During the past decade, a new type of transportation has become available as ridesharing companies now dot the landscape. While some people find this mode of transportation a wonderful convenience, others feel that services like Uber and Lyft are crowding our roadways and putting passengers in the hands of less experienced drivers. Whichever position you take, ridesharing vehicles appear to be on our roads for the foreseeable future since they fill a need for easily accessible rides (sometimes at a lower cost than taxis) and generally offer cleaner cars, more pleasant service, and the ease of allowing mobile payments. Nonetheless, as one might expect, rideshare car vehicles add to traffic congestion and, therefore, unfortunately, contribute to an increased number of car accidents.
If you have had the misfortune to be injured in a ridesharing accident in New York, whether as a passenger, pedestrian, or the driver of another vehicle, you may already be aware that navigating insurance claims and legal matters in this context has added layers of complexity. It is difficult enough to navigate the judicial system when making an ordinary car accident personal injury claim; when ridesharing is part of the scene, you definitely need an experienced rideshare accident attorney to handle your case. If you are in New York, the well-respected personal injury attorneys at Scaffidi & Associates are here to help. We have an excellent track record of successful outcomes in personal injury cases involving all types of motor vehicle accidents.
Insurance Matters Pertaining to ridesharing Vehicles
New York City law requires all taxis (including all ridesharing vehicles) to have $100,000 in personal injury insurance. Even though serious injuries often result in costs considerably higher than this minimum coverage, the taxi industry’s powerful lobby in Albany has managed to keep this mandatory insurance coverage very low. This is one of the reasons it’s essential that you engage the services of one of Scaffidi & Associates’ experienced attorneys to fight aggressively so that you win the damages you require to reimburse you for:
- Medical and rehabilitative costs
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Any other costs related to your injuries
Advantages Scaffidi & Associates Offers
Our law team is fully informed about the details surrounding ridesharing insurance matters. Even though individual drivers typically have limited coverage, the ridesharing companies themselves, like Uber and Lyft, are required by law to carry $1 million liability policies. This definitely gives us more room to maneuver, but there is a catch. Though this large insurance resource can be tapped if you are injured in an accident involving a ridesharing driver who is engaged in service for the company, if that individual is using her or his car for personal travel, that back-up insurance will not be available to you in a lawsuit. Personally, the rideshare driver is likely to have only the minimum liability coverage of $25,000.
At Scaffidi & Associates, our attorneys will fight tooth and nail with the rideshare company to win you the damages you deserve for impairment, disfigurement, pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and the like.
Understanding the Rideshare Driver
It is worth knowing the differences between rideshare drivers and taxicab drivers. Unlike taxicab drivers, rideshare drivers are independent contractors, and use their own vehicles. Most rideshare drivers do not have commercial licenses and are not professionally trained. Because rideshare drivers design their own schedules and need not adhere to the pressure of an employer’s deadlines, they frequently work long hours to earn as much money are possible and so may become dangerously fatigued. Also, because rideshare drivers are constanting using their smartphones and GPS systems, they may be more distracted than cab drivers who are typically navigating roads they already know well.
When the Rideshare Company Is Responsible for the Rideshare Driver
Legally, both rideshare companies and their drivers have a duty to ensure the safety of passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. If they fail in that duty, they are legally liable for the consequences. If the driver is engaged in working for the company in one of the following situations, both the company and the driver are responsible for damages:
- Driver is logged into the app and waiting to be connected to a rider
- Driver has accepted a trip and is en route to pick up the passenger
- Driver is already taking the passenger to his or her destination
To clarify, the rideshare company is considered to share in any responsibility for the accident if any of the above are true, that is if the driver was actually working for the rideshare company at the time the accident occurred.
Contact Our NYC Ridesharing Accident Attorney
You and your loved ones have been through enough. We cannot undo the damage done to you and your family by your serious injury and/or permanent disability, but we can certainly alleviate your financial woes. Contact the talented and compassionate ridesharing accident attorneys at Scaffidi & Associates so that we can take over all legal and logistical matters, and allow you and your loved ones to relax and recover. We can easily be reached by phone or through one of the contact forms on our website.