Uber and Lyft Accidents in New Jersey

Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are an increasingly common way for people to get around. However, with so many Uber and Lyft drivers on the road, accidents are bound to happen from time to time. Fortunately, New Jersey requires ridesharing companies to carry large insurance policies to compensate the victims of accidents caused by their drivers.

What Happens if I’m Injured by an Uber or Lyft Driver?

New Jersey has a comprehensive law, the Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act, that requires ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft to take certain safety measures. Companies must run driving record checks on their drivers, and drivers must have safety inspections performed on their vehicles.

Still, accidents happen even with these precautions in place, and drivers sometimes injure passengers or other people on the road. That’s why New Jersey statute 39:5H-10 requires ridesharing companies or their drivers to carry insurance policies. Exactly how much insurance applies depends on what the driver was doing at the time of the crash.

If the driver isn’t logged into the app and waiting to receive rides at the time of the accident, only the driver’s own personal insurance is available to compensate victims. If the driver is logged in and waiting to receive rides, the insurance must cover $50,000 worth of injury per person.

If the driver has agreed to provide a ride and injures someone on the way to pick up the passenger or after picking up the passenger, then the insurance must cover $1,500,000 worth of personal injury. Thus, it matters a lot whether the driver was providing a ride at the time of the accident. It can make the difference between full compensation or just $50,000, which might be much less than the amount of damage and injury an accident actually causes.

To summarize: there are three statuses an Uber or Lyft driver can have when they get into an accident, and this determines how much insurance money is available to compensate victims.

If the driver isn’t logged into the app and waiting to accept a ride, their personal car insurance applies.

If the driver is logged into the app but hasn’t matched with a customer, then their ridesharing company’s insurance must cover up to $50,000 worth of personal injury.

If the driver is on the way to pick up a passenger, or has a passenger in the car, then their ridesharing company’s insurance must cover up to $1,500,000 worth of personal injury.

A lawyer can help determine the driver’s status at the time of the accident by filing for discovery during a lawsuit. Regardless of the driver’s status, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer’s help when suing for personal injury. The driver’s insurance does not automatically cover injuries; it only applies if the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault. A lawyer can analyze the situation and come up with the best argument for why the driver was at fault and negotiate the best possible settlement.

A driver can be found at fault for an accident whether the injured person is a passenger, a pedestrian, or in another car. Thus, anyone injured by an Uber or Lyft driver can sue the driver for personal injury. Of course, a passenger will almost always have a good case: either against the Uber or Lyft driver if they were at fault, against another driver who was at fault, or perhaps both. Car accident cases can be complicated, and multiple parties can be at fault.

Do I Get Extra Protection if I’m a Passenger?

The simple answer is yes. New Jersey statute 39:5H-10(c) also requires drivers for ridesharing companies to carry $1,500,000 of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This means that if a passenger is injured in an accident where someone other than the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, the passenger can still receive up to $1.5 million in compensation if the other driver’s insurance can’t cover the full cost of the injury.

What About My Own Car Insurance?

In addition to the insurance ridesharing drivers have to carry, any driver in New Jersey has to have their own car insurance. New Jersey car insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits that the insurance companies pay out to cover injuries regardless of fault. This coverage applies any time the policyholder is in a car accident, even if they’re a pedestrian or a passenger.

New Jersey statute 39:5H-10(j) provides extra protection for policyholders injured by a ridesharing driver. In most accidents, a person with PIP coverage can’t sue the driver at fault unless they suffered permanent injury, such as a disfiguring facial scar or loss of a limb. However, there is an exception that allows PIP policyholders to sue ridesharing drivers even without a permanent injury. 

Thus, a person injured by an Uber or Lyft driver may always sue the driver, even if they have received PIP benefits. Although they will not be able to recover more than the value of their injury, this right is especially valuable because PIP benefits don’t cover anything other than medical bills and lost work time. The ridesharing driver’s insurance will cover pain and suffering, disability, or other kinds of loss. Therefore, a person injured by a ridesharing driver can often receive more compensation than someone injured by another kind of driver.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Uber compensate injured parties for accidents?

Not directly. To receive compensation for an accident, an injured person would need to sue the driver. However, New Jersey law requires ridesharing companies to provide insurance for their drivers to compensate accident victims.

How do I know who’s at fault for an accident?

Who’s at fault in an accident depends on the exact circumstances of a case. Usually, it depends on whether a driver was breaking rules of the road, such as by speeding or following someone too closely. A lawyer can analyze the facts of a case and figure out the best argument for someone being at fault.

Can a passenger sue an Uber or Lyft driver?

Yes. Whoever is at fault for an accident is liable for any injuries caused, so if the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, the passenger can sue them. If the Uber or Lyft driver isn’t at fault, the passenger would be able to sue the driver who is at fault. New Jersey law requires ridesharing companies to provide $1,500,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which would cover any injuries the driver at fault couldn’t pay for.

What if I get into an accident with an Uber or Lyft?

If your injuries aren’t too severe, make sure to stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive to investigate. The investigation will be key to determining who’s at fault for any injuries you suffer, and being available as a witness at the scene will make it easier further down the line.

If the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, their insurance will have to cover both your injuries and the damage to your car. If they weren’t picking up a passenger when they hit you, their policy will cover up to $50,000 of bodily injury. If they were picking up a passenger or already had one in their car, the insurance has to cover up to $1,500,000 of bodily injury.


What Should I do if I’ve Been Injured by an Uber or Lyft Vehicle?

If you or a loved one have been injured by an Uber or Lyft driver, contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation today. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can analyze the situation and negotiate the best possible settlement for you. Call 888-815-3649 or email us today.

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