Ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber have significantly reshaped the transportation landscape in New Jersey. Their convenience and efficiency have led to a significant reduction in the number of people using traditional taxis. However, as with any vehicular service, accidents are an unfortunate reality. Passengers are often left with a myriad of questions regarding their rights and the steps to take after being involved in a rideshare accident.
At Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari, we are committed to ensuring that every individual understands their rights and the legal pathways available to them. In this blog, we’ll delve into the rights of passengers involved in Lyft and Uber accidents in New Jersey and the immediate steps to consider post-accident.
Rights of Passengers in Lyft and Uber Accidents
- Right to Safety: Both Lyft and Uber have an obligation to ensure the safety of their passengers. This means employing drivers who have undergone proper background checks, ensuring vehicles are well-maintained, and adhering to all road safety regulations.
- Right to Compensation: If you, as a passenger, are injured in a rideshare accident in New Jersey, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. This can cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
- Right to Legal Representation: Passengers have the right to seek legal representation to navigate the complexities of rideshare accident claims. An experienced attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Who’s Liable in Rideshare Accidents?
Liability in rideshare accidents can be complex due to the involvement of multiple parties:
- Rideshare Driver: If the accident was caused due to the negligence of the rideshare driver, they would be primarily responsible for the damages.
- Third-Party Drivers: If another motorist caused the accident, they would be liable for injuries and damages.
- Rideshare Company: While Lyft and Uber often argue that their drivers are independent contractors and not employees, under New Jersey law, they provide insurance coverage for passengers, especially if the driver’s insurance is insufficient.
Steps to Take After a Lyft or Uber Accident
Accidents involving rideshare services like Lyft and Uber can be particularly complex due to the involvement of multiple parties: the driver, the rideshare company, and potentially other drivers. Knowing the immediate steps to take after such an incident can ensure your safety, protect your rights, and strengthen any potential claim you may decide to file. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the immediate aftermath of a Lyft or Uber accident:
1. Check for Injuries
- Before anything else, assess your physical condition and the condition of any other passengers in the vehicle.
- If anyone is injured, even slightly, call for medical help immediately.
2. Move to a Safe Location (if possible)
- If it’s safe to do so, and the car is causing a hazard or obstruction, move it to the side of the road.
- Turn on hazard lights, especially if the accident occurred at night or in low visibility conditions.
3. Notify Law Enforcement
- It’s crucial to report the accident to the police.
- They will create an official accident report, which can be vital for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
4. Gather Information
- Driver’s details: Obtain the rideshare driver’s name, contact details, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
- Vehicle details: Note the car’s make, model, color, and license plate number.
- Accident details: Document the time, date, location, and circumstances of the accident.
- Witnesses: If there are any witnesses, gather their contact information.
- Other involved parties: If another vehicle was involved, collect the driver’s details and insurance information.
5. Document the Scene
- Take photographs of the accident scene, capturing:
- Vehicle damages
- License plates
- Road conditions
- Traffic signs or signals
- These photos can serve as crucial evidence if you decide to file a claim.
6. Report the Accident to Lyft or Uber
- Use the respective rideshare app to report the accident.
- Both Lyft and Uber have procedures for reporting accidents, and notifying them promptly can help in the claim process.
7. Seek Medical Attention
- Even if you feel okay, it’s essential to get a medical check-up. Some injuries might not be immediately apparent and can manifest symptoms later.
- A medical record documenting any injuries from the accident can also be crucial for insurance and legal purposes.
8. Avoid Discussing Fault
- At the scene, avoid discussing who was at fault with the driver, other involved parties, or witnesses.
- Anything you say can be used against you later during the claim process.
9. Notify Your Insurance Company
- Even if you were not at fault, it’s a good idea to inform your insurance company about the accident.
- They can guide you on any potential steps you might need to take, especially if there are complications with the rideshare company’s insurance.
10. Consult an Attorney
- Given the complexities associated with rideshare accidents, it’s beneficial to consult with an attorney, especially if you’ve been injured.
- An experienced attorney can guide you through the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and ensure your rights are protected.
Why Choose Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari?
- Experience: With decades of experience handling personal injury claims in New Jersey, our team is well-equipped to handle the intricacies of rideshare accident cases.
- Comprehensive Support: From investigating the accident to negotiating with insurance adjusters and even taking the case to trial if necessary, we offer comprehensive support to our clients.
- Proven Track Record: Our firm’s success in securing favorable verdicts and settlements speaks to our commitment to fighting for our clients’ rights.
- No Fees Unless We Win: We operate on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing upfront, and we only receive a fee if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer at Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari for a Free Consultation About Your Case Today
Ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber offer unprecedented convenience, but they also introduce unique challenges when accidents occur. As a passenger, it’s essential to understand your rights and the steps to take post-accident to ensure your safety and protect your interests.
At Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari, we are here to support you every step of the way. If you or a loved one has been involved in a rideshare accident in New Jersey, don’t hesitate to reach out for expert guidance and representation.