Understanding Pedestrian Rights in Uber or Lyft Accidents

With Uber boasting 120 million new users by the end of 2022 and Lyft maintaining almost 20 million, accidents can happen.

As a pedestrian involved in rideshare incidents, you have the right to seek compensation. Whether through the ride-sharing company’s insurance or a personal injury claim, you can pursue reimbursement for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other damages.

Additionally, ride-sharing companies are required to carry liability coverage of at least $1 million in New York, ensuring coverage for your injuries and damages.

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Your Rights as a Pedestrian in Uber or Lyft Ridesharing Accidents

In ridesharing accidents, instances of negligence may occur, resulting in severe injuries for passengers, other drivers, and innocent pedestrians, including serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In such unfortunate events, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and a third-party claim against the at-fault driver to get compensation for your injuries and other damages. 

Both platforms require their drivers to maintain personal vehicle registration and insurance, ensuring compliance with state safety standards and minimum coverage requirements.

Moreover, when rideshare drivers operate their vehicles for personal use, the ride-sharing app must be turned off, and coverage falls under their personal car insurance. Note that neither Lyft nor Uber provides coverage for off-duty drivers.

Once a driver is actively working on the app, the respective company’s insurance comes into play based on the driver’s status:

1. Waiting for a Ride Request

If the driver is waiting for a ride request, coverage includes liability for a third party, typically with limits of at least $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. This ensures your rights to compensation if you get in an accident with a rideshare driver waiting for a ride request.

2. After Accepting a Ride Request

Once the driver accepts a ride request, coverage increases significantly to $1 million per accident and lasts until the ride concludes in the app. This enhanced coverage ensures that, as a pedestrian, your rights are protected with a higher level of compensation if the rideshare driver is at fault.

Furthermore, as a pedestrian injured in a rideshare accident, you have the right to seek medical attention promptly. Whether consulting with a primary care doctor, visiting the emergency room, or going to an urgent care center, prioritizing your health is important.

A thorough understanding of these insurance nuances empowers you to navigate the aftermath of a ridesharing accident with clarity regarding your rights and potential avenues for compensation.

What Should You Do After an Uber or Lyft Car Accident as a Pedestrian?

If you’re involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle as a pedestrian, follow these steps to protect your rights:

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

After the accident, prioritize your well-being. Seek prompt medical attention, even if injuries seem minor initially. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and a medical professional can assess and document any potential issues.

2. Report the Accident

Immediately call 911 to notify local authorities about the incident. Law enforcement will promptly arrive at the scene and create an official report meticulously detailing the circumstances of the accident. This report is essential documentation for any potential legal or insurance claims. Thus ensuring a thorough and official account of the incident.

3. Gather Information

Collect vital information at the accident scene, including the driver’s name, contact details, license plate number, and insurance information. Additionally, gather contact numbers from any witnesses who may provide statements regarding the incident.

4. Document the Scene

Use your smartphone or camera to take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, damages, and any relevant road conditions. This visual evidence can be valuable for insurance claims or legal proceedings.

5. Obtain Ride Details

Note crucial ride details such as the driver’s name, ride start/end times, and the driver’s status at the time of the accident. Identifying the ride-sharing driver’s status is vital as different periods in their operation affect insurance coverage.

Periods range from off-duty (personal insurance) to waiting for a ride request (limited coverage) and accepting a ride request (up to $1 million coverage). Understanding these details clarifies liability and streamlines the claims process for damages you incurred as a pedestrian.

6. Preserve Evidence

Keep relevant documents, such as medical records, receipts, and communication with the ride-sharing company. These documents can strengthen your case when seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

7. Contact the Ride-Sharing Company

Inform the relevant ride-sharing company (Uber or Lyft) about the accident. They may provide guidance on the next steps and initiate their investigation. Ensure you obtain a copy of the incident report filed with the ride-sharing company.

8. Consult Legal Counsel

If you experience challenges obtaining compensation or encounter difficulties with insurance claims, consider consulting a personal injury attorney. An experienced Uber accident lawyer can provide guidance, protect your rights, and assist in navigating the legal complexities.

9. Be Cautious with Statements

Refrain from admitting fault or making statements that could be used against you later. When discussing the accident with law enforcement, insurance representatives, or legal professionals, stick to the facts.

10. Keep Records of Expenses

Keep a comprehensive record of all accident-related expenses, including medical bills, transportation costs, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. These records will be essential when seeking reimbursement.

Following these steps after a ridesharing accident can enhance your chances of obtaining fair compensation and protect your legal rights as a pedestrian.

How Do Uber and Lyft Insurance Protect You as a Pedestrian?

The surge in Uber and Lyft vehicles on the roads has raised safety concerns, notably impacting traffic accidents across the US. However, both companies provide insurance coverage for pedestrians involved in accidents.

According to a study, the increase in rideshare cars contributes to nearly 1,000 more traffic accident deaths per day nationwide. Uber, in particular, recorded 97 fatal crashes with 107 total deaths between 2017 and 2018. Shockingly, 21% of rideshare crash victims were passengers, another 21% were drivers, and the remaining 58% comprised other motorists or pedestrians.

Despite the alarming statistics, both Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage that plays a crucial role in protecting pedestrians:

Driver’s Personal Insurance Policy

During off-duty periods when the driver is not actively using the rideshare app, their personal insurance policy is applicable. For example, in New York, the state’s minimum liability coverage for personal auto insurance is typically $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 for property damage. It’s crucial to understand that these are minimum requirements, and some drivers may carry higher coverage limits.

Rideshare Company’s Insurance

Both Uber and Lyft carry third-party liability insurance coverage, ensuring substantial protection. In the unfortunate event of an accident during an active ride, this coverage kicks in, offering 1 million dollars or more for personal injuries and property damage per accident. This serves as a crucial safety net for you and other pedestrians involved in rideshare-related incidents.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

In addition to liability coverage, rideshare companies offer Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to pedestrians. PIP covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost earnings, and other basic economic losses, irrespective of fault in the collision.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In the unfortunate event of a collision with an uninsured/underinsured motorist or a hit-and-run scenario, both Uber and Lyft typically provide insurance coverage for personal injuries. This coverage extends to the driver, rideshare passengers, and pedestrians involved. It’s important to note that the specific coverage amounts may vary depending on the individual state’s requirements.

Contingent Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Both Uber and Lyft supply contingent collision and comprehensive coverage to drivers. This coverage, applicable when drivers are on duty, irrespective of fault, helps with vehicle repair or replacement. Eligibility requires drivers to have collision coverage on their personal insurance policy, with Uber and Lyft having deductible amounts of $1,000 and $2,500, respectively.

NY No-Fault Laws: How Do Insurance Claims Work in New York?

New York operates under a no-fault insurance system, where individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents can seek compensation from their own insurance for medical costs, lost earnings, and basic economic losses regardless of who is at fault. However, filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party is restricted unless you can demonstrate a serious injury.

One notable aspect of New York’s no-fault law is that it exempts motorcyclists and pedestrians from the obligation to provide evidence of their injuries to receive benefits. This unique provision acknowledges the distinct nature of accidents involving these individuals.

To secure benefits through the no-fault system, you must report the accident and injuries to your insurance company within 30 days. Failing to adhere to this timeline may jeopardize your right to compensation through personal injury protection.

Moreover, make sure that you report the accident to the authorities promptly. In New York, any crash resulting in injury, wrongful death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This step ensures the incident is officially documented, providing essential information for your insurance claims and any potential legal proceedings.

Can You Sue Uber or Lyft as a Pedestrian and Claim Liability Coverage?

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No, in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle as a pedestrian, suing the rideshare companies is usually not an option. This is because both companies classify their drivers as independent contractors, not employees, shielding them from direct legal responsibility.

Who Did You Sue in a Ridesharing Accident as a Pedestrian?

However, this doesn’t mean that you are without legal recourse. While you cannot sue Uber or Lyft directly, there are alternative parties you may consider taking legal action against:

  • Legal Action Against the Driver

Legal action can be pursued against the Uber or Lyft driver involved in the accident. If negligence on the part of the driver, such as distracted driving or a violation of traffic laws, can be established, you might have a valid basis for a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

  • Legal Action Against Third Parties

In some cases, third parties unrelated to the rideshare driver or company may be liable for the accident. For example, if adefective road design or malfunctioning traffic signal contributed to the incident, legal action could be taken against the responsible party, such as the municipality or relevant government agency.

  • Pursuing an Insurance Claim

Another avenue is to pursue an insurance claim. Rideshare drivers are typically required to carry insurance, and the coverage provided during different phases of their activity (waiting for a request, actively transporting a passenger) can apply to your case.

It’s crucial to gather evidence and consult with a personal injury attorney to determine the most appropriate course of action based on the details of the accident. An Uber or Lyft accident lawyer can help navigate the legal complexities, identify liable parties, and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for damages incurred as a pedestrian in a ridesharing accident.

Insurance Requirements for Rideshare Drivers in New York

New York State law requires rideshare companies like Uber/Lyft to provide certain levels of insurance coverage for their drivers. Here’s a general overview:

  • Liability Coverage

When a rideshare driver is logged into the Uber or Lyft app but hasn’t accepted a ride request, the company must typically provide liability coverage. In New York, the minimum liability coverage required is $75,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $150,000 for bodily injury or death per incident, and $25,000 for property damage.

  • Period 1 (Waiting for a Ride Request)

If the driver has accepted the ride request or is actively transporting a passenger, the coverage requirements increase significantly. The minimum liability coverage during this period is $1.25 million.

  • Period 2 and 3 (En Route or During the Ride)

The higher coverage of $1.25 million per incident applies when the driver is on the way to pick up the passenger or actively transporting one.

It’s important to note that rideshare drivers are often required to carry their own personal auto insurance policies, and the coverage provided by the rideshare company may act as primary or excess coverage depending on the driver’s activity at the time of the incident.

Seeking Compensation After a Rideshare Accident in NY? We’re Here to Help!

Pedestrian accidents involving rideshare services can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face the aftermath alone. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident in New York, including Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and the entire New York City Metro Area, Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, is here to provide dedicated and experienced legal assistance.

Why Choose Uptown Injury Law:

  • Specialized Expertise: Our legal team specializes in rideshare accidents, offering in-depth expertise in navigating the unique complexities of these cases.
  • Proven Results: We have a successful record of securing significant compensation for our clients in verdicts and settlements.
  • Clear Communication: Communication is key. We pride ourselves on transparent and open communication with our clients. You can expect regular updates on your accident case, clear explanations of legal proceedings, and answers to any questions.

Our Commitment to You:

  • No Fee Unless You Win: We understand the financial strain that follows an accident. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis—YOU DON’T PAY unless we win your case.
  • Timely and Efficient Representation: Time is of the essence in legal matters. We work diligently to move your case forward, striving for a resolution that meets your needs as quickly as possible.
  • Personalized Legal Strategy: Recognizing that every case is unique, we commit to developing a personalized legal strategy tailored to your circumstances.

How to Get Started?

To initiate your journey toward fair compensation, schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with Uptown Injury Law, PLLC. Contact us online or call our office toll-free at 917-540-8728. Our legal law team is ready to listen to your case, assess its merits, and guide you through the process. Don’t navigate the aftermath alone; let Uptown Injury Lyft or Uber accident lawyer fight for your rights and help you on the road to recovery.


What is the Most Common Cause of Rideshare Accidents?

The most common cause of Lyft or Uber accidents is often attributed to distracted driving. This arises due to the nature of rideshare apps, where drivers frequently use their phones for tasks such as accepting ride requests or navigation, leading to an increased risk of accidents. Addressing distracted driving is crucial to enhancing overall rideshare safety.

Do I Need a Rideshare Accident Lawyer?

If you’ve been in a rideshare accident, it’s essential to consider hiring a rideshare accident lawyer. Ridesharing companies often contest claims and attempt to deny liability, making legal representation crucial. A skilled attorney can navigate complexities, protect your rights, and advocate for the rightful compensation you deserve.

What To Do If I’m Hit by an Uber or Lyft Driver in New York?

If you’re hit by an Uber or Lyft driver in New York, prioritize your safety by seeking medical help, gather information at the scene, call 911, and consult with a personal injury attorney to navigate legal complexities and pursue compensation for your injuries.

Does Uber or Lyft’s Insurance Cover Pedestrians Hit in New York City?

Yes, Uber and Lyft’s insurance typically covers pedestrians hit in New York City. The coverage extends to injuries caused by rideshare drivers during various stages of their activity, providing financial protection for medical expenses and other damages.

Do I Sue the Uber Driver if They Hit Me?

If an Uber driver hits you, legal action is typically directed towards the driver rather than Uber itself. Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, and pursuing a lawsuit against the driver for negligence or other violations is the common course of action. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can help you navigate this process and determine the best approach for seeking compensation.

What Damages May I Recover in an Uber Car Accident?

You may be eligible to recover various damages in an Uber car accident. This may include compensation for medical bills, pain, emotional suffering, lost wages, property damage, and other associated costs.

Can I Sue Uber When Another Driver Was At Fault For The Accident?

No, you cannot sue Uber when another driver is at fault for the accident. However, you may pursue a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance to seek compensation for damages. Uber’s liability typically comes into play when the rideshare driver is at fault during certain ride stages.


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
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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