Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | May 21, 2022 | Car Accidents
Uber and other rideshare companies are popular in New York. Rideshare companies like Uber offer cost-effective, convenient transportation as an alternative to other forms of public transportation. However, what happens if your Uber crashes in New York City?
Knowing what happens if your Uber driver crashes is crucial for understanding who is responsible for compensating you for your damages. Unfortunately, recovering money for damages after an Uber car accident is not as simple as scheduling a ride.
Uber and other rideshare companies deny liability for accidents involving their drivers. The companies claim that they do not employ rideshare drivers. Instead, they claim that their drivers are independent contractors. The rideshare company denies responsibility for damages caused by people who are not technically employed by it.
Does Insurance Cover an Accident Involving an Uber Driver?
Yes, but it can be complicated. Most car insurance policies do not cover accidents when the vehicle is used as a “for hire” vehicle transporting a paying passenger. Therefore, the Uber driver’s insurance company could deny liability for the accident because the policy excludes commercial use.
Fortunately, Uber and other rideshare companies provide limited insurance coverage for their drivers. The insurance coverage depends on the driver’s status at the time of the crash.
For example, Uber insurance coverage when a driver is waiting for a ride request is limited to $50,000 for bodily injury to one person ($100,000 per accident). However, the policy limit increases to $1 million for third-party liability when the driver is traveling to pick up a passenger and when the passenger is in the rideshare vehicle.
Who Is Responsible for Damages After an Uber Car Accident in New York?
The person responsible for damages after an Uber accident in New York depends on who caused the accident. If the Uber driver caused the crash, you should be able to file a claim against the Uber driver.
Common causes of Uber car accidents include:
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Tailgating and aggressive driving
- Failing to follow traffic laws
- Drowsy driving
- Vehicle defects and malfunctions
- Road hazards and defects
If another driver caused the car accident, your claim would be against the at-fault driver. A pedestrian or bicyclist could also contribute to the cause of an Uber car accident. In some cases, a government entity, trucking company, or a motor vehicle manufacturer could share responsibility for an Uber crash.
A New York Uber car accident lawyer can help you identify the party responsible for your injuries and damages after a rideshare accident. The attorney investigates the cause of the accident and gathers evidence to prove causation and liability.
What Damages Could I Receive for a Rideshare Accident?
If an Uber driver causes you to be injured, you could receive compensation for your economic damages or financial losses. You may also recover compensation for your non-economic damages. In a few cases, punitive damages could be awarded if the driver was grossly negligent.
Examples of damages in an Uber accident case include:
- Pain and suffering, including physical discomfort, emotional distress, and mental trauma
- The loss of income, including benefits, future lost wages, and decreases in future earning capacity
- Past and future cost of medical treatment, nursing care, therapies, and personal care
- Loss of enjoyment of life and diminished quality of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
The value of your Uber car accident claim depends on the facts of the case. You can help improve your chances of recovering a fair settlement amount by protecting your rights after a rideshare accident.
Steps to Take After an Uber Car Accident in New York
After an Uber car accident, the steps you should take to protect your legal rights include:
- Make sure that the accident is reported to the police. Call 911 yourself if the drivers do not want to report the crash.
- Report the accident to Uber. Most rideshare apps include a way to report accidents, injuries, and problems to the company.
- Gather evidence from the crash scene, including taking photographs, making videos, and asking witnesses for their information.
- Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries and follow through with your doctor’s treatment plan.
- Gather documentation, including saving the information from your Uber app and requesting a copy of the accident report.
- Document your damages by taking photographs of your injuries, keeping detailed notes about your recovery, and making copies of all documents related to the accident, your injuries, and financial losses.
It is also helpful to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Accident claims involving rideshare companies can be complex personal injury cases. The rideshare company may challenge the claim, and its insurance company may fight to avoid paying a fair amount for your damages.