We Handle Lyft and Uber Accident Cases
An experienced New York attorney can guide you.
The major rideshare services, Uber and Lyft, have exploded in popularity in recent years. They’re an efficient way for many New Yorkers to get around, but they also come with a risk: rideshare drivers aren’t subject to the same regulations or training requirements as traditional taxi drivers, and as such, may be dangerous to both passengers and others on the road.
If you were hurt by a rideshare driver, you don’t have to deal with the aftermath alone. Keogh Crispi, P.C. has the experience to take on big, complex cases on behalf of injured New Yorkers, and our track record of results speaks for itself. Contact us and schedule your free consultation today.
Rideshare drivers have the potential to be dangerous.
People who drive for Uber or Lyft are subject to less oversight than drivers for traditional taxi companies. The rideshare companies treat them as independent contractors, not employees who need to be trained and closely supervised. They do conduct background checks on their drivers, but those checks are generally not as stringent as the background checks used for cab drivers. Moreover, because Uber and Lyft drivers use private cars, they may be able to evade enforcement of rules of the road that apply to professional drivers, even when those rules officially also apply to them.
The vehicles used by rideshare services, too, may not be as safe as cabs. Most cabs undergo regular safety and machinery checks by independent organizations, whereas Uber and Lyft drivers’ cars only undergo the baseline annual safety inspections for all vehicles garaged in New York. Finally, many Uber and Lyft drivers have full-time jobs and drive passengers for extra money, or, if they do drive full-time, they may have to work long hours and take fares at odd times to make ends meet. Either way, they may be very tired behind the wheel.
That doesn’t mean Uber and Lyft are inherently unsafe or that you shouldn’t use them, but it does mean the risks of car accidents are real. When rideshare drivers are negligent, people can be seriously hurt — and face a complex legal battle.
Whose insurance pays for a Lyft or Uber accident?
When employees drive for work, their employer is generally responsible for accidents they cause. However, the rideshare companies argue that their drivers are independent contractors, not employees. (Whether this is true or not for liability purposes is an unsettled legal question.) This situation can create “gaps” in coverage: while rideshare drivers carry personal insurance, most personal insurance policies don’t cover situations in which the driver is driving “for profit.” As such, the law requires Uber and Lyft to carry supplemental insurance for those situations.
In New York law, Uber and Lyft are considered transportation network companies (TNC). Article 44-B Section 1693 sets out the following insurance requirements for TNCs:
- While the driver is “engaged in a trip” (that is, from the moment the driver accepts a ride request until the moment the passenger is dropped off), the rideshare company’s insurance applies. New York law requires Uber and Lyft to carry $1,250,000 in coverage for these situations, which includes both liability for people injured by the rideshare driver and personal injuries caused by an uninsured/underinsured motorist.
- If the driver was signed into the app in driver mode and waiting for a passenger, but had not actually accepted a ride request, their personal car insurance applies first. If the personal insurance doesn’t cover the accident, the rideshare companies are required to carry supplemental coverage with a limit of $75,000 per injured person and $150,000 per accident.
- If the driver was signed out of the Uber or Lyft app and not seeking or transporting a passenger, their personal car insurance applies.
As with any car accident in New York, you should also have access to no-fault insurance to cover your medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. There may be other types of insurance available as well, such as the liability insurance for a third vehicle, or a vehicle manufacturer. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney investigate your case.
What should I do if I’m in an Uber or Lyft accident?
As with any accident, your health and safety come first. Call the police and remain at the scene until they arrive. Keep your comments to anyone at the scene brief, sticking to the facts of what happened. Seek medical attention right away, whether that’s your primary care provider, urgent care, or an emergency room, and follow your doctor’s instructions.
Evidence is critical in rideshare cases. Take pictures of the accident scene and any visible injuries. If you see an Uber or Lyft logo on a vehicle, ask the driver whether they were using the app and whether they were picking up or transporting a passenger. Getting that information now could make a huge difference to the value of your case.
You do need to report the accident to your insurance company, but we urge you to contact us first. Anything you say to an insurance company can be used against you. Talking to an attorney first allows us to protect your rights and interests from the very beginning of the process.
An attorney can help after a Lyft or Uber accident.
Rideshare accidents may have more insurance available than most, but the insurance situation can also become more complicated with the rideshare companies involved. As with all accidents in New York, you need to prove that you sustained a “serious injury” in order to sue, and if you do clear that bar, the rideshare company may dispute whether they are liable for your injuries. This is where choosing an attorney who knows New York law and puts in the work to build a strong case can make all the difference.
When you come to us after a rideshare accident, we’ll listen to your story. You were there, and you know what happened. Our team will investigate the accident to find evidence that supports your story; we interview witnesses, pore over accident reports, review physical evidence, and if needed, hire expert witnesses to prove your claim. We also put in the effort to determine how much the accident has affected your life, from medical expenses to lost wages to other damages, like pain and suffering.
We’ll take care of the day-to-day negotiations with the rideshare companies and the insurance companies while keeping you informed and involved in the strategic direction of your case. Rideshare accidents can take a long time to resolve, but we will make sure you are prepared for each step in the process. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t owe us a cent unless we win your case. In short, you can afford to hire us, no matter what.
It’s important to act quickly, though, so that we can secure evidence and start preparing your case. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, give us a call today or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney.