A great many people in New Jersey, not to mention throughout the country, are grateful for the new type of transportation Uber and Lyft provide. These rideshare services offer many advantages to riders, including:  almost immediate availability because the systems use drivers already in the vicinity  vehicles that are clean and well-kept and courteous drivers since each ride is rated by the customer  convenience of connecting customers to drivers through iPhone apps on which the location of the driver is visible and  easy prepayment that is taken care of directly through the same app. Nonetheless, many people complain about the increase in traffic that results from the presence of so many additional vehicles and rideshare drivers’ lack of driving and navigating experience. Sometimes such inexperience contributes to a serious ridesharing accident involving personal injuries.
Unfortunately, the independence of the Uber and Lyft drivers that makes this form of transportation attractive to drivers and passengers alike can make life extremely complicated when an accident occurs. This is why it is necessary to engage the services of a personal injury law firm with specialized knowledge of Lyft and Uber accidents to assist you. Nagel Rice LLP, an esteemed practice with offices in both Roseland, New Jersey, and Manhattan, has worked to fight for those who have been injured in a ridesharing accident since these companies first appeared on the scene.
As a matter of fact, our skilled car accident attorneys were winning millions of dollars in damages for car accident victims for more than two decades before Uber and Lyft came into being. If you have been seriously injured in a rideshare accident for which someone else was to blame, it is essential that you consult with a car accident attorney who has the knowledge and experience relative to Uber and Lyft vehicles and the maze of insurance questions surrounding them.
Serious Injuries Suffered in a Ridesharing Accident
As easily predicted, now that there are more Uber and Lyft cars on the road, more accidents involving rideshare vehicles occur. In addition to the fender benders so common on our busy roads, a certain number of ridesharing accidents are much more serious, resulting in severe, or even catastrophic, injuries. Victims of such accidents may be passengers in Uber or Lyft cars or drivers or passengers of the vehicles that collide with them.
Among the serious injuries you or a loved one may suffer in a ridesharing accident are:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (impaired cognition and/or neurological damage)
- Organ damage or loss
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries (paralysis or paraplegia)
- Loss of vision
- Loss of hearing
The ultimate catastrophic injury is wrongful death. If you have suffered a severe injury or you and your family have gone through the tragedy of losing a loved one to wrongful death, Nagel Rice is well-prepared to fight for your rights and see that justice is done. We are well aware that beyond the physical harm and emotional trauma, serious injuries can devastate family finances. The costs of medical care and long-term healthcare, coupled with the lost income of a primary wage earner, can be astronomical.
The Complexities of Uber and Lyft Liability
Because there is likely to be more than one insurance company involved in negotiating a settlement or filing a personal injury lawsuit in an Uber or Lyft case, it is crucial that you connect with an adept personal injury attorney who has in-depth knowledge of how liability works in such cases.
In spite of the fact that Lyft and Uber require their drivers to carry private insurance, each of these companies is insured for $1 million to cover personal injuries. Nonetheless, rideshare companies, like most insurance companies, try hard to pay out as little as possible on all claims. Because Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, as opposed to employees, liability issues can become complicated. Furthermore, states have widely varying laws concerning negligence and liability.
New Jersey’s Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
If you suffer a serious injury in New Jersey and sue the other driver for damages, the court will determine each driver’s percent of responsibility for the accident. This is known as “comparative negligence.” Unlike many comparative negligence states, however, New Jersey’s laws are “modified,” meaning that if you, the plaintiff, are found by the court to be more responsible for the ridesharing accident than the other party (even only 51 percent), you will not be awarded any damages at all. If, on the other hand, you are found to be only 10 percent at fault for your own injuries, the amount awarded to you at verdict will be reduced by 10 percent. So, if you are awarded $100,000, you will actually receive $90,000.
When the Accident Occurs Makes All the Difference
Another factor that may be confusing for those involved in a ridesharing accident is that the rideshare company is only liable if the driver is actively engaged in transportation service at the time of the collision. What this means is that if an Uber or Lyft driver is not logged into the company app at the time of the accident, neither Uber nor Lyft will take any responsibility. If, however, the driver is logged into the app but has not yet accepted a ride request, Uber/Lyft will provide liability coverage for any accident that is the fault of the driver, up to $50,000 per person injured in an accident, and $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 for property damage liability. Once the Uber or Lyft driver is actually transporting a customer, either company will provide up to $1 million dollars in coverage.
Damages We Are Ready To Fight For
At Nagel Rice, we will work energetically to win your case and obtain the damages you deserve. We are well aware of how traumatic serious personal injuries are to the victim and the family and how important it is to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our compassionate, determined Uber/Lyft attorneys will fight aggressively to obtain enough money to cover:
- Medical, rehabilitation, and ongoing therapy costs
- Lost income (present and future)
- Property damage
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
In the case of wrongful death of a family member in an Uber/Lyft accident, we will work diligently to ensure that funeral and burial/cremation costs are paid and that you receive damages to compensate you for your loss of companionship.
Why Nagel Rice is the New Jersey Ridesharing Accident Attorney for You
Our personal injury law practice is not only steeped in experience; we have a track record of enormous success. Take a look at the Verdicts & Settlements page on our website and notice that we have won over $1 billion dollars in aggregate for our deserving clients. We are dedicated to using our power to help you and your family recover and heal. Contact us as soon as possible to get the process going because, as you probably know, the wheels of justice turn slowly and there is a 2-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in New Jersey. You will be charged no attorneys’ fees until we win your case. In the meantime, recuperate from your trauma and trust us to fight for your future.