Uber Accident Lawyer New Jersey
If you are a passenger in a car that is involved in an accident, you are likely entitled to compensation regardless of who is at fault. This is typically true even if you are riding in a car operated by someone working as an Uber or Lyft driver. Let’s take a deeper dive into what type of damages you may incur and who may be responsible for reimbursing you for those losses.
What Type of Damages Might You Incur?
Ideally, you will seek medical treatment after an accident even if you don’t think that you are hurt. Typically, you don’t feel symptoms of whiplash, a concussion or internal bleeding for hours or days after a crash. If you don’t seek medical treatment immediately, it may be harder to prove that your injuries were a result of the defendant’s actions.
You may also suffer broken bones, lacerations or spinal cord injuries in an auto accident, and this may be true even in a crash that occurs at relatively low speeds. As a general rule, you are entitled to any medical bills that you incur in the aftermath of a crash caused by another person. You may also be entitled to compensation for any current or future treatment that you might need to fix long-term mental or physical health issues.
In the event that you miss work while recovering from crash injuries, you may be reimbursed for lost wages. Lost future earnings might be included in a compensation package if you can’t return to work or can’t return to the job that you had prior to the crash.
After a crash, you may have nightmares or suffer other types of mental distress. For example, it might be difficult to get back into a car driven by another person or get back into a car at all. Those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might also have aversions to loud noises, smells or other stimuli that might trigger memories of what happened to them.
The New Jersey personal injury attorneys at the Di Lauri & Hewitt Law Group offer free case reviews to help you determine if you may be entitled to compensation for mental distress. They may also be able to make an initial assessment as to other damages you may receive in a settlement or at trial. If you are killed in a crash, an attorney may work with your estate’s representative to seek compensation on behalf of your family. You can call us now at 973-343-5736 for a no-obligation consultation with our compassionate attorneys.
Who Is Responsible for Your Losses?
Many different parties may be held liable in an accident involving vehicles affiliated with ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. If you are involved in a crash caused by a driver performing services for Uber, you would make a claim against that company’s commercial policy. Uber offers up to $1.5 million in liability coverage as well as up to $1.5 million in uninsured/underinsured coverage.
Lyft offers up to $1 million in liability coverage and up to $1 million in uninsured/underinsured coverage. Uninsured/underinsured coverage applies if an accident is caused by another driver who does not have adequate insurance. Both companies will also provide collision or comprehensive coverage in some cases.
Typically, this coverage is only offered if a driver had it as part of his or her personal policy. Furthermore, a claim would only be made against these policies if a driver’s personal insurance provider denied an initial claim. A ridesharing accident attorney may be able to provide more insight into which insurance provider is likely responsible for making a payment in your case.
What if Your Driver Was Offline? In Cases of Uber Accidents When the App is Off During The Ride.
In most cases, companies aren’t responsible for what their workers do on their personal time. This is generally true whether a driver is classified as an independent contractor or an employee. It’s worth noting that Uber or Lyft drivers are almost always classified as independent contractors even if they are bound by the rules imposed by those organizations.
Therefore, if your driver was offline when you got into a crash while traveling in Cedar Knolls or Morristown, it’s unlikely that you would make a claim against Uber or Lyft. Instead, you would start the process of obtaining compensation by filing a claim against the driver’s personal insurance provider.
In New Jersey motorists must have at least $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $30,000 per accident. Furthermore, they must have at least $5,000 in property damage coverage. These minimums are scheduled to increase on the first day of 2023 to $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. Property damage coverage minimums will also increase from $5,000 to $25,000 on the first day of 2023.
However, there is a good chance that your medical bills, lost wages and other damages will far exceed those limits. If that happens, you have the right to take legal action against your driver as well as other parties that may have acted in a negligent manner. Morristown Uber and Lyft rideshare accident lawyers may be able to ensure that you take action in a timely manner. In New Jersey, you have two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit. Exceptions may apply if you are incapacitated or were a minor when the crash occurred.
Who Else May Be Liable for Damages?
Any party that may have acted in a negligent manner in causing a crash to happen may be named as a defendant in a personal injury case. For example, if your driver had a history of drunk or reckless driving, Uber or Lyft may be liable for damages beyond a simple insurance claim. This is because ridesharing companies are supposed to screen their drivers before allowing them access to their platforms.
Ultimately, they are responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent a crash from happening, and hiring someone who doesn’t have a clean or valid license would likely be considered unreasonable. If a poorly designed or poorly maintained road played a role in causing a wreck to happen, the government agency tasked with its upkeep could be named in a lawsuit.
Proving Negligence in Uber / Lyft Cases in New Jersey
There are a few key elements that must be proven before you can obtain compensation from a rideshare company, your driver or any other party. First, you must be able to prove that the defendant had a duty of care that was breached at some point before an accident occurred.
In other words, the defendant must have taken actions that a reasonable person would know or should have known were reckless. In most cases, drivers have a duty of care to anyone in their vehicle as well as other vehicles or pedestrians that they encounter while traveling.
Next, you must show that you were hurt or lost property as the result of a defendant’s unsafe action. Finally, you must show that you incurred a financial loss because you were hurt or were deprived of your property.
It’s possible that you would be deemed partially at fault for your injuries. For example, if you grabbed the steering wheel just before a crash occurred, that might have played a role in an accident taking place.
The state of New Jersey uses a modified comparative negligence system, which means that you can only obtain compensation if you are less than 50% at fault for your injuries. If you are less than 50% at fault, your award is reduced by the percentage of your own liability. Let’s say that you were 10% liable in a case in which you obtained a $1 million settlement. In such a scenario, your award would be reduced by $100,000, which is 10% of $1 million.
Talk to a New Jersey Ridesharing Accident Attorney Today: Robert Di Lauri, Esq. is rated by Super Lawyers
If you are hurt in an accident, schedule a consultation with the personal injury lawyers at Di Lauri & Hewitt Law Group right now. Founder Robert Di Lauri, Esq. is recognized by Super Lawyers and has an extensive background in personal injury cases.
Hiring an attorney means that you have someone who can explain and review settlement offers to determine if taking a deal is in your best interest. Legal counsel may also provide clarity on other issues that may arise before, during or after a case is resolved.
Often, insurance companies and opposing counsel are more likely to negotiate in good faith with an attorney as opposed to an accident victim. This is because your attorney knows the law and can review an offer objectively in a comfortable office instead of in a hospital room.
Ultimately, you can make decisions with confidence all while being able to focus on your recovery while the legal process unfolds. A personal injury attorney is typically only paid if you win. Attorney fees may be paid as a percentage of your overall award or paid by the defendant in addition to other forms of compensation that you may receive. If you or a family member were injured in an Uber or Lyft, contact our Cedar Knolls office today and speak with a lawyer about your case.
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