An accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver could leave you with substantial injuries. These drivers often spend long hours on the road with little supervision, and it is difficult to ensure that they are safe for passengers or others on or near the road, like other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
If you were involved in a crash with a rideshare driver, you should work with a lawyer. There are overlapping insurance policies that might cover your injuries and confusing rules about what damages can be covered.
For a free review of your case, call Legal Care New Jersey’s Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at (732) 838-9769 today.
Getting Damages for Uber and Lyft Crashes in Clifton, NJ
Getting compensation for an accident with a rideshare driver will be complex and a bit confusing for three main reasons. First, general car insurance rules in New Jersey are a bit difficult to navigate. Second, car insurance is even more confusing because there are at least four different policies that might cover your injuries in an Uber/Lyft crash. Third, if you can file a lawsuit, it often cannot be against Uber or Lyft, even though their driver might have caused the crash.
NJ Insurance Rules
Drivers in New Jersey need to carry no-fault insurance to cover their own injuries and injuries to anyone in their car during a crash. This no-fault insurance pays damages for medical expenses and lost wages, but it pays no money for pain and suffering.
You can often opt for a “basic” policy or another “limited right to sue” policy that prevents you from even suing for pain and suffering outside of this coverage unless your injuries are severe enough to qualify for a lawsuit under NJ law. You can also opt for an “unlimited right to sue” policy, which is usually a bit more expensive.
If you were riding in an Uber or Lyft when the accident happened, that driver’s insurance covers you instead of your own insurance. If you were a passenger in another car, then that driver’s insurance should cover you. This can be more confusing for cyclists, who might be covered by an auto policy they have, even though they were riding a bike and not driving a car. Alternatively, they could be covered by a policy owned by someone else in their household if they do not actually have car insurance but their spouse or parent does. The same is true of pedestrians.
Rest assured that our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers can help you determine what your policy allows and help you seek maximum compensation through whatever means are available to us.
Rideshare drivers are expected to go above and beyond when it comes to insuring their ride. Rideshare drivers must carry either a full commercial driver’s policy or at least a special rideshare driver policy because of the fact that they carry passengers and use their car for business purposes. NJ law enforces this so that there is additional funding available to cover passengers in the event of an accident.
Uber and Lyft both also require this, but they provide additional insurance on top of this. Both companies usually allow their supplemental policies – usually $50,000 of coverage – to kick in if the driver has insurance but it is too low to cover the case at hand. If there was a passenger in the car or the driver was picking up a passenger when the accident occurred, then an even higher dollar policy should cover.
This is where things can be very confusing because the driver’s personal auto policy, plus their rideshare policy, plus the rideshare company’s supplemental policy, plus their high-dollar policy means there are at least four potential policies you could be covered by. If you were in another car when the accident occurred, then that driver’s policy is a fifth policy that could cover.
Often, the high-dollar rideshare company’s policy usually covers as the primary policy, but different rules for different policies might make them the “primary” policy on your accident case.
Inability to Sue Uber or Lyft
If your injuries are severe and you are considering a lawsuit to recover pain and suffering beyond what insurance will cover, you usually cannot file that lawsuit against the rideshare company. Neither company hires drivers as employees, which allows them to insulate themselves from lawsuits for their driver’s mistakes.
There may be some grounds to sue, such as if the company hired a driver they should have known was a danger behind the wheel, but this is rare. This kind of principle is often extended to cases where the driver assaults a passenger and has a history of assault the company should have known about, but it does not usually apply in accident cases. Nonetheless, we will investigate all avenues to compensation based on the facts of your specific case.
Proving Fault in an Uber or Lyft Accident Case in Clifton, NJ
Even though NJ uses a no-fault insurance system, determining fault is still a major part of any auto accident case. While the driver’s policy and many of the overlapping rideshare policies in your case should cover you regardless of who was at fault, those policies will typically only pay for a portion of medical bills and lost wages. To get any additional coverage, you will have to file with the driver’s liability insurance or file a lawsuit if you qualify to do so. In either of those situations, you will need to prove they were at fault to get compensation.
Fault is determined in a car accident lawsuit by determining which driver violated the law or violated other safe-driving principles. Traffic laws and signals, like speed limits and red lights, must be followed at all times, and violations can put drivers at fault. Otherwise, unsafe moves behind the wheel are weighed against the standard of what a “reasonable” person would do, and if they are found unreasonable, those can form the grounds for a lawsuit instead of a traffic violation. If multiple drivers each did something wrong, they can each share fault – potentially meaning the victim shares fault as well and gets their damages reduced in proportion to their own fault.
Call Our Uber/Lyft Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review
If you or a loved one was hurt in an Uber or Lyft accident, call Legal Care New Jersey’s Uber and Lyft accident lawyers today at (732) 838-9769.