Know Your Rights And Legal Options After An Uber Or Lyft Accident
The use of Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services continues to be a popular means of transportation. The ease and relatively low expense of a ridesharing service can make them attractive options. With the rising number of rideshare apps and drivers on the road comes an increase in accidents involving those drivers. When such accidents occur, the legal implications can be complex. Who is responsible for injuries? What insurance applies?
At Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, we have over 50 years of combined legal experience in motor vehicle accident cases. Our attorneys are dedicated, meticulous and ready to fight for you in maximizing compensation from all potential sources.
Common Causes Of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare crashes can occur for basically the same reasons as any other type of motor vehicle accident, including speeding, aggressive driving, inexperience, failure to obey traffic laws, and fatigued or impaired driving. There are also some accident causes and hazards that are either unique to rideshare drivers or at least much more prevalent among them. They include:
- Distractions caused by the rideshare app and GPS. Drivers must be constantly checking their smartphone for updates and information, and that can be very distracting. If they experience a problem with their GPS, that can also lead to an accident.
- Failure to properly park while picking up and dropping off passengers. Rideshare services are not cabs, but many rideshare drivers behave like cab drivers. That sometimes means double parking, blocking traffic and stopping in dangerous areas to facilitate a quick pick up or drop-off. This puts everyone at risk.
- Driving in unfamiliar areas. Although they are likely to be using GPS, rideshare drivers can get into an accident simply because they are unfamiliar with their surroundings. This includes behaviors like making last-second turns, missing stop signs and failing to keep a lookout for pedestrians.
When you contact us, we will fully investigate the circumstances that led to the crash in order to determine who was at fault.
Auto Accidents Are About Insurance, And We Know Insurance
All lawsuits involving motor vehicle accidents are about insurance. In the case of ridesharing accidents, insurance concerns can be tricky. Our experienced lawyers can get to the bottom of your case by asking questions such as those below.
Who was at fault for the accident? It could be your ridesharing driver, another motorist, a combination of the two or someone else entirely. Determining fault will be crucial to the success of your case.
Was the driver properly insured? Like everyone else, rideshare drivers are required to have a personal auto policy that meets the minimum required coverage in New Jersey. This personal coverage will be in addition to supplemental coverage provided by the ridesharing service.
Was training or failure to investigate the driver an issue? Rideshare companies are responsible for thoroughly vetting their applicants, including criminal history and driving record. They must also ensure that drivers are properly trained on company policies and procedures.
Which insurance company needs to offer fair compensation? This could include the rideshare driver’s policy, the rideshare service’s policy or your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
It Is Important To Identify The Driver’s Work Status At The Time Of The Crash
Both Uber and Lyft have several different tiers of insurance coverage based on the driver’s status at the time of the accident. Because of this, coverage can literally change from one minute to the next, depending on what a driver is doing. Here are the tiers of coverage, according to Uber’s website:
Tier 1: Driver is not logged into the app and is inactive. The driver’s personal insurance policy applies and rideshare company assumes no liability or coverage.
Tier 2: Driver is logged into the app and waiting for ride requests. If an accident occurs under these circumstances, the rideshare company’s insurance will provide bodily injury coverage of up to $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident. Property damage coverage is capped at $25,000.
Tier 3: Driver is on the way to pick up a passenger or is transporting a passenger. This is the highest tier of coverage. Uber’s insurance provides up to $1 million of liability coverage as well as some variable uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and property damage coverage.
As you can see, the costs incurred by the insurance company (and the rideshare company by extension) vary widely. As such, both parties have a strong incentive to dispute driver status at the time of the crash, if at all possible. This is one reason why you need an experienced and aggressive attorney advocating for you.
Get A Free Case Evaluation – Contact Us Today
In New Jersey, you generally have just two years to take legal action after a rideshare accident, but it is a good idea to seek legal help much sooner than that. To learn how we can help you, contact us to schedule a free consultation. You can reach out online or call 973-609-5693. You have nothing to lose, as we only accept a fee if we obtain fair compensation on your behalf.
We are located in East Orange, New Jersey, but do most of our work in Newark. Our office is easily accessible through public transportation. We can provide assistance in French Creole and Spanish as well as English.