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Were You in an Accident as a Lyft or Uber Passenger?

Despite New York City’s cap on ridesharing licenses and required minimum wages for workers, our streets are still home to many cars operated by Uber, Lyft, Via, and Juno drivers—around 80,000 of them, in fact. Whether you’re a fellow driver, frequent rider, or pedestrian, with so many of them on the road, you have a chance of being in a rideshare accident. Because these drivers are working at the time of a collision, the process for dealing with insurance will be a bit different and potentially much more complex. Make sure you know the essentials of rideshare insurance in New York City if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident.

Were you injured in a rideshare accident in New York City? The Pryor Law Firm can help you seek compensation whether you were the driver, a pedestrian, or a passenger in the accident. Free consultations available!

Rideshare Insurance Is Separate from Auto Insurance

Most typical auto insurance policies don’t cover commercial activities, meaning drivers must either operate under an add-on umbrella policy or work for companies that offer insurance to their drivers. Even when not transporting passengers, drivers who are either heading to a rideshare pickup or waiting for a new request on their rideshare app are involved in commercial activity according to insurers. This designation means any accident that happens while the driver has a rideshare app open will not be run through their personal auto insurance plan.

Rideshare drivers, like all commercial drivers, have different insurance limits whenever they are on the clock (or the app). When looking for jobs, they must carry 75/150/25 insurance:

  • $75,000 in bodily injury/death for one person
  • $150,000 in bodily injury/death for two people
  • $25,000 for injury or destruction of property
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Personal injury protection (no-fault) insurance

When driving to pick up or transporting passengers, the limits increase vastly:

  • $1,250,000 for bodily injury/death or any person or destruction of property
  • $1,250,000 in supplemental uninsured or underinsured coverage
  • Personal injury protection (no-fault) insurance

If you are a rider or other road user involved in a rideshare accident, the driver should carry plenty of insurance to cover any injuries or other property damage. Notably, neither Uber nor Lyft’s coverage meets New York limits, so drivers must have their own insurance to cover any damages that exceed companies’ maximums. If you need help figuring out whose insurance to contact after a wreck, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced Uber accident lawyer.

What Kind of Rideshare Accident Were You In?

No matter your involvement, if a rideshare driver was at fault for your accident, you shouldn’t have to pay for damages on your own. Here’s what to know depending on the circumstances of your accident.

  • I Was a Passenger in a Rideshare Accident

    • Many rideshare passengers use Uber, Lyft, Via, or Juno because they’re not car owners and therefore have no car insurance. If this is you, don’t worry—your driver’s insurance or the rideshare company’s insurance will cover you. New York’s personal injury protection (no-fault) insurance, held by each driver, covers all passengers in the car at the time of an accident. No matter who caused the collision, you can file a claim for medical expenses and receive a payout without having to go through the process of proving liability. However, you should be sure to get a driver’s contact information and insurance details before parting ways. We also recommend taking a screenshot of your ride order in the app in case it’s needed as evidence down the line.
  • I Was in a Rideshare Accident with Another Driver

    • If a rideshare driver’s negligence led to your accident, make sure you get both their contact information and details about their rideshare activities. Whether they were en route or carrying passengers can make a big difference in how much coverage is available. As with any accident in New York, you can receive reimbursement for medical expenses from your personal injury protection (no-fault) insurance and they will recover from the at-fault party’s insurance down the line. However, for property liability claims, you will need to go directly through either the driver’s umbrella insurance or the rideshare company’s insurance.
  • I Was in an Accident While Also Driving for a Rideshare App

    • If the other party was at-fault, your commercial activity during an accident doesn’t have bearing on insurance coverage. As with any other driver who’s not at fault in a car accident, you will file for medical reimbursement through your own personal injury protection (no-fault) insurance and for property damage through the other driver’s coverage. Be sure to document the rideshare company they were driving for and details of their current booking (if any); if their provider offers coverage, you’ll want to file there first.
  • I Was a Pedestrian in a Rideshare Accident

    • Pedestrian accidents are likely to cause serious injuries and, unfortunately, are all too common in New York’s crowded streets. The good news for pedestrians: Their injuries will be covered by the driver’s personal injury protection (no-fault) insurance. Because neither Uber nor Lyft offers personal injury protection coverage, this claim will be made directly with the driver’s insurance. If, however, you choose to sue for damages, your claim would be filed against their rideshare service. You’ll want to make sure you have their information and confirmation of which app they were using at the time of the accident.

Will Ridesharing Make a Difference in Accident Rates?

Uber promised to cut down on drunk and drowsy drivers by offering another option, but studies suggest this promise hasn’t borne out over time. In fact, rideshare services have increased road traffic by 5.7 million miles among the nine largest metro areas in the U.S. A recent study from the University of Chicago suggests traffic accidents (including bikers and pedestrians) have actually increased in cities with rideshare services.

Uber, Lyft, and their counterparts have changed the rhythm of our streets, and if a hasty rideshare driver causes a bad accident, you shouldn’t have to worry. Understanding which party to file with can be confusing, especially if you have medical bills, car repairs, or missed work to deal with. Let The Pryor Law Firm help you navigate insurance after a rideshare accident.

If you can’t make it to one of our offices, we’ll come to you! Reach out online or call (855) 719-0590 to schedule a free consultation.

Read More on Our Blog!

Our Car Accident Blog has answers to your rideshare accident questions. To learn more, check out our latest blog posts!

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