Uber and Lyft provide a convenient transportation alternative that millions of New Yorkers and tourists take advantage of each year. But the increase in Uber and Lyft rides has meant a rise in accidents involving their rideshare drivers.
New York’s insurance laws can make recovering compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident incredibly challenging. Fortunately, an experienced New York Uber and Lyft accident lawyer can be helpful when navigating the complex rules regarding Uber and Lyft accident claims. It isn’t easy to hold Uber or Lyft accountable for their drivers. Still, there are insurance options that Uber and Lyft are required to provide to victims injured in an accident involving their drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, our Mount Vernon personal injury lawyers can guide you through the complicated recovery process. For a free case assessment, contact The Martello Law Firm, PLLC, at (914) 685-6950.
Can I Sue the Driver or Uber or Lyft After an Accident in New York?
In many cases, your rideshare driver will be the most likely party to sue for your injuries, but not Uber or Lyft. Suing Uber or Lyft in New York is very difficult because of the rideshare driver’s employment status as an independent contractor. Rideshare drivers are not considered traditional employees and do not work for Uber or Lyft directly. Therefore, Uber and Lyft cannot be held liable for the negligent acts of the drivers they contract with. In some situations, though, Uber and Lyft can be held liable for their negligence.
That said, there are only a few circumstances where you will be permitted to file a lawsuit against any party after an Uber or Lyft accident. This is because of New York’s no-fault insurance laws. In New York, drivers must carry no-fault car insurance coverage, compensating a driver for their injuries after an accident from their own policy. Importantly, benefits are paid for medical expenses and lost wages no matter who caused the accident. The tradeoff is that you will be prevented from filing a lawsuit to recover additional damages unless you can show that your injuries were serious. Our Yonkers personal injury lawyers can help you determine the compensation options available and if a lawsuit is the appropriate next step for your case.
Whose Insurance Covers My Uber or Lyft Accident Injuries in New York?
New York’s no-fault laws direct the process for how insurance claims are to be paid following an Uber or Lyft accident. Your personal car insurance will be the first source of compensation if you possess it. Each driver must carry a minimum of $50,000 in liability coverage, covering medical bills and lost wages. You can also file a claim with the Uber or Lyft driver’s rideshare insurance, which will provide additional benefits that were not covered by your insurance and tend to have higher coverage limits.
Uber and Lyft are required to provide insurance in the event of an accident, but whether it will apply will depend on the facts of the case. Suppose an Uber or Lyft driver was not logged into the rideshare app when the accident occurred. In that case, the driver is considered off-duty, and Uber or Lyft will likely not provide liability coverage. In this case, you can still file a claim against the driver’s rideshare insurance.
If an Uber or Lyft driver was logged into the rideshare app but had not accepted a ride yet and caused an accident, Uber and Lyft will typically provide liability coverage of up to $50,000 per person injured in the accident, $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
If the Uber or Lyft driver had accepted a ride and was en route to pick up the customer when the accident happened, Uber and Lyft’s liability coverage would increase to up to $1,000,000. Uber and Lyft will also provide up to $1,000,000 in liability coverage if you were the rideshare passenger injured in the accident.
When Can I File a Lawsuit After an Uber or Lyft Accident in New York?
There are a limited number of scenarios where a victim of an Uber or Lyft accident will be permitted to file a lawsuit in New York. If you can show that your injuries are serious, as defined by New York law, you will be able to file a lawsuit. There are also a few situations where you will be allowed to sue Uber or Lyft for their negligence.
Serious Injury Threshold
I.S.C. Law § 5102(d) contains several examples of what qualifies as a serious injury to file a lawsuit. The following conditions are considered serious injuries following an Uber or Lyft accident:
- Broken bones
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of a bodily function
- Permanent limitation of use of a limb, organ, or system
- A significant limitation in the use of a limb, organ, or system lasting at least 90 days
While it will not be challenging to prove the seriousness of some of the injuries listed, permanent loss and limitation injuries can be more difficult and typically require a great deal of evidence. Our New Rochelle personal injury lawyers can help you file your lawsuit if your Uber or Lyft accident results in serious injuries.
Suing Uber or Lyft
There are only a few situations where you can sue Uber or Lyft directly because of their drivers’ status as independent contractors. However, suppose Uber or Lyft were found to be negligent in investigating and hiring the driver that was responsible for the accident. In that case, they can be held liable for negligent hiring practices. Uber and Lyft can also be held liable if they retain drivers they know to be dangerous or have a history of dangerous driving. Our Westchester personal injury lawyers can review your case to help you determine if Uber or Lyft was careless in causing your accident.
Our New York Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, our experienced White Plains personal injury lawyers can help you determine the best options to recover compensation. Call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950 for a free case review.