Can I sue the rideshare company after an auto accident?

| Jul 26, 2019 | Personal Injury |

You needed to get across town quickly for a meeting or event, so you opted for an Uber or Lyft ride instead of traveling on foot. The driver of your rideshare caused a crash, and now you have serious injuries that keep you from working and medical bills you cannot afford.

This is an increasingly common scenario for New York City residents. If this happens to you, know the facts about seeking financial compensation from the rideshare company.

Determining responsibility

 Because Uber and Lyft drivers have independent contractor status, the rideshare company does not have liability for the actions of an individual driver. You must file a claim with his or her insurance company to cover your medical bills, lost wages and other costs related to the injury. If another driver caused the crash with your rideshare car, that driver’s insurance policy must cover the claim.

However, Uber and Lyft hold supplemental insurance policies that will pay a claim the driver’s insurance policy rejects. This is a common occurrence because many rideshare drivers do not have commercial auto insurance that will cover personal injury to a paying passenger. The rideshare company policy should also cover costs beyond the limits of the driver’s personal policy.

Taking action

 After experiencing an auto accident as a rideshare passenger, seek help on the scene for immediate medical needs. Alert law enforcement so that an officer can create a police report to document the events of the crash. If you are able to do so, take photographs of the crash scene from several angles and gather the names and contact information of bystanders who witnessed the accident.

Although you would not sue Uber or Lyft after an auto accident, you may have a claim against their insurance companies. For example, the rideshare company’s insurer may reject your claim erroneously or offer a settlement that does not cover the cost of your injury.