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Uber & Lyft Accidents in New Mexico

Uber & Lyft Accidents in New Mexico

In recent years, Uber and Lyft vehicles have become popular modes of transportation in cities throughout the United States. Whether you need a ride home after a night out in the town or a ride to the airport in the morning to catch a flight, all you need to do is download a rideshare app, request a ride, and wait a few minutes until an available driver picks you up. 

But what happens if you are injured in a car accident as a passenger of an Uber or Lyft vehicle? Do accident victims file a claim against the individual driver or the rideshare company? 

Rideshare Laws in New Mexico 

In March 2016, former Gov. Susana Martinez signed HB 168 (also known as the “Transportation Network Company Services Act”) into law, creating a regulatory framework specifically for rideshare companies in New Mexico. The law classifies Uber and Lyft as “transportation network companies” (TNCs), which exempt them from the state’s Motor Carrier Act. 

Essentially, Uber and Lyft drivers do not have to register their cars as commercial vehicles or vehicles for hire and are banned from soliciting or accepting street hails and getting paid in cash for their services. In addition, TNC drivers are considered independent contractors, rather than employees, so liability for an accident depends on whether the rideshare driver is or isn’t engaged in a pickup. 

What Happens If I’m Injured as a Passenger in a Rideshare Vehicle? 

HB 168 establishes a two-tier insurance policy for TNC drivers in New Mexico. When a driver is logged in to the app, but not actively engaged in a pickup, the driver must have at least $50,000 per person in bodily injury coverage, $100,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage, and $25,000 for property damage coverage. Once a passenger enters the vehicle or the driver accepts a prearranged ride, then the primary liability insurance is a minimum of $1 million. 

Therefore, if you suffered an injury as a passenger of an Uber or Lyft vehicle and the rideshare driver is at fault for causing the crash, then you may file a claim against either the at-fault driver or the rideshare company.  On the other hand, if a third-party driver causes an accident, then you must seek compensation from that driver’s insurer. 

Since Uber and Lyft accident claims are quite complex, it is wise to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights and best interests. At Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law, we have more than two decades of experience helping our clients obtain the most favorable results in a wide range of car accident claims. 

If you have been injured in a car accident in Albuquerque, contact us today at (505) 219-2176 for a free initial consultation. 


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