Uber / Lyft Accident Lawyer
Over 30 years of experience. Over $50 million recovered for clients.
Why You Need A New Jersey Uber / Lyft Accident Lawyer
Uber Technologies Inc., or Uber, is a transportation network company that has its headquarters in San Francisco, and operates in 570 cities throughout the world. It is also referred to as a transportation network entity (tne). It is involved in the development, marketing and operation of the Uber car transportation and mobile apps, and is the first company to offer ride-hailing. Uber drivers operate their own cars. However, drivers have the option to rent a car to drive with Uber. In spite of its ever-growing popularity, Uber has been the topic of protests and lawsuits.
Uber’s popularity in New Jersey
2013 is when Uber began attracting passengers at the Jersey Shore, where it rapidly became a popular mode of transportation for beach goers, according to New Jersey Uber General Manager Josh Mohrer. The efficiency of Uber is unmatched by that of taxis, for which you must call on the phone, and describe your location.
When using Uber, you are just one click away from obtaining a ride. You only have to open the app on your phone, and a list of cars in the area appears right away. As one passenger from Point Pleasant describes the experience, there are no inconveniences or difficulties when using Uber. Upon opening your app, you click three buttons, and a driver will be en route to your location immediately. There is no need to access Google to search for a cab service, and no disrespectful dispatchers. It is unnecessary for you to even know your precise location. The driver receives immediate coordinates of your whereabouts, and is given directions by way of GPS.
Another benefit of Uber is that there is no need to walk with cash. You can pay using apps such as Venmo and Virtual Wallet. Uber has a direct connection to your credit or debit card, and you can even share the cost of the ride with friends. Additionally, prior to accepting a ride with Uber, you can check the cost by entering your pickup and drop-off addresses in the app.
In comparison to taxis, Uber offers perks, including convenience, reliability, comfort and savings. According to Uber Northeast Communications Lead Matt Wing, the most significant benefit of Uber is its reliability. You only have to be within reasonable distance of an Uber to have a driver arrive at your location to transport you to your destination. Whereas taxis stop by less frequently, an Uber ride is more dependable in that it will not require a lengthy wait. Moreover, upon entering the car, you will be able to check the time at which you are likely to arrive at your destination, and share such information with those who are waiting for you.
What is Required of Uber drivers?
In order to become an Uber driver, people must meet certain requirements. They must be at least 21 years old, and have a minimum of three years’ driving experience. The insurance for the car must be under their name, and it also has to be in the same state in which they will be driving, and comply with the state’s requirements. Also, a Social Security number and a background check is necessary. The background check looks for the following:
- history of driving a vehicle while unlicensed
- suspended licenses
- reckless driving charges
- history of criminal charges
Anyone with a clean driving history and no criminal record, may be in compliance with the general requirements to be an Uber driver. In most cities in the United States in which Uber operates, drivers do not have to possess a commercial driver license (CDL) in order to be an UberX driver, which is the most basic level of service. However, upon starting the driver application process, instructions are provided as to the class license needed for the selected position.
In addition to driver requirements, there are specific criteria that driver's vehicle must meet. The vehicle has to be model year 2000 or newer for most cities. Certain cities may have more stringent requirements. For instance, in New Jersey, the model year of the car must be 2002 or newer, and the vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan. The vehicle is required to have seats and seat belts for four passengers, and should have license plates issued by the state. It must not have been previously salvaged or used for taxi-related purposes.
Uber / Lyft Insurance Requirement
Once an Uber or Lyft driver accepts a passenger, he or she must have a commercial car insurance policy with at least $1.5 million in liability coverage for death, bodily injury, and property damage. They must also provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in an amount of at least $1.5 million, which covers all who occupy the vehicle if another motorist causes an accident and does not have any insurance, or does not have sufficient insurance.
IMPORTANT: in New Jersey, if you are in an auto accident, and you have chosen the “limitation on lawsuit option” for your car insurance coverage, you will need to prove that you have sustained a permanent injury based on objective evidence, even if the other driver was at-fault. However, if you are injured in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, whether you are a driver or passenger of the other vehicle, or a passenger of an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the limitation on lawsuit option does not apply and you will not need to prove you have sustained a permanent injury. As written in the statute, it states:
“The limitation on lawsuit option set forth in subsection a. of section 8 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-8) shall not be assertable by a transportation network company or a transportation network company driver in any action for damages arising from a prearranged ride, or be asserted against any party not receiving personal injury protection benefits in any action for damages arising from a prearranged ride.”
When not providing a pre-arranged ride, an Uber or Lyft driver must maintain liability insurance for at least $50,000 for death or bodily injury, per person, and $100,000 for death or bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Uber Car Accidents
There have been some high-profile accidents involving Uber drivers. One such incident occurred when an Uber driver attempted to make a U-turn in his Chevrolet Cruze. The motorist drove into the path of a Mustang that was already in the median lane, and the Mustang struck the driver’s side of the Chevrolet. While the driver and passenger in the Mustang suffered minor injuries, the Uber driver sustained life-threatening injuries, and his passenger suffered severe injuries. The Uber driver subsequently died from his injuries.
In another accident, an Uber driver was found not guilty of running a red light that caused him to collide into the car of a Seminole County deputy, thus causing the death of his passenger. The Uber driver received a sentence to pay a $1,000 fine, and a six-month suspension of his license.
According to police, in an accident involving a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Prosche 911 convertible, both of which were speeding, the Lamborghini crashed into a Buick Enclave driven by an Uber driver, who was 82 years old. The drivers of the other cars were both over age 60. The accident claimed the life of the Uber driver.
In a bizarre case, an Uber driver was transporting a passenger from Philadelphia to New York, and requested that the passenger take over the wheel so that he could get some sleep. However, the Uber driver awoke from his nap to find his passenger speeding. The passenger explained that the cops were chasing him. Although the Uber driver said that he continually told the passenger to stop the car, the passenger still drove at an excessive rate of speed until he crashed the car into a guard rail. Both driver and passenger suffered minor injuries.
Seek medical attention immediately after an Uber car accident
If you have been involved in an Uber car accident, it is very important that you seek medical attention right away. Visit the emergency room or consult your doctor, especially if you have suffered severe injuries. If your primary care physician is unwilling or unable to treat you following a car accident, then see another doctor or go to the emergency room. The sooner you obtain medical treatment for your injuries, the better you will be able to handle any issues that may arise.
Even if you feel fine or believe that your injuries are not serious, certain symptoms may not manifest themselves until days after the accident. Among them are:
- feelings of numbness
If you wait to seek medical attention until many days or weeks after the accident, it will be more difficult to prove that your injuries resulted from the motor vehicle crash. Obtaining medical attention right away will only serve to bolster your personal injury claim.
It is imperative that you document the names and addresses of all treating physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors and other health care professionals who treat you for the injuries you sustain. You may need to produce them at a later date in the event you decide to file a claim and/or a personal injury lawsuit. Such information will be necessary in securing full reimbursement of your medical expenses from the insurance company.
Why You Should Talk to a Lawyer
After a car accident, you should talk to a lawyer, particularly if you are injured, or you lose time from work, school or household responsibilities. Even if you are not injured, you should consult an attorney if any of the following occur:
- fault is an issue
- a fatality resulted from the accident
- the accident took place in a construction area
- a police report does not correctly depict the accident, and states that you are liable
- you have no insurance
- your insurer is represented by its own attorney
Todd J. Leonard Law Firm will advocate for your rights after your Uber accident
The attorneys at Todd J. Leonard Law Firm will review with you how the accident involving an Uber driver happened, and conduct a thorough investigation into the cause. They will also advocate tirelessly for your rights, and endeavor to hold the responsible party or parties liable for causing the accident that resulted in your injuries.
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