensation include:

  • Distracted Driving – Distracted driving is a significant concern with rideshare drivers. Not only do rideshare drivers have to use their phones to accept ride requests and communicate with passengers, but many of them spend all day behind the wheel. This gets boring, and boredom leads to getting distracted.
  • Impaired Driving – To keep driving all day, some rideshare drivers resort to taking medications and other drugs. Getting a drunk rideshare driver is a concern for passengers as well. Drugs and alcohol can significantly impair drivers’ abilities—and can significantly increase the risk of being involved in a serious collision.
  • Violations of Traffic Safety Laws – To get passengers to their destinations on time and accept as many ride requests as possible, some rideshare drivers are more than willing to break the law. Speeding, running red lights and stop signs, weaving through traffic, and other violations can all put passengers (and others) at risk for serious accident-related injuries.

Again, these are just examples. If you have been injured in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle under any circumstances, you should speak with a lawyer about your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your financial and non-financial losses—and, as we discuss below, rideshare drivers are required to carry enhanced auto insurance coverage under Pennsylvania law.

Rideshare Drivers Are Subject to Higher Minimum Insurance Requirements

Due to the risk of rideshare accidents, Pennsylvania has enacted two laws that establish higher minimum insurance requirements for rideshare drivers. For example, when rideshare drivers are providing prearranged rides, they must have at least $500,000 worth of coverage for property damage, bodily injury and death. They must also have at least $25,000 in first-party medical benefits coverage for passengers and pedestrians. Contrast this with the minimum coverage requirements for non-rideshare drivers, which are $35,000 in total coverage for property damage, bodily injury and death and $5,000 in first-party medical benefits coverage.

In the vast majority of cases, recovering just compensation after a car accident involves filing a claim under the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. When a non-rideshare driver only has the minimum coverage required by law, this can leave some victims without full coverage for their accident-related losses (unless they also have other claims available). But, with Pennsylvania’s significantly higher minimum insurance requirements for rideshare drivers, passengers are more likely to be able to recover full compensation under their rideshare drivers’ policies.

Rideshare Companies Also Carry Insurance that Covers Their Drivers’ Accidents

In addition to requiring that rideshare drivers carry at least $500,000 in liability coverage and $25,000 in first-party medical benefits coverage, Pennsylvania law imposes these same requirements on rideshare companies. However, both Uber and Lyft have coverage above and beyond what the Commonwealth requires.

This means that if a rideshare driver is illegally uninsured, or if a rideshare driver’s insurance coverage isn’t enough, you can also pursue a claim under the rideshare company’s insurance policy. In cases involving catastrophic injuries, this can be critical for ensuring that victims are able to recover the full compensation they deserve.

You Need to Be Proactive About Protecting Your Legal Rights

Even if you are clearly entitled to financial compensation after a rideshare accident, you still need to be proactive about protecting your legal rights. The insurance companies aren’t going to pay voluntarily, and until you submit proof of your losses, any offer you receive will almost certainly be for far less than you deserve. With this in mind, if you have been seriously injured in a rideshare accident in Pennsylvania, you should:

  • Document the Accident as Thoroughly As Possible – If you have photos, videos, a copy of the police report or any other documentation from the accident scene, you should keep these for purposes of proving your legal rights. You should also take notes to record as many details about the accident as possible.
  • Prioritize Your Medical Needs – When you get injured in any type of car accident, prioritizing your medical needs is important for two reasons. Not only does it help to minimize the risk of long-term complications, but it also helps to prevent unnecessary issues with your insurance claim (or claims).
  • Speak with a Lawyer About the Claim (or Claims) You Should File – To prove liability and establish how much you are entitled to recover, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side. With this in mind, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Discuss Your Rideshare Accident with a Pennsylvania Injury Lawyer for Free

Do you need to know more about seeking just compensation after a rideshare accident in Pennsylvania? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly. To discuss your legal rights with a Pennsylvania injury lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC for free, call 888-777-7098 or request an appointment online today.