Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are becoming one of the most popular methods of transportation, especially in big cities like New York. Rideshare companies use everyday people to serve as drivers, who pick up and drive customers to their destination in their personal vehicles. While this practice has made getting around much easier for passengers, problems can arise quickly when a rideshare vehicle is involved in an accident. One of the most common questions an Uber accident attorney is asked after a New York Uber or Lyft accident is who is liable for any resulting injuries?
The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel in New York are here to answer this and any other questions that you may have after an accident. Call the office or contact us today to schedule an evaluation of your case.
When the driver of another vehicle is at fault in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, the process progresses like any other car accident case. Damages are submitted to the insurance company of the other driver, and a settlement is negotiated. Statements about the accident and discovery evidence may be exchanged in order to establish the value of the case. If the insurer refuses to settle for the full and fair amount of the claim, the case may go to court in order to secure fair compensation for the case. However, the case can get more complex when the rideshare driver is found at fault for the accident.
When the rideshare driver is found at fault for a New York Uber accident, the first question asked is whether the driver was completing a ride at the time of the crash or driving on personal time. If the driver was on personal time, then the legal process after the accident looks the same as many other car accidents. All drivers in New York are required to carry minimum levels of insurance, and compensation is usually available up to the policy limits of the driver after a crash. New York auto insurance minimums are $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons, and $10,000 for property damage in any one accident. Mandatory “no-fault” coverage of $50,000 is also required. However, if the driver was on the clock with the rideshare company, victims of the accident may have additional coverage.
If an accident occurs when a ride is taking place in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the companies provide insurance coverage for accidents in addition to the driver’s regular auto insurance. Uber and Lyft carry $1,250,000 in liability coverage for New York Uber accidents that kicks in after the rideshare driver’s policy limits are reached. This means that if a victim in a rideshare accident has damages that exceed the policy limits of the driver, they can access additional compensation to cover the costs of their injuries with the rideshare company coverage. For example, if one person suffers $100,000 in injuries and the rideshare driver only carries the minimum amount of insurance coverage, their policy would cover the $25,000 limit and the rideshare company’s liability policy would cover the remaining $75,000.
If the vehicle was manufactured correctly but a defect occurred while in transport, the transportation company carrying the vehicle may be at fault for any accidents caused by the defect part. This can happen if a company is transporting entire vehicles or specific parts that are damaged in transit. If alterations were made to a part that results in a defect either at the retailer or at a mechanic’s shop, those entities may also be held liable for any damages that result from an accident. These entities may also be liable if they installed a part incorrectly or stored vehicle parts negligently in a way that results in defects occurring.
Because there are so many parties that can be liable for a rideshare accident, it is critical that you hire an experienced attorney to represent your legal interests after a crash. A knowledgeable Uber accident attorney understands the law and has the experience to investigate the accident in order to identify the liable parties in your case. An attorney takes the burden of the legal process off your shoulders so that you can focus on your recovery. They also serve as a shield between you and the insurance companies that are looking for any excuse to minimize or eliminate your claims for damages.
A lawyer with experience managing rideshare accident claims also knows what the full and fair value of your case is and will not stop advocating for your interests until a fair settlement is negotiated. If the insurers or rideshare companies refuse to settle for the full value of the claim, your attorney can take the case to trial. Talk to a lawyer with rideshare accident experience today to learn more about the wide range of legal services offered to victims of rideshare crashes.