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New Jersey Rideshare Accident Attorneys

Rideshare Accident AttorneysCompanies like Lyft and Uber have continued to grow in popularity over the last several years. But this rise has also come with an increase in car accidents and subsequent fatalities. According to one study by the University of Chicago, “research reveals that the introduction of ridesharing services accounts for a roughly 3 percent annual increase in those fatalities, or 987 people each year.” Many more people are left seriously injured.

Lyft and Uber both hire their workers as “independent contractors.” The safety checks that drivers go through are not always stringent. Rideshare accidents can leave victims with critical injuries and completely upend their lives. Any person injured by an Uber or Lyft may be able to seek some measure of accountability through a civil claim. The New Jersey rideshare accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here for you. We can investigate the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are. You can reach out to our firm anytime at 800-529-9997.

Common Causes of New Jersey Rideshare Accidents

Rideshare accidents can be very complex events. They usually involve two or more vehicles in a variety of different settings. The factors that may contribute to any collision can take place hours, days, weeks, or even months beforehand. These include driver training and experience, weather conditions, vehicle design, and roadway conditions. What follows are just a few of the most common causes of rideshare accidents in New Jersey.

  • Speeding: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that speeding is a contributing factor in roughly 29% of all traffic fatalities.
  • Fatigue: It is common for rideshare drivers to work multiple jobs in addition to their driving gigs. Many drivers work for both Uber and Lyft at the same time. Rideshare drivers are susceptible to the hazards of fatigue like everyone else.
  • Inclement Weather: Rideshare drivers across New Jersey routinely work in poor weather conditions, especially during the winter months. Ice, snow, or rain on the roadway can dramatically increase stopping distances and regularly contribute to collisions.
  • Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Neither Uber nor Lyft provide their drivers with maintenance for their vehicles. Drivers may neglect maintaining their vehicles, which can lead to catastrophic system failures. This includes brake failures and tire blowouts.
  • Distracted Driving: Rideshare drivers are constantly multi-tasking during trips. They usually accept ride requests even while they are transporting passengers. It is therefore relatively common for them to be dangerously distracted.

Understanding these causes can help in developing strategies to reduce the risk of accidents. This can improve safety for both drivers and passengers. Part of the problem is that Uber and Lyft are not particularly selective about who they let transport passengers. For many years, these companies have relied on background checks that are far less exhaustive than those used in other transportation industries. In fact, several thousand convicted felons have been cleared to drive for Uber.

Liability For New Jersey Rideshare Accidents

Determining liability for rideshare accidents in New Jersey can be a difficult proposition. Both Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors and not employees. This has major implications for liability coverage. Generally speaking, companies are not legally responsible for the wrongful actions of the independent contractors that they hire. However, both Uber and Lyft provide their drivers with insurance coverage. The level of coverage available will depend on the circumstances of any collision.

  • Period 0: The rideshare driver has their app turned off. When a rideshare driver is offline and involved in a crash, their personal auto insurance will apply.
  • Period 1: A rideshare driver has the app on but has not accepted any ride. In this instance, Uber or Lyft provide limited coverage, usually around $50,000 per person for bodily injury, and $100,000 per incident.
  • Period 2: The driver has accepted a ride and is on their way to pick up a passenger. In this instance, Uber and Lyft provide $1.5 million in coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and/or death.
  • Period 3: The passenger is in the Uber or Lyft. In this instance, the rideshare company’s insurance will also provide $1.5 million in coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and/or death.

In certain situations, Uber or Lyft could be held directly responsible for the actions of their drivers. For example, both companies have faced serious lawsuits by people who claim that they were sexually assaulted by their rideshare drivers. Most of the lawsuits claim that the assailant was negligently hired or retained by the company. For instance, both companies have been accused of relying on lax background checks that have allowed dangerous criminals to become drivers.

Steps To Take After A Rideshare Accident

Going through a rideshare accident can be extremely stressful and confusing. Many accident victims are left seriously injured. This can negatively impact their ability to work and leave them with high medical bills. Some people are so seriously injured that they may never be able to work again. It is essential that accident victims take certain steps in order to protect their rights and ensure that they are fairly compensated.

  • Ensure Safety and Call 911: Right after any accident, it is important to move away from traffic and to safety as early as possible. After you’re in a safe location, call 911 so the accident can be properly documented.
  • Seek Medical Treatment: It is always a good idea to seek a medical evaluation after any accident, even if you feel like you’re alright. Many injuries sustained in car accidents are internal and not immediately obvious.
  • Gather Information: Collect the names, contact information, and insurance details of all drivers involved. It is a good idea to get the names and contact information of eyewitnesses.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos and videos of the accident site if you’re able to. Save any correspondence with the rideshare company involved.

There are also several steps that you should absolutely avoid if you’re involved in a collision with an Uber or Lyft vehicle. Avoid admitting fault or discussing your case with insurance adjusters after a collision. Uber and Lyft will almost certainly have their insurance adjusters call and try to get a statement from you. These conversations should only be had under the guidance of an experienced rideshare accident attorney.

Why You Should Hire A Rideshare Accident Attorney

Navigating the aftermath of a rideshare accident can be an extremely daunting task. In nearly all accidents, there is a complex interplay between several insurance policies, legal issues, and other disputes. On top of this, New Jersey has some of the most unique and challenging laws when it comes to vehicle collisions. Hiring a New Jersey rideshare accident attorney has a number of advantages, both in the present and down the road.

  • Navigating Legal Landscape: A rideshare accident attorney can navigate the complex legal landscape of your accident and identify all potentially responsible parties.
  • Maximizing Compensation: An experienced attorney can accurately assess all of the damages that you are entitled to. This can include compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Handling Insurance Providers: Insurance providers will do everything in their power to avoid settling claims for fair amounts. Rideshare attorneys understand the tactics that insurance providers use and are therefore able to counter them effectively.
  • Courtroom Representation: Most claims are settled out of court. But in the event that a claim doesn’t settle, a rideshare accident attorney can provide you with courtroom representation to ensure that you are fairly compensated.

There is a tremendous peace of mind that comes with having a skilled rideshare accident attorney handle your claim. An attorney can handle the legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery. One of the most beneficial aspects of hiring an attorney is the financial arrangement that they work on. There are no up-front costs to hiring an attorney, and they only get paid by the opposing party if they are able to successfully resolve your case.

Getting Legal Help After A Rideshare Accident

Team AttorneysThe New Jersey rideshare accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. understand how hard it can be to go through a rideshare accident. They are committed to making sure that accident victims get the most compensation possible. In fact, they have recovered $1 billion for their deserving clients across New Jersey and New York.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a rideshare accident? Our team of New Jersey rideshare accident attorneys is here to assist you. There is a reason why so many families have trusted us to handle their claims. We are committed to making sure that our clients win and are fairly compensated above all else. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here to serve your needs. You can  reach out to us anytime at 800-529-9997.

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