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NJ Uber Passenger Accidents

NJ Uber PassengersAs a passenger in a vehicle driving for Uber, you’re at the mercy of the Uber driver and other motorists on the roadway.

There’s little you can do from the passenger’s seat to prevent a crash from occurring if one of these motor vehicle operators is driving recklessly. At the same time, you’re vulnerable to the dangerous consequences of their negligent actions.

Our Uber accident attorneys in New Jersey have extensive experience handling complicated car accident cases, including claims involving rideshare drivers and their passengers. If you have been injured in an Uber passenger car accident, you need experienced legal representation to pursue claims against all of the defendants involved and secure the full amount of money you deserve.

The consultation is free and confidential. Just call Console & Associates, P.C. today at 866-778-5500 to get started.

What Injured Uber Passengers Need to Know About Car Accident Claims in NJ

The consequences of a car accident injury can turn your life upside-down. Now you’re dealing with serious, potentially life-changing injuries. Medical bills are piling up. You’re likely to be out of work for an undetermined amount of time. You’re suffering from the physical and emotional pain of the injury and its impact on your quality of life.

When all of these problems resulted from someone else’s negligence—either the Uber driver’s or another motorist’s—it’s clear that you shouldn’t be the one to pay for their mistakes. You deserve compensation for all of these damages. To get it, you’re going to need to pursue a car accident claim.

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to Uber car accident passenger claims in NJ.

The good news is that the times during which an Uber driver is actively providing the passenger with the requested ride are the times when the most Uber insurance coverage applies. Depending on the situation, you may have the grounds to seek compensation from multiple defendants, including through Uber’s insurance coverage.

The bad news, aside from the accident itself and the injuries it has left you with, is that a claim involving an Uber driver is complicated. Just figuring out who the possible defendants are and how each potential source of insurance coverage applies to your claim requires extensive knowledge of NJ insurance laws and the legal system. That’s not even considering the challenges of presenting arguments for the ways in which each defendant is liable and negotiating a settlement that fully covers all of your damages.

For the best chance of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries, you’re going to need help from an experienced Uber accident attorney in NJ.

What Should I Do If I Am a Passenger in an Uber Car Accident in New Jersey?

One minute, you’re riding along in the car you requested from Uber, and the next, the crash has changed everything. What do you do now?

What Passengers Need To Do After An Uber Accident

After any motor vehicle accident, the first priority should always be the safety and health of those involved.

If you are able to do so in the immediate aftermath of an Uber car accident, your first step should be to try to get to a safe place, out of the way of further harm. If your injuries are preventing you from moving to safety, ask someone else on the scene to assist you.

Accident victims who are physically able to do so should attempt to assist any other victims on the scene in getting to safety—but don’t risk making your injuries worse.

Call 911 to report the collision to the authorities and request emergency medical personnel to come to the scene.

Seek appropriate medical care as soon as possible. In the case of serious, potentially life-threatening injuries, this will often mean taking an ambulance to a hospital emergency room or trauma center. If your injuries are less dire, you should still go in for a more thorough medical evaluation at a hospital emergency room, an urgent care facility, or a doctor’s office.

Mistakes to Avoid After Being Injured in an Uber Accident in New Jersey

After an accident, it’s not unusual to feel shock or even panic. Many people don’t know what they should do in the event of a collision, and it can be difficult to get your bearings and think through what to do next. As a result, many accident victims make common mistakes like the following.

Not Seeking Medical Care

If your injuries don’t present an imminent threat to your life, you may be tempted to skip getting medical care and instead try to go about your day. You might try at-home treatments like ice, rest, and over-the-counter medications.

Unfortunately, even if your injuries didn’t seem so bad immediately after the accident, they may turn out to be serious. Often, car accident victims find that what starts out as minor aches and pains can worsen in the days following the crash.

Some accident victims who initially think they have escaped serious injuries end up needing X-rays, MRIs, physical therapy, steroid injections, surgeries, and other medical interventions. They may miss weeks or even months of work and be unable to do their usual activities, either temporarily or permanently.

The sooner you seek medical treatment, the better. Getting medical care promptly can help you avoid your injuries getting worse and put you on the path to making the best possible recovery.

Saying You Are “Fine”

Both because you want to believe your injuries are minor and because accident victims often feel a need to take the pressure off of the motorists involved in the accident, it’s common to say you’re “fine” or “okay.” In reality, though, you may not be fine—and you certainly don’t know, while you’re still at the scene of the crash, whether or not you’re fine.

It’s better not to say anything about whether you are injured or, if necessary, to say that you don’t need to go to the hospital in the ambulance right now.

Not Speaking to an Attorney

Not at least consulting an Uber passenger accident lawyer about your situation is a mistake.

Most attorneys who handle Uber car accidents offer free consultations, so you can get your questions answered by a knowledgeable legal professional at no charge. Speaking to a lawyer doesn’t mean you are obligated to move forward with a claim. It does, however, allow you to better understand your legal rights and options and what to expect from the legal process if you decide to file a claim.

If you are moving forward with an injury claim arising out of an Uber accident, it’s in your best interests to hire experienced legal representation. These claims involve specific NJ laws, multiple insurance companies and policies, and potentially complicated liability. An attorney can sort out your situation and handle everything that needs to be done so that you can pursue the full amount of money you deserve.

We can help.

Insurance Coverage for an Uber Passenger Accident in NJ

When you’re an Uber passenger injured in an accident, making sense of what auto insurance coverage is available to you—and how to access the benefits you’re entitled to—is a challenge.

Will Uber Pay for My Car Accident?

As a passenger, can you sue an Uber driver (or Uber itself) for an accident?

In most cases in which a paying passenger is traveling in an Uber vehicle during a trip arranged through the app, Uber provides insurance coverage.

Nationwide, under Uber’s insurance policy, the company maintains $1,000,000 of third-party liability coverage that applies during times when one of its drivers is carrying an Uber passenger. Under NJ law (N.J. Stat. § 39:5H-10), ridesharing companies are required to maintain a higher level of coverage in the Garden State. For Uber passengers injured in New Jersey car accidents, the coverage limit climbs to $1,500,000 (as Uber’s 2023 Certificate of Liability Insurance showed).

The insurance policy also includes uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This insurance coverage is important when another driver (not the Uber driver) is at fault, but that driver either has no insurance coverage or too little insurance coverage to compensate you for your damages.

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

Uber’s best insurance coverage kicks in when passengers are part of the equation—whether they’re in the vehicle or the driver is en route to pick them up after agreeing to provide a ride.

When a person who works as an Uber driver is logged out of the app or inactive, their own personal auto insurance is what applies in the event of an accident. That coverage limit is likely to be far lower. Even when the Uber driver is active on the app and waiting for a ride request, the amount of insurance coverage Uber provides ($50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, limited to $100,000 total per accident) is significantly less than the coverage the company provides once the driver is transporting or on their way to pick up the passenger.

What About My Own Car Insurance?

New Jersey is a no-fault state when it comes to auto accidents. Basically, when a person is in an accident, their own auto insurance company pays for their medical bills regardless of who is at fault. Generally, that’s true even when you are a passenger in a vehicle someone else is driving.

In instances involving Uber accidents, things get more complicated. Injured passengers may be told that they need to go through their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their medical bills. However, if you attempt to do so, your insurance company may deny the claim.

Under New Jersey law, PIP benefits only apply to accidents involving “automobiles.” Due to legal technicalities in NJ, a vehicle ceases to be considered an automobile when used for ridesharing work. N.J.S.A. 39:6A-3.2 specifies that to be considered an automobile under state law, a private passenger vehicle must be “neither used as a public or livery conveyance for passengers nor rented to others with a driver.”

Sorting out the process of paying your medical bills that arise out of an Uber passenger car accident is complicated. This extra stress is the last thing you need when you’re suffering from serious injuries and just trying to get the medical care required to start getting better. An attorney can handle every aspect of your case, including notifying and opening claims with all relevant parties, so you can focus on recovery.

What Other Possible Defendants Could an Injured Uber Passenger Sue?

One factor that makes Uber accident claims so complicated is that many collisions involve multiple defendants.

Most of the time, the defendants in car accident cases are motorists. Naturally, the Uber driver is one possible defendant. If the Uber driver wasn’t at fault (or only partially at fault), you might have the grounds to sue the other driver. Often, the attorney for an injured passenger will name multiple defendants in the claim.

In some cases, another party other than a driver may be a defendant in an Uber accident claim. Cases involving defective automobiles or auto parts may include defendants that are auto parts manufacturers or mechanic shops. If dangerously poor road conditions played a significant role in the accident, a government agency that negligently maintained the road might be named in your case.

Each accident claim is unique. To determine who the defendants in your case are, an attorney will listen to your account of the accident and conduct a thorough investigation. It’s important that all potential defendants are named in your case so that you can receive the financial compensation you deserve.

Does the NJ Verbal Threshold Apply to Uber Accidents?

When New Jersey drivers purchase auto insurance, they have to select their limitation on lawsuit preference. NJ policyholders must pay more to retain an unlimited right to sue. As a result, many NJ policyholders opt for the verbal threshold, or the limitation on lawsuit, option. This means that they can only sue for pain and suffering in cases that involve “serious” injury. Only specific injuries meet the definition of a “serious” injury for these purposes.

Fortunately, the NJ verbal threshold doesn’t apply to rideshare accidents. N.J. Stat. § 39:5H-10 states that “the limitation on lawsuit option… 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.”

Even if the verbal threshold applies to any other accidents in which you could be involved, it does not apply to the injuries you sustain as an Uber passenger. This means you have the right to sue for pain and suffering even if your injuries don’t fit an arbitrary set of criteria.

Explore your legal options.

The Causes of Uber Accidents

Uber accidents happen for the same reasons as other motor vehicle accidents. Negligence on the part of one or more drivers involved in the collision is the most common cause. Unsafe, negligent actions behind the wheel may include the following:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Driving in the wrong direction
  • Failing to maintain control of the vehicle
  • Failing to stay in one’s lane
  • Driving while impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted driving

Other potential causes include defective auto parts and dangerous road conditions.

Factors That Increase the Risks Posed by Uber Drivers

Not all Uber accidents are the Uber driver’s fault. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the other driver to be the one who caused a collision with an Uber vehicle.

Still, there are a few factors that differentiate Uber drivers from others who drive for a living.

Uber drivers don’t receive special formal training, and they aren’t required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). They are only minimally vetted and may have little driving experience (with only one year required) or a history of speeding tickets (no more than three in the past three years).

Others who drive for a living are not legally permitted to drive more than a certain number of hours per day or per week and are required to take regular rest periods to avoid becoming dangerously fatigued behind the wheel. Uber drivers aren’t subject to these legal requirements, and they often work long or late hours that can contribute to fatigue and, as a consequence, poorer driving. Additionally, Uber drivers don’t undergo routine drug testing, and their reliance on mobile apps for receiving and accepting ride requests and navigating to their destinations may contribute to distracted driving.

What Damages Can Uber Passengers Injured in an Accident Recover in NJ?

An Uber passenger injured in an accident may be able to pursue the following types of economic and non-economic damages in a car accident claim:

  • Medical bills
  • Projected future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Decreases in future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Declines in quality of life

An experienced Uber car accident attorney can identify all of the damages that apply to your unique situation and fight to recover the full amount of compensation you deserve.

How Our Experienced Uber Accident Attorneys Can Help

When you choose us to represent you in your Uber passenger accident claim, we handle everything, including:

  • Carrying out a thorough investigation of the accident
  • Identifying all possible defendants and sources of insurance coverage
  • Calculating and documenting your damages
  • Putting together a demand package to begin settlement negotiations
  • Filing a lawsuit and all legal documents
  • Representing you in all legal proceedings, including depositions and, if needed, trial
  • Negotiating to reach a settlement that fully compensates you for your damages
  • Resolving your claim through an out-of-court settlement, mediation, arbitration, or trial

Throughout your claim, your legal team is here to keep you updated and answer any questions you may have.

No-Win, No-Fee Help From a New Jersey Uber Passenger Accident Attorney

No Fee PromiseGetting help for an Uber passenger accident in NJ doesn’t have to add to the financial burdens you’re facing after a crash. At Console & Associates, P.C., we handle claims on a no-win, no-fee basis.

You’ll pay nothing upfront for our services. Throughout the entirety of your claim, you will only ever owe in attorneys’ fees a fraction of the compensation we recover for you—and you won’t have to pay unless and until we successfully secure you a payout.

The consultation is free, and whether or not you decide to move forward with a claim is up to you. Just call 866-778-5500 or contact us online today to speak to a member of our legal team.

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