There has been a lot of confusion about the insurance coverage afforded to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians injured in automobile accidents involving Uber or Lyft vehicles. If you've been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in New York State, here is what you need to know:
In New York City and the state of New York, it is illegal to use a mobile telephone while driving. This includes for talking or for texting. Not only are there fines for violating the law, but points can also be added to one's driver's license record. The license can ultimately be suspended if the threshold of points is reached. The law is designed to prevent an increase in car accidents caused by distracted driving due to the use of digital devices.
It is no secret that distracted driving is responsible for a disproportionate amount of accidents, injuries, and deaths in New York and around the nation. Governments have poured money into advertising campaigns and passed laws barring the use of cellular phone behind the wheel.
Visitors to New York City often marvel at how the taxi cabs and many privately operated vehicles "race" busily through the streets of Manhattan. They weave and wind their way in an apparent marathon, marked by a complete fearlessness of the car accidents that their driving appears to invite. It was that kind of business-as-usual that seems to mark a recent car accident at Fifth Avenue near 49th Street when one taxi driver struck a second cab and sideswiped it.
Pedestrians are unintended targets for New York City drivers who think that they have to drive faster, smarter and tougher than their competitors on the roads. This sometimes makes the city look like a bumper car game at a local amusement park. But games do not end in death, whereas careless and reckless operating of motor vehicles within the city has resulted in many pedestrian accidents and deaths.
New York City residents understand the dangers inherent in road travel. The sheer volume of people who share the roadways is staggering, and it comes as no surprise that accidents can and will happen. However, it should also be said that when a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, he or she accepts responsibility for the safety of others on the road. That is a heavy burden, as car and truck accidents seriously injure or claim the lives of thousands of people each and every year.
Although overall traffic deaths in New York City dropped in 2016, the City reported that cycling deaths increased. On the morning of April 1, just days after the announcement that car accidents involving bicycles had gone up, a 32-year-old man was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash in Queens while he was riding his bicycle. The details of how the accident occurred were not immediately reported.
A basic principle of negligence law in New York City and elsewhere is that a passenger who is injured or killed in an accident will generally be entitled to monetary damages if the incident was caused by the negligence of one or more other persons. That general rule for car accidents likely will apply to a recent tragic and heartbreaking accident in which a young woman was killed while celebrating her 21st birthday. She was the passenger in a vehicle that crashed on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge when its driver lost control and rammed into a median, throwing the decedent from the car.
Accidents tend to come in rashes, which is how it happened in New York City on Tuesday, March 7. Pedestrian accidents topped the police blotters that day with three pedestrians killed and one hospitalized in critical condition. The first event occurred in Brooklyn at about 6 a.m. when a car slammed into and killed a 71-year-old man who was crossing Greenpoint Street.
There is a rise in cyclist deaths from accidents occurring in New York City. There were more than 16 deaths of bicycle riders in 2016 and 15 accident-related deaths in 2015. The numbers of cyclists injured in car accidents and other vehicular accidents in the city numbers in the thousands in recent years.