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Is Uber Responsible for Accidents?

Lyft or Uber driver uber accident lawyer

Uber isn’t directly responsible for accidents. This is because Uber considers its drivers as independent contractors, and they are responsible for their own actions while driving. However, Uber does provide insurance coverage up to $1 million for its drivers, passengers, and third parties involved in Uber accidents under certain conditions.

Generally, when an Uber driver is active on the app and waiting for a ride, Uber provides insurance with coverage of:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

Can Uber Be Held Liable for Car Crashes?

Yes, Uber can be held liable for car crashes, but the extent of their liability varies based on the driver’s status and the circumstances of the accident. Uber’s liability coverage is contingent upon whether the driver is inactive, available, waiting for a ride request, or actively carrying passengers.

Here’s a detailed explanation of when and how Uber can be held liable for car accidents:

Driver’s Status

Uber categorizes its drivers as independent contractors, and their status can be divided into three main categories, each with different levels of liability coverage:

  1. When the Driver is Inactive – If you, as an Uber driver, are not actively using the Uber app for ride-sharing and are not on your way to pick up a passenger, your personal auto insurance policies become the primary source of coverage. During this time, Uber’s insurance typically does not cover accidents.
  2. When the Driver is Available or Waiting – When the driver is active on the app or waiting for a ride, Uber provides limited insurance coverage. This serves as a secondary coverage option when the driver’s personal insurance falls short. Uber’s coverage includes:
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
  1. When the Driver is En Route or Carrying Passengers: When the driver is actively on the way to pick up passengers or has passengers in the car, Uber offers more extensive insurance coverage. This includes:
  • $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage.
  • Insurance for uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and/or first-party injury.
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage that covers damages to your vehicle, with a deductible of $2,500 or less, depending on the actual cash value of your car.

How Does Liability in Uber Insurance Claims Work?

Determining liability in Uber insurance claims involves assessing factors like your own negligence, actions of other drivers, road conditions, and insurance policy provisions. Uber’s liability may be limited if another driver is primarily at fault, and legal proceedings may be necessary to seek compensation.

Here are key considerations:

  • Your Own Negligence: As an Uber driver, you bear responsibility for your actions on the road. If your negligence, such as speeding, running red lights, or distracted driving, contributes to the accident, you may share a substantial part of the liability.
  • Actions of Other Drivers: In cases involving multiple vehicles, the actions of other drivers not affiliated with Uber can play a crucial role in determining liability. Uber’s liability may be limited if another driver’s reckless behavior was a primary cause of the crash.
  • Road Conditions: The state of the road, including factors like weather, potholes, or lack of proper signage, can impact liability. If poor road conditions contributed to the accident, government entities may share responsibility for the accident.
  • Insurance Policy Provisions: As an Uber or a third-party driver, the terms and conditions of your personal insurance policy and Uber’s insurance policy may contain specific clauses that influence coverage and the distribution of liability.

Negligent Actions of Ride-Sharing Companies

Ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, can engage in negligent actions that impact you as a passenger or driver. Here are some common examples of such negligent actions:

Negligence in Driver Screening

When rideshare companies fail to screen their drivers thoroughly, you, as a passenger or driver, may be at risk. Negligence in Uber or Lyft driver screening can result in drivers with a history of traffic violations or criminal activities, potentially endangering your safety.

Insufficient Driver Training

If ride-sharing companies do not provide comprehensive training to their drivers, you might encounter drivers who lack the knowledge and skills to handle various driving situations. This can lead to accidents or unsafe driving practices during your ride.

Lack of Vehicle Maintenance Standards

Negligence in maintaining Uber vehicle standards can lead to safety hazards. If ride-sharing companies don’t enforce regular vehicle inspections and maintenance, you may be at risk of riding in poorly maintained vehicles, which could break down or cause accidents.

Inadequate Insurance Coverage

In car accident cases where ride-sharing companies provide insufficient insurance coverage, you may be left vulnerable. Inadequate coverage may result in challenges when seeking compensation for injuries or damages in the event of an accident during your ride.

Slow or Inadequate Response to Incidents

Negligence in addressing safety concerns promptly can jeopardize your well-being. If ride-sharing companies do not take quick and appropriate action in response to complaints or reports of unsafe experiences, it may put you and other passengers at risk.

Major Concerns About Uber/Lyft Companies

When you, as a passenger, choose to ride with Uber or Lyft, there are some major concerns to be aware of. One of the most significant issues is the potential for theft. While these companies have safety measures in place, there have been cases of theft and loss of personal belongings during rides. It’s crucial to keep an eye on your belongings and double-check the car before leaving to avoid this risk.

Another concern is assault. Although Uber and Lyft have implemented background checks for their drivers, incidents of assault have been reported. To protect yourself, always share ride details with your friend or a family member, and sit in the back seat to maintain personal space.

Drivers, on the other hand, have their own set of concerns. As a driver, you may encounter unruly passengers, leading to confrontations or damage to your vehicle. Additionally, many drivers feel uneasy about the lack of job security and employee benefits.

This is because these rideshare companies often classify drivers as independent contractors. This classification means you’re not entitled to traditional job benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans. It’s important to consider these factors when deciding to work with these companies and plan for your financial security accordingly.

Is Uber Responsible for Accidents in New York?

 auto accident involving two cars

Whether Uber is responsible for accidents in New York depends on the specific circumstances of the accident and who is at fault. If you get into an Uber car accident in New York, understanding who’s responsible can be complicated. In some situations, more than one party might share liability for your injuries. It depends on who caused the accident, and NY follows a pure comparative negligence rule.

For Uber drivers in New York, they must hold a Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) license, which also mandates commercial liability insurance. If the Uber driver caused the accident, their TLC insurance generally covers damages.

Uber’s insurance can come into play, too. They have a commercial insurance policy that includes liability and collision coverage, which may provide additional compensation in case of an accident. However, if another driver is responsible for the accident, that driver’s auto insurance could be the one covering damages.

Common Causes of Uber Accidents

Common causes of Uber accidents include distracted driving, fatigue, speeding, reckless driving, impaired driving, mechanical failures, poor road conditions, and negligence by other drivers.:

  1. Distracted Driving: One big reason for Uber accidents is distracted driving. Uber drivers rely on their smartphones to accept rides, navigate, and communicate with passengers. Using the mobile while driving can lead to inattention, delayed reaction times, and accidents.
  2. Fatigue: Uber drivers often work long hours to maximize their earnings. Fatigue can impair a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and attentiveness. This risk is particularly heightened during late-night or early-morning shifts, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  3. Speeding: Some Uber drivers may exceed speed limits to reach passengers quickly or complete more trips. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to respond to unexpected situations, leading to accidents.
  4. Reckless Driving: Aggressive behaviors like sudden lane changes, tailgating, and running red lights can lead to accidents. Uber or Lyft drivers who engage in such behavior put themselves, their passengers, and other road users at risk.
  5. Impaired Driving: Another major cause of accidents is impaired driving, which happens when drivers use alcohol or drugs. While Uber has strict policies against impaired driving, some drivers may not adhere to them. 
  6. Mechanical Failures: Vehicle maintenance is crucial for safety. Mechanical failures, such as brake issues, tire blowouts, or engine problems, can cause accidents. Uber drivers should regularly maintain their vehicles to prevent these issues.
  7. Other Driver’s Negligence: Not all accidents involving Uber vehicles are the fault of the Uber driver. Accidents can occur due to the negligent behavior of other drivers on the road. For instance, running red lights, making illegal turns, or failing to yield the right of way.

What Immediate Steps Should You Take if You Get Injured in an Uber Accident?

If you get injured in an Uber accident, taking immediate and appropriate steps is crucial to protect your well-being and ensure a smooth legal process. First, ensure your safety by moving to a safe spot and seek medical attention promptly. Call 911 emergency services if needed. Furthermore, gather information about the accident, such as names, contact number information, and insurance details of all parties involved.

Next, report the accident to Uber through the app or helpline, providing detailed information about the accident. Document the scene by taking photographs of damages or injuries and obtain a copy of the police report. Moreover, contacting an experienced Uber accident attorney is advisable at this stage to guide you through the legal complexities and help you understand your rights.

Finally, refrain from accepting any settlements or signing documents without consulting legal counsel. Your attorney will assist in filing insurance claims. This will ensure you get maximum compensation for hospital bills, lost wages, or other damages as a result of the Uber accident.

Injured in a Lyft or Uber Accident in New York? Call Us for Help!

At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, we’re here to stand by your side and fight for your rights after a rideshare accident. Our expert team has a successful track record of achieving $100 million in verdicts and settlements for our car accident victims. When you work with us, you’re choosing:

1. Proven Expertise: With over 15 years of experience, our New York trial attorneys know the ins and outs of personal injury law and the complexities of rideshare accidents.

2. Contingency-Fee Basis: We believe everyone should have access to top-tier legal representation. You won’t pay us any fees unless we win your accident case and secure compensation for you.

3. Personalized Attention: We understand that every case is unique. We’ll provide you with personalized legal solutions tailored to your specific situation.

4. Compassionate Advocacy: We know the challenges you face after an accident, including car accident injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. Our team is dedicated to guiding you with compassion and empathy.

5. Aggressive Representation: We fight hard to make sure you get the most compensation possible. We’re not afraid to take on insurance companies and those responsible for the accident.

Don’t deal with the complexities of an Uber or Lyft accident alone. Call our Uber accident lawyer today at 917-540-8728 and schedule a free consultation. We’re here to help you on your path to recovery and justice.

FAQs

What Happens if My Uber Is in an Accident?

In the event of an Uber accident, prioritize your safety and seek medical help if necessary. Contact the police to report the accident and provide them with accident details. Afterward, report the accident to Uber through their app. This is because Uber’s insurance usually covers passengers, so you could be eligible for compensation.

Should Uber Be Held Liable for the Actions of Its Driver?

Uber’s liability for its drivers’ actions is a complex issue. While Uber categorizes drivers as independent contractors, it provides insurance coverage based on their activity. Determining responsibility often depends on specific circumstances, such as the driver’s status at the time of the accident and the applicable insurance coverage.

Can I Get Damages if I Was Partially Responsible for the Uber Accident in NY?

Yes, in New York, you may still be eligible for damages in an Uber accident even if you were partially responsible. NY State follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which allows you to get compensation based on the percentage of fault assigned. However, the amount you can recover may be reduced in proportion to your level of fault for the accident.

Are Uber and Lyft Drivers Considered Employees?

Uber and Lyft consider drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This distinction allows these companies to avoid certain employment responsibilities and costs associated with traditional employees. As independent contractors, rideshare drivers have more flexibility but may not receive the same benefits and protections as employees.

What Damages Can I Recover After a Ride-Sharing Accident in NY?

After a ride-sharing accident in New York, you have the potential to recover a range of damages. This includes compensation amount for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, or pain and suffering. In severe cases involving wrongful death or instances of negligence, punitive damages may also be pursued for additional compensation.

How Much Liability Insurance Do the Rideshare Drivers Have?

When an Uber driver is actively working, drivers typically carry auto insurance provided by Uber. This coverage can be substantial, with up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage, based on the specific phase of the ride. For example, en route to a passenger or carrying passengers.

Who Can I Sue if I Am Injured in a Lyft or Uber Accident In New York?

If injured in a Lyft or Uber accident in New York, you have the option to seek compensation through legal action. Potential defendants may include the at-fault driver, the ride-sharing company (Uber or Lyft), and other negligent parties involved. Additionally, if road conditions contributed to the accident, third parties responsible for those conditions may also be subject to legal action.

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Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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