Who is Liable if I am Injured in a Rideshare Accident?
Rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber offer a convenient alternative to taking a taxi. To schedule a ride, customers simply have to log into the rideshare app, specify the pick-up and drop-off locations, select the type of vehicle they would like to be picked up in, and then submit their request. It takes a matter of moments for someone to secure a ride.
Most people do not consider the ramifications of getting into an accident in a ride-hailing service. Many people do not understand that rideshare accidents are unique. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, Uber/Lyft insurance or an Uber/Lyft driver’s personal car insurance may cover the costs of any injuries incurred by passengers.
If you have been hurt in a rideshare accident, you need a Morristown Lyft accident attorney.
How is Insurance Handled in a Morristown Rideshare Accident?
Under New Jersey statute 39:5H-10, ridesharing companies and their drivers are required to carry automobile insurance. There are three scenarios that determine how much insurance will apply:
- Logged on/not providing a ride: if an Uber/Lyft driver is looking for a passenger but not currently providing a ride, then New Jersey law requires that the transportation company’s insurance cover $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death or bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage;
- Actively providing ride: if an Uber/Lyft driver is transporting a passenger, then the transportation company’s insurance must provide up to $1.5 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage;
- Logged off app/driver not actively working: if the Uber/Lyft driver is not in the course of accepting passengers, then their own car insurance would apply; minimum coverage limits in New Jersey are $15,000 for bodily injury, $30,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $5,000 for property damage.
In New Jersey, an Uber/Lyft driver is required to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. For example, if you were a passenger injured in a rideshare accident, and the other driver was responsible (not your Uber/Lyft driver), you could be eligible to receive up to $1.5 million in compensation.
In any personal injury claim, an injured party is entitled to sue the at-fault party to recover financially for their losses. These losses are known as damages. Damages fall under two main groups: special and general damages.
Special damages are economic losses that were suffered by the claimant. These damages have a correlating monetary value, and compensation is only intended to cover the amount of the expenditure itself.
Examples of special damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy
- Medical equipment
- Increased living expenses
In contrast, general damages are intangible losses that have no face value but have affected a person’s quality of life.
Examples of general damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
In rare situations, a plaintiff can sue for punitive damages. The plaintiff is required to present evidence showing that the defendant acted with reckless disregard for others’ safety. In New Jersey, the statutory cap for a punitive damages award is either five times the amount of compensatory damages, or $350,000, whichever is greater. This is reserved for severe cases in which either driver acted egregiously. It is best for an injured passenger to discuss their case with an attorney to see if they may be eligible for punitive compensation.
A Rideshare Accident Attorney Serving Morristown, New Jersey
Any type of car accident can be convoluted. Given the situation, multiple drivers may even be at fault. Before medical expenses pile up, contact Leonard Legal Group. Our attorneys are dedicated to their clients, giving each case their undivided attention. Help is just a phone call away. Scott Leonard is a board-certified civil trial attorney and has been handling car crash cases for over 25 years and can help you get the compensation you deserve.