The meteoric rise of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft has fundamentally changed how New Jersey residents get around without driving their own vehicles. Unfortunately, more rideshare drivers on the road has meant more accidents involving—or even directly caused by—these drivers, sometimes resulting in extensive physical, financial, and personal harm to both rideshare passengers and other drivers.
Fortunately, state legislators have imposed strict insurance coverage requirements on rideshare companies that injured parties—with help from a car accident attorney—should be able to take advantage of. With guidance from an experienced New Brunswick Uber/rideshare accident lawyer, you could have much greater chances of success when it comes to pursuing restitution for your damages through an insurance claim or potentially a personal injury lawsuit.
According to New Jersey Revised Statutes §39:5H-2, any type of business entity that uses a digital network to connect riders to drivers who provide “prearranged rides” is a “Transportation Network Company,” a definition which applies to all rideshare companies that operate within the state of New Jersey. Under N.J.S.A. §39:5H-10, all TNCs in New Jersey must provide minimum amounts of insurance coverage to both their drivers and all riders who use their platform.
If a TNC driver is currently providing a ride to someone, the driver and/or company must provide no less than $1.5 million of insurance coverage for property damage, personal injury, and death in the event of a car accident involving the TNC driver. Notably, the “ride” period in this regard begins once the TNC driver actually accepts a ride request, not when the rider actually enters the vehicle.
Conversely, if a TNC driver is logged into a TNC app and available to provide rides but has not yet accepted a ride request, they and/or their TNC employer still must provide minimum insurance coverage amounts of $50,000 for injury or death per person, $100,000 for injury or death per accident, and $25,000 for damage to personal property. Importantly, this coverage only applies to the TNC driver, so anyone else injured in an accident involving that driver must first seek recovery through their own automobile coverage, a process which a New Brunswick rideshare accident attorney could assist with.
Traditional taxi services are not technically considered “TNCs” under New Jersey law, so the insurance requirements that apply to rideshare services do not apply to traditional taxi companies. However, accidents involving registered taxicabs can still serve as grounds for personal injury litigation, if the taxi driver in question was directly at fault for the wreck.
Beyond just crashes involving rideshare drivers, a qualified lawyer in New Brunswick could also help pursue recovery through medical payment coverage or third-party litigation after an accident involving a taxi driver. Depending on the circumstances, civil liability may lie with an individual taxi driver, the company that employs them, or even a third party who owns the taxi in question, which can make civil recovery difficult without assistance from a legal professional.
Fortunately for drivers and passengers injured in rideshare accidents, New Jersey state law imposes strict and extensive insurance requirements on these “Transportation Network Companies.” However, effectively pursuing the compensation you deserve can still be time-consuming and legally complex, especially if you try to do it without professional guidance.
A knowledgeable New Brunswick Uber/rideshare accident lawyer could be a critical source of expertise and support throughout this unique type of claim. Call today to learn more.