Ridesharing Car Accident Injury And Insurance Laws in New York
Taxis are a dependable and popular form of transport in New York City. Rideshare apps, in recent years, have added a new twist to riding in a taxi. You would be getting a ride from a cabbie who is not always a “big city” service. Lyft, Uber, and other companies serve both small and large communities. Rideshare cars are at the same risk as any other vehicle to be involved in an accident. It is important that you understand how insurance works if you are a passenger or driver of a rideshare vehicle or a taxi.
You should get in touch with a skilled rideshare accident attorney in New York in the event of an accident. The lawyer should have extensive knowledge of state and local traffic laws that help you acquire maximum compensation for your damages and injuries. Experienced rideshare accident lawyers in NYC represent people injured in crashes and accidents involving Juno, Lyft, Uber, Via, and Gett. These are a few rideshare services that are commonly used:
- Uber X
- Lyft Lux SUV
- Lyft Line
- Lyft Plus
- Lyft Lux
- Lyft car seat
New York Rideshare Laws
Ridesharing was made legal in New York State in 2017. Transportation Network Company (TNC) and ridesharing have the same applicable laws. TNC refers to a company that is licensed by the DMV for using a smartphone app or digital network for connecting drivers with passengers for prearranged trips. There are two TNCs in New York – Lyft and Uber.
Taxi operators are not TNCs, which is why the laws and rules around their functioning are different. You would need to use a smartphone app for matching your location with a driver while looking for a TNC ride. On the other hand, if you need a taxi, you can simply hail one off the streets with no previous arrangement. You can always call a taxi company in smaller towns and cities in New York state ahead of time. However, this is not considered rideshare.
The New York TNC Act is applicable across the state, except in New York City. In the city, Lyft and Uber operate under the rules and requirements as set by the Taxi & Limousine Commission.
Common Rideshare Car Accidents Types
Personal injury claims in rideshare car accident types are of four broad categories:
- The passenger was injured during a ride
- The driver was injured while dropping off, picking, or driving the passenger
- Another vehicle’s driver was injured
- Passengers of another vehicle were injured in a crash that involved a rideshare vehicle that was going to pick up a fare
Rideshare drivers are independent contractors. They work with the ridesharing company under a contract and are expected to meet certain criteria. They are responsible for maintaining their cars with certain standards but are not considered employees.
Car Accident Insurance in New York
You should know how insurance works whether you are using a rideshare service as a driver or a passenger. You should also know the person liable in a rideshare accident.
The first step in regular car accidents in New York is usually to file a claim against your own no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policy. The intent of the law that requires no-fault insurance is to provide an injured person with coverage for immediate medical treatment. This is without waiting for fault determination.
Your own PIP insurance is supposed to cover costs associated with physical injuries regardless of whether the accident was caused by you or not. PIP is also responsible for covering injuries sustained by pedestrians, passengers, and bicyclists. The insurance company has the option to file a third-party claim against the insurance policy of the at-fault driver if the injuries are severe and not covered under PIP.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance refuses to fully compensate the expenses, you would have to file a personal injury lawsuit for recovering damages.
Insurance Coverage in Ridesharing Accidents
New York State Under Article 44-B Section 1693 mandates Lyft, Uber, and other Transportation Network Companies to provide the following insurance coverage if there is a rideshare accident:
- Minimum $100,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per passenger when an Uber or Lyft driver is logged into the ridesharing app and receives transportation requests
- A minimum coverage of $1,000,000 for individual passenger trips that are applicable from the time the trip gets accepted to the time it ends and the passenger is dropped off
Uber accident policy covers the following:
- Liability of the Uber driver
- Personal injuries sustained by an uninsured or underinsured motorist
- Comprehensive coverage and property damage if the driver has insurance
Uber and Lyft Accident Claims in New York
Victims in Uber and Lyft accidents may suffer physical harm meeting the “serious injury threshold” just like other New York motor vehicle accidents. They bring personal injury claims in court. New York’s no-fault insurance will automatically cover your medical costs that may be supplemented by the TNCs PIP coverage.
If the injuries happen to be moderate and don’t qualify for filing an accident lawsuit, your lawyer will take steps for acquiring an appropriate settlement. This is regardless of whether the Uber or Lyft driver is to be blamed for the crash or not. In accidents where catastrophic injuries trumping the No-Fault rule is sustained by the victims, the driver may be sued directly under the doctrine of negligence.
The process to recover compensation in ridesharing accident claims can be complicated and should not be done alone. You need to have suffered an economic loss of more than $50,000 to sue the company or the driver. You can file a lawsuit even if you have suffered grievous injuries, such as dismemberment, fracture, loss of organ functioning, or severe disfigurement.
Risks when driving for Lyft, Uber, and other rideshare companies:
- Low visibility at nighttime: Drivers are at risk of road hazards because of low nighttime light in certain upstate New York areas. This can be in the form of uneven pavement or other hazards. For instance, if the driver doesn’t check blind spots while changing lanes, it can be difficult for the rideshare app driver to avoid a collision.
- Tired and distracted drivers: Incidents of distracted driving have increased in recent years. This is especially true because of excessive smartphone use. Inattentive driving can cause accidents harming Uber and Lyft drivers and passengers.
- Reckless driving: Reckless driving, such as speeding can cause severe injuries in the event of an accident. This can be in the form of spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), cardiac arrest, broken bones, torn ligaments, and more.
- Drunk driving: Drunk driving is common at night, especially during the weekends. Lyft and Uber drivers can get injured in a collision. There are over 7,000 collisions each year in New York involving alcohol.
You may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and medical bills if you were injured in a New York ridesharing accident. Rideshare accident lawyers can help you file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Steps to Take After a Ridesharing Accident
There are certain steps you should take if you were involved in a Lyft or Uber accident in New York. Firstly, you should call paramedics and an ambulance to the scene. Secondly, you should speak with other drivers involved in the collision. Don’t forget to ask the police officer for a copy of the police report when they arrive at the scene.
The next step should be to speak with eyewitnesses to the incident and to obtain their contact information. You should follow up at a hospital if you have sustained injuries because of the accident. It is advised that you follow up even if you don’t have extremely painful symptoms. Injuries tend to become more significant as the initial adrenaline rush passes.
Finally, you should not speak with any insurance company adjuster or representative. You should not even tell them about the injuries sustained. Instead, you should speak with a knowledgeable New York City Uber and Lyft accident lawyer. Your attorney will speak with the insurance company on your behalf and negotiate the terms of the settlement.
You should know that you have a limited amount of time to ask for compensation after getting hurt in an Uber or Lyft crash in New York. The statute of limitations for these accidents is three years. You would lose on valuable compensation amount if you don’t file a claim within this period.
Contact a Skilled New York Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer
Rideshare accident attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP understand the complexities involved with attaining compensation from insurance companies following a rideshare vehicle accident.
We can help you obtain rightful compensation for your lost wages, medical costs, and property damage if you were injured in a Lyft or Uber accident. We can also pursue a lawsuit for recovering damages for your pain and suffering if the injury meets the parameters of the serious injury threshold.