Overview of Lyft and Uber Accidents in New Jersey
Ordering up a ride from an app on your phone can be a convenient and relaxing way to get around. Hopefully, your ride with one of these car services, such as Uber or Lyft, will be a safe one, too. At Courtlaw, we know well that, unfortunately, accidents can and do happen. Our attorneys have handled cases on behalf of Lyft and Uber drivers and passengers.
New Jersey law refers to a ride-share company such as Lyft or Uber as a “Transportation Network Company” or “TNC.” Under New Jersey law, when a TNC driver is “providing” a ride, the TNC or the TNC driver, “or any combination of the two” must have primary automobile liability insurance in the amount of “at least” $1,500,000.00 for death, bodily injury and property damage. N.J.S.A. 39:5H-10c(1). The TNC law requires that there be the same amount ($1,500,000.00) of uninsured and underinsured coverage in place as well, for those times when the TNC driver is “providing” a ride. N.J.S.A. 39:5H-10c(3). Finally, there must be primary medical payments benefits of at least $10,000 per person per accident for the benefit of the driver in the event he or she is involved in an accident while in the course of a prearranged ride.
What is a Prearranged Ride?
The questions arise as to what is meant by “providing a prearranged ride”? When does a prearranged ride begin? The law is clear that a Lyft or Uber ride “begins” as soon as a driver accepts a ride requested by a rider through a digital network controlled by a TNC. N.J.S.A. 39:5H-2. In other words, when your ride is accepted by a TNC driver, the ride is considered to have begun, even though it could be several minutes before you get into the vehicle. This is important for drivers who may then be able to access the $1.5 million UM/UIM coverage required by N.J.S.A. 39:5H-10c(3) if they are involved in an accident after accepting a ride and on the way to pick up the fare.
The insurance requirements are different – and less – for that period when the driver is logged on to the TNC’s digital network, available to receive a ride but is not actually “providing” a ride. For that time, a TNC driver, the TNC or both must maintain primary liability insurance coverage of at least $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person ($10,000 per accident); $25,000 for property damage, and PIP, UM and UIM coverage pursuant to New Jersey law.
There is one last very important feature of the TNC law: If you ever have to bring a lawsuit against a TNC and its driver, the so-called ‘verbal threshold” cannot be raised as a defense to your suit.
The law of New Jersey tries to see to it that you will be adequately compensated for your injuries in the event you are injured in an accident while riding as a passenger in a Lyft or Uber or if a driver is in an accident while on her or his way to pick you up. Proof of insurance coverage must be carried by TNC drivers the same as any other driver.
Contact a Perth Amboy Attorney to Discuss Your Lyft or Uber Rideshare Accident in New Jersey
At COURTLAW, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers believes in holding negligent parties responsible for their actions, both to help our clients secure their financial future and to deter parties from behaving negligently in the future. We aggressively advocate on behalf of Lyft and Uber accident victims throughout New Jersey, and we have focused our entire practice on helping clients win fair compensation for their injuries. If you are struggling to recover from an injury sustained in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber, go to the COURTLAW website and tell us what happened in the online client contact form. Also, you may call our offices today at 732-442-5900 or 866-632-4211, to see how we can help you recover financial compensation so that you can get on with your life.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.