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What are liability implications of ride-share car crashes?

Car crashes happen all across New York City. Notice we don't say accidents happen. That's because in many instances, collisions aren't accidents at all. Someone was negligent or reckless and that's what contributed to events playing out as they did. Getting to the bottom of liability and holding accountable those responsible can be a challenge without experienced legal help.

In recent years, a new development has added a new layer of complexity to the motor vehicle accident scene in the city. We are talking about the rise of ride-sharing services. They are taking New York by storm, it seems. As one Bronx woman puts it, "Uber is everywhere." She says, "When I think of cabs, I think of Uber, because that's the main thing to take now."

Where does responsibility rest?

Regardless of the cause of any crash, liability becomes a question. In the case of ride-sharing services, that does not go away. The question injury victims need answered in such instances is how to recover the maximum level of compensation necessary to cover the costs of medical care and lost income in the timeliest manner. There may be multiple insurance companies to deal with and multiple claim denials to overcome.

By recent law, ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft are required to carry minimum levels of insurance whenever one of their drivers is in service and carrying passengers. Additionally, the law requires them to carry workers' compensation insurance on the drivers, despite ongoing disputes about whether they are employees or independent contractors.

So, if you are hurt as a passenger in a ride-share vehicle crash, you should be able to turn to the supplier company to seek recovery. However, if a ride-share driver collides with your vehicle or hits you as a pedestrian, and that driver isn't carrying a passenger, the company's umbrella coverage might not apply. Then the driver's personal insurance might be the source of compensation.

To be sure of your rights and options, it becomes clear that anytime someone is hurt in a vehicle crash, consulting an attorney is a wise move.

Source: FindLaw, "Who Is Liable If You're Injured in an Uber Crash?," By Christopher Coble, Esq., accessed Oct. 19, 2017

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