New Jersey Rideshare Accident Attorneys

Uber and Lyft

Uber reportedly has 130 million active monthly users as of 2023 and Lyft has roughly 20.3 million monthly active users. As both companies have continued to grow so to have the number of rideshare accidents. According to one study featured in Science, the arrival of ride-sharing was associated with a 2% to 3% rise in the number of pedestrians and vehicle passengers killed in collisions between 2011 and 2016. 

Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents. According to the NHTSA, “For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2021, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities.” This is also true for rideshare collisions. Going through a car accident can be incredibly traumatic and difficult. Victims may be left with high medical bills and take extensive time off of work. Any person that is injured in an Uber or Lyft may be able to seek damages through a bodily injury claim. Our team of experienced New Jersey rideshare accident attorneys at Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC are here to help you. You can call us anytime at 908-378-8467.

Common Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents 

As discussed earlier, speeding is a major contributing factor for rideshare collisions. But fatigue also contributes to many collisions. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that staying awake for only 17 hours can reduce a person’s ability to drive safely equal to driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%. Both Lyft and Uber allow drivers to be in driver mode for 12 hours before requiring that they take a break. But nothing is stopping these drivers from working a full shift at a primary job and then driving for Uber or Lyft. There are a number of other causes of ridhshare crashes. 

  • Inadequate Vetting: Uber and Lyft claim to have industry-leading standards for vetting their drivers. But these background checks are not always thorough. In one situation, a suspect for a terrorist attack was allowed to drive for Uber. 
  • Inadequate Maintenance: Uber and Lyft requires drivers to operate and maintain their own vehicles. If someone is struggling to get enough money to meet their needs, they are less likely to complete the necessary and costly repairs their vehicle might require. 
  • Distracted Driving: Rideshare drivers are constantly driving to new places and must rely on their phone. But far too often, text messages and calls can become dangerous distractions. 
  • Driver Intoxication: There have been several instances where Uber and Lyft drivers have been charged with DUI. Many rideshare drivers may not realize that there are substances besides alcohol that could potentially impair them including certain over-the-counter medications and prescriptions. 

Motor vehicle accidents are typically complex events. Usually they involve two or more vehicles and many different factors working together. In general, younger and less experienced rideshare drivers are more likely to be involved in collisions. Many younger people are working for Uber and Lyft to make money while they are going to school. Some factors that contribute to collisions may be outside of the control of drivers including highway and weather conditions. It is important that evidence is properly preserved in order to determine liability for a crash.

Demonstrating Liability For Rideshare Collisions

New Jersey operates off of a ‘no-fault’ insurance scheme. Every driver must have Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) insurance, according to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-3.2. PIP insurance provides coverage to policy holders and passengers regardless of who was at fault for the collision. PIP insurance will typically apply when a rideshare driver is offline. If the Uber app was on, then Uber’s $1.5 million policy limit may be available. It is possible for a person injured in an Uber or Lyft to pursue a negligence claim if the accident caused them to suffer a “serious injury.” Under N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-8(a), a serious injury includes:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Significant scarring
  • Displaced fractures
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent injury other than scarring

Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone with ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. It usually consists of actions, but it can also consist of omissions when there is a duty to act. There are several elements that must be demonstrated in any negligence claim. (1) A duty of care was owed. (2) That duty of care was breached. (3) The breach was the proximate cause of an accident. (4) The defendant suffered damages.  There are a number of ways that an Uber or Lyft driver may have acted negligently and contributed to an accident. For example, a rideshare driver may have failed to reduce their speed or made a dangerous left turn into the path of another vehicle. 

How A Rideshare Accident Attorney Can Help You 

A serious car accident can be life-changing. Injuries often touch every part of a person’s life including their intimate relationships, their ability to be gainfully employed and their ability to simply enjoy their lives. Some of the common injuries that a person can sustain in a rideshare collision might include broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries and organ damage. When the stakes are high it’s best to seek the guidance of experienced legal counsel. Here are just some of the ways that a rideshare accident attorney can help you if you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft. 

  • Navigate The Legal System: Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft and their insurance providers are primarily concerned with making a profit. They will do everything in their power to make sure their interests are being taken care of. A rideshare accident attorney can help level the playing field and ensure that your rights and interests are protected. 
  • Investigate Negligence: There may be one or more potential sources of negligence for any car accident. Rideshare accident attorneys have the ability to conduct investigations and subpoena records if need be. They can move past the roadblocks that insurance carriers set up to avoid paying victims. 
  • Maximize Compensation: A rideshare accident attorney can help create the strongest case possible for you in order to maximize your compensation. They understand the objections insurance companies will make and the pitfalls that need to be avoided when negotiating a settlement. 
  • No Up-Front Costs: Unlike many other lawyers, rideshare accident attorneys work entirely off of a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe anything upfront. Instead, they only get paid out of any settlement or verdict they are able to win on your behalf. 
  • Courtroom Representation: Not every claim is able to settle during the negotiation phase. In order to get a fair outcome, a lawsuit and subsequent trial may be needed. A rideshare accident attorney can provide you with skilled legal representation if your case needs to go to trial.

Having skilled legal representation by your side can often mean the difference between winning or losing your case. A rideshare accident attorney can guide you through every step of the legal process. This includes gathering police reports and other documents that might be needed to demonstrate liability. There is a great peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have a skilled advocate on your behalf whose interests are aligned with your own. 

Getting Legal Help After A New Jersey Rideshare Accident

At Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC we believe that accident victims are best served by focusing on their recovery as we fight on their behalf. Our law firm is committed to getting rideshare accident victims the medical and financial support that they need in order to recover. Nothing is more important to us than winning on behalf of our clients. Unlike many other law firms, we are not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what is needed to help you get the best outcome possible. 

Have you or someone that you care about been injured by an Uber or Lyft? Whether you were a rideshare passenger or hit by an Uber or Lyft you may have legal recourse. Our team of highly experienced rideshare accident attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We have consistently achieved exceptional results for our clients and we will help you get the justice that you are entitled to. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about hiring an attorney we are here for you. You can contact us anytime at 908-248-4404.

Frequently Asked Questions

It doesn’t cost anything up front to hire a rideshare accident attorney and they only get paid if they are able to successfully resolve your case.

The value of any legal claim can vary a great deal and is dependent in part on the presence of lost wages as well as the cost of medical bills.

New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. As such, you may be able to pursue a claim for a collision even if you were at fault for the crash.

You can pursue a negligence claim under New Jersey law if you were seriously injured in a car accident.

Some of the common injuries that a person can sustain in a rideshare collision might include broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries and organ damage.

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