Ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft didn’t exist in the Hudson Valley until June of 2017. Although there’s no exact data about Ulster County or Dutchess County, ridership in nearby New York City is as many as six to eight times higher than traditional taxis. While licensed taxis have well-established regulatory and insurance requirements to help accident victims, things are a little more complicated with Uber and Lyft. We’re going to go over what Uber and Lyft riders and other parties can do if they get into a car accident involving a ride-sharing platform.
First of all, if you’ve been in any kind of car or auto accident, make sure you immediately seek medical attention. Check out our other tips for what to do if you’ve been in an accident, and give us a call at 845-600-0000 if you have absolutely any questions.
New York State’s No-Fault Insurance and Uber
New York is a “No-Fault Insurance” state by law. No-fault insurance coverage provides $50k in coverage minimum (it can be more) to pay for lost wages and medical bills. It does not cover any pain and suffering or other types of loss. So if you are injured in a ride sharing vehicle, you would receive No-Fault coverage from the vehicle you were in, and depending on the facts of the accident (who is at fault) you would seek to sue and recover against the drivers/owners of the other vehicles involved.
Your No-Fault carrier will be the insurance on the car you are IN, unless you are a pedestrian, in which case it is the insurance on the car that hits you. In the case of Uber or Lyft, the No-Fault carrier would still be the insurance on the car you were in. If your damages exceed $50,000, then it will be necessary to pursue compensation from the driver’s insurance company and/or Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage.
The Insurance Requirements of Uber and Lyft in Personal Injury Accidents
By law in the State of New York, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are required to provide insurance coverage for any parties that may be involved in an accident.
If a driver is cruising around, but not engaged in a ride or on the way to a ride, companies like Uber and Lyft must provide a minimum of $50,000 in coverage per individual and $100,000 per accident. If a driver is actively on a trip, or on the way to one, there is a minimum coverage of $1M.
As of April of 2021, Uber and Lyft are meeting those requirements. Even if the responsible driver has had a lapse in insurance coverage, Uber and Lyft carry insurance that can help cover your expenses and losses. However, just as with any other insurance company, they are in business to minimize your damages and give you the smallest possible amount. That is why you should work with an experienced Kingston, NY personal injury attorney to make sure you get the full compensation for your losses and expenses.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in an Uber or Lyft Car Accident?
If you got into an accident due to the fault of an Uber or Lyft driver, there are a number of possible damages that you can recover from insurance companies:
- Past and future medical and health care bills
- Economic losses like lost wages and future income
- Punitive damages
- Past and future pain and suffering
What Should You Do if You’re Injured in a Ridesharing Crash in Kingston, NY or Poughkeepsie?
The steps are the same regardless of what kind of accident you got into. Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. If you can, while at the scene of the accident, document the conditions; the damage to the vehicle, the conditions on the road, the time of day, the surrounding environment. If someone is at the scene of the accident, who witnessed how it happened, try to get their contact information. Screenshot the Uber or Lyft transaction to make sure you have it.
If it seems like your damages are going to exceed what no-fault insurance can cover, give us a call at 845-600-0000 with any questions. We offer free consultations at our offices in Kingston, NY and Poughkeepsie.
Additionally, don’t post about your accident or resulting injuries on social media. Insurance companies can use any inconsistency or technicality against you to deny you the full compensation for your injuries. And proceed with caution if an insurance company calls to take a recorded statement or offer you a settlement; odds are, they’re trying to offer you the lowest amount they can.
What if You’re an Uber or Lyft driver injured on the job?
There are a number of possible avenues for Uber and Lyft drivers to pursue compensation if they’re injured while driving. You could possibly pursue compensation from your own insurance company, from Uber/Lyft’s insurance coverage, the insurance of the other motorist/their employer, or even the local government in the case of a roadway defects case.
Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors, so if you’re injured on the job, there’s no chance of pursuing a worker’s compensation claim.
A personal injury consultation can you help you navigate all of these factors. We have to make sure we’re seeking compensation from the correct party. To receive compensation for your pain and suffering and/or changes to your quality of life, then it will be necessary to pursue compensation from the driver’s insurance company and/or Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage by filing a lawsuit.