Does It Matter if the Uber Driver Had a Passenger at the Time of the Accident?

Whether or not an Uber driver has a passenger in their car at the time of an accident has a significant impact on recovering compensation after the crash. Uber provides insurance coverage to their drivers, but only under certain circumstances. Their most robust coverage is reserved for accidents that occur with passengers inside the rideshare vehicle.

You have the right to pursue legal action after an Uber accident. This right exists whether you were a passenger or if you were struck by an Uber driver. An NYC Uber accident lawyer can advise you on whether you have the right to bring a lawsuit. They can also assist you in pursuing a claim against Uber’s insurance policy. To learn more about your options, contact us at Douglas & London right away.

New York’s “no-fault” insurance laws

New York differs from many other states in that it is a “no-fault” state. This means that in many cases, you will have to exhaust your own insurance coverage first before you can pursue compensation from a rideshare operator. Dedicated New York City car accident lawyers can review your case and advise you if you are entitled to pursue legal action.

The purpose of New York’s no-fault insurance laws is to speed up the process of compensation after a crash. Drivers in New York are required to seek benefits under their own insurance policy. These benefits are paid regardless of fault, meaning you could recover compensation even if you caused the crash.

The downside is that these rules also prevent drivers from pursuing insurance claims or legal action against the at-fault party. However, if you suffer “serious bodily injuries” in the crash, you can file suit outside of the no-fault insurance system. Serious injuries include anything that could incapacitate or permanently affect your life.

What constitutes a serious injury?

One of the methods for identifying a serious injury is the 90/180 day rule. An accident victim could pursue legal action outside of the no-fault insurance system if their injuries prevent them from completing their usual and customary daily activities for at least 90 of the 180 days following the crash. It is not uncommon for injured individuals to meet this threshold after an accident. This means you might have the right to pursue a claim against the rideshare company’s insurance policy.

Uber liability coverage levels

If you have the right to pursue a claim against Uber’s liability policy, the amount of maximum coverage available to you will depend on whether or not the driver had a passenger. Uber drivers who are not carrying a passenger and not using the mobile app– are not covered by Uber.

On the other hand, Uber drivers who are actively seeking riders but do not have one in their vehicle at the time of the accident have coverage from Uber, but for lower amounts. The highest policy limits are reserved for cases where the rideshare driver had a passenger at the time of the crash. In total, Uber drivers carrying a passenger in New York have liability coverage capped at $1.25 million. This limit applies to bodily injury as well as property damage claims.

Contact us for a free consultation

The fact that Uber insurance policies vary in their coverage amounts makes the guidance of a personal injury lawyer critical to your recovery. At Douglas and London, we have built our career on helping New York injury victims hold negligent rideshare drivers and their insurance companies accountable. To learn how we can help with your claim, call Douglas & London right away to schedule a free consultation.