As ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft reinvent how we get around town, those extra vehicles on the road are resulting in more accidents. Like other car accidents, you and your loved ones can be severely injured in a wreck when using a ride-sharing company. The injuries from such an accident are not going to go away, so you must act quickly to protect yourself and start building a case. However, your next steps may be unclear when there is a ride-sharing company involved. You might not know where to file insurance claims or how much time you have, and the regulations in these areas are always changing. You need an attorney with experience in handling ride-sharing accidents.
The attorneys at Rosenberg & Rodriguez, PLLC have followed the growing popularity of ride-sharing companies and their associated risks. Our attorneys stay up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations for ride-sharing companies in the state of New York, and New York City. Let us handle your claim after a ride-sharing accident. At Rosenberg & Rodriguez, our lawyers are your best choice for properly filing claims with the insurance companies, and getting you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Accidents involving ride-sharing services come in many varieties. You may be a passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle, an employed driver, a third-party driver, or a pedestrian. The following list describes some common roles in a ride-sharing accident:
With so many potential parties, filing a claim after a ride-sharing accident can get complicated. It is common to not understand where a claim should be filed or what your next steps should be. Laws and regulations for the insurance coverage that ride-sharing companies must provide are constantly changing, and vary based on locality. Especially in New York City, there are complex rules that ride-sharing drivers must follow, and specific insurance requirements for covered drivers. Without an experienced attorney, it is easy to overlook an involved party or a source of compensation. Let our attorneys at Rosenberg & Rodriguez handle your claim after a ride-sharing accident. We will identify all the responsible parties and potential sources of compensation.
An Uber driver’s personal auto insurance will not cover accidents which occur while driving for Uber. Uber’s insurance coverage for its drivers depends on the status of the driver at the time of the accident. In the state of New York (excluding New York City), Uber provides the following insurance coverage to its drivers:
Within the five boroughs of New York City, there are special rules and regulations for Uber drivers. Rules and regulations in the state of New York mandate that ride-sharing companies provide more insurance coverage for their drivers operating in New York City. If you’re involved in an accident with a New York City (NYC) Uber driver, the following coverage is available, based on the driver’s status:
A Lyft driver’s personal auto insurance will not cover accidents which occur while driving for Lyft. Lyft’s insurance coverage for its drivers depends on the status of the driver at the time of the accident. Lyft states to offer the following coverage:
Steps to take if you’re in an Uber or Lyft accident:
As ride-sharing companies have become more popular, their associated risks have become clearer. Although ride-sharing companies have taken some measures to protect riders and drivers, there are still serious risks involved with getting into a driver’s car. The following are types of incidents which riders and drivers from the major ride-sharing companies have reported:
Motor vehicle accidents – when you get into a vehicle, there is always a chance that an accident will occur. This risk does not go away because you are using an Uber or Lyft.
Unsafe driving, including speeding and road rage – Uber and Lyft drivers are subject to the normal stressors involved with driving. However, these drivers carry a heavy burden of safely transporting their riders. People who drive recklessly, speed, or exhibit road rage put the lives of their passengers at-risk. These behaviors can cause accidents, so riders should report such behavior to the ride-sharing company.
Imposters – Ride-sharing companies have policies in place to run background checks on their drivers, but these policies are not foolproof. Drivers may lie on applications or evade background checks. During their employment, drivers may also be charged with a crime that would impact their employability. Another threat comes from criminals who pretend to be ride-sharing drivers, and pick up unsuspecting riders. Criminals may also pose as riders to try and victimize drivers.
Robberies – When riding with Uber or Lyft, people are essentially stuck inside a vehicle with a stranger. A ride with an Uber or Lyft could potentially turn into the scene of a robbery. Reports have shown drivers robbing riders of their valuables. However, drivers are more commonly victimized. Another phenomenon is drivers unknowingly participating in robberies, as criminals may use an Uber or Lyft as their getaway.
Sexual assault or rape – Over the past few years, our society has seen many survivors of sexual assault and rape speak out about these horrific crimes. Ride-sharing companies have received notoriety for ignoring reports of sexual assaults and rape concerning their riders and drivers. In response, some of these companies have taken steps to protect their employees and customers, but these crimes continue to occur. Uber has released a report of sexual assaults, rape and other crimes involving their services spanning 2017-2018. After the statistics were released, Uber implemented a program to promote riders and drivers to report incidents, and provide resources for users to stay safe while using Uber’s services.
Harassment – Inappropriate comments and behavior towards riders and drivers are forbidden under the community guidelines for Uber and Lyft. This includes unwanted sexual advances or comments, discriminatory behavior, and any other behaviors which create an unsafe or disrespectful environment. Discrimination is strictly forbidden under Uber and Lyft’s guidelines, so drivers and riders may not discriminate based on race, caste, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, gender identity, age or any other characteristic protected under applicable law. Riders or drivers who behave in these ways will lose access to their accounts, and be unable to use the ride-sharing service for rides or employment.
Kidnapping – Reports of kidnappings due to rideshare services are not frequent, but do occur. Drivers may refuse to allow riders to exit a vehicle, or take a rider to somewhere other than their destination. These incidents are dangerous and directly violate the policies of the major ride-sharing companies. Both Uber and Lyft have implemented in-app safety features to combat these threats during rides.
Death – Ride-sharing companies have a duty to keep their drivers and riders safe. This duty is failed in the most severe way when a rider or driver is killed. Severe car accidents and murders are the leading causes of death in relation to ride-sharing services. Between 2017 and 2018, fifty-two deaths were specifically attributed to Uber and Lyft drivers. During this same period, Uber reported 58 auto accident deaths and 9 murders. Uber’s reporting for the 2017-2018 timeframe was the first set of publicly available data on crime within the ride-sharing industry.
The serious risks involved with using ride-sharing services demand that every rider and driver take appropriate safety measures. The list below contains steps you can take to stay safe the next time you use a ride-sharing service. These steps are mostly universal across services, but individual companies may incorporate different safety tools within their ride-sharing apps.
If you’ve been injured in a ride-sharing accident, you need an attorney who will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. Ride-sharing and insurance companies will try to shift the blame for the accident to you to minimize your compensation. Don’t take them on alone. Hire an experienced ride-sharing accident lawyer from Rosenberg & Rodriguez, PLLC to handle your case. Our ride-sharing accident attorneys will file your insurance applications and property damage claims, schedule appointments, and ensure coverage of your medical bills. Our focus is on you, and we will communicate with you throughout every step in your case.
At Rosenberg & Rodriguez, you can afford to hire a lawyer since you pay nothing upfront. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless you do. This system gives us a strong interest in getting you every dollar that you deserve. Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.