Lyft Accident Lawyer
Over 30 years of experience. Over $100 million recovered for clients.
Why You Need A New Jersey Lyft Accident Lawyer
Launched in 2012, Lyft is an on-demand ride sharing company. Currently, Lyft operates in over 400 U.S. cities. The company works through its smartphone app. Riders use the app to hail a Lyft car. The Lyft app offers riders several different options, from ride sharing to large luxury vehicles. Payment for the service is also done through the app. Lyft drivers use their own vehicles and are not employees of Lyft; rather, they are considered independent contractors.
Lyft operating in New Jersey
Lyft has been operating in New Jersey for over four years and has become increasingly popular year after year. A Lyft press report has claimed the company has saved New Jersey residents over 1 million hours of time as compared to other modes of transportation. Further, Lyft claims their drivers have saved residents over $18 million in value merely from using the Lyft ride-hailing service. The exact number of Lyft drivers currently driving is known only by the company itself; however, that number is in the thousands. The average Lyft driver in New Jersey earns approximately $30 per hour. However, this average is affected by when and where the ride is taken —rides in more metropolitan areas are more expensive, and rides during busy times cost more as well.
The reasons Lyft is so popular in New Jersey are many; however, the main reason is its ease of use. Unlike taxis, when using the Lyft app, a rider can see what Lyft vehicles are available near them and the information about the drivers. Furthermore, the Lyft app will tell riders exactly how far and how long it will take for the car to arrive. It is commonly known that using ride-hailing services is a little more expensive than calling taxis, yet the convenience more than makes up for the extra cost.
What does it take to become a Lyft driver in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey law, there are several specific requirements to meet before someone can drive for Lyft. These requirements may be different from state to state. In 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a new comprehensive law that regulates many aspects of ride-hailing companies such as Lyft. The company itself has its own standards for drivers for each state, and even certain municipalities may establish additional requirements to be met before someone can become a Lyft driver. Lyft’s own requirements are the following:
- Must be at least 21-years-old and have one (1) full year of driving history and drive an approved four-door vehicle.
- A driving record check that does not show more than 3 moving violations in the past 3 years, suspended licenses in the past 3 years; no DUI's in the past 7 years.
- A clean criminal background check that shows now violent crimes, sexual offenses, disqualifying felonies, disqualifying drug-related offenses, disqualifying left or property damage offenses.
- Must meet Lyft's vehicle quality standards.
- A current, valid driver's license, as well as a current insurance policy that adequately covers the vehicle under the jurisdiction in which the driver will operate.
The state of New Jersey has established additional requirements in order to operate a Lyft vehicle anywhere within the borders of the state:
- When in driver mode, the Lyft vehicle must have a specific “Lyft” designation on the outside front of the vehicle so that riders will be able to identify the vehicle
- New Jersey Lyft drivers are required by law to notify the company immediately if the driver is convicted, charged or arrested for a violent crime, felony, sexual offense, driving offense or drug-related offense
- New Jersey drivers cannot receive ride requests that originated in New York City
- New Jersey Lyft drivers are required by the new law to purchase the proper insurance coverage (Lyft requires the driver’s vehicle to be insured to the state minimum)
What types and how much insurance coverage is required?
Because there are thousands of Lyft drivers on the roads and highways of New Jersey, Lyft vehicles are bound to be involved in car crashes. Because of this, the state of New Jersey wanted to make sure Lyft drivers were required by law to have adequate types and amounts of insurance coverage. Under the new 2017 law, both the driver and Lyft have to have coverage in case the vehicle is involved in a crash.
When the driver is “offline” and not using the app in order to ferry people or to find customers, then the driver’s regular auto insurance policy will apply if they are involved in a crash. Once the Lyft driver accepts a passenger, however, then the law requires the driver and Lyft to have a commercial automobile insurance policy –that covers both the driver and Lyft –with a minimum of $1.5 million in coverage. The insurance policy must cover everyone in the vehicle and also provide Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This way the driver and passenger are protected if the vehicle is struck by someone else who does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance, to cover their injuries and damages
Despite the law requiring coverage, sometimes Lyft drivers let their insurance coverage lapse.That is why the new law requires Lyft to maintain coverage of a minimum of $1.5 million. So, even if your Lyft driver does not have insurance or not enough insurance, then the Lyft coverage will kick in. This also applies to accidents that are caused by other drivers.
If the Lyft driver caused the crash, then the injured parties could file a lawsuit against both the driver and/or Lyft itself. However, if the Lyft driver does not have a passenger, yet is logged into the Lyft system and is looking for passengers, then the insurance coverage is different. Under this scenario, Lyft would have the following coverage requirement:
- $50,000 of coverage for bodily injury or death in per person
- $100,000 of coverage for bodily injury or death per accident
- $25,000 of coverage for property damage
How much is my Lyft accident case worth?
If you were injured in a Lyft accident, as either a Lyft passenger or an injured Lyft driver, or were injured due to the negligence of a Lyft driver, you may have many questions. It is understandable to be confused about what to do. Here are some common questions:
- How much is my Lyft car accident case worth?
- Is there an average value of a Lyft accident case?
- I was a passenger in a Lyft car and my driver was negligent. Can I sue Lyft and for how much?
- I am a Lyft driver and was injured due to another driver's negligence. How much is my case worth?
In order to have all of your questions answered, you should contact an experienced New Jersey Lyft accident lawyer. The initial consultation is free, allowing you to ask questions of the Lyft car accident attorney, who will help ensure your rights are protected, and that you obtain fair compensation for your injuries. There are many aspects of your case that will determine its value. One of the first things to determine is who was at fault in your Lyft accident. For example, was it another driver; was it the Lyft driver, or was it a combination of both drivers? Next, it is important to determine how much insurance coverage will be available to cover the extent of your economic losses (unpaid medical bills, lost wages, etc.), as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. Here are some other factors that will determine the value of your Lyft accident case:
- How bad are your injuries and how long will you suffer their effects. The injuries and their severity must be documented by qualified medical professionals in order to be considered in a claim against Lyft and/or the Lyft driver. If you are injured, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If you wait to seek medical treatment then it can be argued that your injuries are not as severe, which will affect the value of your case.
- What are the total medical costs? The total medical costs include both current costs, as well as what types of treatment you may have to endure in the future. The medical costs will be determined by a medical expert and professional life care planner.
- What amount do the economic losses add up to? This amount is determined by the current lost wages as well as any future lost wages that might happen due to physical disabilities caused by the injury and treatment. This number also considers a person’s future earning capacity. For example, the injury you suffered in the Lyft car crash might not prevent you from working in the future, but it might prevent you from earning a higher salary due to your long term disability. An expert economist can determine the future loss wages due to your lower earning capacity.
- What amount do non-economic damages add up to? When people are injured in car accidents due to the negligence of another, the injured can recover money damages that are designed to compensate them for the physical pain they endured, the emotional distress and the disruptiveness to their lives caused by the injuries and treatment. Calculating this number is difficult due to the varying nature of injuries and disabilities that someone can suffer in a car crash. No set formula exists that can calculate that number. That is why you need to retain an experienced Lyft accident lawyer who has handled hundreds of these types of cases and who knows the value of them.
- How much insurance coverage is available? If there is not enough insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries then you will not be awarded the full value of your case. That is why it is very important to hire an experienced attorney so that they can investigate your case and pull in all the insurance policies that may be available. As noted herein, New Jersey law mandates both the driver and Lyft meet the new law’s insurance requirements.
Todd J. Leonard Law Firm will advocate for your rights after your Lyft accident
The personal injury lawyers and staff at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm will tirelessly advocate for your rights. If you have been injured in a Lyft-related accident, or lost a loved one, seek guidance from our experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys, who can answer your questions and protect your rights after the accident. At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, our New Jersey Lyft accident attorneys have extensive experience handling different types of cases, including car accidents, trucking accidents, wrongful death claims and other vehicle accidents. We will thoroughly investigate your accident and hold all of the parties responsible. New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations time limit, whereby a person can bring an injury lawsuit. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Please give us a call today at (973) 920-7900 to request a Free Confidential Consultation. There is never a fee unless you win.
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