Jersey City Uber Accident Attorney
Uber is a service that can be described in numerous ways. Some people call it a taxi cab service while others think of it as a limousine service. From a legal standpoint, they are not any kind of transportation provider. You might find this unusual because they are supposed to be a service which arranges for you to get rides to your destinations. However, Uber does not employ any of the drivers who give people these rides. These drivers are merely independent contractors who earn a commission for the rides they give people through Uber.
Here’s how Uber works. Ordinary people who want to make extra money will apply on the Uber website or app to be a commission-based driver in their local area. Anyone looking for a taxi ride will also need to sign up with Uber, but as a customer. Whenever the customer needs a ride somewhere, they pull out their Uber mobile app and request a ride. Uber will then notify one of their drivers to give that customer a ride.
In a way, Uber acts as a dispatcher between the freelance “taxi drivers” and the customers who need rides. But what you need to remember is that Uber is not a transportation company. Their drivers work on contract, which means they are not official representatives of Uber. Therefore, if an Uber driver were to give you a ride somewhere and they get into an accident, you would not be able to file a lawsuit against Uber. The liability for your personal injuries falls on the driver only.
New Jersey Liability Issues Surrounding Ridesharing Services
If Uber can be described as anything, it would be described as a ridesharing service. This is a different kind of service than a taxi riding service. Ridesharing is like a professional carpool where the driver picks up multiple people in a short amount of time and drops them off at their requested destinations. In a taxi cab, the passenger doesn’t typically share rides with anyone else because a company owns the taxi cab and is providing a service directly to their customer. Not only that, the company has more liability for the safety of its customers. Ridesharing services like Uber do not have this liability.
The law has still not clearly defined whether ridesharing companies are liable for the personal injuries suffered by their passengers. One thing is for sure, drivers need to have commercial auto insurance if they are working as a paid driver. If they only have personal auto insurance and a passenger sues them, the driver’s auto insurance is not going to pay their claim. A passenger could still file a lawsuit and win compensatory damages, but it doesn’t mean those damages will ever be paid.
Getting Compensation from Uber
Uber accident victims have the legal right to sue whichever person or company they want. Just because Uber will claim they are not a transportation service, it doesn’t mean that you can’t sue them in court if an Uber driver causes your injuries. As an Uber passenger, you may not realize that Uber requires all their drivers to carry their own insurance coverage. In addition, Uber takes out a separate insurance policy for each driver which provides up to $1 million in coverage. Therefore, if you get injured in an Uber-related accident, you could receive up to $1 million in damages to cover your medical bills and other expenses.
Do not expect your legal case against Uber to be so easy. Even though they purchase excess liability insurance coverage for each of their drivers, Uber may not be so quick to compensate you for your injuries. For example, if an Uber driver gets into an accident and you suffer a damaged spinal cord, Uber may look for a way to deny any responsibility in the case. Perhaps the Uber driver forgot to log into their Uber account through the app before they took you out for a ride. In this case, Uber might say the driver was not technically contracting for them when the accident took place. These are the kinds of hurdles that you will face in an Uber accident related lawsuit.
Talk to a Jersey City Uber Accident Attorney
When you have been injured in an Uber accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should file a lawsuit immediately after it happens. Remember that New Jersey is a state which has mandated a no-fault insurance system. This requires victims of all accidents to file an insurance claim and use their personal injury protection coverage first to pay their medical expenses. But if your medical expenses exceed the amount of coverage that your insurance will provide, then you can seek compensatory damages for the balance in court.
We know the laws surrounding Uber accidents are a bit complex. Many states are still trying to figure out where the liability truly lies in these ridesharing accident cases. For now, they are typically handled on a case-by-case basis. So, do not feel discouraged if you think your personal injury claim will never succeed. An experienced Jersey City Uber accident attorney will work tirelessly to figure out the best way to get you the compensatory damages for your injuries.
If you hire one of our Jersey City Uber accident attorneys, they will review all the reports and documentation surrounding your Uber accident injury case. They will investigate the driver’s background, the driver’s insurance coverage, Uber’s insurance coverage on the driver, the circumstances surrounding the accident and more. In many cases, the accident may have been caused by another driver on the road. This means that the Uber driver and company may not even be to blame. If so, we can make that determination and create a feasible argument in court on your behalf for compensatory damages and possibly punitive damages too.
In New Jersey, you only have two years to file a lawsuit against the driver or Uber. The best thing you can do is call 201-798-8000 as soon as possible and seek free legal advice on what you should do. If it looks like you have a good case to file a lawsuit, our attorney will be happy to take on your case and fight for your rights in court.