Injured As a Uber Passenger In An Accident : What Can I Do?

The popularity of Uber and other ride-share services has led to the inevitable – car accidents involving Uber drivers and passengers. Those who find themselves in a New York ambulance or hospital after getting into an Uber accident may rightly wonder whether someone should be taking care of their medical bills.

If you have been seriously injured in an Uber accident, you’re right to think that you may have a legal claim for compensation for your losses. It is complicated, because companies like Uber and Lyft typically use independent contractors as drivers. But ride-share companies have liability insurance as well as UM/UIM coverage for vehicles on the streets under their names. At David Resnick & Associates, one of our car accident attorneys can help you seek full compensation if you were injured while an Uber passenger.

Filing an Accident Claim Against Uber

While ride-share drivers are independent contractors, ride-share companies like Uber may have legal liability when a driver working for Uber causes a crash.

In many accidents, the ridesharing company does bear some responsibility, and compensation can be claimed through the company’s insurance. There’s typically a two-step process you must go through to get to the company’s insurance coverage.

All ride-share companies require drivers to have their own auto insurance, just as New York state law requires drivers to maintain liability insurance. But most policies don’t cover driving while “for hire.”

If an Uber driver wasn’t working at the time of the crash, you’ll be told to contact the driver’s insurer. In such a case, the driver’s auto liability insurance carrier should respond to your claim.

If the driver had the Uber app on – was working – but had yet to match a ride, Uber will tell you to contact the driver’s insurer, who will deny the claim because of the lack of an endorsement, which would have provided coverage.

After the driver’s insurance denies a claim, Uber will turn to its insurance if the driver was on the clock at the time of the accident.

Uber and similar companies maintain four layers of insurance:

  • Liability insurance, which covers a driver responsible for a crash while he or she had the app on and was waiting to pick up a passenger or was transporting a passenger. Uber maintains liability coverage of $50,000 per person for bodily injury / $100,000 per accident total for bodily injury / $25,000 per accident for property damage. (In New York, the minimum liability coverage required is $10/$25/$50 – in addition to $50,000 in no-fault personal injury protection coverage.)
  • Third-party liability coverage for at least $1 million for injuries to passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, or to property.
  • Uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) for at least $250,000 per accident for injuries caused by another driver (not their contractor) who has no insurance or whose insurance does not cover costs, or for a hit-and-run driver accident.
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage for the cash value of the contract driver’s vehicle or the repair cost, whichever is less.

You can expect your insurer and/or Uber insurance to try to minimize the value of your claim, drag the process out and try to get you to admit to something that gives the insurer a reason to deny your claim.

An experienced Uber accident attorney at David Resnick & Associates can save you the headaches and runaround of dealing with unhelpful insurance companies. Our law firm will pursue your injury claim aggressively.

Who is Liable if I was injured in an Uber Accident?

As with any car accident, the at-fault driver in an Uber accident should be held responsible, or liable. This may be the Uber driver or another driver if it is a multi-vehicle accident. For an accident victim who is not the Uber driver, an Uber accident is different from most car accidents in two ways:

  • In addition to the Uber driver, the Uber company may be held liable for your injuries. As indicated above, this means there is more than the minimum insurance coverage available for compensating you.
  • If another driver caused the accident, the Uber driver is a firsthand witness to the crash and your injury.

Under New York’s no-fault system, a car accident victim relies first on personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay medical costs and lost wages. If the accident victim has serious injuries, he or she must show eligibility to pursue a personal injury claim outside of the no-fault system.

Your Uber car accident attorney from David Resnick & Associates can conduct an investigation on your behalf:

  • To identify responsibility for your injury. Typically, one driver violated a traffic law and the driver’s negligence caused the accident, which is how you were injured. There is often a variety of evidence available, including police reports and witness statements, that can help demonstrate who was at fault.
  • To calculate your costs and losses from the accident. Full compensation for a car accident injury includes money to pay for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering.

Our aim is to help you obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries and other accident-related losses in a ridesharing accident involving Uber or another ride-share service. We may file multiple claims on your behalf. We may be able to recover compensation from your PIP insurance coverage, the Uber driver’s or another driver’s insurance and/or insurance held by Uber, Lyft or whatever ride-share service was involved in the accident.

We prefer to negotiate a settlement to each claim to avoid putting you through the stress and uncertainty of a trial. But when a fair settlement is not available through negotiations, our attorney will be prepared to seek justice for you in the New York court system. We’ll fight for you.

Contact a David Resnick & Associates NYC Uber Accident Lawyer

If you have been seriously injured as a result of a New York City car accident that involved a ride-share driver from Uber, Lyft or another company, the car accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you recover compensation you deserve. Because of the nature of ride-share services and their legal relationship with their drivers, Uber car accident claims have a complexity that requires legal assistance in most cases.

For a free initial evaluation of your case, contact our firm today by calling (917) 722-1852 or by filling out our online contact form.

Author: David Resnick

Founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a New York personal injury law firm in charge of providing exceptional and personal service to each of our clients in various areas including car accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, construction accidents, and premises liability. David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care.

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