If You Have an Accident with a New York City Pedicab–Frequently Asked Questions

Question:   Do pedicabs have motor vehicle insurance?

Answer:      No.   Pedicabs are not motor vehicles, therefore, the owners do not have to carry insurance.  Some owners may carry insurance, such as general liability insurance.  However, at this time there is no requirement for any insurance.

Q:   Are there any regulations governing pedicab safety?

A:   At this time there are no regulations.  There had been an attempt at regulations, but court fights have placed the regulations on hold for now.

Q:   If my pedicab driver is negligent and is the sole cause of an accident can I expect a recovery?

A:   The answer is “it depends”.  Some pedicab owners do carry insurance, and there may be a source of recovery.  The owner’s general liability policy may afford coverage in the event that you sue the owner and operator of the pedicab.  However, insurance is not mandated at this time.

Q:   If I am injured by a pedicab as either a pedestrian or passenger, who will pay my medical expenses and lost income?

A:   If the pedicab is solely at fault, there may be no insurance for the injured party if the pedicab owner did not carry insurance.  A pedicab is not a motor vehicle, therefore, the owner does not have to carry the same type of insurance as does a yellow cab or city bus.  If the pedicab owner does have insurance such coverage may be limited in amount and scope as compared to “No Fault” coverage on auto policies.  For example, the pedicab owner might have medpay, but such coverage is limited typically to $5,000 or $10,000, and such coverage does not include lost income.  In comparison, No Fault coverage is $50,000 and includes medical and lost income.  In the event that no insurance is available, then the passenger or pedestrian will have to look to his own health and accident insurance.

Q:   If I were a passenger of a pedicab which was struck by a motor vehicle, would the insurance situation be different?

A:   Yes.  You may be afforded No Fault coverage since you were struck by a motor vehicle.  The motor vehicle’s insurer may contest the claim.

Q:   If I am involved in a pedicab accident, what should I do?

A:   Insist that the police report to the scene and take a full accident report identifying the pedicab operator, other vehicle owners and operators, and witnesses.  A police report can be crucial to your case.  If you need immediate medical assistance have EMS report to the scene to take you to a hospital.

If you have been involved in a accident with a pedicab, please feel to contact us at 800-581-1434.  The City Council may enact regulations over pedicabs, therefore, some of these answers may change.  You should always discuss your accident case with an attorney.

Mark E. Seitelman, 9/13/08, www.seitelman.com.


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