Bronx Ridesharing Lawyer
Ridesharing companies in the Bronx must obtain criminal background checks on their drivers to ensure client safety.
If you suffered injuries in a ridesharing crash, you need an experienced Bronx ridesharing attorney on your side as soon as possible. Contact The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond right away to learn more about your rights.
How Does the Insurance Work
New York governs ridesharing services under Article 44-B of its Vehicle and Traffic (VAT) Law. The statute includes safety protocols and minimum insurance requirements for rideshare businesses. Another New York statute requires that ridesharing companies and their drivers carry insurance policies that will cover accidents that occur during their working hours.
If a rideshare driver is not logged into the rideshare app, only the driver’s personal insurance will be available to compensate accident victims.
If, on the other hand, the driver is logged in and receiving ride requests, the rideshare company’s insurance must provide at least $150,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people along with at least $25,000 for property damage. If the driver is actually in the process of a ride request, the insurance must provide at least $1,250,000 in coverage for each accident or personal injury and property damage.
These limits also apply to drivers waiting at an airport to serve customers or immediately after serving a customer.
A driver, as noted above, will be at one of three statuses at any given time.
- Logged Off/Inactive Driver – personal car insurance applies.
- Awaiting Requests – If the driver is logged in but not fulfilling a request, the company and the driver’s car insurance must be able to cover at least $150,000 in damages for personal injury to two or more persons. The policy must also provide at least $25,000 in coverage for property damage.
- Fulfilling Requests – If the driver is logged into the rideshare service’s app and is completing requests, the company’s general liability insurance must be able to cover at least $1,250,000 worth of damages per accident for personal injury and property damage.
A lawyer can work with you to determine the status of a driver if it isn’t clear. The lawyer’s help is crucial because the mandatory insurance only provides coverage if the rideshare driver was at fault.
Will Your Insurance Cover You in An Accident with an Uber Driver?
This coverage issue is a far more complicated question than it appears at first glance. Your personal medical insurance may have to be the first to pay your medical expenses. You may also have coverage from the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of your no-fault car insurance. This coverage applies any time the policyholder is in a car accident, whether as a passenger, pedestrian, or driver. You will want to make sure that your insurance policy will cover you in a rideshare accident.
Can You Sue Your Rideshare Driver if There’s an Accident?
There are complications here as well. You may be able to sue depending on whether the driver is at fault, whether PIP benefits are payable, and what type of coverage the rideshare service has selected. If the rideshare driver was at fault, you might seek PIP benefits or might file a claim against the driver for damages.
That is where your PIP policy is significant, because it determines whether you can sue. You want a Bronx rideshare attorney from The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond reviewing your best options.
If another driver in the accident was at fault, your right to sue depends upon the extent of their insurance coverage. If that driver is uninsured or underinsured, the ridesharing services might offer additional coverage. New York law does permit ridesharing companies to carry supplementary uninsured and underinsured driver insurance.
If the company does carry that coverage, the injured passenger can still recover in an accident where the rideshare driver is not at fault. Of course, the amount recovered will depend upon the company’s coverage and the number of people in the accident.
What Kind of Lawyer Handles a Rideshare Accident Claim?
Regardless of their nature, most auto accidents arise out of the negligence of one or more parties to the accident. Injury cases involving negligence benefit from attorneys who concentrate on personal injury cases.
To win such a case, the attorney must prove:
- That the at-fault driver owed a duty of care to the others in the accident
- That the driver breached that duty of care
- That the driver’s breach of duty caused an injury to one or more victims
- Resulting in recoverable damages on the part of the victim.
Rideshare injury lawyers work with these requirements every day.
What About Coverage for the Rideshare Driver?
Rideshare drivers face certain unavoidable risks and may have to drive in areas that experience a higher rate of accidents. Various factors may figure into any accident that a rideshare lawyer is involved in, and they may affect your ability to recover as a driver.
Some of these factors include:
- Distracted drivers – drivers who think they have the superpower to drive while texting surround us all. Along with those distracted by fatigue or sleepiness, these drivers are a very fast-growing cause of accidents in New York.
- Drivers Under the Influence – Alcohol is involved in a very high percentage of New York traffic accidents, and other legal intoxicants are now adding to that risk. Because rideshare drivers are especially busy on heavy drinking holidays such as New Year’s Eve, they can be especially vulnerable to DUI-related accidents.
- Nighttime or Weather Conditions – Rideshare drivers are most commonly used when other drivers don’t want to drive. Therefore, they are often subject to poor night driving or weather-related conditions, which can contribute to the likelihood of an accident.
Bronx Ride Sharing FAQs
Can I sue a rideshare driver in New York?
If you can recover on your PIP policy, no, you cannot sue because New York’s no-fault insurance laws will limit the right to sue. However, if you cannot recover PIP benefits, you can sue the driver if the driver is at fault. If another driver was at fault in the accident, you could sue them instead, as long as PIP benefits were unavailable. Finally, the ridesharing company must carry uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, which, depending on the circumstances, could cover any damages that the at-fault driver does not pay.
What is a rideshare company under New York law?
A rideshare company is any company using independent contractors driving their personal vehicles to provide transportation for the company’s customers. Usually, the customer signs up for the service on a website. Uber and Lyft are among the most well-known rideshare companies.
Since my coverage depends on who’s at fault, how do I find out who caused my accident?
The facts and circumstances of the accident will determine who was at fault. You may get some clues from any citations issued at the scene. If you can show fault, then you can sue, even for pain and suffering. New York is a no-fault state, but if there were serious injuries in the accident, the at-fault driver and that driver’s insurance will have to pay for the damages incurred by the other drivers. A serious injury for these purposes includes broken bones, dismemberment, significant disability, disfigurement, or death.
What damages can I recover if I’m in a rideshare accident?
You are entitled to bodily injury and property damage compensation. The amount depends on various factors, including the nature of your injuries. You may also, under certain circumstances, recover compensation for pain and suffering.
Will comparative fault affect my recovery in a rideshare accident?
New York’s comparative fault rule should not affect you as a passenger in a rideshare accident since you are highly unlikely to have been at fault at all.
Will I lose access to rideshares if I claim for damages?
No. Rideshare companies pay a portion of each fare for insurance for this purpose.
Can I recover financially from pain and suffering in a rideshare accident?
If a driver is at fault in a rideshare accident, that driver’s insurance policy should provide coverage for your pain and suffering. If the driver’s coverage is insufficient, the rideshare company’s insurance should provide additional coverage.
What coverage applies when?
The coverage that applies depends on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. If the driver is not signed in at all, only the driver’s personal insurance policy will pay on the accident claim. If the driver is signed in but not on a ride, then the smaller coverage limits of the rideshare company’s policy will apply. If the driver is signed in and on a ride or has just completed a ride, then the driver’s insurance and the rideshare company’s larger coverage policy may apply.
What coverage does Lyft offer its drivers?
- Contingent liability: This coverage applies while the driver is signed in but waiting for an assignment and would protect the driver if their own insurance doesn’t.
- Primary auto liability: This will provide coverage from the time the driver accepts a ride request until the ride concludes in the app. Primary coverage is $1,000,000 per accident. It can also be an excess policy if the driver already has commercial or personal insurance covering ridesharing.
- Contingent collision: This will cover property damage to the driver’s vehicle from an accident in addition to the driver’s personal insurance coverage. It applies up to the value of the vehicle or the cost of repair with a $2,500 deductible.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: If an accident happens once the driver has accepted a ride or is transporting a rider, and the other driver is uninsured or underinsured and at fault, Lyft UM/UIM coverage will apply with no deductible.
What coverage does Uber offer its drivers?
Third-party liability: If the driver is in a covered accident (available or waiting for a ride request), Uber covers:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
Auto insurance: If the driver is on the way to pick up a rider or during a trip, Uber provides:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive and collision up to cash value of the car with $1,000 deductible
Should I get a lawyer if I’m in a rideshare accident?
Yes. New York’s no-fault laws and its laws governing rideshare coverage complicate the insurance in a rideshare accident. An experienced and knowledgeable rideshare attorney will be able to figure out your coverage and your need or right to sue much sooner than you will. Your initial consultation will be free and will allow the attorney to evaluate your case.
What should I do if I’m in a rideshare accident?
As with any motor vehicle accident, you should
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible – don’t assume you weren’t injured; see a physician
- Collect evidence about the accident – get photos or videos with your phone, recording vehicle positions, weather, damages to the vehicles, and injuries
- Get witness and participant information; your driver may not do so, and you will need this for your claim
- Keep track of your expenses and losses – this includes your medical expenses, your lost wages (if any), and other similar losses
- Contact an experienced and knowledgeable rideshare lawyer attorney to assist with your recovery and obtain the best possible settlement for you.
What is the average value of a rideshare accident settlement?
The amount of any settlement depends on the facts and circumstances of the underlying accident. Generally, if the rideshare company’s insurance policy pays, the settlement can range from $10,000 to $1 million.
Work With Our Bronx Rideshare Accident Attorney
Whether you were riding in a rideshare accident, an innocent rideshare driver, or any other party, your recovery may depend on an experienced Bronx rideshare lawyer.
Consult with The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond right away about your case and your chances of obtaining compensation.
Contact us today at (718) 588-2000!
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond
888 Grand Concourse Suite #1L, 10451
“Mr. Ivan Diamond is the definition of professionalism hard work. He’s my first experience with a lawyer (I retained him to represent me in two separate instances) … and he made it a pleasant one! He’s VERY hands on, very attentive, asked the questions, consistently checked up on me and prepared me for any and every possibility. Extremely knowledgeable. I recommend Mr. Diamond to friends and family who we’re all happy with outcome of their personal injury case’s. I consider Mr. Diamond to be family, because that’s how hard he worked for me and expressed real compassion for my circumstances. Hiring Mr. Diamond is a decision you will never regret..” -Bia S.
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