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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Who Is Liable for a Rideshare Accident in New York? | What the Experts Say

The legal implications of New York City car accidents are already very complex, but they can be even more complicated when a lawsuit involves rideshare companies.

Uber and Lyft drivers are often third-party contractors who are typically not covered by traditional car insurance policies, so determining who is liable for an accident can be a minefield.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in New York City typically monitors the insurance policies for rideshare drivers and companies. As a result, all Uber drivers and Lyft operators must carry approximately $100,000 as their personal injury liability insurance coverage.

On the other hand, it's also important for the ridesharing passengers to find out who is at fault for their Uber or Lyft accident injuries.

Finding out who is ultimately at fault for a car accident is tricky. However, a qualified attorney can legally help Uber drivers involved in life-threatening accidents.

Car accidents involving Uber or Lyft drivers often come with unique issues that require the expertise of a lawyer who is well-versed in rideshare laws. Auto accident lawyers can help victims understand their rights to liability and insurance coverage, as well as other legal aspects of ridesharing.

What Happens If an Uber Driver Is in a Car Accident?

While it's not easy to pinpoint who caused the accident in an Uber crash, it can be possible for the victim to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault Uber or Lyft driver, given that the no-fault driver has enough evidence in the Uber accident lawsuit.

The potential claim can cover medical expenses for bodily injury, lost wages, mental and physical trauma, etc.

However, it is important to note that Uber and Lyft already offer personal injury protection policies for their drivers. The policies can cover long-term medical expenses, including temporary disability due to severe injuries.

What's more, the personal protection policies will still cover the Uber or Lyft vehicle operator even if the driver is truly at-fault in the car accident claim. However, the policies will only apply if the rideshare drivers were on the app at the time of the car accident and transporting riders around New York City.

At the moment, Uber provides its rideshare drivers with the following protection policies and coverages:

  • $25,000 for property damage caused by the vehicles involved.

  • $75,000 per person as bodily injury protection.

  • $150,000 per accident as bodily injury protection.

Uber also offers up to $50,000 as uninsured and underinsured motorist personal injury protection (PIP) policies. However, this is only valid if the driver logs in without actively completing a trip.

Who Is Liable in an Uber Accident?

Who Is Liable in an Uber Accident?

Passengers involved in Uber accidents can have a hard time figuring out who is the at-fault driver. As a result, filing for a personal injury lawsuit and seeking compensation from the insurance company for Uber accident injuries can be tricky.

It can be difficult to prove fault in car accident cases in New York City. However, Uber and Lyft passengers can seek reimbursement from any of the following in the aftermath of an Uber accident or Lyft accident:

  • The driver of another vehicle

  • The Uber or Lyft driver

  • An incoming bicyclist

  • A jaywalking pedestrian

  • The transit company

Under New York city's comparative fault regulations, passengers can seek liability insurance coverage from everyone involved in the Uber accident. The coverage is to provide the rider financial reimbursement for any bodily injury, mental trauma, physical pain, and suffering endured.

Also, depending on the case's specific facts, it is possible to recover compensation from the Uber or Lyft driver's personal liability insurance, personal injury protection (PIP), or the rideshare company itself.

Experienced lawyers can help ensure the victim's rights are fully represented, and the at-fault driver is held responsible for any damages or injuries caused. Working with an Uber accident lawyer makes no-fault participants more likely to receive fair and full compensation for their accident claims.

Does Uber or Lyft Offer Insurance Coverage?

Rideshare accidents involving an Uber or Lyft driver are common in New York City. Although these companies help to make transportation easier and faster, they also cause unfortunate accidents.

It's not easy to state if the Uber driver is the one who caused the Uber accident; however, there are ways to figure out who is really at fault.

In this case, riders involved in the situation can seek liability coverage from either the Uber driver, their insurance company, or Uber's insurance provider.

  1. The Uber Driver Was Logged In

Passengers can receive limited insurance coverage from Uber if the Uber accident takes place when the driver is already logged into the application.

However, the rideshare driver must also wait for another ride request at the time of the Uber accident case. Victims can expect the following reimbursements if all of these factors fall into place:

  • Up to $25,000 for property damages caused.

  • Up to $50,000 per person for personal injuries caused.

  • Up to $100,000 per accident involving the rider.

It is essential for riders to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure they are fully informed and protected.

  1. The Uber Driver Wasn't Logged In

Note that Uber itself will deny all liability claims and refuse to pay for the passenger's medical treatment if the driver was not logged into the application at the time of the Uber accident claim.

In this situation, the Uber passenger can still seek compensation from the driver of the rideshare vehicle or their personal insurance company. Riders with auto insurance coverage can also file a claim for the personal injuries and property damages the Uber driver caused.

  1. The Uber Driver Actively Accepted a Ride Request and Had a Rider in the Vehicle

All Uber drivers and passengers are automatically insured by Uber's $1M insurance policy the moment the driver accepts the ride request and the passenger enters the car. This policy stays active until the rider exits the vehicle.

This large sum is bound to cover all deaths, personal injuries, and property damage caused in a New York City accident, regardless of who is at fault.

However, like all rideshare companies, Uber will also try to deny insurance policy claims filed by riders. It's important for accident victims to rely on a personal injury lawyer for legal advice and make sure they wholly recover compensation from the rideshare company.

The Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents in New York City

Car accidents involving ridesharing services are quite common in New York now, which ultimately puts public safety at risk. Here are the most common causes of Uber accidents in New York:

  • Driving while fatigued.

  • Distracted driving on busy roads.

  • Speeding to reach destinations faster.

  • Driving under the influence.

  • Careless driving and making sharp turns.

  • Hard braking to let riders out on busy streets.

  • Defective and malfunctioning car components.

  • Bad weather conditions and still speeding to beat a red light.

Not all of the causes mentioned put the rideshare driver at fault for the accident in New York.

However, passengers involved in such road accidents can still seek reimbursement from the driver's personal insurance company for their injuries and discomfort in the aftermath of a car crash.

Why It's Important to Talk to an Uber Accident Lawyer

Why It's Important to Talk to an Uber Accident Lawyer

Uber accident lawsuits come with their own set of complexities that go beyond a regular car accident claim in New York.

An accident lawyer in New York City can help cut through the often-confusing legal issues that surround an Uber or Lyft accident.

According to the statute of limitations, victims involved in car crashes also have to file a claim for personal injury within three years. Failing to do so will mean the no-fault driver/rider cannot seek reimbursement for accident claims.

However, this is where expert lawyers can help no-fault parties receive maximum compensation for their mental and physical injuries, including financial losses.

From personal injury protection to liability insurance and medical bills, a professional can ensure both drivers and passengers get the compensation they deserve for their injuries, property damage, and any other damages related to the accident on New York streets.

Most New York law offices also provide free consultation sessions, so clients can always take advantage of those before hiring just any lawyer for the case.

Final Words

With the rise of ridesharing services in New York City, Uber, and Lyft drivers are becoming more and more common on the road. Unfortunately, this also increases the chances of accidents involving both operators and passengers.

An accident lawyer can help drivers understand the laws surrounding ridesharing, particularly in big and busy cities. This can help protect automobilists from potential liability, helping them remain safe on the road and legally covered if a car accident involving passengers on a trip does happen. Contact The Law Office of Carl Maltese for everything you need to know about New York City’s E-Scooter Laws.

On the other hand, qualified attorneys can also provide legal assistance to the passengers involved in such unfortunate cases.

Through a personal injury lawsuit, the lawyer can help the rider get a reasonable settlement for the damages sustained, including costs related to medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and more.


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