Uber first hit the streets of New York City in 2013, followed by Lyft the next year. Less than a decade later, these rideshare apps are used by about 800,000 customers per day. Unfortunately, like the yellow cabs they’ve largely displaced, rideshare vehicles are not accident-proof. If you were injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. However, the process of obtaining that compensation can be more complicated than normal.
Insurance is usually the first source of compensation in an auto accident and that is true in Uber/Lyft accidents as well. New York law requires all drivers to carry no-fault insurance, known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). As an injured person, you look for compensation from your own PIP coverage first. If you suffer serious injuries or your PIP coverage isn’t enough to fully compensate you, then you may be able to claim against Uber or Lyft’s liability insurance policies.
Both Uber and Lyft have guidelines for how their policies work. Coverage depends on the accident having occurred in one of these periods of time:
- Period 1 — If the rideshare driver is logged in to the app but is waiting for a ride request, Uber and Lyft provide liability-only coverage. Both companies’ policies provide up to $50,000 per person injured in the crash up to $100,000 per incident, plus $25,000 for property damage.
- Period 2 — If the rideshare driver has accepted a trip request and is on the way to the pick-up location, Uber and Lyft both provide up to $1 million in coverage.
- Period 3 — If there is a rider in the car at the time of the accident, the same $1 million policy from Period 2 applies.
If the rideshare driver is not logged into the app at the time of the crash, Uber and Lyft do not cover injuries that result. Instead, you will need to pursue compensation from other sources, such as the driver’s personal insurance policy. Many drivers have endorsements on their policies to cover accidents during rideshare activity.
If your injuries are serious and require more compensation than the available insurance policies provide, then you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. You have a maximum of three years from the date of the crash to file.
Anyone injured in an Uber or Lyft accident should seek the advice of an experienced New York City attorney right away. With so many insurance companies involved, things can quickly get complicated, and as an injured person you shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of insurance issues on your own.
The Brooklyn law firm of Goldman Sager & Associates has extensive experience representing people injured in rideshare crashes in New York. Tell us what happened and we’ll explain all your potential options for obtaining compensation. Please call ln::phone] or contact us online to discuss your situation with one of our lawyers.