As the presence of Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing vehicles continues to grow on New York streets, the likelihood of car accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers also increases. You could be hit and injured by an Uber or Lyft driver or a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle hit by another vehicle.
As you may expect, dealing with a large corporation like Uber or Lyft after a car accident can be complicated and frustrating. They have complex rules about how they respond to accident claims, and their process is designed to protect their own interests. From the perspective of an injured passenger, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure how to proceed. To protect your legal right to compensation for your injuries and losses, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident attorney who has handled ridesharing accidents before.
Our car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP have experience handling ridesharing accident cases throughout Long Island, New Hyde Park, Floral Park, and nearby areas. Ridesharing companies and their insurers will push back against almost any personal injury or property damage claim. But we have a track record of successful personal injury claims and can help you pursue full compensation after a ridesharing accident.
If you’ve been in an accident, please contact us for a free consultation as soon as possible.
What an Uber or Lyft Passenger Should Do After a Car Accident
If you have been injured while in a vehicle you accessed through the Uber or Lyft app, there is auto and business liability insurance in place to compensate you. But there are several factors that may affect what coverage applies to the accident. Neither Lyft nor Uber will want to admit liability.
When you are in an Uber or Lyft car accident, the driver, the company, and their insurance company will look out for their own interests. In many cases, this means minimizing the amount they or their insurance company pays to you for injuries and damages due to the accident. It is therefore critical that you obtain legal assistance from a local car accident attorney as soon as possible. Keep in mind that regardless of who is at fault in a ridesharing accident, you may still be able to seek compensation for injuries and losses you sustain as a rideshare passenger.
Before we get to what’s required to win an Uber or Lyft claim, there are 5 steps you should take to protect your legal rights after any car accident:
- Report the accident to the police.
- Be sure to seek medical attention, no matter how minor your injuries seem.
- Take photographs or video at the accident scene and write down or record the sequence of events in the accident. Don’t rely on your memory of a traumatic event.
- Report the incident to the ridesharing company and confirm with the company that they received your accident report.
- Contact a New York Uber accident lawyer for a ridesharing accident in NYC.
Uber accident victims stand a better chance of recovering fair compensation for hospital bills, lost income, property damage, and other crash-related losses if they have an experienced attorney serving as their advocate. A recent Washington Post report explains how teams of Uber crash investigators work to cover up and downplay accidents involving their drivers. Uber investigators are there to protect Uber. They will insist that its drivers are independent contractors and not employees and that the company isn’t responsible for their drivers’ actions. If you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you’ll need help fighting for fair compensation.
Protect Your Legal Rights After an Uber or Lyft Car Accident
Uber, Lyft, and their insurance companies conduct investigations specifically to reduce or eliminate their own financial liability. As a passenger, you may receive confusing, conflicting, or inaccurate information from company representatives or insurance carriers. They may ask for statements that reduce their fault or absolve them of any responsibility. They may even attempt to obtain a statement from you indicating that you are somehow at fault.
In order to protect your legal right to fair compensation, avoid making any statements regarding the accident until you have spoken to an attorney. Do not discuss the accident with the driver, Uber, Lyft, or their insurance company.
Avoid any statements or speculation when reporting the accident to the police. Stick to the facts and do not make any guesses as to the cause. Your injury attorney can help you craft a more specific official statement later to ensure that you do not say anything to harm your case.
While it may be tempting to call friends or post on social media to vent, do not discuss the accident in any context until a settlement has been reached. Even the most casual comments can be used as evidence to harm your case.
Do not accept a settlement from the company or their insurance carrier, even verbally. Another approach by Uber and Lyft is to offer a settlement that is a lowball bid to close your claim quickly. Don’t fall for it. A rideshare accident lawyer can determine how much compensation you should reasonably expect to claim and fight for you to receive it.
If you accept a settlement before your car accident attorney has the chance to negotiate on your behalf, it can severely limit your claim. While the settlement may initially seem like a good amount, initial offers rarely consider loss of income, loss of use, reduced quality of life, and other negative effects of the accident. A lowball settlement can be especially harmful if you suffered injuries that require long-term care, medication, rehabilitation, and quality of life adjustments due to disability or inability to work.
What Compensation Is Available After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Compensation for a person who has been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver will come from insurance coverage. Both Uber and Lyft have adequate insurance to cover claims. But how the coverage applies to an accident depends on what the driver was doing and whether he or she was using the ridesharing app at the time of the accident.
- If the Uber/Lyft app was off:The company will say the driver was not operating the vehicle for the ridesharing company, so his or her own personal auto insurance should cover the accident. This may be legitimate, but it should be confirmed that the driver was not on duty. In New York City, Lyft and Uber drivers are regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and drivers are required to carry a minimum of $100,000 in personal injury liability insurance.
- If the Uber/Lyft app was on and the driver was waiting to be sent to pick up riders:Uber and Lyft insurance policies provide coverage during this period. In New York, these companies must have $75,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $150,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage coverage.
The companies also maintain uninsured motorist (hit-and-run driver) 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 application is on, and the driver is en route to a passenger or is driving a passenger to their destination: Both companies maintain $1.25 million in coverage for bodily injury and property damage. They also have $50,000 personal injury protection per injured person, uninsured and underinsured coverage of $1.25 million, and contingent collision and comprehensive insurance up to the vehicle’s cash value or cost of repair.
As your attorneys, Cohen & Jaffe would investigate to determine the driver’s status at the time of the accident and whether the Uber/Lyft driver was logged in to his or her account and had you listed as a rider. This will determine what insurance coverage applies to your claim. Our attorneys can push for information from Lyft/Uber beyond what you may find out from emails, online chats or phone calls with an overworked investigator assigned to your accident file.
Can You Sue Uber or Lyft After Being In An Accident?
It is better for all concerned if Uber or Lyft and their insurers can be persuaded to provide a proper payout to an accident claim you file. The attorneys at Cohen & Jaffe will provide the ridesharing company with evidence showing how the accident happened, the extent of your injuries, the driver’s responsibility for your injuries and the compensation you are due for your losses.
Typically, our first demand for compensation leads to negotiations toward a settlement. We negotiate aggressively and most of the time can settle an injury claim without going to court. If negotiations are not progressing, we can file a formal lawsuit, which outlines our evidence and asks the court to grant our demands for compensation.
Even after a lawsuit has been filed, negotiations typically continue, and a settlement may be reached at any point prior to a jury returning a verdict. A car accident attorney will aggressively pursue a fair settlement that ensures that you receive just compensation for your losses. If an agreement cannot be reached out of court, the attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP will not hesitate to take your case before a jury.
Our objective is to obtain compensation for you that covers all of your costs and losses from the accident and provides additional payment for the pain and suffering you have been put through. If your case can be settled without a trial, that saves time and legal costs and allows you to get on with your life sooner.
Contact Our NYC Rideshare Accident Attorneys
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP our Long Island injury lawyers know how ridesharing services operate. We will fight for full and fair compensation for you after an accident involving Uber or Lyft.
Our experienced New York personal injury lawyers can handle every aspect of your claim while you focus on your recovery. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver in Long Island, Hyde Park or Floral Park, contact us today for a free legal consultation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.