The emergence of ridesharing apps have changed the way we travel. Uber and Lyft have become common household names and just about everyone has benefited from these services, from people who need a ride to people who need a few extra bucks giving rides. The sheer convenience of these services has made them more and more popular, but the more people take advantage, the more likely an Uber or Lyft ride is to be involved in an accident.
Determining who is liable for any injuries or damages incurred in an Uber or Lyft ride accident can be convoluted. Merely recovering from a car accident is hard enough, so you don’t need to spend more time than you have to deal with legal matters and trying to get the damages you’re owed. Learn who pays for your medical expenses and discover how a New Jersey car accident attorney can help.
What to Do After a Car Accident
When you’re involved in a car accident, the legal ramifications probably aren’t your first thought, and that’s okay. They shouldn’t be. Your primary concern should be your own safety and the safety of anyone else involved. The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re okay. Even if you feel fine, be careful when moving around. Sometimes, injuries from car accidents don’t manifest themselves until hours or even days after the accident. So what happens if your car accident injuries don’t show up right away? After your own safety has been established, check on everyone else.
If there are any injuries among the people involved, call an ambulance right away. Regardless of injuries, however, you need to call the police. Having the police at the scene of an accident comes with a wide variety of benefits. They can help direct traffic around you to prevent the accident from involving more vehicles. They can also keep the people involved in check since car accidents tend to ignite road rage in some drivers. One of the most important tasks of a police officer is to document the scene.
The police officer will compile an official record of the car accident scene, but that’s not always enough. If you can, make sure you take pictures of the accident yourself. Be sure to highlight the position of the vehicles, any fallen debris, visible damage and tread marks on the road. All of these pieces of evidence, corroborated by the police’s official report, will greatly aid any case, should it go that far.
Finally, you need to get the contact and insurance information of everyone involved in the accident. This is essential information moving forward if you want to get any of the damages you’re owed. Car accident injuries can be serious, and you don’t want to be stuck with the financial burden of medical costs without assistance, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Uber and Lyft Accidents and the Law
As recently as May 1, 2017, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are legally required to carry commercial insurance policies in the state of New Jersey with $1.5 million coverage limits. The idea is that this insurance will be enough to cover any passenger injuries should the driver of the Uber or Lyft be at fault or should an uninsured other driver be at fault. It’s important to note that New Jersey is a no-fault state, which limits the ability to sue other drivers for damages after car accidents, but that doesn’t apply if you’re a passenger in a rideshare car.
Before this law was enacted, rideshare companies generally just paid for basic insurance for their drivers. The passengers weren’t covered at all. Keep this in mind if you travel outside of New Jersey to anywhere without a similar law. Some may view this as a burden on the industry itself to force companies to pay for such comprehensive insurance, but more passengers are willing to ride with them now, resulting in an overall business gain.
What to Do When You’re In a Rideshare Accident
If you’re involved in an accident in an Uber or Lyft, there are a few extra steps to the proper response, but it’s mostly the same as a normal accident. The first additional thing you need to do is make sure you get your driver’s contact information and insurance details. When you photograph the scene of the accident, make sure you get the Uber or Lyft logo designation in the shot to make it easy to identify which car was the rideshare vehicle.
Some issues can come up in which people may deny that you were ever a customer for the rideshare program. To prevent this tactic being used against you, make sure you always take a screenshot of your receipt. This will act as evidence that you were, in fact, a passenger in the vehicle during the time of the accident.
New Jersey Car Accident Attorney
When you’re injured in a car accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you’ll need the help of a skilled car accident attorney in New Jersey. Recent changes in New Jersey law may mean you’re entitled to compensation, but you’ll need professional help if you want the best chance at getting what you’re owed. That’s where the experts at Peter Davis & Associates can help.