Grabbing an Uber or a Lyft has become a common way for New Yorkers to get around. These rideshare companies are often cheaper than traditional cabs, and you can hail one with a click of your finger.
While it is often quicker and more pleasant than riding the subway, problems can still occur while you are using your favorite rideshare app. Vehicle accidents happen all the time, especially on busy New York roads. Here is what you need to know about getting into an accident while you are a passenger in a rideshare car.
Your driver caused the accident
If your driver is at fault, your driver’s insurance should pay for any injuries you sustained in the accident. However, if your driver does not have commercial insurance, it is possible their insurance company will deny your claim. The driver may also have a “business use” exception in his or her policy that will prevent you from collecting on a claim.
That does not mean you have no options. Uber and Lyft have third party liability insurance that will cover your claim up to $1 million. You can also receive these benefits if your driver’s insurance does not cover your bills entirely, or their insurance has denied your claim. However, if the driver does not have his or her app on when the accident occurs, you may not be covered under Uber or Lyft’s insurance.
The other driver is at fault
If the other driver caused the accident, their insurance will typically pay for your hospital bills and recovery time. There is a possibility that the other driver may not have insurance, or they could be underinsured. If that happens, Uber or Lyft’s uninsured or underinsured policy would cover your injuries. Again, this provides up to $1 million per accident.
You generally cannot sue Uber or Lyft
Both Uber and Lyft claim their drivers are contractors, not employees. Since they are not employees, the rideshare companies are not responsible for their negligence. Even if your driver caused the accident, you will likely have little luck pursuing a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft. However, if the insurance company tries to underpay your claim, you may want to contact an attorney who can negotiate a better settlement for your injuries.