Lyft & Uber Accident Lawyer in Buffalo
More and more people are turning to rideshare services like Uber and Lyft to get around their hometowns or travel when on vacation or visiting Buffalo for business. This new industry of privately owned vehicle drivers providing a ride around Western New York may offer more affordable pricing than some of its competitors, but there are legalities to consider before hopping in a stranger’s car.
The most serious concern is whether Lyft and Uber riders have injury protection if involved in an accident while going to their destination.
Uber Rides Versus Hailing Taxis
While Lyft & Uber offer similar services like those of taxi cabs, recent accidents and altercations involving their drivers has caused them to agree to cooperate with lawmakers in most major cities to regulate their hiring process.
For example, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in New York City currently has an application process that Lyft and Uber drivers must undergo to have the ability to drive for these rideshare companies, but not delivery apps like Uber Eats. There are a limited number of applications and the TLC may ban drivers for one to three years from the rideshare program based on their applications under these conditions:
- Previous traffic violations
- Revocation of previous TLC licensing
- Omitting information on the application
- Pending criminal charges
- History of illegal drug use
- Prior incidents of intoxicated driving
- Previously denied TLC applications
This new partnership with TLC is one of Uber’s latest efforts to bolster their safety guidelines and enforcement for drivers within New York State. The commission also requires rideshare drivers to undergo a simple medical exam, take a 24 hour For Hire Vehicle course, take a defensive driving course, upgrade their license to an E level CDL, submit to fingerprinting and take a drug test.
According to a Buffalo Uber accident lawyer, the policies are relatively the same in Western New York.
Uber Accident Policies in New York
One of the biggest questions drivers and passengers alike often wonder about involves how Uber protects them if involved in an accident. After one of its drivers had a fatal car accident in 2014, Uber astonished the public by refusing liability for the wreck. Their legal team argued to the court that they were not responsible since the driver was an independent contractor.
Since then, the company has adopted guidelines set forth by policymakers which demand commercial insurance policies for every vehicle operating as a Lyft or Uber for-hire vehicle. The new regulations stipulate that Lyft and Uber must provide certain protections for its drivers and passengers, like:
- Commercial insurance on all vehicles operating under its name.
- Coverage of accidents with these policies on rides that originate in New York State.
It’s important to note that New York recognizes Lyft and Uber drivers as licensees of the company and not actual employees. A Buffalo Lyft accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says this can sometimes make it difficult when determining who is liable for an accident. Currently, most rideshare companies offer a one million dollar insurance policy to protect their drivers and their riders. It comes in three parts and only provides certain levels of coverage depending on the driver’s activities at the time of the wreck.
Not available to give a ride. Drivers who are not available to pick up passengers will need to rely on their own vehicle coverage and are subject to New York’s state laws.
Available to pick up a rider, but not on a trip. If waiting for the next trip to come through the app when a crash occurs, Uber’s insurance will only cover damages if the driver’s policy is not enough.
On a trip with passengers in the car. Under this circumstance, Uber’s one million dollar insurance will cover both driver and passengers, even if the driver didn’t have insurance or not enough coverage.
Buffalo Uber Accident Attorneys
If you’re the victim of an Uber-related car accident, choosing a knowledgeable law firm regarding rideshare laws will benefit you greatly during this challenging time. With the ever-evolving nature of these new forms of transportation, it’s critical that you hire a lawyer that stays up-to-date on the latest regulations for companies offering for-hire services like Uber.
Cellino & Barnes put their more than 60 years of experience to work for your case so that your future recovery and well-being get the protection you need to move forward. We don’t take any fees unless we win your case, and our membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum establishes our ability to successfully bring claims to trial. Learn more about how our seasoned Buffalo car accident legal team can help you by contacting us today.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888