Uber Accident Lawyer in New Jersey
Uber and Lyft are synonymous with ride sharing. These companies facilitate quick and easy rides to and from various locations. Whether you don't have a car, you need a ride to the airport, or you just need to get across town, it's difficult to argue that ridesharing isn't a great option. With a smartphone and credit card, you can schedule a ride to virtually any drivable location.
But what happens if you're in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft car? Can you pursue compensation from the driver, the company, or others? Here, we take a look at who these ridesharing companies are, and examine a few potential accident scenarios.
What are Uber and Lyft?
Uber and Lyft are the most popular ridesharing services in the U.S. Uber was formed in 2009 in California as a way to hire private drivers where riders pool together to reduce costs. The service exploded and, fast-forward to the present date, it's a global service with more than 75 million active Uber drivers.
Lyft was founded in 2012 and has a similar business model. Also based in California, Lyft is the second-largest ridesharing service in the U.S. and also operates in Canada.
What To Do If You're Injured In A Rideshare Vehicle?
If you're injured while a passenger in a Lyft or Uber you should:
- Call 911 and get the police involved. A police report will be crucial to seeking compensation for your injuries.
- Seek medical attention immediately and keep all medical records, bills, etc.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and all vehicles involved.
- Collect the names of the Uber/Lyft driver and any witnesses.
- Save all records and documentation reflecting your hiring of the rideshare service.
If you've been injured and incurred medical bills and out-of-pocket costs, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to see if you have a potential case. Injury cases need to be treated with urgency as crucial evidence is often lost and witnesses' memories of the incident fade. If your driver was at fault, you may be able to sustain a claim against them. If another driver was at fault, it may also be possible to pursue compensation from them. Your injury attorney will be able to guide you toward the best course of action based on the circumstances of the accident.
Typically, Uber and Lyft attempt to avoid liability by claiming their drivers are independent contractors rather than employees. There are extreme cases, however, where it might be possible to sue the rideshare company directly where it hired someone who was unqualified to serve as a driver.
What To Do If You've Been Injured as a Pedestrian or While Driving Your Own Vehicle?
If you were injured by a rideshare vehicle as a pedestrian, or while operating your own vehicle, your case can become somewhat more complicated. If there is a passenger in the rideshare vehicle at the time of the accident, or if the rideshare vehicle was on its way to pick up a passenger, the rideshare vehicle may be considered a commercial vehicle for purposes of insurance coverage.
If the rideshare driver was "off duty" at the time of the accident, then a different set of rules will apply. Similarly, Uber and Lyft drivers are frequently injured in accidents themselves. Again, the initial analysis will focus on whether the vehicle was being operated as a rideshare vehicle at the time of the accident, or whether it was being operated for personal use.
The use of the vehicle at the time of the accident will significantly affect the dynamic of the legal claim, the applicable law and available insurance coverages.
How To Pursue Compensation for Lyft or Uber Injuries?
The Reinartz Law firm is an experienced personal injury law firm that pursues compensation for victims of rideshare accidents. If you've been in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We will analyze the facts of your case and advise how to best move forward with a potential claim.