Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services have significantly altered how people get around New York City. New Yorkers use Uber and Lyft daily to commute to work, the airport, and social engagements. And to go back home after a fun night out with friends. Rideshare services are available 24/7, making them a great option for those needing transportation at odd hours or in areas where traditional taxis are not readily available. These services can also be more affordable than traditional taxis, especially in areas where taxi fares are high. Rideshare services also offer upfront pricing. So you know exactly how much your ride will cost before you get in the car. While these services are convenient and cost-effective modes of transportation, there are also numerous safety risks associated with the rise in rideshare drivers. Call us if you got injured in a rideshare accident that wasn’t your fault.
Rideshare drivers don’t receive specialized training. The company doesn’t closely monitor its drivers. When they’re working, rideshare drivers often receive new trip requests while carrying a passenger. That can easily lead to distracted driving. And even if an Uber driver is a responsible, skilled motorist, they can’t predict how other motorists will behave on the road.
If you were harmed in a rideshare accident in New York, contact Hach & Rose, LLP, to discuss your situation and get a free consultation. We know that getting your injuries treated can lead to steep medical bills and financial struggles. This is especially true if you can’t work while recovering. We will do everything we can to help you seek the maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other losses. Contact us today at (212) 779-0057 for a no-risk consultation.
What Are The Leading Causes of Rideshare Accidents in NYC?
Rideshare drivers have no professional driving training and often spend long hours transporting people across the city. That can lead to driver fatigue and impaired driving abilities. Also, they may become distracted by their phones, GPS devices, or passengers in the vehicle. That also can increase the risk of an accident. An Uber or Lyft driver also might not be familiar with the roads or traffic patterns in the area. This can lead to confusion and poor decision-making while driving. Rideshare driving can be high-stress. Drivers work under tight deadlines and deal with demanding passengers. This can lead to aggressive driving behavior and an increased risk of accidents. A driver who does not exercise adequate care and caution could cause a severe injury accident.
Some of the leading causes of rideshare accidents in NYC include:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Traffic violations
- Fatigued driving
- Drivers who are preoccupied with finding a passenger rather than paying attention to the roads
- Unfamiliarity with the traffic patterns of NYC
- Vehicle defects
- Road defects
What Are Some Common Rideshare Accident Injuries?
Some of the most common injuries suffered in Uber accidents in New York include:
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Head and brain injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Back injuries, such as herniated discs and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries, such as strains and sprains
- Internal injuries, including organ damage and internal bleeding
- Emotional distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Remember that some injury symptoms might not be immediately apparent in the hours or days after a crash. So be sure to see a medical professional immediately for a thorough diagnosis.
Who Is Liable for a New York Rideshare Accident?
Assessing liability for a rideshare accident is more complicated than determining fault for a typical motor vehicle accident. That’s because Uber accidents can involve multiple liable parties, such as:
- The rideshare driver
- A motorist in another vehicle
- Private transportation companies
- Defective vehicle part manufacturers
- The City of New York, if you’re hit by a city bus or school bus
Further complicating matters is that New York is a no-fault state for auto insurance. That means motorists must turn to their personal injury protection (PIP) policies for coverage after an accident. You can only step outside the no-fault system and pursue a claim against the person who caused the accident if you suffered a serious injury, as defined by state law.
A full investigation will be needed to establish liability and identify the party or parties who are responsible for compensating you.
How Can I Get Compensated if an Uber Driver Caused My Accident?
Should you suffer a severe injury in an Uber accident and have reached your personal injury protection (PIP) policy limits, you could seek additional compensation through a third-party insurance claim.
If you were injured in an Uber accident that a third party caused, such as another motorist, you could file a claim with that person’s liability insurance policy. If the Uber driver caused the accident, then liability will depend on the Uber driver’s status at the time of the crash.
The Uber Driver Had an Uber Passenger in Their Car or On Was Their Way to Pick Up a Fare
If the Uber driver was carrying a fare or was en route to pick up a passenger, you could turn to Uber’s $1,250,000 liability insurance policy for coverage. In New York, Uber is also required to carry the following:
- Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist bodily injury coverage: $1,250,000
- $50,000 PIP coverage per person
Uber’s insurance company will do everything possible to avoid liability for your injuries and other losses. You need an attorney in your corner to advocate for your interests and help you seek the maximum available compensation.
The Uber Driver Was Logged In and Waiting for a Ride Request
If the Uber driver was logged into the app but hadn’t accepted a ride request when the collision occurred, you could obtain limited coverage from Uber’s insurance policy. This limited coverage includes the following:
- Liability coverage: $75,000 in bodily injury per person. $150,000 in bodily injury per accident. $25,000 in property damage per accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $25,000 in bodily injury per person. $50,000 in bodily injury per accident. $50,000 per person for a fatality and $100,000 per accident for fatalities
- $50,000 PIP coverage per insured person
The Uber Driver Was Not Logged into their App
You couldn’t file a claim with Uber’s insurance provider unless the driver were on the job at the time of the accident. If the driver wasn’t on duty and wasn’t logged into the app, any claim you file will almost certainly be denied. If you sustained severe injuries in a collision with an Uber driver who wasn’t on the clock, you could file a claim with the driver’s private insurance provider for additional damages not covered by your PIP plan.
How Can I Get Compensated if a Lyft Driver Caused The Accident?
Like Uber, you would either seek compensation from the at-fault driver or Lyft, depending on the driver’s status at the crash. Lyft requires its drivers to report collisions and citations they receive while logged into the app and defines collisions as:
- A crash involving two or more vehicles
- A vehicle striking an object (curb, tree, etc.)
- Damage to a third-party’s property caused by the rideshare vehicle
The Lyft driver must also report the accident to the rideshare company online.
The Lyft Driver Was Not Logged Into The App
The driver’s auto insurance coverage applies when the Lyft app is off.
The App Is On, And The Driver Is Waiting For a Request
Lyft maintains third-party liability insurance for covered accidents if the driver’s insurance doesn’t apply. The coverage is:
- At least $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
When the app is on and the driver is en route to pick up passengers or during rides, Lyft maintains at least $1,000,000 for third-party auto liability and first-party coverage.
If the driver has comprehensive and collision coverage on their personal auto policy, Lyft maintains contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the car’s actual cash value ($2,500 deductible).
Lyft’s third-party auto liability insurance is the primary coverage from when the driver accepts a ride request until the ride ends. The coverage is at least $1,000,000 per accident. If the driver already carries commercial insurance or personal coverage providing specific coverage for ridesharing, Lyft’s policy will be more than their insurance coverage.
Lyft’s contingent collision coverage is designed to cover physical damage to the driver’s vehicle resulting from an accident as long as they have obtained collision coverage on their personal automobile policy. The coverage will apply up to the actual cash value of the driver’s vehicle or cost of repair, whichever is less, with a $2,500 deductible. The coverage is designed to step in regardless of whether or not the driver is at fault.
What to Do After a Rideshare Accident in New York
If you were injured in a rideshare accident, you should take these steps after the crash to protect yourself and your rights:
- Call the police – Reporting the accident to law enforcement is critical. At the scene, the police will fill out an official accident report that contains important details about the crash. You should also notify Uber about the accident as soon as possible. If you don’t file a report with Uber and later file a claim with their insurance provider, the insurance company might contest the claim.
- Document the scene – You should document the scene of the accident through photos and videos if you can. If you’re severely injured, ask someone else to gather evidence. If anyone witnessed the accident, you should ask for their contact details. Their testimony could significantly strengthen your case.
- Seek medical treatment – Your health should be your top priority when leaving the accident scene. If you suffered severe injuries, you might need emergency medical services. But even if your injuries seem minor, you should still see a doctor within 72 hours. If you sustained injuries with delayed symptoms, such as whiplash or a traumatic brain injury, waiting to seek treatment could lead to severe complications. You could also inadvertently harm any insurance claim you plan to file with your PIP plan or Uber’s policy if you fail to get prompt medical care. The insurance company might argue that your injuries aren’t that serious if you put off visiting the ER or a doctor.
Consult an attorney before accepting a settlement from your insurance company or Uber’s provider. Insurance companies are for-profit institutions. They may initially offer you less than you deserve to avoid a large payout. Our attorneys will carefully document your losses and fight for the amount you deserve. Uber accidents often lead to multiple insurance claims with multiple providers. But we have the capacity to juggle each of these claims for you while you focus on your recovery.
What Is The Statute of Limitations on Rideshare Accident Lawsuits in New York?
In New York, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is generally three years from the accident date. This means you must file a lawsuit within three years of the accident date to seek compensation for injuries or damages.
It’s essential to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. Because once the time limit has passed, you will lose your legal right to seek compensation for your injuries and other losses. Even if you have a strong case with compelling evidence, the court will be barred from hearing your case simply because you missed the deadline.
Contact a New York Rideshare Accident Lawyer
If you were seriously injured in a rideshare accident in New York City, Hach & Rose, LLP can help. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our New York Uber accident lawyers have the knowledge and skills to help you seek a fair settlement or judgment.
Determining liability for a rideshare accident and navigating the insurance claims process can be complex and confusing for many accident victims. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we can make things easier by handling your claim for you while you concentrate on rebuilding your life. You can count on us to keep you updated and informed at every stage of the process.