EP08 S04: Uber Accident In New York? How Much Should You Expect Your Settlement to Be?
Uber Accident Claims, Settlement, Lawyers and Insurance in New York Rideshare Accident Lawsuits with Uber & Lyft
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More and more, we have clients call us and say, “I was involved in a ride-sharing accident with an Uber vehicle or a Lyft vehicle. “What are my rights, what can I do? What can’t I do?” They want a lawyer in New York City, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, throughout New York City and the surrounding suburbs, Long Island, Suffolk County, Nassau County, Westchester, and maybe even a little bit above that. And they want to know what are their rights with respect to Uber and Lyft crashes?
Well, pretty much, with respect to the car accident itself, it works just like any other car accident, whether that vehicle is owned by an individual or that vehicle is owned by an Uber driver, the rules of the road are the same. They have to abide by red lights, stop signs. The rules of the road are the same. Now, where it differs is whether you can sue Uber, because Uber has a $1 million policy and they have layers of insurance beyond that. I remember seeing in one trial lawyer’s listserv that they found out that Uber actually has 20 million in coverage, if you can sue Uber successfully.
So, how do you sue Uber? How do you trigger that money? How do you go after it? Well, the important thing to remember is that the driver must be logged into the app and they must be working for Uber. If the driver is just driving and they don’t have an active call if they’re not headed to pick up a passenger who has summoned them with the app, or they don’t have a passenger in their car, then they’re just driving their own vehicle and Uber or Lyft, the ride-sharing aspect of it is out of the question. And then, you’re going after that vehicle’s policy, and they might have a personal policy with Progressive, Liberty Mutual, whoever, Allstate, Geico, it doesn’t matter, but you can’t really go after Uber unless Uber is involved.
And Uber always tries to disclaim or say that that driver is an independent contractor, “They’re not my employee,” but a lot of courts have held, including New York courts, that they are employees if they are using the app, actively going to pick up a passenger in the course and scope of their employment, in the middle of their employment. Because then, there could be an argument that Uber is really the one directing and controlling their work. And there’s something known as respondeat superior, which gives vicarious liability. So, the employer is vicariously liable for the acts of the employee, the agent, or the worker. If they’re negligent, they bind the owner of the car, they bind the person that they’re working for, the employer, Uber, Lyft, the ride-sharing company.
And they bind them because they’re actively engaged in the course and scope of their employment. So, that’s the most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with Uber and Lyft accidents. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same as a car accident. You have no-fault coverage for the vehicle you’re sitting in, up to 50,000 by statute. That’s known as personal injury protection. It steps into the shoes of health insurance. So, you can get all your medical treatment paid for, up to $50,000.
And then in terms of fault, just like any car crash, it could be the fault of the Uber driver. It could be the fault of the other car involved. It could be a bicyclist involved, a pedestrian, a truck, a transit company, bus, could be anything, right? So, then people ask, “Well, what damages can I recover? Legally, what can I obtain if I get into a crash with a Lyft car, an Uber car?” Any kind of ride-sharing crash. Well, you could definitely recover pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, the decreased quality of life, bodily injury, lost income, lost wages, as well as reduced earning capacity. For example, if you can still work, but you make a lot less money because you just can’t work the same as you did before. Maybe you had a real physical job and you just have to take more breaks and now your earnings went down. You can recover that reduced income capacity.
Also, you can recover from mental anguish, emotional distress, usually together with a physical injury, you could also recover from that emotional trauma, in addition to the physical injury. A loss of consortium, disabilities, property damage for your vehicle, if you have your own vehicle and you were involved in a crash with an Uber. And then, in some cases, of course, you could even get exemplary punitive damages or wrongful death damages if it is a wrongful death case.
So, this is just a brief overview of Uber and Lyft ride-sharing accidents in New York City. Give us a call if you’ve had one and you need a consultation. We’re here to give you a personal, confidential consultation, one-on-one, and answer your questions. And then, you could see if we’re the right fit for you and we can answer your questions and help out. We’re here to help serious injury victims and their families. That’s our goal. And we have a small firm with about eight lawyers, 22, 23 people altogether. And we do the best we can for our clients and we’ve gotten some excellent results. In fact, we’ve gotten some results of 500,000, half a million and more, in these Uber and Lyft car crash cases. Give us a call and we’d be happy to help. Have a great day. Bye-bye.
Every case has its own set of problems and it’s really important to have an expert go through them and to guide you and to be able to recover the absolute maximum compensation, depending on the specific circumstances in your case. If you have any questions we welcome a phone call, an email, a chat, and we’d be very happy to help.