Uber, lyft and Ride Share Accidents

Accidents Involving UBER, LYFT and Other Ride Share Transportation Services

Companies such as UBER and LYFT are modern day taxi services.  However, they operate completely different to any conventional or traditional car transport service.  UBER, LYFT and other similar companies provide “ride share” services and are more popularly known as transportation network companies. The arrangement takes place through a mobile App where the user/passenger requests a ride from an unknown driver using his or her own personal vehicle to make the pick-up. Many of the drivers working with these services simply do not have the experience necessary to drive professionally and this is where the danger exists for anyone using these services.

Although these companies compete with traditional and conventional taxi transport services they operate much differently.  UBER and LYFT do not own or operate cars nor do they treat the drivers who are operating UBER and LYFT vehicles as employees.  Therefore, UBER, LYFT and other ride share programs treat their drivers as independent contractors who drive their own vehicles to pick up and drop off customers.  Just about anyone can become a driver for one of these companies as long as he or she has a driver’s license, owns a vehicle and has insurance.

This ride share relationship between people using their own private vehicles to provide a ride share service through major transportation network companies such as LYFT, UBER, JUNO and other similar services becomes important in the event there is an unfortunate accident involving a pedestrian or passenger with such a vehicle.

What You Need To know

If you have suffered injuries, harm and/or loss as a result of any accident involving a ride share program such as UBER or LYFT, New York State has taken steps in order to protect you in the event there has been an accident.  New York State has enacted insurance requirements to protect anybody involved in a ride share accident including passengers, drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.

In fact, recently passed laws pertaining to insurance coverage for transportation network companies have resulted in more insurance coverage than what is normally available for traditional taxis such as the yellow taxi medallion cabs which frequently drive throughout New York City.

Due to the overwhelming and growing popularity of electronic ride-hailing applications throughout all of the major cities and populated suburbs throughout New York State, victims of accidents involving these ride share vehicles have been protected with insurance coverage that will apply based upon the driver activity taking place at the time that an accident occurs.

Driver Activity Which Determines Insurance Coverage

  1. The first activity involves a ride share driver who is driving where the App is not turned on and the driver is not looking for a passenger. In this situation, the driver’s own insurance policy will be the only available insurance unless you as a passenger have your own underinsured insurance through a policy on your own vehicle or in your own household where you reside.
  2. This second activity involves a ride share driver who has the App turned on with the digital network engaged and is waiting for a ride request from a potential user/passenger. During this activity the transportation network company such as Uber will have its insurance apply but the coverage will usually be limited to $50,000.00 per person for injuries and up to a total of $100,000.00 available if more than one person is injured. There will be available $25,000.00 for property damage.
  3. During the third activity, the driver has the App on and is logged into the digital network on the way to pick up the passenger he or she was matched with in the pre-arranged trip. In this instance if there is an accident then there will usually be at least $1,000,000.00 personal injury coverage available because of bodily injury or death involving any person or destruction of property.
  4. During this fourth activity the driver has the App engaged and is logged in and has the passenger in the vehicle. The coverage available will be the same as the coverage available during the third activity as mentioned above.

If you or a family member is the unfortunate victim of a ride share service accident and there has been an injury or death then you need to talk to an attorney right away so that all necessary steps and procedures can be employed to protect your rights. You can learn more about what to expect in terms of any claims, damages and what to expect in our content under Vehicle accidents “Drivers and Passengers Who Are Victims”. Do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. and Robert D. Rosen, P.C. for a free consultation and help.