The Uber and Lyft ridesharing services have become popular transportation options in Floral Park and throughout NYC. People who would otherwise have taken a bus, the Hempstead or Port Jefferson train, or who would have walked or driven themselves, are now summoning Uber or Lyft rides to get around Queens.
But the increased number of ridesharing vehicles in Floral Park has led to additional injuries and fatalities in car accidents, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers.
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, our rideshare accident lawyers have found rideshare companies to have complex auto insurance policies and to be quick to refuse to pay for the injuries and damage caused by their drivers. But we’ve successfully pursued ridesharing accident claims for clients from Floral Park and nearby areas of Nassau County and Queens, and we’re here to help you.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, contact us today for a free consultation. Our dedicated injury attorneys have dealt with insurers of every type to recover compensation our clients deserved for their injuries and other losses.
How Uber and Lyft Work After an Accident
Most people know what ridesharing services are. Uber and Lyft have smartphone apps that allow people to summon a ride from wherever they are and to pay for the service through an online account. Drivers typically drive their own vehicles. Most rides are uneventful, and passengers get where they’re going safely.
But car accidents are as likely to happen for drivers-for-hire as they are for anyone who gets behind the wheel. Unfortunately, when a Lyft or Uber accident occurs, a seriously injured accident victim has to deal with a company that is primarily interested in protecting itself.
First, you may be told that the driver is an independent contractor and not an employee, so the company has no responsibility for the accident. You may be told to contact the driver’s insurance company about an accident.
Uber and Lyft require drivers to maintain personal auto liability insurance, but not to obtain driving-for-hire endorsements, which costs extra.
The lack of driver-for-hire coverage provides the driver’s insurance company an excuse to deny an accident claim if the crash occurred while the ridesharing driver was actively working for Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident.
In other situations, Uber or Lyft will contend that the driver’s status at the time of the accident dictates whether they are liable for your losses in an accident:
- If the Uber/Lyft application is off: The rideshare driver is operating as an individual and his or her own personal auto insurance should cover the accident. The ridesharing service will claim its insurance coverage does not apply in this situation.
- If the Uber/Lyft application is on and the driver is waiting to pick people up: Uber and Lyft provide some coverage during this period. In New York, they must provide $75,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $150,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 property damage coverage.
Coverage also includes uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, $50,000 for the death of a person, and a total of $100,000 for death per accident.
- If the Uber/Lyft app is on, and the driver is traveling to pick up a passenger or is driving a passenger to their destination:Both companies offer up to $1.25 million for bodily injury and property damage. They also provide $50,000 personal injury protection per injured person, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage worth $1.25 million, and contingent collision and comprehensive insurance up to the cash value of the vehicle or cost of repair. But insurance companies won’t voluntarily pay the full value of a claim unless they are held accountable by a knowledgeable Floral Park ridesharing accident lawyer.
Uber and Lyft are established well enough that they maintain insurance coverage as they are required by state laws. But their insurers also know that large payouts or frequent payouts cut into their profit margins. Neither of these entities particularly wants to see you obtain a proper insurance settlement after a serious accident involving one of their drivers.
You’ll need an experienced car accident attorney to help you demand the compensation that you deserve.
How a Floral Park, NY, Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have been in a serious accident caused by a rideshare driver, you have a right to full compensation for your injuries and other associated losses. To obtain compensation, you’ll need to show that the Uber/Lyft driver is liable for the accident and may need to demonstrate that the driver was working for a ridesharing company at the time that the accident occurred.
Immediately after being injured in a car accident in which you were a driver, passenger, pedestrian or bicyclist, you should contact police and report the accident. The police will prepare a report about the accident, and the police report will be essential if you need to file a claim. If your injuries or anyone else’s require immediate attention, request an ambulance. If you do not require emergency medical care, make sure to see a physician for a medical evaluation within 24 hours of the accident. Take pictures of the accident scene and gather license and registration information from the other driver as well as contact numbers for any witnesses.
As soon as you are able, contact an experienced car accident attorney. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, we can investigate how your accident happened, who was at fault and who should be held liable. We can document the full extent of your injuries, calculate all of your costs and losses, file insurance claims on your behalf and negotiate from a position of strength for the compensation you deserve.
Under New York’s no-fault auto insurance laws, a car accident victim turns first to his or her personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay medical costs and lost wages. If an accident victim has suffered serious injuries, he or she must show that they are eligible to pursue a personal injury claim outside of the no-fault system.
In a personal injury claim on your behalf, we may be able to seek compensation from the rideshare driver and his or her insurance and/or the rideshare company (Uber or Lyft). We may file multiple separate claims on your behalf.
A personal injury claim may demand compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage (to your vehicle)
- Disability or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering.
Our investigation would seek police reports, witness statements and other evidence to help demonstrate that the Uber/Lyft driver was at fault. We would then seek company records, through a court order if necessary, which would demonstrate the driver’s on-the-clock status and that he or she was on the way to get and/or transporting a passenger, as the case may be. Remember, the amount of insurance coverage available depends on this status.
When filing a personal injury claim, we typically start by aggressively negotiating with insurance companies for the settlement you deserve. Most cases can be settled without going to court. Because we investigate cases thoroughly, we are always prepared to present a strong case on your behalf in court if that is necessary.
Our Attorneys Will Fight for You After a Floral Park Rideshare Accident
The car accident and personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe have more than a century of combined experience handling cases in Floral Park, Queens, Nassau County and throughout New York City. Uber, Lyft and ridesharing are relatively new wrinkles in car accident claims, but they don’t change accident victims’ right to fair compensation or our dedication to assisting clients. We know what steps to take and the questions that need to be answered to build a case to recover maximum compensation for you. We have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.
Our goal is to get you back on your feet financially with as little burden on you as possible. Cohen & Jaffe lawyers work directly with our clients to understand their needs and answer all their questions. We’ll deal with the insurance adjusters on your behalf and can help you find a doctor or arrange to get your vehicle fixed, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back in order. We return calls within 24 hours, and clients get Richard Jaffe’s cellphone number for 24/7 accessibility.
If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident in the Floral Park, NY area, call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe at (516) 358-6900 for a no-cost consultation about a potential legal claim. Our Nassau County legal team is eager to help. We’ll come to you if you can’t make it to our office, and we never charge a fee until after we’ve recovered compensation for you. Contact us today.
For a free legal consultation with a uber and lyft rideshare accidents lawyer serving Floral Park, call 516-358-6900