Ridesharing has become a popular mode of transportation, but it raises unique issues when deciding how to travel between places. Many customers are left uncertain about how liability issues will be determined in cases involving Uber and Lyft riders because drivers for the company are independent contractors rather than employees.
Rideshare companies report that their programs help to reduce the rate of drunk driving accidents that occur in New Jersey, but statistics actually reveal otherwise. A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that there has not been a reduction in the number of deaths due to car accidents as a result of the creation of rideshare companies. As a result, the risk of getting into an accident while traveling with a rideshare company is comparable to the risk of getting into an accident if you drive in your own vehicle.
If you are injured in a rideshare accident, you should immediately obtain the assistance of a seasoned accident attorney who will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.
Requirements for Insurance Companies
A 2016 New Jersey law, the Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act, helped to clarify this issue. Passed by both houses of the New Jersey legislature, this law addresses the several different legal ambiguities associated with accidents while using services offered by rideshare companies. These new elements of the law include the following:
- Any rideshare driver is banned from employment if convicted of certain crimes including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, homicide, reckless driving, possession or sale of a controlled substance, and sexual assault.
- A limitation on lawsuit options cannot be raised by the rideshare company or any of its drivers in relation to any actions that occur during a ride. These parties also cannot raise any action against any party who is not receiving personal injury protection benefits in any action for damages that occur during a ride.
- Lyft and Uber must carry commercial insurance policies with $1.5 million coverage limits, which cover passenger injuries when rideshare accidents occur. This law had previously been set at $1 million.
What to do if You are Involved in a Rideshare Accident
If you are involved in a rideshare accident, there are some important steps that you should remember to take, which include the following:
- If anyone is injured in the accident, contact emergency medical services.
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver and passengers.
- Take photographs of the accident if it is safe and possible to do so.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident until emergency workers tell you it is safe to do so.
- Report the accident to both your insurance company as well as the rideshare company.
Contact a Skilled New Jersey Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in a rideshare accident, speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. An attorney at Ferrara & Gable is waiting to help you navigate the numerous complications that can arise from rideshare accidents and obtain the compensation that you deserve.