New York City Rideshare Accident Attorney
Uber & Lyft Accidents in Brooklyn & Throughout NYC
In recent years, rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, have become the predominant form of private transit. Unlike taxi drivers and other public and private transit operators, however, rideshare drivers receive absolutely no training and are only required to have relatively good driving records to be hired by these giant companies. We trust that Uber and Lyft drivers will get us safely to our destinations but, just like any other motorist on the road, these drivers are not immune from error or negligence.
If you were involved in a car accident with an Uber, Lyft, or similar rideshare vehicle—whether as the passenger of the rideshare, the occupant of another vehicle, or even a pedestrian or cyclist—it is important that you contact an attorney who can protect your rights. Rideshare accident claims are complex, and major rideshare companies often dispute their liability. An attorney at Rubenstein & Rynecki can fight for you and the fair recovery you are owed.
Contact our Brooklyn-based personal injury law firm at (718) 522-1020 to set up a free initial consultation with one of our rideshare accident attorneys in New York City.
On This Page:
- Is Uber/Lyft Responsible for Accidents?
- What Makes Rideshare Accident Claims So Complex?
- What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
- How Rubenstein & Rynecki Can Help
Is Uber/Lyft Responsible for Accidents?
Because New York is a no-fault state, victims of standard car accidents typically file claims with their own insurance providers, regardless of who was at fault. Under this system, accident victims can recover for certain expenses, such as medical costs and lost wages. However, they cannot recover for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
However, in New York City, Uber and Lyft drivers are subject to various requirements set by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. This means they must carry at least $100,000 in personal injury liability insurance. This coverage is in effect regardless of whether or not the rideshare driver has the app turned on/is actively working for the rideshare company at the time of the accident. In other words, if you are hit by an Uber or Lyft driver who is not actively looking for a ride or carrying a passenger, you would still be covered by the $100,000 personal injury liability insurance.
On top of this, both Uber and Lyft provide coverage depending on the “driving period” in which the accident takes place.
There are three driving periods:
- Period 1: The rideshare driver has the app turned on and is waiting to receive a ride request
- Period 2: The rideshare driver has the app turned on and has received a ride request but has not yet picked up the passenger
- Period 3: The rideshare driver has the app turned on, has received a ride request, and has the passenger in the vehicle
Uber and Lyft’s coverage applies in all three of the above driving periods and continues until the passenger has been dropped off at their destination.
What Makes Rideshare Accident Claims So Complex?
Although Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies may offer coverage in certain situations, this coverage is contingent on several factors. First, it typically only kicks in when the driver’s personal injury liability insurance does not cover the damage from the accident. Additionally, Uber and Lyft will likely only pay for damages when it can be proven that the rideshare driver was at fault for the accident. Although you would still be entitled to seek compensation if you were partially to blame for the crash under New York’s pure comparative negligence laws, the rideshare company may use your partial fault as a means to dispute or deny your claim.
Additionally, rideshare companies purposefully shield themselves from liability by labeling their drivers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees.” In most cases, employers are liable for the conduct of their employees while those employees are actively working for the employer. But this does not apply to independent contractors. Thus, the rideshare company may dispute liability, even when the rideshare driver was clearly at fault for the accident.
This could be the case if the rideshare driver was allegedly violating the company’s policies or acting extremely negligent. Examples include illegally using a cell phone while driving or driving a rideshare vehicle while drunk/intoxicated.
What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you are involved in an accident with an Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare vehicle, be sure to do the following (to the best of your ability):
- Check yourself and others for injuries. If necessary, call 911 and have paramedics come to the scene to provide emergency medical care.
- Call the police and file an official accident report. You should do this even if no one appears severely injured.
- Get the rideshare driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information, as well as applicable details about the respective rideshare company.
- Document the crash by taking pictures of your injuries and the scene, talking to witnesses, and writing down everything you can remember about what happened.
- Report the accident to the applicable rideshare company (Uber, Lyft, etc.). You can typically do this online or by phone.
- Seek medical attention if you were not treated at the scene/hospitalized. You should always see a medical professional after a motor vehicle accident of any kind.
- Notify your insurance company about the accident, but refrain from speaking to any adjusters from the rideshare driver’s insurance provider or the rideshare company.
- Talk to a lawyer about your legal rights and options. You could be entitled to a sizeable settlement or have grounds for a lawsuit.
At Rubenstein & Rynecki, we can advise you regarding your various options after an Uber or Lyft accident in New York City. These are highly complex cases, but our rideshare accident attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and resources needed to effectively advocate for you.
How Rubenstein & Rynecki Can Help
In the wake of a serious accident, you should focus on getting proper medical treatment, resting, and healing from your injuries. You should not have to worry about negotiating with the insurance company or taking on a major rideshare entity. Instead, allow our New York City rideshare accident lawyers to handle the various legal details of your situation, from gathering evidence to support your claim to fighting for the maximum recovery you are owed.
We take pride in being one of NYC’s most trusted and respected personal injury law firms with a long history of success in even the most complex of cases. When you hire us, we will be there for you every step of the way. We prioritize client service, offering convenient scheduling, open accessibility, and consistent communication from start to finish.
Our firm can assist you in English, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Greek, or Creole and provides contingency fees. This means you do not owe anything upfront or pay any out-of-pocket expenses; our attorneys only collect fees if/when they recover compensation for you.