Who Is Liable in a Car Accident Involving a Rideshare Service?

Who Is Liable in a Car Accident Involving a Rideshare Service

Rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber can be ultra-convenient, especially when traversing the jam-packed streets of Queens. When hopping into a rideshare, you expect the ride to go safely, but that’s not always the case. While the statistics in NYC can be difficult to calculate, for comparison, an estimated one in four accidents involve rideshare drivers in Boston. Moreover, research from the University of Chicago found that rideshare services are associated with a 3% increase in traffic deaths.

If you were hurt while using a ridesharing vehicle, here’s what to know from a ridesharing car accident attorney in Queens, NY.

Who Is Responsible in a Ridesharing Car Accident?

Unlike regular car accidents, it can be tough to tell who’s liable in an accident involving a rideshare driver. Liability depends on a few factors, including:

  • Whether the driver caused the accident
  • Whether other parties shared some responsibility for the crash
  • Whether the driver was actively logged into their rideshare app or transporting customers when the accident happened

To determine liability, ridesharing accident attorneys will need to know whether the rideshare driver was working for Uber or Lyft when the crash happened. If the driver wasn’t logged in or transporting passengers when they hit you, the rideshare company bears no responsibility for any accident they caused.

You’d need to file a claim with your insurance company in this case. However, if the accident causes a serious injury or your related expenses exceed $50,000, it’s possible to file a claim against them with the help of a Queens ridesharing accident lawyer.

Your insurance might pay over $50,000 if you carry personal injury protection (PIP). This coverage protects you regardless of whose fault the accident was. Be aware that it doesn’t cover property damage or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

Uber and Lyft offer limited coverage for accidents if the driver is logged into the app but not transporting a passenger and full coverage for drivers actively transporting passengers.

Types of Ridesharing Accidents

There are four main types of ridesharing accidents:

  1. A rideshare driver hit your car while transporting passengers
  2. You were injured while riding in a car as a rideshare passenger
  3. You were injured while the rideshare driver was in transit to pick up a fare
  4. The rideshare driver was injured while picking up or transporting passengers

To determine liability, your Queens ridesharing accident attorney must decide which category your accident falls into.

Damages for a Ridesharing Accident

Uber and Lyft would pay for at least some bodily injury and property damage expenses if their drivers were working for them at the time of the accident.

Uber coverage includes $1 million in third-party liability for drivers who are on the way to pick up a passenger or transporting a passenger. For drivers who are logged in and waiting for a ride request, Uber covers the following:

  • $25,000 per accident for property damage
  • $50,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $100,000 per accident for bodily injury

Lyft provides $1 million in coverage for riders transporting passengers, just as Uber does. It also covers the same amounts as Uber for drivers waiting for a passenger to request a ride.

What To Do After a Ridesharing Accident

After a ridesharing accident, taking steps to protect yourself is important. You should:

  • Call the police and make a report.
  • Ask the rideshare driver for their insurance details.
  • Take pictures of the scene and your injuries.
  • See a doctor, even if you don’t seem badly hurt.
  • File an accident report with the rideshare company.
  • Contact ridesharing accident lawyers for help

Contact a Queens Uber Accident Attorney If You’ve Been Injured in an Accident

When climbing into a rideshare, the last thing you expect is for the driver to have an accident. Whether the accident was the driver’s fault or someone else’s, you may be left with painful injuries and medical bills that cost more than you can afford. This is why finding out what a car accident lawyer can do for you is helpful.

Your ridesharing accident attorney can determine liability, talk to the insurance company, and file a claim against the driver if the accident meets certain criteria. For a free consultation, call Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, PC, at (718) 205-1010 today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Uber drivers have been involved in a car accident?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Uber drivers were involved in 107 fatal accidents and more than 2,900 non-fatal crashes from 2017 to 2019. Those non-fatal crashes led to 3,221 injuries.

How do you stay safe while using a rideshare?

Always sit in the back seat and wear a seatbelt to stay safe while using a rideshare. This will help protect you if the driver has an accident.

Checking the driver’s rating before accepting a ride is also helpful. This rating can tell you whether the driver has any complaints, such as acting aggressively or driving recklessly. If you notice any complaints that make you uncomfortable, it might be wise to hail a ride from a different driver instead.

How does Uber detect a crash?

Uber rideshare drivers must install software on their phones to detect crashes. This feature, called RideCheck, uses GPS and other sensors in a phone to know when a driver has had a collision. When RideCheck thinks there’s been an accident, it will prompt riders and drivers to call 911 for help.

How long does it take rideshare companies to investigate an accident?

Usually, it takes at least a few days for companies like Uber and Lyft to investigate an accident. You must file an accident report with Uber or Lyft to start the process. The company will then contact the appropriate insurance company, which will do an investigation of its own. The insurer may contact you within two to three business days. If it’s been much longer than that, reach out to a ridesharing accident attorney for help.