Uber and Lyft accidents are sometimes confusing when it comes to getting compensation. You might expect the at-fault driver to pay for damages, but NJ’s no-fault laws sometimes prevent that from happening. Additionally, Uber and Lyft might have insurance policies that help cover damages – but lawsuits against these companies might be barred.
For help getting full compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident, contact an Elizabeth, NJ Uber and Lyft accident lawyer. Insurance claims for car accidents in NJ often block damages for pain and suffering, and getting full compensation can be a complex process.
For a free case review, contact our Elizabeth Uber and Lyft accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey. Call us at (732) 838-9769.
Filing a Lawsuit for Injuries in an Uber or Lyft Accident in Elizabeth, NJ
Typically, New Jersey law expects insurance to handle car accidents and the associated damages. Under NJ’s no-fault insurance rules, each driver must carry insurance to cover their own injuries and medical expenses, and every driver must have a separate policy to cover the property damage they cause. On top of this, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are required by law to carry $1.5 million in insurance coverage for potential accidents as well. However, a lawsuit might still open access to additional damages you would not be able to get in an insurance claim.
Which Policy Covers Me?
Most of these insurance policies are no-fault PIP policies. This “personal injury protection” coverage pays for damages like medical bills and lost wages, but it might not pay 100%. If you were hit by an Uber or Lyft driver and are filing with your own PIP insurance, you might also have to pay deductibles.
Fortunately, Uber and Lyft’s insurance can often come first, allowing you to get additional coverage above and beyond your own insurance by filing with their insurance. However, their insurance only covers situations where their driver had a rider in their car or was on the way to pick up a rider. A separate, lower policy covers when the driver is on duty but has not selected a ride yet. If you were injured as a rider in an Uber or Lyft, this will typically cover you – but not necessarily if you were another driver, a pedestrian, or a cyclist.
Additionally, for Uber and Lyft’s insurance to kick in at all, the rideshare driver who hit you must have been following local insurance requirements. This means that they would need to have had their own driving insurance as well as their own rideshare insurance. Any mistakes in paperwork could potentially mean that you are cut off from all of Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies.
Suing Instead of Using Insurance
No matter which insurance policies cover, you might still be limited as to what damages you can claim. To get pain and suffering damages or other non-economic damages, you may need to file a lawsuit. However, lawsuits are only available for “serious injuries” in New Jersey.
This means you would need to prove that your injuries involve some kind of permanent loss or permanent injury. Long-term disabilities should also count, as should any serious broken bone or loss of a fetus. If a loved one died in an Uber or Lyft accident, our Elizabeth Uber and Lyft accident attorneys can also go straight to a lawsuit to help recover compensation.
In a lawsuit for serious car accident injuries, you could open up access to pain and suffering damages, which could be a substantial part of your case. Additionally, if the at-fault driver’s actions were seriously reckless or dangerous, punitive damages might also be available.
Can You Sue Uber and Lyft for Car Accidents in Elizabeth, NJ?
If you were involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, you might want to sue the company they work for. After all, this is generally possible with traditional transportation companies like taxi companies or bus companies. However, Uber and Lyft are structured in such a way that lawsuits typically must be filed directly against the driver.
Uber and Lyft claim that their drivers are independent contractors instead of employees. For a lawsuit to be filed against a commercial driver’s employer, they usually need to be an actual employee rather than an independent contractor. However, Uber and Lyft might still be reachable with a lawsuit in limited situations, such as when they are responsible for the negligent hiring of a driver they should have known was dangerous.
Even if your lawsuit is filed against the driver directly, Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies should still kick in to cover the damages. This can mean accessing damages above and beyond what the driver might be able to pay out of pocket or through their own personal insurance.
Keep in mind that if you were hit by another car while riding in an Uber or Lyft as a passenger, your Uber/Lyft driver might not be at fault at all. NJ’s no-fault laws could potentially mean Uber/Lyft’s insurance still covers you, but you could also be entitled to file a lawsuit against the other driver for serious injuries. Talk to our Elizabeth Uber and Lyft accident attorneys to make sure you are filing your case against the proper parties.
Damages for Injured Uber and Lyft Accident Victims in Elizbeth, NJ
Always review your potential injury case with our Elizabeth Uber and Lyft accident lawyers before accepting any money for your accident. It is possible that insurance companies may seek to reimburse themselves from your award if you file a lawsuit after accepting insurance money. It is also possible that an insurance payout could function as a settlement, blocking you from claiming additional damages later. It is important to review your accident case with experienced injury attorneys who can explain what your case is worth and help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Call Our Elizabeth, NJ Uber and Lyft Accident Attorneys Today
For a free case review, call the Elizabeth Uber and Lyft accident lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey today at (732) 838-9769.