Manhattan Uber Accident Attorney
After Uber began service on the West Coast in 2009, the ridesharing app quickly spread to cities throughout the United States. Uber began serving Manhattan residents and visitors in 2011, and has established itself as a popular alternative for people who do not want to take a yellow cab or the subway. Yet Uber’s presence in Manhattan also comes with an increased risk of accident and injury for pedestrians, cyclists, and others who share the road, as well as Uber riders.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of an Uber accident, you may have the right to take legal action—whether you were an Uber rider, in another vehicle, or on the street. Accidents can be life-changing events that lead to severe and permanent injuries. You should not have to absorb all of the costs associated with your injuries when a negligent Uber driver caused a traffic accident.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Results in Traffic Accident Claims
The skilled legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has represented accident injury victims for decades, recently including those who have suffered injuries in ridesharing accidents with companies such as Uber. The firm’s commitment to professionalism, case preparation, and client advocacy has led to the recovery of tens of millions of dollars in settlement money and jury awards for clients.
In past traffic accident claims, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has secured settlements and verdicts that range from $100,000 to more than $5 million to compensate accident victims for losses incurred as a result of their injuries after an accident. We cannot promise a specific settlement or jury verdict because each Uber accident case has distinctive facts and characteristics that could affect its value. But we have the knowledge and resources to build the best case possible for our clients. Come see us today to discuss your individual circumstances.
Common Causes of Manhattan Uber Accidents
A wide variety of events, behaviors, or situations could lead to an Uber accident in Manhattan. Each crash is unique, but some common scenarios and driver behaviors typically directly or indirectly cause Uber accidents. Examples include:
Driving While Distracted
Distracted driving is a problem throughout the nation, but the distractions for Uber drivers in Manhattan are abundant compared to many other places. Using a handheld electronic device to talk or text is illegal in New York, which deters many drivers from cell phone-related distractions. Yet, Uber drivers rely on the Uber app on their phone to get rides.
Uber drivers must also deal with distracting riders who can be chatty, unruly, and sometimes drunk or under the influence of drugs—especially late at night. Other distractions Manhattan Uber drivers might succumb to include adjusting seats or other vehicle features, eating food, reaching for something on the floor, or focusing on events off of the road. Regardless of the particular distraction, when Uber drivers do not keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their mind on their mission, they can put everyone around them at risk for accident and injury.
Uber knows their drivers put in long hours, especially those who drive in and around New York City. To curtail this issue, they implemented a 12-hour drive time rule. Uber’s drivers cannot be logged on to the app and on duty for more than 12 hours per day.
However, this policy does not eliminate the problem of fatigued Uber drivers.
- First, the limit only includes the time when the Uber driver is waiting on or transporting a ride.
- Next, Uber drivers typically have other commitments outside the time they drive. For some, driving for Uber is a part-time job after working all week or all day at a full-time job.
- Finally, many ridesharing drivers work for multiple ridesharing companies. It is not unlikely that an Uber driver signs out of the app and then picks up riders with a different app.
Your Uber driver can easily drive or work more than 12 hours per day. Drivers who do not get the rest they need may suffer from fatigue, which can lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal traffic accidents.
Driving Under the Influence
Uber drivers who drink alcohol or consume illegal drugs during their shift, or before giving rides, can cause severe accidents resulting in injury to riders and others who share the road. Uber drivers are professional drivers, but they are not held to the same legal standards as those who must hold commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs) to do their job. Uber drivers are not subject to the same random drug and alcohol screenings as CDL-holders and they do not have to comply with the lower blood alcohol requirement of 0.04.
Controlled substances impair drivers to the extent that they cannot react quickly to road hazards, stoplights, other vehicles, pedestrians, and any other traffic information. This is especially dangerous in Manhattan where drivers must process information quickly at each intersection to drive safely and avoid causing a collision. Prescription drugs can also lead to severe accidents, especially when Uber drivers do not take them in accordance with doctors’ orders.
Driving Too Fast for Conditions
The vast majority of roads in Manhattan have a 25 mile per hour speed limit and you cannot drive over 50 mph on the island. Heavy traffic typically prevents drivers from exceeding the posted speed limit, but it does happen. The biggest danger for others occurs when Uber drivers travel too fast for traffic, road, or weather conditions.
Riders and drivers are often rushed to get to and from their destinations, but Uber drivers have an extra incentive to drive fast. Uber pays drivers for each ride. So, the more rides they get in a day, the more money they can make. Driving fast means Uber drivers can transport more riders in each shift. Increased speed can increase the impact of a crash. This can lead to more severe injuries and a higher risk of fatality. Additionally, too much speed makes it difficult for Uber drivers to control their vehicles on Manhattan’s busy streets.
Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance
New York City requires Uber drivers to get a license from the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) to operate. Those who hold TLC licenses must go to a New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) location to have their vehicle inspected once every four months. Uber does not monitor these inspections. The frequency of inspections helps reduce accidents related to poor maintenance. Other locations only require yearly inspections, if at all.
Yet, some Uber drivers choose not to comply, or they do not take care of maintenance issues in between inspections. Drivers who do not regularly check their fluids, inspect major systems, or change and rotate tires risk mechanical failure or a tire blowout. The same is true of braking systems, rotors, and brake pads. When these events occur at critical times, serious accidents can occur, opening the Uber driver up to potential financial liability for injuries.
Insurance Requirements for Manhattan Uber Drivers
Uber drivers must maintain a personal policy on their vehicles, but New York Law requires drivers to have specific coverage for when they are logged on to the Uber app. Uber provides this coverage for drivers, and the coverage amount changes based on whether the driver is carrying a rider.
Uber drivers who are using the app, but do not have riders in their vehicle, must meet the minimum insurance requirements under New York law:
- $75,000 minimum of bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage per person
- $150,000 minimum of bodily injury liability(BIL) coverage per incident
- $25,000 minimum property damage liability (PDL) coverage per incident
- $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
- Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage per person and per accident for injury and death (25/50 and 50/100)
Uber drivers who have riders must have a $1,250,000 minimum in BIL and UM coverage as well as $50,000 in PIP coverage.
Steps After a Manhattan Uber Accident
If you have been involved in a Manhattan Uber accident, report the accident and go to the emergency room or seek medical assistance. Your medical record and police report can serve as key evidence in an insurance claim or lawsuit.
These additional actions will help you start the claims process, so you could potentially recover losses related to your injuries:
- File a claim with your insurance carrier under your PIP coverage. New York requires $50,000 personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for all drivers. Your damages may exceed your limits, but this is a good start to fill in the gaps until your claim against the Uber driver is resolved. If you do not have PIP coverage, your parents’ or spouse’s coverage might extend to you. Your PIP coverage typically extends to you if you were injured as a pedestrian or as a cyclist. But, it usually does not apply if you were injured by an Uber driver while riding a motorcycle or scooter. In these cases, you must report the accident to Uber and call a lawyer.
- Report the traffic crash to Uber. Uber drivers are supposed to report accidents, but you should make sure the driver followed the rules. You can file a report on their website to start the process. It is not difficult for severe injuries, requiring surgery and hospitalization, to quickly meet PIP insurance policy limits—especially for those who only have the minimum. Once you have exceeded your PIP policy limits, you should also file a claim with Uber’s insurance carrier.
- Contact an experienced Manhattan Uber accident lawyer. Rideshare accident claims can be complex, and Uber’s insurance company has a large legal team ready and willing to fight each claim that comes their way. An experienced Manhattan Uber accident attorney would know how to deal with large insurance companies and can fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Uber serves millions of riders throughout New York City every year; negligent drivers need to be accountable for their actions and failures so others do not suffer the same fate in the future.
Seeking Compensation for Damages After a Manhattan Uber Accident
Once you have met or exceeded your mandatory New York no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage, New York law permits you to step outside the no-fault insurance system and take legal action against the Uber driver who caused you harm.
If you reach a fair settlement, or the court rules in your favor, you may receive compensation for some or all of the following losses related to the accident and your injuries:
- Medical treatment costs not covered by your PIP policy—including hospitalization, surgery, followup visits, diagnostics, and prescription medication
- Estimated future medical treatment costs when an Uber accident results in a permanent condition or injury requiring continuous treatment or care
- Lost wages for missing work as a result of the accident, injuries, and rehabilitation
- Estimated lost wages when an Uber accident leads to a catastrophic injury
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of consortium with your spouse
- Punitive damages, if the Uber driver acted with gross negligence
Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP for the Legal Help You Need After a Manhattan Uber Accident
If you are an Uber rider who suffered injuries in Manhattan, or a Manhattan Uber driver caused an accident that led to your injuries, you might be eligible for compensation. You should not have to pay all of these medical bills and lose wages when a negligent Uber driver caused you harm.
Contact the Manhattan Uber accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, online, through our website’s text chat feature, or at (212) 445-7000 to discuss the specifics of your Uber accident, how your injuries have impacted your life, and the ways we can help you move forward.
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“David was always there for me to guide me through this difficult car accident. He helped me get better, was always there to listen to me and fought to get me an amazing settlement. I am very pleased with this beyond expectations result and his professional handling. If you need a lawyer, David and his team is the one to go to!”
Review by: Qing L.
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