These days, rideshare vehicles like Uber are nearly as prevalent as yellow taxis. The laws and regulations governing rideshare drivers are not, unfortunately, clear-cut. In many ways, Uber drivers are treated differently compared to other commercial drivers. If you were in an accident with an Uber vehicle, you may or may not be able to claim liability against the company. Thankfully, Uber providers extensive liability insurance for drivers, as mandated by New York law. Whether you can take advantage of that insurance depends on exactly when and how your accident occurred. Learn about Uber accidents below and call a seasoned New York car crash lawyer if you’ve been injured by a negligent driver in the Bronx.
Hit by an Uber Driver
If you were hit by an Uber driver either as a pedestrian, as another driver, or as a passenger in another car, whether you will be able to bring a claim against Uber directly depends on the circumstances of the accident. Under New York’s no-fault insurance scheme, your first resort after an accident is your own insurance policy. If you suffered a “serious injury,” however, then you might be able to claim liability against the at-fault driver. If you can sue the Uber driver, the question becomes whether you can also sue Uber.
Uber argues that its drivers are independent contractors, rather than employees, which would prevent injured parties from suing Uber for the conduct of drivers. Legal merits of that argument aside, New York State requires Uber to carry insurance to cover injury to parties caused by Uber drivers. In accordance with the law and Uber’s own practices, Uber maintains insurance for drivers that gets triggered depending on when the accident occurred:
- Driver is offline. If a driver is an Uber driver but has not turned on their app, Uber disclaims liability and provides no coverage. The driver is on their free time and is personally liable as they would be if they were not an Uber driver.
- Driver is online, but not on a trip. If a driver gets into a crash after turning on the app but before finding and accepting a fare, then Uber provides some insurance coverage. Drivers are insured up to $75,000 per person and $150,000 per accident for personal injury. Seeking additional damages from Uber would require convincing a court that Uber should be held responsible for Uber drivers, despite Uber’s argument that drivers are independent contractors.
- Driver is on a trip. Uber maintains a $1.25 million policy covering bodily injury for accidents caused by an Uber driver from the time they accept a ride until the passenger is dropped off. If you are hit by an Uber while they are in the middle of a trip, Uber’s insurance will cover your injuries.
Injured as an Uber Passenger
If you were injured in an accident while riding with an Uber driver, then you might or might not have a claim against Uber, depending on who caused the crash.
- Accident caused by another driver. If you were a passenger in an Uber and your vehicle was struck by another driver, then your options for recovery are much like being a passenger in any other vehicle. If you suffered a serious injury, you can bring a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance provider. In the event the other driver lacks insurance, Uber maintains a $1.25 million uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury policy, covering injuries to all occupants of the Uber vehicle (including the driver and passengers).
- Accident caused by your Uber driver. If you were in a crash that was caused by your driver while you were riding in an Uber, then your options for recovery are the same as the “on a trip” scenario discussed above. Uber maintains insurance policies for drivers, including $1.25 million in third-party liability.
Call for Advice and Representation on Your Bronx Car Crash Injury Claim
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a New York car crash, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the passionate and knowledgeable New York car crash lawyers at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.