Ridesharing is a popular way to get around New York City and often a safe, convenient, and accessible alternative to driving yourself or owning a car. However, Uber and Lyft rides are not immune to car accidents, which poses serious legal questions for rideshare passengers who are injured while using these services.
This article addresses the topic of Lyft and Uber accidents and how a local Lyft or Uber accident lawyer can help if this unfortunate situation happens to you.
How Rideshare Drivers Are Insured
Rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft, typically treat their drivers like independent contractors rather than employees, which enables the companies to avoid some of the responsibility for accidents their drivers are involved in. With regard to insurance coverage, insurance companies view ride sharing in different phases, such as when the driver has the rideshare app open but hasn’t yet been hired for a gig, when the driver is on the way to pick up a passenger, and then the passenger is actually riding in the vehicle.
Rideshare companies require their drivers to have their own car insurance but also provide low-level supplemental coverage when the app is on. Drivers are advised to buy their own rideshare insurance because traditional auto insurance is not likely to cover accidents that occur while working a ridesharing gig, and the insurance company may even cancel the driver’s policy if he/she hasn’t disclosed that the car is being used for a rideshare business.
Who Should You File a Lawsuit Against?
Depending on the details of your accident as a rideshare passenger, you may be able to pursue a claim against Uber or Lyft as well as the driver of the vehicle. The most straightforward claims are ones against the rideshare drivers. However, Uber and Lyft’s company insurance may kick in after the driver submits the claim to his/her own insurance company and if the rideshare driver denies the claim. Since these cases can be complex, it is advisable to contact a New York auto accident attorney to discuss the best legal course of action.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Rideshare Accident
If you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver behind the wheel, it is very important to get the driver’s contact information and insurance information right away. You always should seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. But if you are able, try to take some photos of the accident scene and get contact information for witnesses as well. The police should also be called by either you or the driver so that a police report can be filed and serve as evidence to help you prove your legal case.
How an Uber Accident Lawyer or Lyft Accident Attorney Can Help
The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum provides Uber accident lawyer and Lyft accident lawyer services to help the injured get the justice they deserve. Please contact us online or by phone at 718-237-5586 to learn more about your legal rights as a rideshare passenger and for a free consultation about filing a claim.