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Everything You Need to Know About Uber Car Accidents in New York City

Posted in Car Accidents on November 22, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Uber Car Accidents in New York City

Rideshare companies have become extremely popular in urban cities, including New York City. Uber is one of the two largest rideshare companies operating throughout the United States. According to Uber, there are about 91 million active monthly platform consumers and 3.9 million drivers worldwide as of December 2018.

Uber car accidents can cause severe injuries and wrongful deaths for passengers, drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If you were involved in a car accident with an Uber driver, it is crucial that you understand your legal rights. Our New York Uber accident lawyers created this guide to answer the most common questions about an Uber accident claim.

Information About Uber Car Accidents in New York City

Under New York laws, rideshare companies like Uber are considered transportation network companies, or “TNCs.” There are special rules for TNCs, including driver qualifications and insurance requirements.

One of the first things you need to know about Uber accidents is the insurance coverage for Uber drivers.

Insurance Requirements for Uber Drivers

All drivers in New York City are required to have a minimum amount of liability insurance for car accidents. However, the insurance requirements for Uber drivers are different from liability insurance for ordinary drivers.

A rideshare driver must maintain the minimum insurance coverage for a private passenger vehicle, including liability insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, and personal injury protection (no-fault insurance) coverage. Additionally, the rideshare driver or the TNC on behalf of the driver must have insurance that complies with VTL Article 44-B.

The minimum rideshare insurance coverage for an Uber driver in New York City is:

  • No passenger but logged into TNC digital network — $75,000 bodily injury to one person, $150,000 bodily injury to two or more people, $25,000 for property damage. The policy must also include uninsured motorist and no-fault coverages.
  • Passenger in the vehicle  —  $1.25 million bodily injury coverage to any person and property damage. The policy must also include supplemental uninsured motorist coverage of $1.25 million and no-fault insurance.

According to the Uber website, it maintains commercial automobile insurance on behalf of its drivers. However, it does not guarantee payment of a car accident claim involving one of its drivers.

Who is Liable for an Uber Accident in New York?

Under New York’s personal injury laws, an accident victim may recover compensation from the party or parties who caused their accident. However, as with any other car crash, you must prove that the Uber driver caused the car crash before you can recover compensation for your injuries.

In some cases, another party could be responsible for causing a rideshare accident. For example, another driver may have caused the crash or contributed to the cause of the accident. In that case, the other driver would be liable for your injuries.

Common causes of Uber accidents include:

  • Drunk driving or drug use
  • Speeding and aggressive driving
  • Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Improper lane changes
  • Distracted driving
  • Tailgating and following too closely
  • Drowsy driving

You have the burden of proving negligence after an Uber accident. Your lawyer will investigate the accident, including searching for videos of the collision, obtaining accident reports, and interviewing eyewitnesses. They will identify each party who contributed to the cause of the crash to pursue a claim for damages.

What Damages Can I Receive for an Uber Accident?

Once you prove fault for the cause of the crash, you can demand compensation for your financial losses and injuries.

Economic damages include, but are not limited to:

  • The cost of medical treatment, personal care, and nursing care
  • Reimbursement for lost wages and benefits
  • Reductions in future earning capacity and future loss of income
  • Assistance with household chores
  • Travel expenses to medical appointments
  • Medical supplies and equipment

Careful documentation of financial losses is necessary to receive compensation for these damages.

Non-economic damages include the pain and suffering you experience because of your injuries and accident. They also include permanent impairments and the loss of enjoyment of life.

In some cases, an Uber accident victim could receive punitive damages. However, you would need to prove that the defendant acted with a high degree of moral turpitude or willful, wanton negligence. Punitive damages are only awarded in a small number of cases.

How Long Do I Have to File an Uber Accident Lawsuit?

Car accidents involving a rideshare vehicle have the same statute of limitations as other car accident cases. New York state law provides up to three years to file a lawsuit for a car accident. However, there are a few exceptions to this general rule, so you should always consult a New York City car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Can I Recover Compensation for an Uber Accident if I am Partially to Blame?

You could be entitled to compensation for damages even though you are partially to blame for the cause of an Uber accident. Under New York’s pure comparative negligence law, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. So you could be primarily at fault for the cause of the Uber crash and still receive some money for your claim.

However, you need to be cautious. Insurance companies work to increase the percentage of fault assigned to accident victims to save money. As your percentage of fault increases, the value of your personal injury claim decreases.

What Should I Do After an Uber Accident in New York?

Report the accident to Uber using the app. However, do not make statements or answer questions until you speak with a car accident attorney.

Regardless of the severity of your injuries, see a doctor as quickly as possible after the accident. You need medical records to prove that you were injured and the crash caused your injuries. Delays in medical care could make it more difficult to recover full compensation for damages.

As soon as possible, contact a  lawyer for legal advice. Accident claims involving Uber drivers are complicated.

The cases involve a large rideshare company, commercial insurance provider, private insurance provider, the Uber driver, and other parties. Each of these parties fights to limit their liability for the claim. You need someone to look out for your best interests.