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Who pays for damages in a rideshare accident?

Rideshare companies have existed for several years now and have become a common method of transportation for New Yorkers. Rideshare services offer benefits to both the drivers and riders.

They allow drivers a way to make some extra money with a flexible schedule and provide a quick and convenient transportation option for people who want an alternative to the subway, cabs or walking.

However, what happens if you are involved in an accident with a rideshare and sustain injuries? Who pays for your damages, the driver or the rideshare company?

Insurance requirements

Rideshare drivers must typically have personal automobile insurance policies. The policies must meet minimum New York state coverage requirements.

Additionally, the rideshare companies may provide additional insurance. The policies usually cover drivers when they are logged into the rideshare apps, although rideshare drivers are classified as independent contractors.

What to do after a rideshare accident

If you are in a rideshare accident, you should take many of the same steps as you would in any other type of motor vehicle accident. Contact emergency services if anyone is injured and needs help and contact the police to make a report.

Obtain the name, license plate number and the insurance information of the rideshare driver, as well as the insurance information of any other vehicles involved in the accident.

Get contact information of any witnesses to the accident and take plenty of photos. Take photos of the vehicles involved, the surrounding area of the accident and any injuries.

What to say when you make reports

When the police arrive, get a copy of the police report. Most rideshare apps have a feature that allows you to report the accident to them. Be careful with what you say when you make both reports.

Do not say anything that could be taken as admitting fault for the accident. Stick to the basic facts, such as when and where the accident happened and the make and model of vehicles involved.

After you have treated any injuries and taken care of your immediate needs, you may choose to file a claim with the rideshare diver’s insurance company.

Filing an insurance claim

This process can be more complex when a rideshare vehicle is involved. Sometimes the driver’s insurance policy won’t cover your expenses if they do not have a commercial driving policy.

However, the rideshare company may be required to cover your costs if they provide liability insurance to their drivers.

Proving the driver’s negligence

No matter which party you ultimately make your claim against, you must show that the driver was negligent. This means they breached their legal duty to drive safely, and that breach directly caused your injuries.

You must also prove your damages. If you want compensation for your medical bills, you must provide evidence, usually the bills themselves. You could potentially receive compensation for lost wages or pain and suffering, but you will need to provide evidence for those as well.

New York negligence law

New York follows a contributory negligence standard. This means that you are compensated for the percentage of the accident that is not your fault.

If you pursue a personal injury claim in court, and a judge or jury finds that you were 50% responsible for the accident, you can recover only 50% of your requested damages.

Personal injury actions involving rideshares often involve many complicated factors. Understanding who to bring your claim against and how to establish damages is important.

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