Rideshare Accident Lawyers for Clients Injured in Lyft & Uber Cars in NJ
Rideshare companies, most famously Uber and Lyft, have revolutionized how New Jersey residents get around. These companies pushed for permissions to operate in cities across the U.S., including in New Jersey, arguing in part that their ridesharing services would reduce traffic deaths due to DWI and other causes. Unfortunately, these claims have not proven to be true according to recent studies, and more and more people are getting injured in Uber and Lyft accidents. When a passenger in a ride sharing vehicle is injured, the individual has certain rights under New Jersey law. However, knowing who may be financially responsible is not always simple. If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in New Jersey, you should consult an experienced rideshare accident lawyer about your specific situation before taking further steps. Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay rightful compensation to victims and it is important to ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to. Our New Jersey Uber Accident Lawyers have experience in handling rideshare injury cases, we know what to look for to determine who can be rightfully sued, and will aggressively pursue financial recovery you deserve. Contact us 24/7 for a free consultation. Call (732) 303-7857 day or night or contact us online for a free consultation.
Ubers and Lyfts Cause Serious Accidents
Uber and Lyft ride sharing services have become very popular in New Jersey and throughout the United States and the world. Unfortunately, some Uber and Lyft drivers are involved in motor vehicle accidents and their passengers suffer severe injuries such as whiplash or fractures as a result. According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and Rice University, traffic accident rates increased significantly in cities after rideshare companies Uber and Lyft began operating in these cities. Based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a nationwide decline in traffic accidents ceased and then reversed itself in 2010, around the time that Uber and other rideshare services began operating nationwide. Researchers are still conducting additional studies to determine whether this is a long-term pattern, but the trend has been motor vehicle accidents on the rise. Also, Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies have put more cars on the road which increased congestion overall, another potential cause of higher accident rates.
How do Rideshare Accidents Happen?
An Uber or Lyft accident can occur in various circumstances, many times, it is the Uber or Lyft driver who causes the crash. There are numerous mistakes that ridesharing drivers make that may give rise to liability if a passenger in their car or another driver or passenger is injured. Some of ways Uber and Lyft drivers cause crashes include:
- Using a cell phone
- Operating a GPS/navigation system
- Driver fatigue
Rideshare drivers may be more prone to auto accidents than other drivers for many potential reasons. As anyone who has ridden in an Uber or Lyft knows, drivers are often glued to their cell phones, and may even have multiple cell phones attached to their dashboards that they are continuously monitoring, whether to look for directions or to set up a new ride as your trip is coming to an end.
Uber and Lyft drivers are often headed to locations and areas with which they might not be familiar, and they may be switching routes frequently using apps like Waze to avoid traffic and reduce the time it takes to get you to your destination and start making money off of another rider. Drivers can also be distracted as they are trying to find a rideshare passenger at their pickup point on the street or when drivers are attempting to find a place to stop and wait for the rideshare passenger to get into their car.
Furthermore, drivers who need money may be driving for hours on end, sometimes using multiple different ridesharing apps to find riders, leading to fatigued and more accident-prone driving. Rideshare drivers also have an incentive to get you where you’re going quickly, which may contribute to reckless driving in some cases. All of these potential mistakes could lead to an injury giving rise to a personal injury lawsuit for negligence or a related legal claim.
Can Another Driver be Held Responsible for an Uber Accident?
If an individual is a passenger in a car used for ride sharing and the vehicle is involved in an accident with another vehicle, the passenger may have a right to file an action against the individual who was operating the Uber, as well as the driver of the vehicle that was involved in the accident. This will obviously depend upon the specific circumstances of the accident. The passenger of the vehicle would need to establish that either the Uber or Lyft driver and/or the driver of the other vehicle or vehicles breached their duty to operate their respective vehicles in a safe and lawful manner and caused injury or damage.
Do Uber & Lyft Drivers Carry Insurance in New Jersey?
In May 2017, the New Jersey legislature passed a new ridesharing law that clarified the duties of rideshare drivers and companies like Uber and Lyft. The new law imposed insurance requirements on drivers and rideshare companies that can help protect people injured in accidents involving rideshare companies. Rideshare insurance must include millions of dollars of coverage for bodily injury, death, and property damage (assuming that the rideshare driver is transporting a passenger for the rideshare company at the time of the accident). The law also imposes insurance requirements to cover thousands of dollars in property damage if an accident occurs while a driver is looking for a passenger – a time when the driver may be distracted. The law similarly provides for medical coverage associated with rideshare accidents.
Following passage of this law, injured rideshare passengers may have significantly more recovery options available to them in a personal injury lawsuit resulting from an accident involving Uber or Lyft, particularly compared to ordinary Personal Injury Protection insurance policies that might apply if a rideshare company was not involved.
In New Jersey, Uber drivers must be insured up to certain limits. Under New Jersey law, a driver of an Uber when logged on to the transportation network and providing a prearranged ride, must maintain the following coverages:
- primary automobile liability insurance in the amount of at least $1,500,000 for death, bodily injury, and property damage;
- primary automobile insurance for medical payments benefits in an amount of at least $10,000 per person per incident, which shall only apply to and provide coverage for the benefit of the transportation network company driver; and
- uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to the extent required pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1968, c.385 (C.17:28-1.1 in an amount of at least $1,500,000
This means that under this law, if you are a passenger in a ride sharing vehicle, the Uber or Lyft will need to maintain insurance of up to $1,500,000.00 dollars. However, the mandatory coverage for medical bills is only $10,000.00. It is therefore important to contact an experienced attorney if you are injured in a car accident involving a Lyft or Uber. Call our highly respected New Jersey Uber Accident Attorneys and we will answer all of your questions. The initial consultation and our representation will cost you nothing if we don’t recover compensation on your behalf.
Are there Limitations on Uber and Lyft Accident Lawsuit Compensation?
In New Jersey, many individuals are subject to the limitation on lawsuit. The limitation on lawsuit limits an individual’s ability to file a lawsuit if they are injured in a motor vehicle accident. This limitation is found in an individual’s motor vehicle insurance policy. The limitation on lawsuit law essentially states that an individual who carries car insurance must use their own car insurance policy to cover medical bills if they are involved in an accident. This provision applies regardless of fault. In exchange, car insurance rates were reduced and individuals gave up certain rights with regard to filing lawsuits when a motor vehicle accident occurs. However, because a passenger who is involved in an Uber accident does not have no fault insurance available to them, they will not be subject to the limitation on lawsuit provision which applies to many other motor vehicle accidents.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Handle my Uber Accident Case in NJ?
If you have been involved in an Uber accident or a Lyft accident, it is critical to consult a qualified New Jersey Uber Accident Attorney to discuss you case after an accident involving a rideshare company. To speak to one of our dedicated NJ ride sharing accident lawyers, call our local New Jersey offices now at (732) 303-7857 or start a chat. Our attorneys will take the time to meet with you and discuss your options. Our initial consultation is free. If you enlist our help, our lawyers will obtain the police report, use an investigator, if necessary, to obtain statements or take any applicable photographs. We will then aggressively represent your interests and fight for compensation for your injuries after a crash involving an Uber or Lyft. Our firm will not be paid a legal fee unless we successfully recover money on your behalf.
The Cost of Convenience: Ridesharing and Traffic Fatalities, Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State University of Chicago Booth School of Business