New York Uber Accident Lawyer

On November 8, 2023, a nine-year-old boy was struck by an Uber Eats delivery driver. The child had just gotten off a school bus when he was hit. The Uber driver left the scene immediately after the incident. The boy was taken to the local hospital, where he was said to be in stable condition.

Ridesharing has exploded in New York City over recent years. For-hire trips in New York’s five boroughs increased by 42 percent—82 billion rides annually—from 2014 to 2017. According to Carol Atkinson-Palombo, lead author of a study on ridesharing in the city, that’s changing things. For one, the increase has contributed to increased roadway congestion, which may, in turn, increase the risk of accidents on the road.

Chaffin Luhana supports New York residents with experienced and dedicated Uber accident attorneys. We address local ride-sharing laws, who pays for an Uber accident, what to do following a collision, and reasons why you may consider filing a lawsuit.

If you have been involved in an accident involving an Uber, it is always best to contact a qualified New York Uber accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. When you speak with an experienced attorney at Chaffin Luhana, the consultation costs nothing and puts you under no obligation whatsoever.

Give our New York Uber accident lawyers a call today to schedule a complimentary consultation at 1-888-480-1123.

Uber Fatality Rate Increased in 2019-2020

Researchers from the University of Chicago and Rice University reported in October 2018 that the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber has increased deaths by 2-3 percent in the U.S. since 2011. The increase was not only for vehicle occupants, but also for pedestrians, and appeared to persist or even increase over time.

According to Uber’s most recent safety report, there were 101 motor vehicle fatalities across 91 Uber-related crashes in 2019-2020. That was a 7 percent increase in fatality rate per vehicle miles traveled over Uber’s figures from 2017-2018.

In 2019, about 68 percent of those were occupants in the vehicles, while 32 percent were non-occupants—pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter riders, and the like. In 2020, 74 percent of the fatalities were occupants, while 26 percent were non-occupants.

The report did not mention non-fatal accidents or accidents that resulted in injuries. Nor did it provide information about accidents that occurred when drivers were driving without passengers between rides.

Common Causes of Uber Accidents in New York

Common causes of Uber accidents include the following.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a problem affecting almost all drivers, but Uber drivers may be particularly susceptible to distraction. They have to manage the Uber app as part of their jobs, and must also look up and type in information on their phones to get directions.

Uber purports that its drivers can accept rides with a single click. In truth, drivers often take more time to look at the location of the rider, the destination, and the time needed to complete the ride before accepting it. All this can keep them distracted from their main duty of driving.


Uber drivers can make more money by accepting more trips each day. That means they’re interested in transporting passengers quickly so they can fit in as many rides as possible.


Fatigue can lead to issues like slower reaction times and worse decision-making that can increase the risk of an accident. Uber includes a “fatigue management” feature in their app, which takes drivers offline for 10 consecutive hours after they’ve been online for 13 cumulative hours without a consecutive 10-hour break. The feature also reminds drivers to take a 30-minute break if they’ve been online for 7 hours straight.

According to research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), however, this may not be enough to prevent Uber driver fatigue. Other factors that can make a driver tired include driving later at night or driving in contrast to natural circadian rhythms.

Federal regulations for commercial drivers are more rigorous than Uber’s. Within a 14-hour window, a truck driver may drive no more than 11 hours, as compared to Uber’s 13 hours.


Unlike other commercial driving services, Uber does not provide any special training for its drivers before allowing them to transport passengers. Instead, they have a list of minimum requirements, which includes having at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S., and three years for those under the age of 25.

That means that there may be an inexperienced or unqualified driver behind the wheel. Such a person would not have the skills needed to properly respond to dangerous traffic conditions.

Unpredictable Driving

Uber drivers must scan to find their passengers. Particularly if they are not familiar with the area, they may need to look around to find the right street where their passenger is waiting. This can cause unpredictable driving, including unexpected stops, sudden turns, or slow driving.

Aggressive Driving

Any driver may choose to drive aggressively. An Uber driver may choose to do so to reach their destination more quickly. They may speed, tailgate, or make abrupt lane changes—all of which can increase the risk of an accident.

Poorly Maintained Vehicle

Uber has a set of requirements that must be met before a driver is cleared to drive in New York. The vehicle must have at least four doors, for instance, as well as working seatbelts for at least four passengers and a driver, and be in good condition with no cosmetic damage. It must also have had a current emissions inspection from a DMB inspection facility.

Uber also recommends regular maintenance on drivers’ vehicles but does not require it. Drivers who fail to perform regular maintenance inspections put their passengers at risk. Common issues include worn brakes, tire blowouts, missing signal lights, and faulty seatbelts or airbags.

Driving Under the Influence

Uber has specific policies regarding intoxicated driving, allowing neither drugs nor alcohol in the vehicle. But that doesn’t mean that it never happens. Just like any driver, an Uber driver may choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This affects reaction time, thinking, and decision-making, and can increase the risk of an accident.

Unsafe or Illegal Parking

Uber drivers may park in strange places when picking up or dropping off passengers. This can affect surrounding traffic and may put other drivers or pedestrians in danger.

New York Ridesharing Laws Applicable to Uber

New York laws require that:

  • Uber vehicles be less than 15 years old and have at least four doors.
  • Uber vehicles be in good condition after passing state inspection.
  • Uber drivers be at least 19 years of age with a valid state driver’s license.
  • Uber drivers maintain current vehicle registration and carry locally accepted insurance.
  • Uber drivers pass a criminal background check by Uber.

How to Select an Attorney in New York for Your Uber Accident

When looking for the best Uber accident attorney in New York, look for the following qualifications:

Experience with Ridesharing Accidents

Many lawyers have experience with car accidents, but ridesharing accidents are different. You increase your chances of being successful in your Uber accident lawsuit if you have an attorney who has experience with your type of case. There are unique laws in New York that apply to ridesharing accidents, and your attorney needs to be well-versed in these to properly represent you.


It’s easy these days to find out more about the firm you’re considering working with. Check online to see what sort of reputation they have. Then feel free to ask them about their other clients, their results, and their referrals. A good Uber accident attorney will be willing to provide references that speak to their abilities and their reputation.


When you hire an Uber accident lawyer, you’re not hiring only the attorney—you’re hiring the entire firm or office. That means you want to check the attorney’s staff as well, as they will likely be doing research and investigative work on your behalf. When you go into the office, do you feel comfortable? Do the staff members communicate clearly and politely? Is it a professional atmosphere?


There are few things as frustrating as wondering how your case is going and hearing nothing from your attorney’s office. It can be equally difficult to try to talk to your attorney about your case if all you hear is a lot of legal jargon that makes no sense to you. As you’re shopping around, take note of how responsive the firm is, and how they communicate with you.


How will your Uber accident attorney be paid? It’s best to choose one that works on a contingency basis. This means they will not charge you unless they can achieve a settlement or judgment in your favor. You may be responsible for smaller costs like filing fees and expert witness fees. Ask about the attorney’s fee process so you understand exactly what you’ll be responsible for.

What Our Clients Have to Say About Chaffin Luhana

Below is a small sampling of the testimonials we have received from our clients:

Auto Personal Injury Recovery

“It’s a shame that the insurance companies put you through this…I’m glad there are people like you out there because the insurance companies would walk all over victims otherwise.”

– Mark S., Personal Injury Client

Automobile Accident Victim

“[The firm has] done right [by] me. You did everything right. Informing me and keeping me up to date. You did a fine job. I appreciate you very much.”

– Roger J., Personal Injury Client

Automobile Accident Victim

“I didn’t know what to expect since I never needed an attorney before. You took care of everything and were there for me.”

– Vicki B., Personal Injury Client

Find more testimonials here.

Dedication to Community

Law partners Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana, along with their families, established The Chaffin Luhana Foundation in 2010.

A not-for-profit organization, the Foundation encourages the development of human potential and supports community empowerment through the following activities:

  • Scholarships: The Chaffin Luhana Foundation awards an annual scholarship to a student who helps us in the fight against distracted driving by submitting an inspiring personal essay.
  • Financial gifts: The Foundation awards periodic financial gifts to institutions of higher learning to support scientific research and funds educational scholarships to students.
  • Stephanie Victor Legacy Award: The Chaffin Luhana Foundation awards an annual financial gift to one deserving individual who overcame significant challenges and achieved great milestones in his or her life or career.
  • Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation: Chaffin Luhana has partnered with this organization to benefit those living with spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
  • Najee Harris Partnership: We have partnered with Pittsburgh Running Back, Najee Harris, and his Da’ Bigger Picture Foundation to support those in need in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Firm Awards

The founding partners of Chaffin Luhana have extensive experience in fighting for plaintiffs’ rights:

  • Founder Eric Chaffin: Chaffin has handled a wide array of cases against various types of defendants, with dozens of multimillion-dollar recoveries.
  • Founder Roopal Luhana: Luhana manages the firm’s mass torts division. Throughout her career, she has served on committees in MDLs involving over-the-counter consumer products and defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
  • Partner Patrick Booth: Booth enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help his clients obtain the best results possible in their personal injury cases.

Chaffin Luhana lawyers have also been named to the prestigious “Super Lawyers” list several years in a row.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is Financially Responsible After an Uber Accident?

This is an important question after an accident involving an Uber driver. They may be  “independent contractors” who operate under the Uber banner. Under this classification, the Uber driver’s auto insurance policy would be liable for accident injuries.

Many insurance policies, however, refuse to cover an accident if the driver was operating in a “commercial” capacity unless the driver has a commercial driver’s license and policy.

If the driver’s insurance company denies the claim, Uber offers liability insurance under certain conditions:

  • During period 1, when the driver is logged in but has not accepted a ride, Uber covers up to $50,000 per person, up to $100,000 per accident, and up to $25,000 in property damage.
  • During period 2, when the driver has accepted a trip, liability coverage increases to $1 million.
  • During period 3, when the rider is in the car, liability coverage extends up to $1 million, with limited coverage for property damage and uninsured motorist coverage.

Your options after an Uber accident depend on two factors:

  1. Your role in the accident (were you the driver, passenger, or third party?)
  2. Which party caused the accident

Usually, the party who caused the accident is liable for damages. New York is a no-fault state, however. That means that each driver’s insurance pays for their medical bills after an accident, regardless of fault, up to a certain limit.

There may be other damages that are not covered by your individual insurance company such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and extensive and ongoing medical care. You may need to file a claim with the at-fault party to receive compensation for these.

Here are some examples:

  • A third party was at fault: If another driver hit the Uber car you were riding in, you and the Uber driver would seek medical damages from your own insurance policies. If you have other damages, you would file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
  • The Uber driver was at fault: Again, each person’s insurance pays for their own medical bills. For other damages, whether you were a passenger in the Uber car, a driver in another vehicle, or a pedestrian or cyclist hurt in the accident, you would file a claim with the Uber driver’s insurance company. Should that claim be denied, you would file a claim with Uber’s insurance. Remember that Uber’s rules will apply. Was the driver transporting a passenger at the time of the accident? That will affect the amount of compensation that may be available through Uber’s insurance.
  • There was shared fault: New York has comparable fault rules, which means that each party can still recover compensation for damages even if they are mostly at fault for the accident. The amount of compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault.

As you can see, these cases can become complicated, particularly when the driver’s insurance isn’t adequate and you have to file a claim with Uber’s insurance. This is where an Uber accident attorney can help.

How Do I Get Money After a New York Uber Accident?

After an Uber accident, file a claim with your own insurance provider first for medical expenses. If your policy doesn’t provide enough funds for your needs, you can file with the at-fault party’s insurance provider for additional damages.

Keep in mind, however, that insurance companies are most concerned about their profits and may try to pay you less than you deserve. This is why you may want to hire a New York Uber accident attorney. He or she will represent your interests and fight to achieve the best outcome for you.

What Types of Compensation are Available After an Uber Accident?

The types of compensation that may be available to you (depending on your circumstance) after an Uber accident include the following:

  • Medical damages: This includes current and future medical bills, as well as physical therapy and long-term care if needed.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries keep you from being able to work, you can seek compensation for your lost wages.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If your injuries are severe enough that they will keep you from returning to your job, you deserve compensation for this.
  • Disability and disfigurement: If you were paralyzed or otherwise disabled in the accident, or if you suffered from injuries that resulted in permanent disfigurement, you can make a claim for these damages.
  • Property damages: If you were driving another car that was hit by an Uber driver, you can claim your property damages. The same would be true if you were riding a bike or motorcycle, as long as the Uber driver was at fault.
  • Pain and suffering/emotional distress: Though these damages can be more difficult to quantify, your Uber accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to support this claim.
  • Loss of consortium: If you are hurt or disabled to the point that you can no longer provide the support and companionship to your partner or spouse that you did before, your partner or spouse can claim loss of consortium.

What If I Was Traveling In a Vehicle Which Was Involved In An Accident with An Uber Vehicle?

If you were in another vehicle that was involved in an accident with an Uber vehicle, you may be able to recover damages from the Uber driver or another at-fault driver. The police report as well as other evidence will help determine fault. If you disagree with their findings, an Uber accident attorney can help.

What Should I Do After I Am Involved In An Uber Car Accident?

Whether you’re an Uber passenger, an Uber driver, or another driver, seeking immediate medical attention is paramount following an Uber accident in New York. Even if you “feel fine,” it’s best to call 9-1-1 and have yourself checked for whiplash, herniated discs, meniscus tears, and other latent car accident injuries.

If you’re an Uber passenger involved in a collision, you may want to do the following…

  • Use your phone to snap photos and videos of the crash scene and property damage, if possible.
  • Make note of the driver’s name and information and contact info of other parties involved.
  • Try to get the contact information of any eyewitnesses who saw the crash.
  • Do not assume the Uber driver’s policy will cover your injury claim. You may need a New York Uber accident lawyer to fight.

If you’re an Uber driver hit by another vehicle, you may want to do the following…

  • Call 9-1-1 to file an accident report and seek medical attention, even if the damage seems minor.
  • Take photos, looking particularly for skid marks or lack thereof. Get witness contact information.
  • Get the other driver’s license plate number, insurance provider, and contact information.
  • Be careful what you say, resisting the bait to apologize or admit liability for the crash.
  • Contact Uber to find out if you are allowed to continue driving for them during the investigation.
  • Call your insurance provider to find out who pays for the accident.
  • Contact a New York Uber accident attorney to negotiate compensation.

If you’re driving another vehicle and get struck by an Uber driver, you may want to do the following…

  • Get the names and contact information of all witnesses.
  • Take as many photos of the accident scene and the cars involved from different angles as possible.
  • Call the police from the accident scene to file a report, insisting that the Uber driver stick around.
  • Contact a law firm to represent your best interests, particularly when dealing with insurers.

Are New York Uber Drivers Insured?

Because Uber drivers may be  independent contractors and drive their own vehicles, the insurance works differently than it would for say, a taxi service.

All Uber drivers in New York must maintain their own insurance policies as per state laws. If you are in an accident with an Uber driver and they are determined to be at fault, you can make a claim with the Uber driver’s individual insurance (for damages over what your policy covers for medical damages).

If that insurance isn’t adequate to cover your injuries, Uber also provides additional insurance to cover accidents involving its drivers. The rules mentioned above apply. The amount of compensation available depends on whether the driver was logged into the Uber app at the time of the accident, and whether they had accepted a trip or were carrying passengers.

If the driver was not logged into the app at the time of the accident, Uber cannot be held liable. Your only option then is to seek damages from the driver’s insurance company.

How Long Do I Have to File A Personal Injury Case Against Uber in New York?

You have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in New York. Once that time passes, you can no longer seek compensation.

There are some exceptions to this rule:

  • If you want to file a claim against a municipality as well—such as New York City—the statute of limitations is shorter and special rules apply. Typically, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days.
  • If you or a loved one passed away in the crash, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

It’s best not to wait that long, however. In New York, you have only 30 days to apply for no-fault benefits with your insurance company. If you file after that, the insurance provider may deny your claim.

You also don’t want the facts of the case to go cold. Gathering evidence about the accident is easiest early on. After that, witnesses may forget details, videos may be erased, and other types of evidence may be more difficult to obtain.

Your Trusted Uber Accident Lawyer in New York

The Uber accident attorneys at Chaffin Luhana serve the New York City and New York State area. We are passionate advocates for plaintiffs who have suffered injuries in Uber accidents and stand ready to help you pursue compensation to the fullest extent allowed under New York law.

Call us today at 888-480-1123.