Ride-sharing services have exploded in popularity in New Jersey in recent years. When many people use a service like Uber or Lyft, they think that it is no different than hailing a cab or taking a limousine. As a result, they have the same expectation of safety as if they were being transported by a professional driver.
However, unlike professional drivers, ride-share drivers are ordinary persons that are using their private cars to transport passengers. Additionally, they are not employees of the ride-share company, but are independent contractors.
Although these differences may seem trivial, they can greatly complicate a passenger’s right to recover compensation in the event of a car accident. Since ride-share services are not common carriers, they are not subject to the same regulations as taxi or limousine companies. As a result, passengers do not receive the same level of protection when they are injured.
What To Do After A Ride-Share Accident
Because of the differences in regulations, injured passengers in Uber or Lyft accidents may face significant obstacles when pursuing compensation. Fortunately, it is possible to obtain fair compensation after a ride-share accident, if you take steps to protect your rights. If you have been involved in a ride-share accident, it is important to make sure that you:
- Call the police and file a police report — make sure that you do this before anyone leaves the scene.
- Get medical attention — if injured, it is important to seek treatment immediately, as some symptoms of serious injuries (e.g. brain injuries) do not appear right away.
- Record all important information — be sure to write down the driver’s name, license number, phone number and insurance information of your ride-share driver and all persons involved.
- Be careful about giving statements — An insurance adjuster may want you to make a statement. However, keep in mind that insurance adjusters are there to find a way to pay you as little as possible, not protect your best interests.
Ride-share companies have commercial liability insurance policies that may cover your injuries in the event of an accident. However, the driver, ride-share company and insurers may argue with each other over who is liable for your injuries. In some cases, they may attempt to shift the blame to someone else. With so many parties involved the question of who is financially responsible for your injuries can be a difficult issue.
We Can Help Ensure A Fair Recovery
The issue of liability in ride-share accidents can be complicated, which may leave you wondering who will pay for your medical bills, lost wages and other financial losses. Accordingly, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident. For more than 40 years, the lawyers at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman have been fighting for the rights of injured motorists in New Jersey. Our attorneys can determine who is liable for your injuries and hold them accountable, while you focus on your physical recovery.