When a driver is in a typical motor vehicle accident, no-fault insurance provides a set amount of benefits to cover damages such as medical expenses and loss of income. Accidents involving negligence or serious damages exceeding the insurance benefit amount can further qualify for a personal injury claim to secure additional finances to help a victim recover.
However, Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing drivers are not your typical motorists– they are independent contractors performing a job with personal vehicles. New York State not only requires ridesharing drivers to carry a personal auto insurance policy, but it also requires the ridesharing company they work through to carry an additional insurance policy to cover damages when accidents occur on the job.
Filing Insurance Claims After Ridesharing Accidents
New Yorkers can become victims of ridesharing accidents as drivers, passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians. Regardless of what type of accident you are involved in, it’s crucial to understand how insurance works with ridesharing contractors to determine how to file the most successful injury claim.
When a driver is logged out of the ridesharing app and is not open to accepting rides, only the driver’s personal insurance is active when an accident occurs. They are just like any other driver on the road, and it doesn’t matter if they work for Uber or Lyft if they get into an accident while inactive.
When an Uber or Lyft driver is logged into the app and accepting rides, both the driver’s personal insurance plan and the ridesharing company’s insurance plan are active. New York City requires ridesharing companies to provide the following minimum coverage for their drivers:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $100,000 per person in a single accident; $300,000 for all persons in a single accident.
- Bodily Injury Liability (Death): $50,000 per fatality in a single accident; $100,000 for all persons in a single accident.
- Property Damage Liability: $200,000 for single accident
- Personal Injury Protection/ No-Fault Insurance: $200,000 for a single accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person; $50,000 for a single accident.
There are three different circumstances that also affect the amount of benefits received from a ridesharing company plan depending on the status of the driver at the time of the accident:
- The driver is logged into the app and open to accepting rides but does not have passengers;
- The driver is logged into the app, accepts a ride, and is in transport to pick them up; or
- The driver is logged into the app, has a passenger in the vehicle, and is transporting them to an assigned drop-off location.
This information is crucial for accident victims who sustain life-threatening and disabling injuries. The option to file with your personal insurance company, the driver’s insurance company and the ridesharing company’s auto policy can make all the difference when it comes to improving a person’s quality of life after an accident.
Most no-fault insurance plans cap at $50,000 for medical expenses, up to 80 percent of lost earnings (maxing at $2,000 a month) for up to three years from the accident date, and nothing in property damage unless you are an injured passenger. When critical injuries result from an accident, costing tens of thousands in medical treatments, equipment, therapies, travel expenses, and more, these amounts are not nearly enough to support accident victims alone in recovery.
What To Do After A Ridesharing Accident
Filing a successful ridesharing accident claim starts from making the right decisions the moment an accident occurs.
Like all motor vehicle accidents, your first priority should always be your health. Tend to all your medical needs directly after an accident, no matter how minor your injury may seem. Refusing medical care after an accident can lead to complications in the claims process going forward. Take care of yourself and keep all documentation relating to any injuries found.
Additional steps drivers should take after a ridesharing accident include:
- Obtain information from the ridesharing driver in the accident, including insurance information, ridesharing app identification, and details about their vehicle (make, model, VIN);
- Take pictures and videos of the accident scene without moving the vehicles or other hazards on the road;
- Speak with witnesses (if able) and collect statements regarding their observations of the accident;
- File a police report and ask the officer for a copy of your records; and
- Consult an accident attorney prior to calling your insurance company.
When filing a personal injury claim against an Uber or Lyft driver, many factors must be taken into consideration to determine which insurance plans you qualify to file a claim with. Consulting with an accident attorney skilled in ridesharing accidents cases will provide you the best chance to secure the maximum benefit to cover your damages.
Experienced accident attorneys know the tricks that ridesharing companies use to get out of paying a claim and possess an abundance of resources to investigate reckless drivers to establish a pattern of neglect when present. They can also help you navigate the insurance claim process to avoid common pitfalls that companies set to reduce the number of benefits paid.
New York City Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyers
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber have over 20 years of experience representing accident victims in New York City. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using our experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing accident, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343, or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.