Uber and Lyft use the ownership of smartphones to connect passengers to their ridesharing service. They can offer personal transportation services that can be requested with the push of a button on an app. Once a ride seeker has made a request, the closest available Uber vehicle is notified and sent to his or her location.
Uber and Lyft also price their rides at a cheap rate compared to taxi fees. They accomplish this by labeling their ridesharing driver as an independent contract worker, not an employee, which allows them to externalize costs like gas and payroll so that profits are maximized and expenses are kept to a minimum.
What is the difference between Uber/Lyft and taxis?
Taxis are requested by the state to obtain a license (sometimes called a hackney license or medallion) to transport passengers. Taxis are usually managed and dispatched by taxi companies, with taxi drivers often being employees of the taxi company.
In contrast, Uber and Lyft vehicles are not required to obtain a license or medallion (although in some jurisdictions they are subject to local or state regulations) and the drivers of Uber and Lyft vehicles are typically not considered employees of the rideshare companies, as drivers often provide their own vehicles to provide services. In addition, whereas taxis are hailed on the street, Uber and Lyft drivers are summoned via the companies’ mobile application.
What should I do after an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver?
If you are not seriously injured, call the police and take photos of the accident scene. A passenger can also request to see the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance information, and can take photographs of the policy information the driver has on hand. In many cases, Uber or Lyft drivers have cameras that operate on their dashboards while carrying a passenger, so you can request access to that surveillance footage to determine whether it contains any useful information about the accident. Importantly, remember to seek medical attention as soon as possible even if you don’t appear to be seriously injured—only a trained medical professional can evaluate whether you have sustained any injuries, and it is important to get this information as soon as possible after the accident.
Who is liable in an Uber/Lyft Accident?
Determining liability after any motor vehicle accident is complex. This is especially true when multiple parties are involved, such as in an Uber or Lyft accident. But like most other car accidents, liability in an Uber or Lyft accident will generally be based on someone’s negligence. In other words, the driver who caused harm to another individual will typically be held liability for any injuries caused, as well as the resulting damages. Negligence is usually some form of careless or reckless behavior. Common examples of Uber/Lyft driver negligence may include:
- Disobeying traffic control devices
- Driving while under the influence
- Distracted driving
Negligent behavior is never acceptable and is against the law. Every driver has a duty of care while behind the wheel. This means that all Uber and Lyft drivers are responsible for using reasonable care while operating a vehicle. They also must be mindful of pedestrians and road conditions, as well as maintain control of their vehicle at all times.
If you were injured in an accident because of an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence, you must be able to show that their negligence directly caused your injuries. The legal standard for negligence in New York considers the following:
- Whether the defendant owned the plaintiff a duty of care
- Whether the defendant breached that duty through negligence
- Whether the defendant’s negligence was the primary cause of the injuries sustained
How much will it cost to pursue a claim for compensation if I was injured in an accident involving Uber, Lyft or another ride-sharing service company?
Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis—this means that we don’t get paid unless we recover compensation in your case, so you don’t take on any financial risk by choosing our team to represent you in your Uber/Lyft accident case. (888) 452-2629