Our Experienced Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney in Long Island, New York
If you have been injured in an Uber/Lyft accident, you may be slightly confused about how to proceed. This is a common issue among injured victims who find themselves in this situation. One of the most obvious questions is who to sue. Can you sue the rideshare company directly, or do you need to file a lawsuit against the individual driver? When might Uber be responsible for causing crashes, and when might liability fall squarely on the shoulders of the driver?
Injured victims must also deal with a number of issues common with all auto accidents in Long Island, New York These issues might include negotiating for a fair settlement, proving negligence, proving the legitimacy of their injuries, and so on. Auto accidents are complicated enough even before we throw rideshare companies into the mix. The good news is that you can pursue the compensation you need and deserve with the help of a qualified, experienced auto accident attorney in Long Island, New York. Choose the Law Office of Frank A. Cetero for positive results.
What Is a Rideshare Accident?
A rideshare accident is a crash that involves virtually any rideshare company, whether that’s Uber, Lyft, or some other variant. The term “crash” is slightly misleading since a rideshare vehicle can cause injuries without actually impacting anyone else on the road. For example, an Uber driver might cut someone else off on the road, causing a “near miss.” This might cause another vehicle to swerve out of the way, crashing into other vehicles or veering off the road.
The real question is what “counts” as a rideshare accident. This is a slightly vague area of the law, and here’s why: Uber and Lyft insist that they cannot be held liable unless their drivers were “on the clock” at the time of the accident. And as you might expect, there are many loopholes and strategies they can exploit to avoid liability. The obvious question is, “When is a driver considered to be “on the clock?”
The obvious answer is that if a driver is not actively engaged in Uber-related services, they are not “on the clock.” A driver who is actively carrying riders becomes an agent or representative of Uber, meaning that any accidents caused under these circumstances can lead to lawsuits against Uber. Rideshare companies may also be held liable for accidents caused by drivers who are “logged in” to the app and awaiting ride requests. Furthermore, the company may be held liable for accidents caused by drivers who are on their way to pick up waiting riders.
With all that said, this general situation is still a gray area in New York’s legal system. It can be difficult to determine whether drivers were truly on the clock in some situations. For example, what happens if a driver pulls into a drive-thru to grab a quick meal while they are responding to a ride request? What happens if they hit a pedestrian while exiting the drive-thru? Are they still considered to be “on the job,” or are they now engaged in a personal errand? This is just one example of when things can get complicated.
What is the Difference Between Suing a Rideshare Company and an Individual Driver?
Why does this distinction even matter? What is the difference between suing an individual driver and suing a rideshare company? Does the end result even change? Again, the answer is complicated. It really depends on the extent of your injuries. If you have suffered a somewhat minor injury like whiplash or shallow lacerations, you can simply file a claim through state-mandated PIP insurance. The no-fault system is usually more than enough to cover the cost of these minor-to-moderate injuries – including both medical expenses and missed wages.
What happens if you suffer a serious, life-altering injury, such as a spinal cord injury, disfigurement, brain damage, or amputation? In this case, it might be more effective to sue Uber directly. Suing the individual driver may not provide the necessary compensation, while rideshare companies can draw upon a near-limitless fortune to pay settlements. You should know that people have received six and seven-figure settlements from Uber and Lyft in the past.
What if I Was the Uber Driver?
If you were injured in a crash while working for Uber or Lyft, the situation is a little different. In this situation, you have a few options. One option is to sue the at-fault driver, just as you would in a normal car crash. However, the issue here is that you were driving for commercial purposes and not for leisure or personal reasons. Under New York law, drivers are required to get special (and unfortunately more expensive) insurance coverage if they are engaged in commercial activities. Many Uber and Lyft drivers are totally unaware of this fact, and they drive only with their normal personal car insurance.
The good news is that your rideshare company should provide you with additional insurance coverage. The details and benefits of this insurance coverage depend on a number of factors, including whether you had passengers in your vehicle, whether you were on the way to pick up riders, whether you were logged in to the app, and so on.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney in Long Island, New York?
If you have been searching for a lawyer on Long Island who can help with your Uber/Lyft accident, look no further than the Law Office of Frank A. Cetero. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims on Long Island, including those who were involved in rideshare accidents. We are well aware of how complicated these situations can seem at first. With our assistance, you can proceed in a confident, efficient manner. Book a consultation with our Long Island personal injury lawyer, and you can let us handle these complexities while focusing on your healing process instead. Reach out today to get started with an effective action plan.