Technology and the internet have changed many aspects of our daily lives, including transportation. You can now use your phone to connect with ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft for rides. Unfortunately, when accidents happen, the situation can become legally complicated.
Typically, after an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you can sue the vehicle driver but not the ridesharing company. Ordinarily, you can sue an employer for injuries caused by an employee’s negligence, but Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees. Even so, the ridesharing company may provide insurance coverage for your accident, depending on how it happened. If the company does not cover your accident, the driver will pay through their own insurance, or you may be able to have to turn to your own underinsured motorist coverage.
Dealing with an Uber or Lyft accident might be more complicated than typical car accidents. Our New Jersey Uber and Lyft accident attorneys have the experience and skills to help you. For a free case review, call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769.
Who Do I Sue After an Uber or Lyft Accident in New Jersey?
After an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you can usually sue the driver of that vehicle for damages. In many cases, injured accident survivors were passengers inside the Uber or Lyft car when the accident happened. Passengers rely on the driver to get them to their destination safely, and when drivers are negligent, their passengers get hurt.
You may also sue the driver even if you were not a passenger in their vehicle. For example, if you were driving in a separate vehicle when the Uber or Lyft driver crashed into you, you can sue the other driver. The same goes for pedestrians who might have been hit by an Uber or Lyft vehicle.
In some cases, the Uber or Lyft driver might not be responsible for the crash, or they might share responsibility with another driver. You can sue the other driver instead of or in addition to the Uber or Lyft driver.
Our Jersey City Uber and Lyft accident lawyers can help you file your lawsuit and get compensation for your injuries. Accidents are often very severe, and the person responsible should cover your expenses.
Why You Cannot Sue the Ridesharing Company After a Lyft or Uber Accident in New Jersey
Typically, you cannot sue Uber and Lyft after an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver. Ordinarily, if an employee’s negligence causes injuries, the injured person can sue the employee and their employer. Employers are often vicariously liable for their employee’s negligence, but this rule does not apply to Uber and Lyft and their drivers.
Uber and Lyft drivers are legally not considered employees. Instead, they are independent contractors. Since they are not employees, Uber and Lyft cannot be held vicariously liable for a driver’s negligence. An independent contractor is different than an employee because independent contractors have greater control over when and how they work. For example, Uber and Lyft drivers can choose when they drive, for how long, and where they pick up rides.
Although it is unusual to be able to sue the companies Uber and Lyft after an accident, it is not impossible. You should discuss your case with our experienced Newark Uber and Lyft accident attorneys to determine who you can sue.
Is the Ridesharing Company Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident Case?
While you typically cannot sue Uber and Lyft, only the driver, that does not mean these companies are not involved in the case at all. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Depending on your accident, Uber or Lyft may provide insurance coverage.
Uber and Lyft both have insurance policies that cover drivers in the event of an accident. This insurance is not offered in every single accident case, and you should talk to our Newark Uber and Lyft accident lawyers to figure out what kind of insurance coverage applies to your accident.
Uber and Lyft both have very similar insurance policies. Remember, these policies cover Uber and Lyft drivers, not the passengers. You can take advantage of these insurance policies if you win your lawsuit because these policies will cover the defendant.
Under these policies, drivers are covered if they are actively driving and waiting to be matched with a passenger. For example, if an Uber driver was driving around waiting for someone to request a ride when they hit you, your accident would be covered. The policy is good for $50,000 in bodily injury damages per person, $100,000 in bodily injury damages per accident, and $25,000 in property damages.
If the passenger is in the vehicle, or the driver is en route to the passenger, the policy is increased to $1,000,000 in third-party liability. However, New Jersey law requires the companies to cover $1.5 million. Unfortunately, if the Uber or Lyft app is off, the driver is not covered by Uber or Lyft’s insurance.
What If My Accident Is Not Covered by Insurance Provided by Uber or Lyft in New Jersey?
While insurance from Uber or Lyft typically covers many accidents, some drivers are not covered. As mentioned before, if the app is turned off, the driver is not covered. However, that does not mean other insurance policies do not cover the Uber or Lyft driver. Our Paterson car accident attorneys can help you
If Uber or Lyft does not cover your accident, the driver should have their own insurance they can turn to. Personal insurance usually does not apply in these cases, and special ridesharing insurance is usually required. Drivers often carry this separately or tacked onto their personal insurance.
If the driver is completely uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your claim, you may have to turn to your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage if you have any. You can still proceed with your lawsuit and hold the Uber or Lyft driver liable, but they might have a harder time paying your damages without their own insurance.
Contact Our New Jersey Uber and Lyft Car Accident Attorneys for Assistance
Car accidents and the entanglement of a lawsuit with insurance policies can be very frustrating. Our New Jersey personal injury accident attorneys can help you file your case and compensation as quickly as possible. Call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769 for a free case review.