By Peter J. Gregory

With ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft now operating in the Rochester area, questions may arise as to who is responsible if one of these vehicles is involved in an accident.  Generally, the things you should do after an accident should not change.  However, issues may arise from the potential insurance coverage for any injuries suffered.  If the accident occurs during the course of your trip and your ride-sharing driver is at fault, you will likely be covered under $1 million liability insurance policies that both Uber and Lyft carry.

In most cases, a person injured in an accident involving Uber or Lyft probably will not sue the ride-sharing company because their drivers are technically independent contractors and not employees.  This means that the company can deny legal liability for crashes involving their drivers, but their insurance policies may still cover the injuries.

However, if another driver is at fault (not your ride-sharing driver) for causing the accident, then that other driver's personal insurance policy comes into play first.  If that other driver does not have enough insurance to cover potentially serious injuries, then Uber and Lyft both have $1 million underinsured motorist policies that could apply.

If the Uber or Lyft driver is not on duty and using the car for personal purposes, you cannot necessarily make a claim under Uber’s or Lyft’s policies.  Instead, the claim would be made on the driver's personal policy. This is also true if the driver is on duty but does not have a passenger at the time of the accident. If the driver does have a passenger and injures a bystander, the ride-sharing company’s insurance will cover the accident.

Following an automobile accident, it is important to consult with an attorney to address issues such as liability and insurance coverage.  For assistance with these matters, please contact a member of our personal injury practice

This publication is intended as an information source for clients, prospective clients, and colleagues and constitutes attorney advertising. The content should not be considered legal advice and readers should not act upon information in this publication without individualized professional counsel.

About MCCM

McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, P.C. is a full service law firm based in Rochester, New York, providing high quality legal services to businesses and individuals since 1979.  With over a dozen attorneys and a full paralegal support staff, the firm is well-positioned to right-size services tailored to each client. We are large enough to provide expertise in a broad range of practice areas, yet small enough to devote prompt, personal attention to our clients.

We represent a diverse range of clients located throughout New York State and New England.  They include individuals, numerous manufacturing and service industry businesses, local governments, and health care professionals, provider groups, facilities and associations. We also serve as local counsel to out-of-state clients and their attorneys who have litigation pending in Western New York courts.  For more information, please contact us at 585.546.2500.