Davidoff Law Wins Landmark Decision On Rideshare Vehicles and Required Insurance Coverage

Davidoff Law Wins Landmark Decision On Rideshare Vehicles and Required Insurance Coverage

By: Ruben DavidoffApril 25, 2024

In a landmark decision on March 7, 2024, Judge Leverett of the Supreme Court of the State of

New York, County of Queens, sided with Davidoff Law determining that rideshare vehicles

originating within New York City’s five boroughs are “transportation network companies” (TNC)

covered vehicles for purposes of supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM)

insurance coverage. Our Queens Uber accident lawyer was proud to represent this client’s rights and earn a just decision.

Lyft Ride Ends in Serious Car Accident on the Van Wyck

On August 21, 2021, Shante D. Service requested a Lyft ride from Queens to Manhattan for her

and two family members. After picking up the three passengers, Lyft driver Artur Nazaryan’s car

was rear-ended by an unidentified vehicle on the Van Wyck expressway in Queens.

Nazaryan had NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) insurance with Hereford Insurance

Company and TNC insurance with Progressive, covering Lyft vehicles. Ms. Service made an

uninsured motorist (UM) claim under the Hereford TLC insurance policy and a SUM claim under

the Progressive policy.

Insurance Coverage Issues Rise to the Forefront

On July 23, 2023, Hereford tendered its available UM policy to Ms. Service. However,

Progressive argued that because the rideshare trip originated within New York City and the

accident occurred in New York City, that the TLC – and not TNC – governed Ms. Service’s trip.

Specifically, Progressive argued that its TNC policy for Lyft did not apply as Ms. Service was

traveling in a for-hire vehicle – not a TNC vehicle. As such, Progressive asserted that Hereford’s

for-hire TLC automobile policy was the only available coverage for Ms. Service’s losses.

New York State and New York City Rideshare Driver Rules Apply

In New York City, a rideshare driver must be authorized by both New York State’s TNC

regulations as well as New York City’s TLC rules. Because of this, NYC rideshare drivers must

maintain the state’s minimum insurance coverage on their vehicle, which includes at least

$25,000 for uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. If the Lyft driver has picked up a passenger, then

these limits increase to include a minimum of at least $1.25 million in SUM coverage.

Supreme Court Case Establishes Precedent

In Progressive Insurance Company v. Shante Service et al., filed under Supreme Court, Queens

County Index No.: 714418/2023, the court held that the Lyft driver’s TNC vehicle was not being

used as a “for-hire” TLC automobile within New York City at the time of the accident and denied

Progressive’s argument that the vehicle was precluded from being afforded the additional SUM

coverage. As such, based on the court’s decision, Ms. Service is now able to access LYFT’s

$1.25 million SUM policy, a big win protecting unsuspecting passengers involved in accidents while in rideshare vehicles from being denied SUM coverage simply because their ride

originated and ended within the five boroughs.

Let Davidoff Law Fight for You: Contact Our Queens Uber Accident Lawyer

When you call an Uber in New York City, you deserve to be safe. Sometimes, the ride doesn’t go as planned. Our Uber and Lyft accident lawyer is here to help you. If you have questions about an Uber or Lyft accident you were involved in, Davidoff Law is here to help you. Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.

Written By: Jennifer Kiesewetter

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