Imagine booking a ride from Uber or Lyft, getting into the vehicle, and then facing an accident. Who is responsible? You, your driver, or the person in the other car? Believe it or not, but it could be none of you. Instead, it could be the ridesharing company. It all depends on the cause and type of accident.
Ridesharing, services such as Uber and Lyft, are becoming more common and convenient these days, whether you have a car of your own or not. Booking a ride and paying for it is simple and straightforward through your phone.
You don’t have to worry about finding a parking space or filling up the gas tank. All these reasons contribute to its ever-growing popularity. However, this popularity does not come without a cost. The number of accidents involving Uber and Lyft cars is also increasing.
According to a study by the University of Chicago and Rice University, when the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents are compared just before and after ridesharing services are introduced in a city, the results show a significant increase in the number of accidents after the ridesharing businesses are launched.
So, let’s take a look at some of the common causes and types of Uber and Lyft accidents.
Common Causes of a Lyft or Uber Accident in New Jersey
There can be different causes behind Uber or Lyft accidents, some of which could be intentional, some unintentional, and some simply negligent. The cause of the accident can affect its consequences, such as the severity of the accident and who ends being held responsible.
Speeding is a common cause of accidents, and it has many aspects to it as well. It can include simply going over the posted speed limit, which can make it hard to control the car, leading to an accident. Moreover, even if it’s within the limit, the car speed can also be considered inappropriate according to the weather or road condition.
For instance, going too fast during snowy weather or with icy roads can be dangerous and cause the car to skid into another car. Alternatively, speeding on a very busy road with lots of other vehicles can also increase the chances of a collision.
A Lyft or Uber accident in New Jersey can also occur if the drivers of the vehicle attempt to race against each other. Racing can involve the drivers driving their cars at high speeds and even disregarding traffic rules in the heat of the moment.
The competition could cost them a lot more if they run into an accident. Sometimes, these Uber and Lyft drivers are also desperate to pick up as many rides as possible in a day, and so, they might race from one location to another. Along with driving rashly, this could also make them park in dangerous areas, leading to an accident.
Driving Under Influence
You might call for an Uber or Lyft when you’re drunk to avoid driving under the influence yourself. But what can you do if the Uber or Lyft driver themselves is under the influence?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, around 29 people suffer a fatal motor vehicle accident due to alcohol-impaired driving. Other than that, driving under the influence can also include the influence of drugs and other illegal substances.
Driving under such conditions can severely affect the decision-making capabilities of the driver, which is vital when you are out on the road. You might not be able to tell on your own if your driver or the person in the other car is under the influence. However, a seasoned Lyft accident lawyer could catch it when they’re collecting evidence of the accident.
Ridesharing services are primarily accessed through our phones, for the drivers and passengers alike. Therefore, the drivers have to constantly keep an eye on their phones for upcoming bookings or any other notifications. This can easily cause them to get distracted and run into an accident.
What’s more, the phone isn’t the only thing that can distract them. While driving a foreigner or tourist, they could get distracted while trying to understand the passenger’s instructions or explaining certain landmarks.
Not Obeying Traffic Rules and Regulations
Traffic signals, signs, and other rules are all meant to be for the safety of everyone on the road. Therefore, not obeying these rules, such as running a red light, simply increases the chances of a collision. Even if they don’t run into any accident, ignoring traffic rules and regulations can generally get Uber and Lyft drivers in a lot of trouble.
They can get pulled over and have their license confiscated. Additionally, ignoring these rules can be intentional, for instance, if they are racing, or unintentional if they are distracted while on the road. Either way, it is quite dangerous and a common cause of a Lyft or Uber accident in New Jersey.
Lack of Training or Experience
Even though Uber and Lyft both have certain requirements for potential drivers before they are brought on board, they can not always guarantee a driver’s driving skills. Sometimes, the minimum driving experience may not be enough for driving in a certain area or on the road.
Therefore, if an inexperienced driver without the proper training starts driving around in a busy area, they could run into an accident.
Lack of Maintenance of Vehicle
Similar to the drivers’ requirements, there are requirements for cars as well. The car has to be in good condition. However, after the initial safety inspection, it’s up to the driver to maintain their car in proper condition.
If they don’t, the car could break down, which can not only be an inconvenience for the passenger but also pose a danger to everyone on the road. Imagine driving on a busy road, and the car brakes suddenly fail. While ridesharing services do provide insurance to their drivers, they could deny responsibility in some cases. At those times, you will need a Lyft accident lawyer to help you find the person responsible and get compensation.
Driving While Fatigued
Driving is something that requires a person’s full attention, which can be hard to do if you’re tired or sleepy behind the wheel. Whether it is due to a sleep disorder or simply because you’ve been on the job for too long, driving while fatigued can be equally dangerous for yourself and others around you. Almost 20% of car collisions can be attributed to this cause generally.
Common Types of Lyft or Uber Accidents in New Jersey
Depending on the cause of the accident, there can be different types of accidents and that too, with varying severity. While the cause helps determine who’s liable, the types can help in calculating the settlement or compensation amount for the Lyft or Uber accident in New Jersey.
Also known as side impact collisions, T-bone accidents are those accidents in which the side of one or more cars is affected, making a ‘T’ shape. These kinds of collisions normally take place at intersections and in parking lots.
Sometimes, the Uber or Lyft driver may want to quickly reach a destination or passenger so they may do an illegal U-turn on the road to get there faster. However, doing so exposes them and their car to T-bone collisions. The speed and force of impact of the cars will determine the extent of the damage.
Single Car Accidents
A Lyft or Uber accident in New Jersey doesn’t always have to involve two or more sets of motor vehicles. Sometimes, it can also be a single car accident, where it’s just the Uber or Lyft car that has hit another object. This object could be a street lamp, house’s wall, fire hydrant, pole, or even a tree.
In these cases, there is extensive damage to the car and the property, and only the car’s driver or passenger runs the risk of getting injured. However, if the single accident is between a car and another pedestrian or motorbike, there are chances of people getting severely injured.
Side Swipe Accidents
These are usually a relatively minor accident. Side swipe accidents occur when two cars are parallel to each other, and they simply ‘swipe’ each other, causing some damage to both cars. Unless the driver was in haste and driving rashly, this type of Lyft or Uber accident in New Jersey does not cause any serious injury to any persons involved.
Side swipe accidents can take place if the drivers are distracted, looking at their phones, searching for their passengers, or trying to reach a parking spot or some destination quickly.
A hit and run accident is quite popular, unfortunately. In this type of accident, the driver quickly leaves the scene of the accident after hitting another object or motor vehicle. Unless there are dashboard cameras or CCTVs to capture the accident, it can be hard to find the driver or car that caused the accident in the first place.
If this happens to another Uber or Lyft driver, the ridesharing company can provide some insurance against it to compensate the drivers for their damages. However, it depends on the precise situation, and you might need the help of a Lyft accident lawyer to collect the evidence and build the case for you.
As the name suggests, rear-end accidents involve a car driving into the rear end of another car. This type of accident can lead to severe damage to the car as well as injuries to the driver and passenger, such as whiplash.
Normally, people assume the car at the back to be at fault, but that is not always the case. If the car in front stops quite suddenly when it should not have, it could be held responsible. Other than that, this type of accident can also take place due to several reasons.
The driver could be distracted by their phone or something else, thereby slowing down their rate of response and not giving them enough time to hit the brakes. Similarly, rear end collisions could also be due to a lack of maintenance of the car and faulty parts such as failed brakes.
Who is Liable in a Lyft or Uber Accident in New Jersey?
Considering the different causes and types of accidents, it can be quite confusing to judge who is at fault and who you should file a personal injury lawsuit against. Usually, ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, do provide some insurance for their driver’s accidents and will compensate you for your damages.
However, sometimes, the accident may be out of their coverage, and they might refuse to compensate. This is where things can get tricky, and you’ll need a knowledgeable Lyft accident lawyer to work out who’s liable and get you your compensation.
Accidents, be it from a car or due to a slip and fall, are quite messy already, and when you throw Uber and Lyft in the equation, it can get even more complicated. Depending on what caused it and the type of accident it was, the responsibility can fall on different parties, and unless you have an experienced Uber or Lyft accident lawyer by your side, you might find it difficult to determine who is liable.
If you’ve been in a Lyft or Uber accident in New Jersey and aren’t sure who is responsible, contact us today. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.