Rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, have become increasingly popular over the last several years. But with increased rideshare use, come rideshare accidents and when it comes to rideshare accidents, determining who is liable can become a confusing situation.
How Rideshare Works?
Unlike traditional taxicabs, you need to download an app and arrange for pickup when using a ridesharing service. Rideshare drivers are generally not licensed chauffeurs and use their own vehicles to transport passengers. Drivers are independent contractors and not employees of the companies for which they drive. Drivers make their own hours and decide when they want to drive. Payment for rides is made through the app.
Rideshare in New York State
In spring of last year, the New York legislature passed a law making rideshares legal in the entire state. Rideshare companies had already been operating in New York City under the existing laws governing taxis but had been banned on Long Island and in upstate New York due to concerns over safety and insurance issues.
Under the new law, rideshare companies, referred to as Transportation Network Companies (TNC) in the law, are now required to have $1.25 million in liability and supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This insurance would apply during the times that a rideshare driver is either driving to pick up a passenger or dropping a passenger off at a destination. Standard no-fault coverage applies to these group policies. Rideshare drivers also have insurance with a limit of $75,000 in death or bodily injury liability ($150,000 per accident), and $25,000 in property damage. This insurance would protect drivers while they are logged into the rideshare app and waiting to connect with a passenger.
These new insurance requirements are aimed at protecting everyone involved in rideshare accidents. This includes injured drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and the drivers and passengers of other vehicles.
Rideshare in New York City
In the five boroughs, different insurance rules apply to rideshare services. Rideshare drivers operating in New York City are governed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). Drivers are required to have a TLC issued license, must be associated with a TLC-licensed base, and must comply with the TLC insurance requirements. Drivers who pick up passengers outside of the city and drop them off inside the city limits are not subject to the New York City rules regarding rideshare companies.
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, consult with an attorney as soon as possible to learn about your options. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us, and we will evaluate your case for free. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits available. Se habla espaňol.