When a Pedestrian is Struck by a Negligent Uber DriverNew Jersey Legal News
With the emergence of Uber, many individuals believe that the ridesharing service is helping many, getting drivers home safe to keep drunk drivers off our roads and helping those who get stranded alongside the road when their vehicles let them sit. Though Uber has been offering ride services for those in need, giving us second options where we need them most, ridesharing track records for accidents have been none too good.
As many resources show us, many fatal accidents involving Uber drivers have happened in various states and countries ever since the service had its start. Some of these accidents involve criminal drivers and less-than-accurate background checks, and some involve other vehicles and drivers who strike them, leading to serious injuries and even deaths. Some of the most injurious and even fatal Uber-related accidents that happen on our roads are pedestrian-related accidents, which happen as pedestrians cross streets and drivers do not always watch out for these vulnerable party’s well-being.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an Uber accident involving a pedestrian, you might have questions about where you can turn. Whether you have been injured or a loved one has lost their life, it is imperative to know that you have options at this time.
Uber Pedestrian Accidents in the News
Uber has been under scrutiny for pedestrian accidents for years. For instance, in 2017, an Uber driver in Atlanta, Georgia, struck and killed a crossing guard with their vehicle. In Northern Philadelphia in 2016, a woman was struck and killed by an Uber driver while she was crossing the street. You have most likely seen the news where a pedestrian was killed in an Uber self-driving vehicle accident that took place in March 2018 when Uber unveiled its experimental Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona. This particular accident has raised many questions about the safety of self-driving vehicles and, well, Uber in general.
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise across the country, caused by a variety of different vehicles. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that, in 2015, over 5,000 pedestrians were killed in accidents and almost 129,000 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries stemming from these accidents. Because pedestrian accidents continue to target some of the most vulnerable parties on our roads, we have to take more actions to ensure that these parties are protected. Uber, a large company where safety is mentioned as a priority, must do the same.
What happens if you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident with an Uber driver?
What the Law Says About Liability
You might wonder if Uber is liable for your accident or if you will be left to cover it on your own. That depends on the status of the Uber at the time of the accident.
The law requires that during Period 1 when the driver is available but does not have passenger and is not headed to a ride Uber & Lyft have to provide the following coverage:
- Liability Limits of Bodily Injury coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident
- Property Damage coverage of $25,000
- Medical Payments coverage for the driver – $10,000 medical payments coverage
- Uninsured & Underinsured Motorists Liability coverage. However, the law does not state how much. New Jersey’s minimum limit is Bodily Injury with $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident and Property Damage of $5,000
If the driver’s own personal auto policy does not provide coverage then Uber & Lyft’s insurance will act as if it is the primary coverage.
During Period 2 when the ride is selected but not picked up and 3 when the passenger is in the car, Uber & Lyft have to provide the following coverage:
- Liability limits for Bodily Injury and Property Damage in the amount of $1,500,000
- Medical Payments for the driver of $10,000
- Uninsured & Underinsured Liability of $1,500,000
Depending on the situation, Uber may proceed with settlement rather than letting matters go all the way to court. The company might provide a settlement that works with you from the very beginning or they will opt into resolution processes, such as a dispute that takes place outside of a court setting where you can talk over details and let the company know what you want from them. For instance, you might have suffered lost wages from missing time at work or medical bills that have piled up against you, unpaid. Uber might try to throw a number at you that would cover these damages so that they do not need to defend themselves in court. This makes these matters public, which many companies strive to avoid.
Bringing Your Claim Against an Uber Driver
You as the plaintiff and pedestrian who was injured have a responsibility to show the burden of proof in a civil claim against the Uber driver who struck you. You must be able to show that the driver acted in a negligent fashion. Perhaps, at the time, the Uber driver was headed on their way to pick someone up and was texting them. While you were in the crosswalk, they never looked up from their text and you were struck at high speeds. As a result, you suffered severe injuries and will be permanently out of work for some time. If you can show that the driver was texting at the time and not focusing on the road, there is a good chance that you will be able to receive compensation in the midst of your injury claim.
If you believe that you have sufficient evidence to show that the Uber driver is liable for the accident, you might have a valid claim against the Uber insurance company, which covers high amounts of damages in your case. You have the right to file a claim against a negligent driver on all occasions.
How a New Jersey Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in New Jersey involving a pedestrian, you have many rights to compensation under the law. If you are injured in an accident that you did not cause, you have several options about how to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent party. Our personal injury attorneys in New Jersey at Brady, Brady & Reilly have handled many types of motor vehicle accidents, including those involving pedestrians. You have many rights during this time. Please contact us for more information at (201) 997-0030.