Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft are extremely popular now. With these apps, those who want to travel at low cost may do so with a minimum of hassle on their phones. However, rideshare drivers may make mistakes while driving and rideshare accidents can cause devastating and even fatal injuries. Specific rules may apply to your recovery of damages after a rideshare accident in upstate New York. There may be multiple insurers implicated in your suit. You should call the seasoned Syracuse car accident attorneys of DeFrancisco and Falgiatano.New York Law for Rideshare Accidents
Vehicle and Traffic Law (“VTL”) Article 44-B is called “Transportation Network Company Services.” It amends insurance and other laws to cover rideshare services in case of an accident and other circumstances. Under the law transportation network company is a person or entity that operates in the state using a digital network to link drivers and passengers for prearranged trips not starting in New York City.
Accidents may be caused by a negligent rideshare driver who speeds, weaves, drives under the influence, tailgates or fails to obey traffic signs and signals. However, every case is different, and injuries could also be the result of another driver’s negligence, property owners who failed to repair roads, or vehicle manufacturers.
When we are retained, we will investigate the contributing causes of an accident. If the situation is complicated, we may need to retain an accident reconstruction expert. Additionally, we will need to figure out the rideshare driver’s status when the accident occurred, so that we can determine what coverage is available. We may need to conduct discovery, or formal requests for information, in order to determine what a rideshare driver was doing prior to a car accident.Liability
If you suffer serious injuries while riding in an Uber or Lyft, or you were a passenger in a car struck by a rideshare driver, you may need to sue an at-fault driver. In order to hold a defendant responsible for damages, you will need to establish negligence in most cases. This means you'll need to show: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of reasonable care, (2) the defendant breached the duty to use reasonable care, (3) the breach caused serious injuries, (4) you were injured as a result.
In some cases, rideshare drivers are responsible for car accidents and their insurance should cover the damages arising out of an accident. However, there are also situations in which another driver’s negligence causes a rideshare accident. If you were partially at fault for the accident, your damages may be reduced by an amount proportionate to your fault under the rule of comparative negligence.
After any car accident in New York, you will need to turn to your own personal injury protection (PIP) benefits first. These are no-fault benefits that cover a portion of medical expenses and lost wages. This type of coverage applies any time a policyholder is involved in a rideshare accident, even if they are a passenger or pedestrian. PIP benefits may be the primary or secondary payer with regard to your medical expenses.Driver's Status at the Time of the Accident
Under VTL section 1693, rideshare companies in their drivers must carry insurance policies to cover any accidents that occur while a driver is transporting a passenger on behalf of the rideshare company.
When driver is logged into the app and waiting for ride requests but not involved in a prearranged trip, the rideshare company should have insurance coverage with a minimum of $75,000 for bodily injury or death to one person and $150,000 for bodily injury or death to two. However, the rideshare company should secure at least $1,250,000 in coverage for periods when its driver is engaged in a prearranged trip. When the driver’s own insurance has lapsed or doesn’t provide proper coverage, the rideshare company’s group policy is supposed to provide coverage starting with the first dollar of the claim.
However, if an at-fault driver isn't logged into the app and isn't going to pick up a passenger, only his personal insurance may cover his car accident.Compensatory Damages
If we can establish liability for a rideshare accidents, we may be able to obtain compensatory damages. These damages are intended to put you back in position you would have been in had you not been involved in rideshare accident. They can include medical expenses, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, replacement services, and lost wages.Our Syracuse Trial Lawyers May Be Able To Represent You After a Rideshare Accident
If you were injured in a rideshare accident in Upstate New York, you should discuss what happened to you with seasoned Syracuse car accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent rideshare accident victims in Ithaca, Wampsville, Lowville, Oneida, Rochester, Cooperstown, Binghamton, Auburn, Watertown, Utica, Herkimer, Oswego, Lyons, Canandaigua, and Elmira. Call us at 315-479-9000 or take a moment to fill out our online form.