Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft can be convenient and less stressful than driving yourself or taking mass transportation. You might even enjoy the conversation with your driver or just relaxing.
If your ridesharing vehicle is involved in an accident, however, it’s not enjoyable, especially when you are injured. Dealing with insurance companies can add to the stress of a car crash under any circumstances, but ridesharing accidents can have some coverage twists and turns.
Types of Damages
As with an accident involving your personal vehicle, if you’re injured while a ridesharing passenger, you might be entitled to a financial settlement or damages. There are two main types of damages –economic and non-economic.
Economic damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Healthcare Consultations
- Lost Earnings
Non-economic damages refer to such items as:
- Pain and suffering, which can result from damage to muscles, tendons and other soft tissue injuries
- Mental anguish, including anxiety, depression, guilt, sleeplessness, and anger
- Physical disfigurement related to the accident (i.e., a broken nose or jaw that never sets properly)
- Loss of companionship (such as for a spouse or partner when a passenger dies from accident-related injuries)
Which Insurer is Responsible?
Even in “no-fault” states like New Jersey and New York, for insurance purposes, usually, one driver is assigned blame for an accident. If you are a ridesharing passenger injured in an accident, you would file a claim with the responsible party’s insurer.
- If it’s your driver: Ridesharing drivers are independent contractors who must have their own insurance. Sometimes these policies have “business use exemptions” or carry only the minimum required by state law. The companies they contract for, i.e., Uber and Lyft, are required by both New Jersey and New York law to carry additional vehicle liability insurance ($1.5 million per occurrence in New Jersey). However, if your driver is not logged into the rideshare app when the accident occurs, the company’s coverage may vary.
It’s difficult to find reliable statistics about how many car accidents each year involve a ridesharing service. However, as one indication, a study compared data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with the year Lyft or Uber launched in certain cities. The researchers concluded that with the increased use of ridesharing services, traffic death rates have risen 2% – 3% – more than 1,000 a year – since 2011. To put those statistics into perspective, traffic deaths occur in a very small percentage of all automobile accidents.
Attorneys in NJ and NY Who Know the Rules of the Road
It’s hoped that every ride – in a personal automobile or through a ridesharing service – is a safe one. When it is not, there’s an experienced team of lawyers ready to help. Kreizer Law Uber and Lyft Accident attorneys in NY and NJ are knowledgeable about insurance laws and ridesharing regulations. They’ll work diligently to make sure ridesharing passengers involved in an accident receive the compensation they deserve.
Call 888-578-5222 –1-(800)-458-7842 or contact us online to discuss your case with a Kreizer Law attorney today.