Manhattan Rideshare Accident Lawyers Doing Whatever It Takes to Get You the Results You Need
When you’re looking for a rideshare accident attorney, it’s important to find someone who understands the risks involved when you get into an Uber or Lyft car. Unfortunately, not all drivers are responsible and accidents happen. If you’ve been in an accident with another party while riding in one of these cars, it’s time to hold them accountable for their mistakes.
At our law firm, we help injury victims who have been hurt by negligent Uber and Lyft drivers across Manhattan recover maximum compensation for their injuries. Our lawyers have years of experience successfully representing clients in similar cases so they understand what steps to take to build your case against a rideshare driver. A motor vehicle accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver can be incredibly complex. From questions about insurance coverage from rideshare companies and rideshare drivers to understanding liability and fault, a car accident involving a rideshare vehicle can be difficult to navigate on your own.
Regardless of the circumstances, we’ll work with you to get a full understanding of what happened and then advise you on how to proceed. While no amount of money will ever make up for the pain and suffering you’ve had to go through, it’s often possible to get your medical expenses paid back by taking legal action against the negligent party. We can help you do that. For legal representation and advice on how to best move forward with your case, contact Mark E. Seitelman Law Offices, P.C. today at 212-962-2649.
How Do Most Uber and Lyft Accidents Happen?
Driver negligence is the number one cause of rideshare accidents, which makes sense given how many people drive for Uber and Lyft. Driver fatigue is the leading cause of accidents in general, along with distracted driving. Some Uber and Lyft drivers have built a strong reputation over time for being reliable on the road. However, even one poor decision on the road can lead to serious injuries. A rideshare accident attorney from our law firm can help you recover damages if the driver who caused the car accident was negligent.
When you’ve been injured as a result of an Uber or Lyft accident, it’s important that you take action immediately to protect your rights and interests. The first step is contacting our Manhattan rideshare accident lawyers. We’ll help you get started with filing a legal claim against the negligent party and put together a case strategy designed to make them accountable for their actions. If necessary, we can file suit and represent your best interests as your personal injury claim proceeds through the court system.
Whether it’s lack of training, fatigue, or a distracted driver who gets behind the wheel, Uber and Lyft accidents can cause serious damage. If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s important to contact our personal injury law firm as soon as possible so we can begin building your case right away. The longer you wait, the harder it might be to recover the best settlement for you and your family members who may have also been involved in the accident.
What Should I Do to Get the Most Compensation Possible?
The first step is by hiring Mark E. Seitelman Law Offices, P.C., which is known across Manhattan for its experienced legal representation of personal injury cases like yours. We have a team of lawyers and legal assistants who understand what it takes to convince a jury that someone was negligent on the road and should be held responsible for their actions.
Your next step is contacting us so we can get started building your case against the negligent driver from Uber or Lyft. We’ll start by getting all of the facts surrounding the accident together so we can prove exactly how serious your injuries were as a result of someone else’s negligence. In many cases, it’s possible to get compensation for things like medical expenses, lost income, loss of future earning potential, pain and suffering damages, and other types of financial awards that may come into play in your specific situation.
If you’re ready to take action after an Uber or Lyft accident, contact our Manhattan personal injury law firm today. We’ll schedule a free initial consultation so we can sit down and get started on an evaluation of your case.
What Can an Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
An Uber and Lyft accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve for all of your losses after a car accident. We understand laws pertaining to ridesharing service accidents, fatal car accidents, liability insurance, and the ridesharing driver’s personal insurance policy. We sift through all of the evidence available to us to build you the strongest case possible. We can handle talks with the insurance company representing the driver or the rideshare company to give you the best possible results for your case. Contact us today to get started on your case for free. We will conduct a full review of your situation and explain how much our legal services will cost before you take any action.
When Should I Contact a Manhattan Rideshare Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, time is of the essence for taking legal action. The faster you hire a ridesharing accident attorney at our firm, the more likely your chances are of getting compensation to pay your medical bills and other financial needs. Make sure to keep thorough records of all conversations involving the process so you have documented evidence available if necessary.
Even if it’s been several days since the car accident occurred, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our accomplished Manhattan personal injury lawyers who will review all details surrounding your case. We’ll look into what happened that led to your injuries, figure out how much compensation you’re entitled to receive, and start building a case designed to make both the negligent driver and the rideshare company responsible for your losses.
Reach out to Mark E. Seitelman Law Offices, P.C. at 212-962-2649 to learn more about your legal options going forward.
Other Factions & Questions
I. Uber’s Claim of Non-Liability
Uber claims that it has no liability for accidents. Uber’s position has been that it merely is a booking agent for the ride and that the car’s owner and driver has sole responsibility for an accident. The car that picks you up is owned by the driver. The driver is not an Uber employee. He is an independent contractor, and Uber’s “take” is part of the fare, generally 30%. Uber does not withhold payroll taxes for the drivers. The drivers are paid on a “gross” basis by Uber with no tax deductions.
As a result, Uber asserts that it has no liability for a motor vehicle accident of one of its drivers. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, the owner and operator of a vehicle are jointly and severally liable for an accident. There is no provision for holding another party liable unless the owner or operator is an employee in the course of the employee’s business. E.g., if I were to have my employee use his personal vehicle for a business trip for my office, then the employee could be deemed to acting on behalf of the employer.
The crucial element is whether the driver is an employee of Uber or an independent contractor. Uber’s steadfast position is that the drivers are not employees. The independent contractor defense has been used by local, small car service companies which have a similar business model. The neighborhood car service would merely book the trips with the drivers who owned their own cars. The customer books a ride by phone or by phone app.
The fare is shared between the driver and the car service base. The law protected the small mom and pop car services in the neighborhoods. Typically, the neighborhood car service would have little to no assets. It operated out of a rented storefront with beat-up furniture and a bunch of phone lines and a computer. However, in comparison, Uber is a multibillion corporation.
The ultimate test is whether Uber exercises enough control over the drivers’ workday in setting hours, work rules, and working conditions. This defense will be tested in the courts. There is an argument that the driver is an employee of Uber in that Uber exercises a degree of control and direction over the employee. E.g., Uber and the driver share the fare. Also, each driver is furthering the Uber brand which is for the benefit of Uber.
The drivers use Uber logos and insignias in their cars. Furthermore, Uber controls the drivers by prescribing the type of car, the standard of cleanliness, and the code of conduct toward passengers. The courts may want to take a second look at the independent contractor defense which protects the mom and pop car services.
In this same vein, Uber drivers have sought to be deemed employees in various class action litigations. They seek the protections of employment, such as workers’ compensation, social security contributions by Uber, and overtime pay. If the courts were to rule that Uber is an employer, then hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll taxes could have to be collected and remitted by Uber. Uber would have to match the Social Security payments made by its drivers, and this would result a tax liability to Uber in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a looming issue hanging-over Uber.
II. Apps and Accidents
Uber has come under fire from safety groups for its business model of using apps. Often, a driver will start looking at his cell phone toward the end of a job in order to get the “jump” on the next job. There are often more drivers available than there are jobs. Therefore, a driver may be distracted while driving in the race to get the next job.
In a San Francisco case involving the death of a child, there was a claim that the Uber driver was distracted by the phone app when he struck the girl in the crosswalk. In this case Uber agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount. As indicated above, it is Uber’s firm position that it is not responsible for the drivers’ accidents. If you see a driver fiddling with his cell phone while driving, tell him to cease until your ride is finished.
III. Uber’s Insurance
Q: Do Uber cars carry more insurance than required for livery cars?
A: It is unclear.
In order to work in New York City, Uber drivers must register their vehicles as livery vehicles with the Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”). Livery vehicles include yellow medallion cabs, green medallion cabs, black cars, and car services. As part of the licensing process the owner-operator must buy insurance approved by the TLC. There are only a few insurers who insure livery vehicles, such as American Transit Insurance Company and Hereford Insurance Company.
It falls upon the driver-owner to purchase his own insurance. Livery vehicles and black cars must carry $100/$300 liability insurance and $200 in No Fault. That means that the maximum coverage available for one injured person is $100,000, and the maximum pool available for three or more persons is $300,000. The No Fault medical and lost income coverage to an injured person is $200,000.
There is a question as to whether Uber provides coverage in addition to these amounts. Uber publicized that it has $1,000,000 in coverage for its drivers. However, there are many exceptions to coverage so that such coverage appears illusory. E.g., the $1,000,000 is not available if the Uber driver has not yet picked-up a fare. The coverage does not apply when the driver is “off the app”.
In view of the lack of clarity as to the insurance coverage, I strongly recommend that you review your own auto insurance coverage. You should carry the maximum insurance that you can afford for No Fault and Supplementary Uninsurance and Underinsurance Motorist coverage. These coverages will provide to you added protection in the event where there is lower insurance carried by the vehicles involved in the accident. See our related story in “From Our Case Files” on the back cover.