20 Jan 2022

By Boris Tadchiev

In Car Accident

In recent years, the growing availability of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have given New Yorkers a true choice when they need transportation services in the City. But which is the safer choice? A Queens cab or Uber?

A study from the University of Chicago found that the rise of rideshare services created a cascading effect: more cars on the road meant more accidents, and more accidents meant more injuries and fatalities. “The authors find that app-based driving services account for about a 3% annual increase in traffic-related fatalities, including pedestrians, since their introduction in 2011, or roughly 987 people each year,” a brief about the study says.

Meanwhile, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission says 802 medallion taxis were involved in crashes in 2021 as of the end of September. Among the collisions, 374 accidents caused injuries including three that caused critical injuries and one that led to a fatality. But serious accidents can occur in any type of vehicle.

Ridesharing vehicles such as Uber, Lyft, and Via overtook taxis as the most common for-hire transportation in Queens in 2016. By 2019, ridesharing services accounted for 69 percent of daily trip volume compared to 23 percent for yellow cabs and 2 percent for green taxis, according to the Taxi & Limousine 2020 Factbook. Ridesharing services accounted for more than 85 percent of all passenger pickups in all boroughs of New York except Manhattan, where yellow cabs logged 44 percent of the passenger pickups.

More recently, Uber and similar services are having trouble finding drivers post-pandemic, so more people are hailing taxis, Bloomberg News said in June.

“As New York’s economy is revving up again, the number of daily taxi trips in New York City surged more than 800% in April from a year earlier, while app-based platforms like Uber and Lyft jumped some 220%, according to the Taxi & Limousine Commission.”

Uber Liability Compared to Taxi Liability

A more relevant question may be, where are you better protected if you are injured in an accident with a Queens cab or an Uber driver? The answer is it depends on the location where the accident occurred.

New York has a no-fault insurance system. Personal injury protection insurance is mandatory for drivers. It covers the medical bills and rehabilitation expenses of the driver and passengers in the vehicle, regardless of fault. If you were in another vehicle hit by a taxi or uber vehicle, you would file a claim with your own PIP insurance initially.

If the accident caused serious injuries, the accident victim may have a right to make a claim against the driver’s liability insurance.

New York taxis must carry liability coverage of at least $100,000 per person or $300,000 for all passengers.

In New York, the minimum insurance requirements for ridesharing drivers are $100,000 in liability insurance per person and $300,000 per crash.

The insurance requirements are higher for ridesharing drivers in the rest of the State of New York State.

In New York State, Uber’s $1.25 million liability policy covers passengers and the driver if the Uber driver is transporting Uber passengers when an accident occurs, according to the New York State Department of Financial Services. If you are seriously injured in a car accident as a passenger, you would likely receive more protection under Uber’s policy, if the Uber driver is on the clock outside of Queens.

If the Uber driver is logged into the app but does not have any passengers, Uber’s insurance coverage will pay up to $25,000 for property damage and up to $75,000 for injuries, and $150,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people, according to the New York State Department of Financial Services.

If the Uber driver is not driving for Uber and not logged into the app when the accident occurred, the accident victim would file a claim against the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance for serious injuries that exceed the limits of PIP insurance.

A ridesharing driver’s personal liability insurance is likely to be the New York state minimum of:

  • $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident

Contact Us and Let Our Attorneys Handle Your Case

Determining which insurance should cover your losses after a collision with a taxi or ridesharing driver can be complicated in New York. Whether the accident involves a Queens taxicab or an Uber driver, you will be facing an organization experienced at beating back legal claims.

After a taxi or ridesharing accident, The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., can stand up for you. If you have been seriously injured in a crash in Queens, get in touch with our taxi cab attorneys or our ridesharing lawyers to learn how we may help you. We will go over your case for free. Contact us today. We do not charge any fees unless we win for you.