Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services have increased in popularity across New York State. They appeal primarily to commuters who either dislike or do not have access to public transit but find regular cab travel cost prohibitive. A couple of taps on their Uber smartphone app and they’re off.

When you travel in a motor vehicle, there is always the risk of an accident taking place, and rideshare services are no exception. Therefore, Uber insures their drivers for up to $1 million while passengers are being transported. On the surface, it sounds like a lot, but if your injuries are catastrophic, it may not come close to being enough to cover your medical bills and future financial needs.

Who is responsible?

Theoretically, all passengers are supposed to be covered by this $1 million liability coverage regardless of who caused the accident. Uber, however, often insists that their drivers are contractors, not employees, so they are not liable for accidents that occur if the driver was drunk, distracted, or otherwise driving in a reckless manner. It takes the position that the driver’s auto insurance is responsible for covering all injuries suffered due to an accident, and will likely resist all efforts to seek compensation from the company itself.  In that case, you may opt to sue the driver, but the amount of recoverable damages can be limited, and most personal auto insurance policies do not cover drivers engaged in a commercial business.

If you are a third party struck by an Uber driver, your options will depend on whether or not the driver was transporting a passenger at the time of the accident. If the driver happened to be between fares or was using the vehicle for personal reasons, you will have to file the claim with either your insurance company or that of the driver.

Communication barriers

Another complication involved in Uber-related accidents is that the company itself can be difficult to contact after an accident. There is no customer service number to call: the public can only contact Uber via email, chat, social media, or the help feature on the app. It’s an added source of frustration at an already difficult time.

If you are injured while traveling in an Uber vehicle or during a collision with one, contact a New York personal injury attorney immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost income, and more, and an attorney with experience in confronting transportation companies in court can help you get what you need to move forward.

Your attorney will investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine who is at fault, assist you in collecting medical evidence of your injuries, and help you sue the appropriate party for damages, so you have the necessary resources to put the incident behind you. Jayson Lutzky has more than 33 years of experience practicing law in New York State. If you have been injured in a rideshare car accident, then contact Mr. Lutzky’s office for legal advice. Mr. Lutzky offers free in-person consultations and can review your case. Call 718-514-6619 to schedule a consultation or visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more about Jayson Lutzky, P.C.