Rideshare services have become some of the most popular means of transportation in the United States and all over the world. Whether you are going to work in the morning, returning home after a night out, or being dropped off at the airport, Uber and Lyft users can easily request a ride from an app and a driver will pick them up within minutes.
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in Uber and Lyft accidents in recent years. So, what happens when your next rideshare experience in New Jersey involved a car accident that resulted in an injury?
In February 2017, former Gov. Chris Christie signed the “Transportation Network Company (TNC) Safety and Regulatory Act,” which requires that TNCs cover up to $1.5 million dollars in liability insurance and $1.5 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – even if the Uber or Lyft driver is at-fault for the collision. In addition, drivers must get background checks, which are not the same fingerprinting background checks as taxi drivers.
However, if the rideshare driver is only logged into the app and looking for a passenger when a crash occurs, then the available coverage is different compared to instances where a passenger is in the vehicle and en route to their destination. When an Uber or Lyft driver is looking for a passenger, the driver must provide at least $50,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $100,000 for bodily injury or death per accident, and $25,000 for property damage in liability coverage.
Since New Jersey is a no-fault car insurance state, your own auto insurance coverage—or specifically your personal protection coverage (PIP)— pays for medical costs and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred by anyone covered under the policy—up to coverage limits—whether you or another person was to blame for the crash. Basically, if the driver is simply looking for a passenger, accident victims must first access their own insurance due to the state’s no-fault rule.
But if a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle suffers an injury, then the Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act replaces the no-fault insurance laws in New Jersey.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Woodbridge or within the surrounding area, contact Palmisano & Goodman, P.A. today at (732) 709-4400 for a free initial consultation. With more than 100+ years of combined experience, our legal team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.