Today, the use of ride-sharing applications like Uber and Lyft is widespread. More and more people sign up for these services every day due to their convenience. Since public transport in many cities has failed its citizens, Uber seems like a better alternative and a quick fix.
However, with the increased use of these ride-hailing services, the increase in uber car accidents isn’t surprising. But it’s important to note that ride-sharing companies operate under different insurance policies when compared to traditional taxi services. Therefore, it’s usually unclear how one should respond after getting into an accident while availing these services.
For instance, if you were to get in an accident in a New Jersey taxi, the company with whom the taxi is registered and maintained under becomes liable for damages like medical costs, injuries, or other physical and financial damage. The status of commercial driving service makes the company responsible for settling with the parties involved in the accident.
On the other hand, if you take a closer look at Uber’s policy available on their official New Jersey website, you’ll find that they refuse to term the company as a transportation provider. The fine print says that their drivers are independent contractors and not Uber’s employees. This frees the company from any responsibility of training, supervising, or insuring these drivers.
Uber avoids liability by saying that they only connect drivers with customers, and take no responsibility for the actions of these drivers. As the number of accidents increases each day, the affected customersfeel stranded as there’s no clarity on who should be held accountable and how to get compensation for losses.
However, if you have been in an Uber accident in New Jersey, there are still many ways you could seek compensation. The best option is to contact a lawyer to proceed with your claims for you.
Let’s learn more below!
What should you do after getting into an Uber accident in New Jersey?
Uber accidents should be treated like any other car accident in terms of immediate response towards them. When you’re involved in an uber accident in New Jersey, you need to call 911 right away and seek immediate medical attention.
If you think that you or anyone else isn’t hurt, you should ask for the insurance information of your driver and any other party involved. You need to contact your insurance company immediately. You can also get in touch with Uber’s customer services.
Take a look at the following steps that you should take promptly:
- Note down the names, contact details, and insurance information of your Uber driver as well as the drivers of other vehicles involved in the accident.
- Write down the contact and relevant information of eyewitnesses, as they’ll play a crucial role in supporting your claim.
- Keep the auto insurance information of all the drivers involved in the accident.
- Capture photos of the accident scene, your uber vehicle, and the other cars involved in the accident. Take as many angles and details as possible.
- Save the screenshot of your uber receipt.
- Contact the local police to file an official report of the accident.
- Get immediate medical attention for any injuries that occurred in the accident.
- Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer, so they can begin working on your claim right away.
How are Taxi accidents different from Uber or Lyft accidents?
The taxi and limousine services are not the same as the ride-sharing services offered by companies like Uber and Lyft. For instance, if you were to get hurt in taxi service in New Jersey, the company that has the ownership of taxi, and is responsible for its maintenance and insurance becomes liable to pay your medical bills, employment loss, and any other affiliated damages and financial loss. Since the taxi service companies are registered as commercial transportation providers, that’s why they become the at-fault party in case of an accident. They are obligated to provide you with a settlement amount, which is reasonable.
On the contrary, the same policies don’t apply to ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Although the New Jersey law requires companies to provide a particular share of coverage, especially in the cases of collisions of commercial vehicles, it hardly applies to uber car accidents.
Uber insists that they don’t provide the service of transport through their company-owned cars, and the vehicles used are operated and owned by the driver independently. Therefore, the liability falls on the auto insurance of the driver. This causes a lot of problems, especially in cases of accidents, because personal insurance companies refuse to provide coverage for commercial driving.
Thus, the insurance company of your Uber driver may deny your claim right away. Uber could also deny your claim against them by saying that they only provide ride-sharing options, and aren’t a taxi service.
Liability in Uber car accidents in New Jersey
Due to the lack of responsibility on ride-sharing companies, they often run insufficient background and security checks on the drivers. The Uber vehicles are rarely inspected, and the drivers aren’t properly screened for any traffic violations, tickets, or DOI convictions in the past.This is also the primary reason why these rides are cheaper than taxi services because they often show oversight, and there aren’t enough regulations.
If you are involved in a New Jersey taxi accident, you can get compensation for your injuries from the taxi company’s insurance. This results in compromisedcustomer safety.
Ridesharing companies always take the stance that they only provide a marketplace for drivers to offer their own independent services. They don’t take responsibility for the services provided by the drivers. Therefore, they refuse to take any liability for Uber car accidents.
This uncertainty and lack of insurance is why government officials often hesitate in allowing ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in their jurisdictions.These officials are most concerned about the insurance issues bound to rise in the cases of accidents within the limits of their cities.
If you get into an Uber car accident, you could get your claim denied by both the driver’s insurance as well as Uber itself. The only probability of receiving any kind of support is from the other driver’s insurance company if they are at fault.
Although New Jersey requires Uber to provide coverage in cases of personal injuries or death, the chances of the success of your claim are quite low. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the situations in which you could or could not be covered under Uber’s policy or the driver’s insurance policy, before availing the ride-sharing service.
In the case of an Uber accident in New Jersey, the following could be the liable parties depending on the situation:
- Your Uber driver: If the car crash was the fault of your Uber driver, then the responsibility of covering your injuries and damages falls on them. However, the insurance company of the driver could deny your claim if they have a personal auto policy and not commercial auto insurance.
- Uber: Although Uber has a track record of denying claims in cases of injuries and even death in uber car accidents, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t file your claim against them. They won’t necessarily cover or compensate all the injured victims in car crashes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be covered for your losses.
- Another at-fault party: Sometimes, the at-fault party in an Uber accident could be the other driver. If you bear injuries due to the negligence of the opposite driver, you can claim for coverage against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Liability on Uber
New Jersey has introduced a new law that requires the ride-sharing companies like Uber to impose standards related to drivers’ eligibility, checking their background and history, and the provision of insurance coverage by the company as well as the driver.
New Jersey now imposes “no limitation lawsuit threshold,” which holds the ride-sharing companies and their drivers responsible for the provision of insurance coverage in cases of injury or death in Uber accidents. The prearranged rides offered by Uber are now required to provide personal injury protection to its customers. The ride-hailing companies are now treated the same as trucking companies or transportation vehicle services in cases of accidents.
Furthermore, Uber and other ride-sharing companies are now held responsible for having liability coverage of $1.5 million and uninsured or underinsured coverage of $1.5 million, when a passenger is using their vehicle service.
Do Uber drivers in New Jersey carry insurance?
New Jersey legislature passed a law regarding ride-sharing services in May 2017, which provided clarity on the responsibilities of drivers and ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. This new law put in place the insurance requirements for drivers as well as ride-sharing companies to ensure the protection of people injured in accidents that involve these services.
The law requires the ride-sharing insurance to provide millions of dollars in coverage for physical injuries, property damage, and death caused during rides offered by companies like Uber. The law also requires the insurance to provide coverage of thousands of dollars in property damage to the Uber driver, when the driver is looking for customers, as it can cause them to be distracted. It must also include medical coverage required due to the accidents.
Due to the implementation of this law, passengers could have access to many more recovery options in cases of personal injury lawsuits involving Uber.
You can file a lawsuit against Uber, if you’ve been in an Uber accident New Jersey to receive coverage for your bodily injuries, pain, emotional distress, and trauma if you can prove that they are responsible for these damages.
The best way to attain maximum coverage is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in New Jersey, who’s familiar with cases of Uber accidents. Consultancy with personal injury lawyers is mostly offered for free, and lawyers don’t receive a fee until they have successfully recovered compensation for you.
What kind of coverage can you obtain in a lawsuit against Uber?
If you got into an accident in an Uber car, you could be compensated for the following:
- Any future and past physical pain, suffering, mental distress, and physical disability
- Medical coverage, hospital bills, rehabilitation, disabilities and any otherhealthcare costs in the past and future
- Employment loss lost income, salary, or damage to property
- Loss of future earning options due to a permanent disability
- Punitive damages if it was the case of extreme negligence on the driver’s part
- Death if the lawsuit is filed by a loved one or family member of the deceased
Uber accidents can become complicated if liability is denied by both the driver’s insurance as well as Uber. You must contact personal injury lawyers in New Jersey to proceed with such claims for you.
If the Uber driver is not at-fault
If the Uber accident was not the fault of your driver, but the responsibility of someone else, then you might not be able to receive coverage from the at-fault driver. There are some drivers who drive illegally or do not carry insurance that would cover more than $15,000 in damages for causing injuries or death.
In those cases, you should you can file a claim against Uber to receive more comprehensive coverage. However, only an experienced personal injury lawyer can succeed in recovering these damages for you.
If you have been involved in an Uber accident or a Lyft accident, it is critical to consult a qualified New Jersey Uber Accident Attorney to discuss your case.
As ride-sharing accidents can get complicated in terms of recovering damages, contact us at Keith Zaid Law today for highly experienced personal injury lawyers to represent your case.