With rideshare services contributing to more trips than ever before, accidents with Lyft drivers and Uber drivers are becoming a more prevalent problem. If a collision with a Lyft vehicle has left you dealing with serious injuries, the pain and disability you’re going through may not be the only problems you’re facing. You might also be struggling to understand the complex legal system that applies in the case of a rideshare accident claim.
The NJ attorneys for accidents with Lyft drivers at Console & Associates, P.C., have years of experience helping victims injured in rideshare collision claims. Whether you were a driver or a passenger in the vehicle that was struck by a Lyft driver, you have the right to seek financial compensation for the harm you suffered because of someone else’s negligent actions. We can help you navigate this complicated process and secure the full amount of money you deserve.
The first thing to do after any auto accident is stop the vehicle, if it hasn’t already come to a stop. Assess the urgency of your injuries and, if possible, others’ injuries. If you can, get to a safe place where you won’t come to any further harm. Call 911 for help.
When the police arrive, provide your account of the accident for the police report. Have emergency medical professionals check out your injuries and, if needed, take an ambulance straight to the hospital. Otherwise, you should plan to see a doctor—at an urgent care or your regular doctor’s office—as soon as possible once you leave the scene of the crash. Even if your injuries aren’t life-threatening, they may still be serious, and waiting to get them evaluated may cause them to get even worse.
It’s important to notify the insurance companies involved in an accident claim promptly, but injured accident victims should be aware of the pitfalls of speaking with an auto insurer—even their own. The insurance companies aren’t on your side. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible in your claim, even if it means that you suffer more as a result.
When you speak to an insurance company, keep the conversation brief and to the point: notifying the insurer of the accident. Don’t make small talk or discuss fault at this time. Decline to discuss your injuries, since you don’t yet know the severity or what your recovery will look like. Avoid making statements like “I’m okay” or “I’m fine” to indicate that you didn’t suffer any injuries that required emergency medical treatment. It’s too soon to tell if you truly are fine, and if you’re not, making these statements to the insurance adjuster could hurt your claim later on.
Consider reaching out to an attorney as soon as possible and having them notify the insurance companies of the accident on your behalf. This allows you to avoid any missteps that could hurt your case and focus on your physical recovery instead of the legal battle.
In the case of a New Jersey accident with a Lyft driver, insurance gets complicated. The different parties involved in your claim may include:
Know your legal options.
In New Jersey, an injured driver’s own insurer pays for their medical bills under the state’s no-fault auto accident laws. That means that the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of your own auto insurance policy will be primarily responsible for paying for your medical expenses in most auto accident cases.
You will have to pay your deductible, which typically ranges from $250 to $2,500 depending on what selections you made when you purchased the policy, as well as a copay of 20% of the first $5,000 of medical bills. After that, PIP will cover your expenses up to your policy limits.
In some cases, a policyholder may choose to make their health insurance policy their primary coverage instead of PIP. The injured driver’s medical bills, in this case, will be paid through their health insurance coverage. The accident victim may be subject to all deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance payments, and limitations on providers or services that apply per their health insurance policy.
When a Lyft passenger is injured in a rideshare accident, their own insurance company may argue that they aren’t legally required to cover the medical expenses due to laws and technicalities that pertain to rideshare vehicles. When you’re driving your own vehicle that is hit by a Lyft driver, this type of argument is less likely—although that’s no guarantee that your insurer won’t deny, delay, or seek to diminish your claim payout in other ways or for other reasons.
If the Lyft driver is the one at fault for the collision, you would be seeking some of the compensation for your harms and losses—such as lost wages and pain and suffering—from their insurance coverage. What the driver was doing at the time of the crash determines whether their own coverage or Lyft’s auto insurance coverage applies.
If the other driver works for Lyft but did not happen to have the app on and active at the time of the collision, you would treat this accident with a Lyft driver just like any other NJ crash between two drivers. The other driver’s personal auto insurance policy would apply.
One exception occurs if the other driver failed to carry insurance or if the liability insurance they had wasn’t enough to cover your losses. In this case, you may be able to seek compensation through any uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage available.
In New Jersey, rideshare vehicles are required to maintain certain levels of auto insurance coverage during times that the driver is actively using the app, either while waiting for a ride request or providing a prearranged ride, according to N.J. Stat. § 39:5H-10. While this statute allows for that coverage to be maintained by “a transportation network company driver, transportation network company, or any combination of the two,” Lyft has met this requirement by securing auto insurance policies that apply to two different situations.
When the rideshare driver has the app turned on and is awaiting a ride request, Lyft maintains at least $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident of bodily injury coverage and $25,000 per accident of property damage coverage.
Once the rideshare driver has accepted a ride request—regardless of whether they are still en route to pick up the passenger or they are already transporting the passenger—a higher level of coverage limits applies. Nationwide, Lyft maintains at least $1,000,000 of third-party auto liability coverage. However, New Jersey law requires at least $1,500,000 of liability insurance “for death, bodily injury, and property damage” when the rideshare driver is in the process of providing a ride.
Every auto accident is unique, and some can be especially complicated. If your collision involved additional parties, you might also have to figure out how other insurance policies fit into your claim. This may be the case in a multi-car accident, especially if the other (non-rideshare) driver was on the clock at the time of the collision. You might also encounter this situation if a dangerous defect of one of the vehicles or vehicle parts contributed to the crash.
Making sense of the multiple insurance policies that may be involved in your claim isn’t easy. You may need to investigate what stage of working for the rideshare company the Lyft driver was in when the crash occurred, as well as identify any other parties potentially involved in the case. Meanwhile, you’re in pain and trying to focus on your physical recovery.
You don’t have to navigate this complex process on your own. Experienced NJ rideshare accident attorneys are here to help.
We are here to help.
If you have suffered injuries in an accident with a Lyft driver, you’re not alone—unfortunately. Motor vehicle accidents occur every day, injuring and killing drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Researchers have found that ridesharing services nationwide contribute to these collisions and the harms and losses they cause.
According to Lyft’s Community Safety Report published in 2021, there were more than 100 fatal collisions involving Lyft vehicles between 2017 and 2019. The number of motor vehicle fatality reports increased each year, from 22 in 2017 to 34 in 2018 and 49 in 2019. This data doesn’t even address the potentially life-changing injuries individuals have suffered in nonfatal collisions.
Lyft accident fatalities reflect the broader issue of ridesharing accident deaths. In a 2019 report, researchers from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business concluded that Lyft, Uber, and other ridesharing services were “associated with an approximate 3 percent increase in motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents.” That 3 percent increase translates to almost 1,000 additional deaths each year.
Accidents with Lyft drivers occur for many of the same reasons other accidents happen. Driver mistakes and violations of traffic safety laws are the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions. Defective automobiles and parts can also contribute to accidents, as can dangerous road conditions.
There are some factors that may make accidents with rideshare drivers more likely, including:
If the Lyft driver who hit you violated traffic safety laws, it doesn’t matter what the reason was. Their negligence behind the wheel caused or at least contributed to the collision, and as such, you have the legal right to seek compensation from their insurance company.
The accident with a Lyft driver has put you through a lot.
You’re in so much pain that you may not be able to do the things you used to do. For some accident victims, this includes working, taking care of yourself and your family, and doing the activities you used to enjoy. You’re facing the financial burden of medical expenses, often compounded by a drop in income and potentially the need to pay a professional to handle the tasks you used to do yourself.
Money may not be able to undo the harm you have suffered, but a financial payout can help your family stay afloat while you’re out of work and help you afford the medical treatment that will give you the best possible prognosis for recovery. You’re entitled to compensation for all of the damages you have suffered, including the economic losses and non-economic harms like pain and suffering. To get the full amount of compensation you deserve, though, you’re going to need help.
The car accident attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. have decades of experience helping injured victims get the maximum compensation for their claims. We have been fighting for the rights of motorists and passengers injured by rideshare drivers from the beginning, and we know how to navigate these complex claims and document the full extent of your damages. We represent all of our clients on a no-win, no-fee basis, so your legal case will never add to your financial burden. We’ll handle every aspect of the claim at no upfront cost, and you will only ever have to pay for our services once we have successfully secured compensation on your behalf.