With tens of thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers and millions of rides each year, ridesharing services are popular and often very convenient. Most passengers are expecting to arrive at their destination safely and promptly and aren’t thinking too much about what happens if the Uber is involved in an accident.
Uber has released a Safety Report that details its few number of fatal accidents (19 total in 2017 and 2018), which is half the national average of rates per mile. However, their report does not detail the number of accidents resulting in serious injury and bodily harm. Additionally, the report does not detail the accident rates for drivers involved in accidents without passengers but ‘on the clock’ for Uber while waiting for a fare.
New Jersey Uber and Lyft Accident Laws
While laws related to rideshare accidents vary by state, New Jersey has enacted some legislation designed to protect passengers while riding in an Uber, Lyft or other ridesharing services. Under this law, Uber/Lyft drivers who are carrying a passenger in their vehicles are required to carry $1.5 million in liability coverage (to compensate for bodily injury, property damage, and wrongful death), and $1.5 million in underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. This insurance coverage is available to victims even if the Uber driver did not cause the accident and if the other driver was uninsured. These insurance requirements that apply when the driver is carrying a passenger replace the typical no-fault insurance laws that otherwise apply in New Jersey.
Uber Accidents Without a Passenger
What if you’re involved in an accident with an Uber driver “deadheading” or driving in between rides or to the next pickup spot? Lower limits apply if the Uber or Lyft driver has his or her app turned on, and so is looking for a passenger, but not actually carrying a passenger. In those cases, the insurance requirements that apply include $50,000 for death or bodily injury (per person); $100,000 for death or bodily injury for the total accident; and, $25,000 for property damage. If the driver is simply looking for a passenger, however, accident victims are required to first access their own insurance under the traditional no-fault rule.
Brandon J. Broderick Can Help You Recover Compensation
New Jersey has complex insurance laws around car accidents involving Uber or other ridesharing services. Our knowledgeable Uber accident attorneys can take over all negotiations with insurers so you get full and fair compensation for your losses. One of our trusted team members will listen to your story, learn about your case, and can advise you next steps. Many of our clients feel a sense of relief once they make that first phone call. Contact us today for a free consultation.