New York has long been known for its famed yellow cabs. Yet in the modern era, most New Yorkers are just as likely to grab an Uber or Lyft as they are to hail a cab. Of course, while these rideshare companies are convenient, they come with certain dangers.
Ubers are driven by individuals using their own vehicles. A person can become an Uber driver with no training as long as they are 19 or older and have a clean driving record. If you’re in an Uber accident, getting the compensation that you deserve can be tricky as you try to figure out which insurance company is responsible for paying for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
Based in White Plains, the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan advocates for injury victims throughout New York. We have significant experience handling Uber and Lyft accident cases, taking on these massive corporations for our clients – and winning. Reach out today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.
Why Rideshare Accidents Are Different Than Typical Car Crash Claims
In a car accident lawsuit, the victim (plaintiff) typically needs to prove that the other driver was responsible for their injuries due to their negligent (careless) or intentional conduct. Typically, the claim is filed directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Uber accidents are different because while the driver is using their personal vehicle, they are working for the massive corporation. Because they are independent contractors and not employees, it can be difficult to hold the company accountable for the accidents that their drivers cause.
There are specific rules in place for which insurance policy applies when an Uber driver causes an accident. Depending on the situation, you may be able to file a claim against the Uber driver’s personal car insurance policy, Uber’s auto insurance policy, or Uber’s commercial general liability policy. Here is how it breaks down:
- If the driver has the app off and is not working when they cause an accident, then you can file a claim against the driver’s personal policy. Their policy limits could be as low as the New York minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 in property damage per accident.
- If the driver has the app on and is waiting for a ride or otherwise available, then you can file a claim with Uber’s smaller auto insurance policy. This policy’s limits are $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
- If the driver is en route to pick up a passenger or has a passenger in the car, then you can access Uber’s larger commercial policy. This policy has much higher limits of $1,000,000 for third-party liability.
The question of which insurance policy applies is incredibly important because it may determine whether you get full compensation for your injuries. For example, if your medical expenses topped $100,000, then the driver’s personal policy or Uber’s smaller auto insurance policy may not fully cover your losses. A seasoned personal injury lawyer in White Plains may be able to argue that the larger commercial policy should apply.
Uber accidents can happen at any time and may result in injuries to passengers, other drivers and their passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others. In any of these situations, you may be able to seek financial compensation from Uber for your losses. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with our law firm.
When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
After an Uber accident, you may not know what to do or where to turn for help. You may be approached by an insurance adjuster who asks you to give a statement or sign some paperwork. They may even tell you that they accept full responsibility or offer you a settlement.
You should not talk to anyone from Uber or their insurance company before talking to an Uber accident lawyer. These massive corporations are not interested in making sure that you get the most money for your injuries. Instead, their goal is to resolve the case for as little money as possible.
By contrast, your attorney’s primary goal is to help you get maximum compensation for your losses. They are required to advocate for your best interests – which means helping you get justice. Studies show that people who are represented by counsel recover an average of 40% more in settlements compared to people who represent themselves in personal injury claims.
In a personal injury case, you are entitled to financial compensation for ALL of your losses. This may include money for:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In some cases, you may even be able to recover punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish someone who engaged in reckless or intentional behavior, such as drinking and driving.
If you want to get every dollar that you are entitled to, then your best option is to consult with a White Plains Uber accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash. Your attorney will work with you to help you get a fair settlement for your injuries. If necessary, they will take the case to trial to ask a jury to return a verdict in your favor.
What to Do If You’ve Been in an Uber Accident
If you are hurt in an Uber accident as a passenger, another driver, or a pedestrian, the first and most important thing that you should do is seek medical care. Getting medical attention will help to ensure that you get the proper diagnosis and treatment. It will also establish a connection between your injuries and the accident.
If you are able to do so, you should gather information while on the scene. This can be as simple as taking pictures and videos of the vehicles and their license plates, the accident scene, and your injuries. You should also get the name, contact information, and insurance information for the Uber driver and any witnesses.
You may also call the police to report the accident. When they show up, give a statement, sticking to the facts of what happened instead of offering your opinion. Do not apologize to the other driver or give a statement to any insurance adjuster that may arrive on the scene.
When you are able to do so, you should schedule a free consultation with a White Plains Uber accident attorney. They will listen to your story and offer legal advice on your options. They can also assist you with filing an accident report with Uber and with gathering evidence to support your claim. In White Plains, call the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Hurt in an Uber Accident? Give Us a Call!
After any type of wreck, it can be hard to even consider pursuing legal action when you are dealing with doctor’s appointments, lost wages, medical bills, and other stressors. Our law firm can help you get the money that you need to move forward with your life after an Uber accident.
The Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan advocate for accident victims throughout New York. We offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
How Long Do I Have to File an Uber Accident Lawsuit?
In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 3 years. With some exceptions, this means that you have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the driver, Uber itself, and/or their insurance companies. If you don’t file a lawsuit within this time period, you will likely not be able to seek compensation.
3 years seems like a long time, but it can go quickly when you are dealing with medical issues. To protect your rights, contact the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation with a White Plains Uber accident lawyer.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Uber Accident?
Even if you were somewhat to blame for the crash, you can still recover financial compensation for your injuries. New York follows the comparative negligence rule, which means that if you share some fault for an accident, your total recovery will be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault. For example, if you were 30% at fault and suffered $100,000 in damages, then your compensation will be reduced by 30% ($30,000) to $70,000.
Insurance companies often try to take advantage of comparative negligence rules to try to minimize the amount that they have to pay injury victims. An experienced White Plains Uber accident attorney will advocate for your right to full compensation. Call the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan for a free consultation about your case.
Can I Sue Uber Directly for an Uber Accident?
In some cases, you can file a claim against Uber through its insurers for any losses that you suffer in an Uber accident. However, in some cases, you may be limited to seeking compensation from the driver and their insurance company. This is different from many other types of personal injury cases, where an employer can be held responsible for the negligent acts of their employees.
Uber drivers are independent contractors, which changes the company’s responsibility for their negligence. The legal issues surrounding Uber accidents are still being worked out in the courts. Your best option for getting full compensation is to consult with an experienced White Plains personal injury attorney after an Uber crash.