Rideshare Accident Claims

New Jersey Accident Lawyer: Rideshare Car Accident Claims

Car accidents can be complicated to deal with in the best of times. When it comes to an accident with an Uber or other rideshare service, filing a claim and receiving compensation can be even more complex. Today, rideshare services are incredibly popular due to how convenient they are, especially in areas where taxis aren’t seen as frequently. This means that if an accident does happen, there is a chance one of the vehicles involved will be used for a rideshare service. Dealing with the accident can then mean determining which insurance to file a claim with, which can depend on what the rideshare driver was doing at the time.

In accidents like these, it’s always important to work with a lawyer. It can be difficult to file a claim for compensation or to receive a large enough settlement to cover all expenses from the accident. A lawyer will be able to help you know what to do after the accident, how to deal with the insurance companies, and negotiate a higher settlement. Learn more about what makes these accidents so complicated, then call one of our lawyers to get help with an Uber accident today.

What to Do After an Accident in an Uber or Lyft

After an accident, immediate medical attention is crucial for any severe injuries. If there are no severe injuries and it’s possible to wait at the scene, call for emergency assistance and have the police create a report about the accident. While waiting, take as many photos as possible of the accident scene, including the positions of both vehicles, the amount of traffic on the road, the weather, and more. All of this can be used in filing a claim, especially if there is any argument over how the accident occurred.

After the police have written a report, it’s a good idea to go ahead and see a doctor. Even if there are no severe injuries, there could be hidden injuries that need to be treated as quickly as possible. If there are only minor injuries, having a doctor’s report can help show what those injuries are.

Once all of this is done, the next step is to speak with a lawyer for help. If the accident was caused by the rideshare driver, the information gathered could be helpful in showing how they caused the accident. Still, it will be difficult to collect a settlement. Working with a lawyer provides a higher potential for receiving the maximum settlement and not having to pay any accident-related expenses out of pocket.

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How the Insurance Works in an Accident

Drivers for rideshare services use their own vehicles and are not employees of the company, so the insurance situation is far different from how taxis would work. The laws are often incredibly complex and depend on whether the app was on at the time, the driver was waiting for a request, or whether the driver had a passenger in the vehicle with them. This information should be contained in the police report, but the police may not have written it down. In that case, the victim of the accident will need to work with a lawyer to find out which situation happened and what it means for them.

If the App is Off

If the app is off, the rideshare driver is not working. This means their standard car insurance will be used instead of rideshare insurance. The app should be off if the driver is not looking to give a passenger a ride and does not have a paying passenger in their vehicle. If they have a paying passenger in the vehicle and the app is off, a lawyer may be needed to determine which insurance company would apply for the situation. Since some drivers will work for multiple rideshare companies, it is important to check that all apps are turned off if an accident does happen.

If the Driver is Waiting for a Request

If the app is turned on, the driver is considered working. If they do not have a passenger at the time, it’s considered idling as they are waiting for a passenger to need them. During this time, they could be sitting and waiting or driving around to look for a passenger. In these situations, insurance gets a little more complicated. The rideshare insurance doesn’t typically kick in because there is no passenger. Claims will need to be filed with the driver’s personal insurance.

The issue is, personal insurance will not cover drivers who are in an accident when the vehicle is being used for a commercial purpose, which would include ridesharing. If the insurance company denies the claim because the vehicle was in waiting for a passenger and the driver was working, the rideshare insurance should cover the accident. If the personal insurance does cover the accident, but the driver doesn’t have enough coverage for all accident-related expenses, the rideshare insurance may cover any remaining funds.

If the Driver Has a Passenger

If the driver has accepted a passenger and is on the way to pick them up or is driving them to their destination, the rideshare insurance will be used for an accident. This covers drivers who do not have anyone in the vehicle, as long as they have accepted a ride and are on the way to pick up the passenger. Rideshare services are required to carry a significant amount of coverage for any accidents, and that can come into play for any passengers who are injured while riding in a rideshare vehicle or anyone the rideshare vehicle hits.

Settlement Offers for Uber or Lyft Accidents

Settlements for Uber accidents will vary based on the amount of damage to vehicles as well as the injuries sustained in the accident. In general, settlements will include economic and non-economic damages. Both are added together to determine the settlement needed to financially recover from the accident. This will likely not be the first settlement offered by the insurance company, so it is important to work with a lawyer to negotiate a higher settlement.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include medical compensation, costs for surgery or specialized care, medical devices that may be needed, rehabilitation for recovery, healthcare, and more. They can also include vehicle repair or replacement costs, lost wages, and other types of expenses from the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are those that don’t have a specific dollar amount attached. These can include funds for pain and suffering after severe injuries, loss of companionship if a loved one is killed, and more. It is harder to determine how much anyone should receive for these after an accident, which is why hiring a lawyer is crucial.

How Do Rideshare Car Accidents Happen?

Uber car accidents can happen for numerous different reasons, just like any other accident. Some of the most common ways for a rideshare accident to occur include the following.

Drivers who are distracted, even if it’s for a second, can easily end up causing an accident if they swerve out of their lane or fail to stop before hitting another driver.

Rideshare drivers who do not get proper rest before working or work long hours may end up tired. This can cause them to not respond as quickly to anything happening on the road, leading to an accident.

While rideshare drivers are working, they are not employees of a company and could take more risks than an employee would, including drinking and driving. This could lead to a severe accident.

Speeding to get to a passenger quickly or to get a passenger to their destination can lead to an accident. Severe injuries can result from accidents where speeding is a factor.

If the rideshare driver runs a red light or a stop sign, or fails to follow any other traffic signals, they could end up causing an accident. Depending on the situation, this can lead to severe injuries for the victim.

Any time there is poor visibility, or the weather is bad, the potential for an accident increases. Severe weather can further increase the potential for an accident.

Types of Injuries Common in Uber Car Accidents

The type and severity of injuries will depend on how the accident occurred and how severe the victim was injured. Common injuries after car accidents include abrasions, broken bones, whiplash, strains and sprains, bruises, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, internal bleeding, and organ damage. Even if someone doesn’t feel injured, it’s a good idea to seek medical treatment after an accident to discover any potentially hidden injuries. These can be severe but may not be noticed immediately after the accident until the person’s adrenaline wears off and they start to feel the pain.

Being in an Uber accident can be more complicated than the standard accident due to the potential for multiple insurance companies to be involved. If you are ever in an accident that involves a rideshare driver, whether you were another driver on the road, a pedestrian, or a passenger, it’s important to get help fast. Before accepting any settlement offer from the insurance company, speak with a lawyer about your case. Our team is ready to help you negotiate for a higher settlement, so you financially recover from the accident. Call us now to schedule your consultation.

FAQs About Rideshare Car Accidents

Accidents involving rideshare drivers can be more complicated than the standard accident, so it’s no surprise that many people will have a lot of questions. If you’ve been injured in a car accident where a rideshare driver was at fault, read through the following frequently asked questions to learn more about your situation and what to expect. Then, talk to one of our lawyers to get specific help with your case.

Rideshare accidents are common, and the rate of accidents has increased around two to three percent since 2011. Rideshare services do mean more drivers on the road, as people will take a rideshare service instead of public transportation. This naturally leads to the potential for an increase in accidents.

If the driver that caused the accident is an Uber Eats driver, and they were picking up or delivering food at the time of the accident, the same rules apply as if they were waiting for a passenger. Typically, personal insurance will be used first, then Uber insurance. This can get complicated, however, so hiring a lawyer for help is important.

For insurance purposes, ridesharing and taxis are very different. With a taxi, the driver is an employee and is driving a company vehicle, so the company insurance will always be involved. With a ridesharing service, the driver is not an employee and is driving their own vehicle, so depending on when the accident happened, the involved insurance company could be personal vehicle insurance or commercial.

Typically, a claim is filed, and then negotiations with the insurance company will begin. If it is not possible to agree to a settlement amount, then it may be necessary to sue for compensation and take the case to court. The case will then be decided by a judge or jury.

No, it is possible to receive compensation for an accident without a lawyer. However, the filing process can be complicated when dealing with a rideshare service, and most of the time, the insurance companies involved will try to minimize any payout. Working with a lawyer makes the entire process easier and can help to increase any potential payout.

The Uber driver will have commercial insurance through Uber in case an accident happens while the driver has a passenger. The driver will need to have a personal insurance policy in place for times when they’re not picking up or dropping off a passenger.

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a car accident claim is usually two years. After this, a claim cannot be started. It is important to start working with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident, however, as it will take time to do everything that needs to be done, like gather evidence.

It can be hard to determine who is at fault for an accident. This is a situation where having a lawyer can be crucial, as they can review evidence to help determine who caused the accident and how it occurred.

No, it’s not always necessary to go to court to receive compensation. Most cases end with a settlement and do not end up going to trial. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will then go to trial.

Rideshare services want to make sure their passengers are safe whenever they travel. For this reason, they do encourage passengers to file a claim if they’re involved in an accident. The passenger will not be banned just for filing a claim.

Anyone involved in an accident with a rideshare driver can request compensation. Depending on the type of accident and how it occurred, potential victims can include other drivers on the road, pedestrians, bicyclists, or passengers of the rideshare service.

The amount of money that can be received in a settlement will depend on the severity of the accident as well as the extent of any injuries. Severe or permanent injuries will lead to a higher settlement since the amount of medical care needed to fully recover is much higher.

It does take time to receive compensation after any accident. When it is more complex, such as when it involves a rideshare service, it can take a little bit longer. First, a claim will need to be filed, and then evidence will need to be gathered to prove the case. Negotiations will typically follow that before a settlement can be reached. It is only at this point that you’ll receive the settlement.

No, it’s typically not a good idea to accept the first settlement offer. Usually, this is an amount much lower than what the case is worth. Talk to a lawyer before accepting any settlement.

Accidents with rideshare services do happen, and they can be far more complicated to handle than they seem at first. That’s why it’s always a good idea to work with a lawyer. If you have been in an accident and have questions about what to do next or what you should expect, call our team now. One of our lawyers can work with you to file a claim and help you receive as much compensation as possible from the accident.

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