10 Steps To Take Following An Uber/Lyft CollisionNew Jersey Legal News
Experts in the car insurance industry estimate that the average American citizen will be involved in three to four car accidents during their lifetime. This statistic is actually a bit skewed by the growing popularity of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. In a new study, entitled “The Cost of Convenience: Ridesharing and Traffic Fatalities,” claims that “the arrival of ridesharing is associated with an increase of approximately 3 percent in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents.” This statistic is alarming, but it is crucial to point out that it doesn’t include the thousands of passengers and drivers who sustain serious injuries due to reckless, tired, and distracted rideshare drivers.
What Factors Are Involved in Rideshare Collisions?
Uber, Lyft, and other popular rideshare companies are almost constantly hiring new drivers with little experience in order to meet the growing demands of a new consumer base. But many of these drivers are under pressure to partake in dangerous driving behaviors to increase their daily profits. For instance, a rideshare driver has a limited amount of time to accept a new passenger before it is claimed by another driver. This sense of competition has drivers constantly on their cell phones to make sure they don’t miss out on another financial opportunity. This naturally results in more distracted drivers on the road and more car crashes and pedestrian deaths each year.
This brings up another concern. In order to make money, these drivers must transport passengers for long periods of time, regardless of hunger, fatigue, or dehydration. Rideshare drivers are legally labeled as “independent contractors” instead of employees. This means that they operate outside of a company-controlled schedule. The driver is individually responsible for setting their own working hours and how long they want to be active on the rideshare network. Sadly, the average driver is willing to ignore safety precautions to increase their paycheck, even at the risk of endangering themselves and their passengers.
It is crucial to note that rideshare “employees” are not professional drivers. It is true that rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have reduced the rate of DUI arrests across the country, but neither company is able to guarantee the quality or sobriety of its drivers. In reality, drivers from both companies have been arrested in the past for DUI charges. If you are being transported by a drunk driver, it’s important that you end the ride immediately and get out of the vehicle before being involved in a deadly crash.
Protecting Your Claim Following a Crash
Car crashes are often startling and overwhelming for those involved. This is especially true when you are the passenger of a rideshare vehicle. Most people who choose to ride with Uber or Lyft are intending to avoid being involved in such an accident. In the event of a rideshare crash, there are some key steps to take to protect your claim and take control at the scene of the crash.
If you are injured in a crash involving a rideshare driver, follow these steps to protect your right to compensation:
- Call 911.
- Make sure all drivers and passengers are safe and unharmed.
- Take screenshots of your receipt.
- Request the insurance information of any drivers involved in the crash.
- Use your phone to take pictures of your injuries and the scene of the crash (including license plates).
- Assist law enforcement officials to complete the accident report.
- Write down the names and phone numbers of any witnesses at the scene.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Request copies of your medical record and the accident report.
- Contact an experienced car crash lawyer.
Many of these same steps are applicable if a rideshare driver hits your car. Regardless of the circumstances of the incident, it’s important that you obtain immediate medical attention. A qualified medical professional can help assess your condition, refer you to relevant specialists, and prescribe an effective treatment regimen that will aid in the recovery process. In addition, your updated medical record can be used as evidence for your case.
Determining Liability after a Crash
In many cases, plaintiffs experience difficulty obtaining damages following a rideshare crash because of the complexities of insurance and liability issues. Rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are technology companies, not taxi services. They will often deny liability following a collision because they label their drivers as independent contractors. That being said, it’s not impossible to file a suit against these companies, but it may be difficult to recover compensation with the help of a qualified New Jersey car crash lawyer.
You may be able to file a claim against the following parties:
- The rideshare driver.
- The rideshare company.
- Third-party drivers.
Personal injury claims are often levied against rideshare drivers and third-parties, but these insurance policies are rarely enough to cover the severity of the victim’s medical expenses, so you should discuss your legal options with a qualified legal representative.
New Jersey Rideshare Crashes
There are millions of car crashes reported each year in the United States. Many experts believe that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have increased fatality rates on the road by nearly 3 percent. These rideshare drivers, like any other motorist, are vulnerable to being involved in serious collisions.
The legal team at Brady, Brady, & Reilly, LLC has the resources necessary to provide all our clients with top-quality legal representation. Our team of New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorneys can help you pursue all possible legal avenues to maximize your compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a rideshare driver, give us a call today at (201) 997-0030.