New Jersey Lyft Accident Lawyer
An Experienced New Jersey Lyft Accident Lawyer is a Powerful Advocate for Lyft Accident Victims throughout New Jersey
Rideshares are now a popular form of transportation for many people in New Jersey. Using an app to cut your ride when you need one is a convenient way to get to your destination and offers a safe means of getting home after a night out that involves alcohol. When you use a service like Lyft, you trust in the company and the driver to keep you safe on the road. Driving comes with some inevitable risks. If you are in a collision involving a Lyft driver, you will need to speak to an experienced New Jersey Lyft accident lawyer right away. Rideshare car crash claims are unique and can be complex. Contact Gelman Law, LLC to discuss your case today.
Lyft is Convenient, But Think About Who is Driving You
You might be used to using Lyft and other rideshare services, but you may not always think about who you are asking to drive you to your destination. Rideshare drivers are independent contractors who operate their own vehicles to carry passengers. This arrangement is different from the one that impacts taxi drivers who are employees of the taxi company.
When it comes to liability in a car accident, a taxi company will likely be responsible for their drivers’ actions. However, vicarious liability only applies in cases where the driver is an employee. Lyft is not liable, accepting certain specific scenarios, for its driver’s actions. As such, if you are in a collision with a Lyft driver, or if your Lyft driver causes a crash with another motorist, you will have to wonder who will cover the costs related to your injuries.
Insurance Policies and Requirements for Rideshare Drivers in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey enacted laws in order to protect citizens when a rideshare driver causes a crash. The law involves mandatory insurance coverage that applies to Lyft drivers depending on the reason they are using their car. For instance, Lyft drivers who are using their car for their own purposes, such as going to the movies, visiting friends, or running errands, do not qualify for coverage from Lyft.
When a Lyft driver turns on their app to look for customers, Lyft must provide a minimum insurance policy that includes $50,000 per injury per person, $100,000 in personal injury coverage per accident, and coverage for property damage as well.
Once the driver accepts a ride, the policy jumps to $1.5 million. A $1.5 million policy far exceeds the minimum insurance coverage required to drive in New Jersey. Private motorists only need to carry coverage of $15,000 per injured person and $30,000 for overall injuries caused in a crash.
Suppose you are in a car accident involving a Lyft driver, and that driver bears responsibility for the cause of the collision. In that case, the reason the driver was operating the car will significantly influence the amount of coverage available.
Does Lyft Have to Screen Drivers?
Lyft does need to provide some screening services to weed out dangerous motorists. Drivers who have a suspended license within three years, a drunk driving violation within the last seven years, or more than three moving violations, cannot operate a Lyft. The drivers need to be at least 21 years old and have been driving for a minimum of one year.
However, suppose Lyft failed to follow its own rules or negligently hired a driver with a history of particularly dangerous driving behaviors. In that case, the company could potentially expose itself to direct liability in the event of a crash. For example, imagine that you are in a Lyft and the driver is speeding and driving recklessly. If that driver causes the collision, you could file a claim for personal injury damages.
If you discover that the driver has a history of multiple speeding violations, accidents, or other evidence that the person is a reckless driver, you might be able to file your claim against Lyft for negligent hiring. As mentioned, in most cases, Lyft will not be responsible for their drivers because their drivers are independent contractors.
Understanding Negligence and Damages in New Jersey Lyft Accident Cases
In most car crash cases, injury victims will have to show that another driver caused their injuries through negligence. Negligent behavior may involve speeding, texting, violating traffic signals, driving under the influence, and other similar careless behaviors.
Sometimes, more than one driver will be at fault for a crash. For instance, suppose that you are driving in your own car and collide with a Lyft driver’s vehicle. If the Lyft driver was turning left and you had the right of way, then the Lyft driver is likely at fault. However, if you were speeding, you may share in the liability. In these cases, you will still be able to recover from the other driver, as long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault. The ability to recover in the above set of facts is because New Jersey practices comparative negligence rather than contributory negligence.
In the above example, imagine that the court finds you 30 percent at fault. If you suffer $100,000 in injuries and other damages, you should be able to collect $70,000. The damages, in this case, reflect a $30,000 reduction because of your own share of faults.
Determining the amount of damages will depend on the severity of your injuries. Damages will compensate you for your medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, and for your pain and suffering. A dedicated New Jersey Lyft accident lawyer from our firm can help you understand the value of your claim.
Call a Trusted New Jersey Lyft Accident Lawyer at Gelman Law, LLC Today
At Gelman Law, LLC, our attorneys are prepared to handle the complexities of your Lyft car crash claim. Contact us today to speak to a compassionate New Jersey Lyft accident lawyer who understands how important your claim is to you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Lyft Accident Cases in New Jersey
Rideshare-related laws are new and evolving. You might have questions regarding your claim, including some of the following frequently asked questions.
In New Jersey, the state allows injured individuals to file their claims for up to two years after the date of their injury. Failing to file within the statute of limitations will mean that you cannot pursue your claim for damages. There might be certain exceptions to this rule, such as if you were a minor at the time of your accident. However, you should never wait to speak to a lawyer about your case.
Yes, the rideshare insurance requirements will apply if you suffer injuries as a pedestrian because of a Lyft driver. In these cases, the same rules will apply. If the driver is traveling for their own purposes and not logged into the app, you will have to pursue a claim with their insurance. If the driver’s logged into the app, the $50,000 policy applies, whereas if the driver accepts a ride or is transporting a passenger, the $1.5 million policy will apply.