If You Have Been Involved in a Car Accident While a Passenger in an Uber or Lyft Vehicle, You Need to Know your Rights
Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft has raised new questions for car accident litigation: who is liable? In New York City, the Taxi and Limousine Commission regulates Uber. Drivers and their vehicles are subject to the same background check and inspections as any other taxi or car services. Nassau and Suffolk T&LC do not hold ride-share drivers to the same standard as taxis.
Uber, Lyft, and similar apps, as well as insurance companies, have one central goal: to maximize profits. They want to avoid paying out insurance policies and compensation whenever possible. Insurance companies will do everything they can to fight claims made against them.
To fight these big companies and get the compensation you deserve, you need a personal injury lawyer who understands your rights and will fight for them with the same level of expertise.
The difference between Uber and a Taxi or Car Service
As technology companies, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-share applications are not subject to the same regulations as transportation services. As drivers of private cars, we are typically held liable if we are negligent and cause an accident.
Taxi companies often bear liability for their drivers.
Uber and Lyft vehicles and drivers are regulated differently than traditional taxi services since their cars are owned and operated by their drivers. Uber drivers are not employees but independent contractors. Since drivers are independent, it allows the company to distance itself from the actions of its drivers, and deny liability.
Uber has attempted to take the stance that they are merely a platform that connects independent-contractor drivers with riders, and they don’t claim any responsibility for accidents caused by distracted or scofflaw drivers, or by poorly maintained vehicles.
Uber carries a significant, $1 million insurance policy with various rules for drivers, passengers, and third parties. The coverage depends on the driver’s availability status and actions at the time of the accident.
Driver Has “Not Available” Status
If an Uber driver is using their vehicle for personal purposes and is not available to pick up passengers, only their private insurance policy and New York state law will apply—Uber claims no responsibility.
Driver Available, but not Carrying Passengers
If the driver is available to pick up passengers but isn’t carrying anyone when they get in an accident, the driver must rely on their personal automobile insurance. If there are no passengers in the vehicle, Uber insurance may supplement the driver’s insurance if the insurance does not meet minimum requirements. The driver’s insurance will cover most of the damages.
Legal Assistance from our office can help you take advantage of this coverage, which is only available upon request, and only if the driver’s private insurance doesn’t provide adequate coverage.
Driver Available and Carrying Passengers
If the Uber driver is carrying an Uber passenger and gets into an accident, the passengers, the driver, and any injured third parties are all covered under Uber’s $1 million liability policy. If the driver is uninsured, Uber has a separate insurance policy for these damages as well.
Uber Insurance Carriers Attempt to Deny Every Claim
Uber’s adoption of a broad insurance policy seems reassuring, but its insurance carrier denies most claims. In most cases where the Uber driver is at fault, such as driving under the influence, or being distracted, or speeding, Uber’s insurance carrier will claim the accident is the fault of the driver and attempt to deny the claim.
Contact the Law Offices of Stern and Stern
Car Accidents represent a significant part of our practice. Uber accidents are becoming more common as more people sign up to be Uber drivers. We represent the people of Freeport and the surrounding areas, such as Uniondale and Roosevelt in all car accident cases, including accidents involving an Uber. Call the Law Office of Stern and Stern at 516-634-0345.
49 W Merrick Rd, Freeport, NY 11520, USA firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 516-634-0345