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Uber Accidents

Navigating the Complexities of Uber Accidents

As ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft become more prevalent, they bring new complexities to car accident litigation, notably around liability. In New York City, the Taxi and Limousine Commission supervises Uber, imposing the same background checks and inspections on their drivers and vehicles as it does on other taxi or car service providers. However, in Nassau and Suffolk T&LC, ride-share drivers are not held to the same standards as taxis.

These new dynamics underscore the need for passengers involved in Uber accidents to understand their rights. Companies like Uber and Lyft, along with their insurance providers, are fundamentally profit-driven. They will strive to minimize pay-outs for insurance policies and compensation claims, often challenging claims against them vehemently.

The Importance of Legal Representation in Uber Accidents

Against such big companies, to get the compensation you deserve, it's crucial to have a personal injury lawyer on your side. A lawyer who understands your rights and is skilled in fighting for them can make a significant difference to your case. 

It's noteworthy that companies like Uber and Lyft are tech companies and are not subject to the same regulations as traditional transportation services. However, like any private car drivers, we are generally held liable if we cause an accident due to negligence.

Understanding Uber's Insurance Coverage

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Uber provides a hefty $1 million insurance policy that covers various scenarios involving drivers, passengers, and third parties. The extent of coverage depends on the driver's status and actions at the time of the accident.

When an Uber driver is "Not Available" - meaning they're using their vehicle for personal purposes and are not available for passengers - their private insurance policy and New York state law apply. Uber claims no responsibility in such situations.

If the driver is available to pick up passengers but is not carrying anyone at the time of the accident, the driver's personal automobile insurance comes into play. Uber insurance may supplement the driver's insurance if it doesn't meet minimum requirements, and if there are no passengers in the vehicle. Legal assistance can help you tap into this additional coverage, which is available upon request only if the driver's private insurance doesn't provide adequate coverage.

What Happens when Uber Drivers Carry Passengers

When an Uber driver is carrying a passenger and gets involved in an accident, Uber's $1 million liability policy covers all parties - the passengers, the driver, and any third party injured in the accident. If the driver is uninsured, Uber provides a separate insurance policy to cover these damages.

However, despite Uber's comprehensive insurance policy, it's essential to note that its insurance carrier tends to deny most claims. In instances where the Uber driver is at fault - for example, due to drunk driving, distractions, or speeding - Uber's insurance carrier often attempts to attribute the accident to the driver's fault and reject the claim.

The Complexities of Proving Liability in Uber Accidents

Determining liability in Uber accidents can be more complicated than in traditional vehicle accidents. This complexity arises due to the blurred lines between personal and professional use of vehicles and the layers of insurance involved. In some cases, Uber may assert that their drivers are independent contractors rather than employees to avoid liability. Given these complexities, having legal counsel can be crucial in effectively navigating the claims process and proving liability.

It's also essential to note that the process of proving negligence in Uber accidents can involve technical aspects like analyzing the driver's app usage at the time of the accident. This could help determine if the driver was distracted or if there were other factors contributing to the accident. In these situations, an experienced lawyer can aid in gathering the necessary evidence, potentially including phone records, traffic camera footage, and witness testimonies to build a robust case.

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Reach Out to Stern and Stern Law Offices for Your Uber Accident Case

Car accidents, including those involving Uber, make up a significant part of our practice. As more individuals become Uber drivers, accidents involving Uber are on the rise. At the Law Office of Stern and Stern, we represent residents of Freeport and nearby areas like Uniondale and Roosevelt in all car accident cases. If you've been involved in an Uber accident, contact us at 516-634-0345. We're here to guide you through the legal process.

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