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Who is Liable in an Uber or Lyft Accident?

Posted on 03/22/23

Understanding liability after a rideshare accident can be confusing. However, determining liability is the most crucial aspect of securing compensation through an insurance claim or through a personal injury lawsuit. Here, we want to review the process of determining responsibility for an Uber or Lyft accident in the days and weeks that follow the incident. We strongly encourage you to reach out to a skilled Uber and Lyft accident lawyer in New York who has experience handling these claims and can help you recover the compensation you need.

Conducting an Investigation into the Crash

Various things need to happen almost immediately after an accident with an Uber or Lyft occurs. Regardless of whether or not the victims were passengers in the rideshare, drivers or passengers in another vehicle, or bystanders outside of vehicles, there will need to be an extensive investigation into the incident.

Nearly every accident that occurs in New York must be reported to law enforcement officials. This is the first step in ensuring evidence is gathered properly. Law enforcement officials will come to the scene and conduct a preliminary investigation. However, various other types of evidence could be gathered at the scene of a crash. This could include:

  • Photographs taken by individuals involved
  • Video surveillance from cameras nearby
  • Statements from eyewitnesses to the incident
  • The police report

In the days and weeks that follow the Uber or Lyft accident, there will likely be additional evidence gathered. This could include mobile device data, data directly from the Uber or Lyft app, the driving history of the rideshare driver or other drivers involved, vehicle black box data, and more.

Holding the At-Fault Party Accountable

An investigation must be thorough and fair. Just like any other type of accident on the roadway, there may be various parties responsible for the incident. Yes, an Uber or Lyft driver could be entirely responsible for causing a crash, but there may also be other parties at fault, either completely or partially.

New York is a no-fault vehicle accident state. Individuals will typically turn to their own insurance carrier to recover compensation after a crash, regardless of who caused the incident. However, there are ways to rise above the no-fault thresholds in order to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. This occurs if an individual sustains a serious injury as defined by New York State insurance law or if the victim sustains an economic loss of more than $50,000 in combined medical bills and lost wages.

Your no-fault insurance typically must be exhausted before you are able to file a claim against a rideshare party, but the thresholds are not too difficult to meet, particularly for those who sustain moderate to severe injuries. Both Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that kick in if their drivers are signed into the app to work.

If an Uber or Lyft driver is signed in but does not have a passenger, then both companies provide limited liability coverage. However, if a rideshare driver is on the way to pick up a passenger or already has one, both companies provide substantial liability coverage for all parties involved in the accident.

We encourage you to reach out to a skilled Uber or Lyft accident lawyer who can help you understand whether or not you can file a claim against the Uber or Lyft driver or another party involved.