Uber and Lyft are among the preferred commuting options for residents in New Jersey and across the United States. These rideshare services offer door-to-door convenience, enhanced safety, professional services, and allow you to travel anytime. Nonetheless, rideshares are not completely immune to motor vehicle accidents and other road mishaps. If you or someone close to you was involved in a rideshare accident, you may be entitled to pursue damages.
The Law Offices of Mitchell R. Friedman, P.C. is committed to offering experienced legal counsel and skilled representation to clients in their rideshare accident cases. As a reliable New Jersey personal injury lawyer, Attorney Friedman can help you understand your rights after a rideshare accident and analyze your available legal options to recover financial compensation. The firm proudly serves clients across West Orange, Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, and the rest of Hudson County, New Jersey.
Liability in a Rideshare Accident
New Jersey is a “no-fault” state for auto accidents. Under the state’s no-fault system, the injured person will turn to their own insurance provider – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage – to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses, notwithstanding the at-fault party. However, your options to recover damages may vary based on the circumstances surrounding the incident.
If You Are a Passenger and the Driver Is At Fault
If you were hurt while riding as a passenger in a rideshare accident and your driver (the driver of the car you were riding) caused the incident, you will turn to the driver’s no-fault insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
If You Are a Passenger and the Other Driver Is At Fault
If you were hurt while riding as a passenger and the other driver is at fault, you will still turn to your driver’s no-fault coverage to recover damages. However, you may have a limited right to sue the at-fault other driver if you suffered any of the following:
- Severe or permanent injury
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- A displaced fracture
- Significant scarring
- Loss of a body part
If Your Car is Hit by an Uber or Lyft Driver
If you are hit by a Lyft or Uber driver in New Jersey, the following liability coverage rules will apply:
Driver Isn’t Logged In: If the Lyft or Uber driver isn’t logged into the rideshare app, the driver’s own personal insurance coverage must pay for your injuries and damages.
Driver Is Logged In: If the Lyft or Uber driver is logged into the app but looking for passengers, the rideshare company will provide liability coverage of:
- $50,000 for bodily injuries or death per person.
- $100,000 for total bodily injuries or death per accident
- $25,000 for property damages.
Driver Accepts a Ride: However, if the accident occurred after the Lyft or Uber driver accepted the ride request with a passenger present in the vehicle, the rideshare company will provide liability coverage of up to $1.5 million for bodily injury, property damage, or death, and up to $10,000 for medical coverage.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft Directly?
What’s more, you may be eligible to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the rideshare company directly – if your injuries meet the state’s required threshold. However, Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors. Hence, it may be a very limited liability to file a lawsuit directly against the rideshare company.
In order to pursue damages, you must establish vicarious liability or respondeat superior. This is a legal doctrine which places vicarious liability on a master or employer for the wrongful or negligent actions of their servant or employee.
However, in order to prove respondeat superior, you must show that there was a master-servant relationship and that the negligent act occurred within the course and scope of the employment. A dependable lawyer can advocate for your best interests and educate you about the next steps to take after a rideshare accident.
Steps After an Accident
According to statistics from Uber US Safety Report, there were 91 fatal Uber-related crashes in 2019 -2020. If you’re hurt as a passenger in a rideshare accident, you should take the following steps where possible:
- Stay calm, carefully exit the vehicle, and get to safety.
- Get prompt medical treatments for your injuries.
- Report the accident to the nearest police department.
- Gather relevant information, including the driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance information, and vehicle registration.
- Document the witness testimonies and accident scene pictures.
- Get copies of all documentation, including the medical report, police report, medical expenses, and hospital visits.
- Hire a seasoned personal injury lawyer to help file your claims, handle negotiations with the insurance company, or take additional legal action.
A practiced New Jersey auto accident attorney can evaluate every last detail of your unique situation and help you pursue the financial justice you deserve.
Turn to Attorney Friedman for Help
Getting hurt in a rideshare accident can be devastating and can affect your physical, emotional, and financial health. While you may be eligible to pursue damages, navigating the complicated rules addressing liability in rideshare accidents can be quite difficult. Therefore, you need to retain a seasoned personal injury attorney to protect your rights and for proper guidance.
Attorney Friedman enjoys providing outstanding legal services and protecting the best interests of rideshare accident victims. Using his broad knowledge, Mitchell can walk you through the complex procedures involved in filing claims and recovering damages. Above all, Attorney Friedman will fight vigorously for your rights and help you seek your rightful financial compensation.
Contact the Law Offices of Mitchell R. Friedman, P.C. today to arrange a case evaluation with a trusted car accident lawyer. Attorney Friedman has the reliable representation you need in your rideshare accident claims. The firm proudly serves clients across West Orange, Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, and the rest of Hudson County, New Jersey.