Rochester Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft operate throughout the State of New York. Residents of Rochester have likely noticed a growing presence of rideshare vehicles out on the streets. While these services can be beneficial, more traffic means more accidents, and there is a real possibility that you could end up involved in a collision with an Uber or Lyft driver, if you haven’t already.
In these circumstances, you may not be able to sue the rideshare company directly, but you may be able to sue the negligent driver and recover through the rideshare company’s supplemental insurance coverage. This option is available provided that you can establish that your injuries meet New York’s definition of “serious,” and that you file in time.
For help evaluating your claim and filing your lawsuit correctly and timely, reach out to the seasoned Rochester Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm. Call us at (718) 841-0083 to get your first case evaluation free of charge.
Suing for an Uber or Lyft Accident in Rochester
If you sustained injury in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, and you believe that the rideshare driver was at fault, you may be wondering how you pursue compensation. Many are understandably confused about whether to go after the driver or the rideshare company itself.
Filing a lawsuit against companies like Uber and Lyft is quite difficult, at least in the context of car accidents. New York law classifies rideshare drivers as independent contractors, not employees of the rideshare company. Therefore, the doctrine of vicarious liability, which allows injury victims to sue employers for their employee’s negligence, does not apply.
Instead, you are better off suing the driver directly if you have grounds for a lawsuit. This does not mean that the rideshare company gets off without issue. Companies like Uber and Lyft provide supplemental insurance coverage for their drivers who cause property damage or bodily injury while on the job. This includes accidents that occur not just while the driver is transporting a fare, but also while they are headed to pick up a fare or actively awaiting an assignment of a fare with their mobile application engaged.
This insurance coverage applies not just for drivers and passengers in other vehicles, but also passengers in the rideshare vehicle itself. Just because you voluntarily got into the vehicle does not mean that you accepted the risks of negligent driving. You can also recover compensation through the supplemental rideshare insurance in a lawsuit if you were injured while riding a bicycle or walking when the accident occurred.
Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Rule in Rochester
Unlike many other states, New York uses a no-fault car insurance system when it comes to accidents. This makes the victim’s own insurance the exclusive source of remedy to their harms. In other words, most Uber and Lyft accident victims other than the actual passengers in the rideshare vehicle must typically go through their own insurer to get the compensation that they need to deal with their injuries. For those who suffer injury while riding in an Uber or Lyft in an accident caused by their own driver, you can recover compensation directly from the rideshare’s supplemental insurance.
This is both good and bad news for victims. You may find it easier to submit an insurance claim with your own provider, as you will not have to establish who was to blame for causing the accident in order to recover compensation. However, the compensation that you can recover is capped by the policy limits that your coverage provides and does not account for the personal consequences of Uber and Lyft accident injuries, such as pain and suffering.
You may not be tied to recovering through your own insurance, however. New York law provides a loophole that allows for legal action against the at-fault party in situations where the victim sustains serious injury. For the most part, any injury that exists indefinitely or permanently will satisfy the seriousness threshold. New York also uses 90/180 rule as test for which temporary injuries are considered “serious.” Essentially, the victim’s condition must substantially hinder their ability to function for at least 90 days of the 180 days immediately following the accident. Rochester courts are more likely to find that certain types of injuries qualify as serious, such as disfigurement, loss of limb or body function, miscarriage, and paralysis. These determinations are generally subjective, so it can be helpful to have a Rochester Uber and Lyft accident attorney evaluate your condition so that you know what options are available to you.
Statute of Limitations for an Uber or Lyft Accident Lawsuit in Rochester
You should not take too long when deciding whether you can or should file a lawsuit against a negligent Uber or Lyft driver in Rochester. This is because the State of New York’s statute of limitations may come into play. The statute of limitations is a time-barring law that prevents plaintiffs from filing their lawsuit long after the accident occurred.
For personal injury suits stemming from accidents with rideshares like Uber and Lyft drivers, New York provides a three-year window within which the plaintiff must file their formal complaint in the appropriate court. The clock on this window starts on the date of the accident itself. Courts take the statute of limitations seriously, so no matter how valid your case is, if you bring it too late, you may be out of luck.
There are different time requirements for filing an insurance claim. If you do not meet the seriousness threshold for filing a lawsuit to recover for your injuries, you will not want to miss the insurance deadline, which will likely come well before the statute of limitations for a lawsuit on the same issue.
Therefore, it is imperative that you contact a seasoned Rochester Uber and Lyft accident attorney as soon as you have received proper and thorough medical evaluation for your injuries. Your attorney will not only be able to advise you which path of recovery to take, but they can also handle the communications with the various insurance providers. This is an intimidating, delicate, and arduous process that victims should not have to worry about while physically recovering from their injuries.
Get Help Today from a Dedicated Rochester Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney
When you call (718) 841-0083 for the experienced Rochester Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm, we can provide you with a first-time case evaluation free of charge.