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Uber and Lyft Accidents in New Jersey

Published: Apr 07, 2017 in Personal Injury

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are growing in popularity. These companies use non-professional drivers to allow you to get to and from locations without the need for more expensive transportation options such as a taxi or limousine. This popularity growth is leading to more Uber and Lyft accidents – and liability issues.

Liability is complicated for many reasons. Non-professional drivers often lack the insurance that commercial drivers carry, which means that if an accident occurs, and you’re a passenger at the time, you may be paying for your medical bills out of pocket.

A Jersey City car accident lawyer can review your case to determine liability and help you get the most money possible for your claim. Contact our skilled team at Bhatt Law Group today at (201) 798-8000.

Risks Associated With Ridesharing

Rideshare drivers are similar to taxis; however, there are some key differences between drivers, vehicles, and other requirements. Both must abide by local and state regulations, but those regulations are distinct.

  • Licenses – Rideshare drivers need only a standard driver’s license in order to transport passengers; however, taxi drivers must maintain annual taxicab driver licenses in Jersey City.
  • Insurance – Both rideshares and taxis must maintain car insurance that would cover injuries in the event of an accident.
  • Background Checks – Both taxi and rideshare drivers are subject to background checks, but rideshare drivers are not required to be fingerprinted.
  • Car Inspections – Jersey City requires that taxicabs are inspected by the Department of Commerce; however, most rideshares have fewer requirements for equipment and pictures uploaded to Uber or Lyft are enough to pass inspections.

Requirements established for taxi drivers have been developed to protect riders. While there are some protections in place for rideshare passengers, they are much more lax than those for taxicabs.

Company Insurance Policies

While Uber advertises a $1 million insurance policy plan, the truth is that the policy is more like a three-part insurance plan. When there are no passengers, the driver is covered by their own insurance company first and foremost. Then, Uber’s insurance kicks in and covers up to $100,000 for injuries and $25,000 in property damage. When the driver is carrying a passenger, Uber’s $1 million policy applies.

Lyft’s insurance policy is a bit more complicated. The company offers contingent liability and collision coverage for drivers who are actively driving. The policy offers up to $50,000 per person and up to $100,000 per accident.

Liability Issues

Liability gets tricky depending on whether or not the rideshare driver was on the clock. If the driver was on the clock, then the company’s insurer should cover damages. If the driver was off the clock, then their personal auto insurance company should pay the costs.

This isn’t so cut and dry for insurance companies, who often deny these types of claims. Although rideshare drivers may have the option of obtaining an additional commercial insurance policy, they often don’t for cost reasons. Some insurance companies will deny claims if the driver is working for profit, gets in an accident, and has only a personal auto policy.

Liability is also tricky because rideshare drivers are not considered employees of Uber or Lyft. They are considered independent contractors, so the rideshare companies often don’t claim liability for their drivers.

Whether you were a passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist at the time of a rideshare-related crash, you may have liability issues to contend with after an accident. You should hire a Jersey City car accident lawyer quickly after a serious injury.

Our Jersey City Car Accident Lawyers Can Help

An accident involving Uber or Lyft is extremely complex. There are numerous liability issues to contend with, and getting enough money to pay for your injuries will be a challenge.

Bhatt Law Group has more than a decade of experience helping people like you negotiate with liable parties, deal with the court system, and recover sufficient compensation for accident-related injuries. We can help you with complex claims, including those involving rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Call our office today at (201) 798-8000 to see how a Jersey City car accident lawyer can help you through this stressful time.