When choosing to use a rideshare app, you assume that you will safely reach your destination. Unfortunately, as with any vehicle transportation, there is always the possibility of an accident, which may be minor but can also be serious or fatal. If your loved one was killed in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, you may be wondering if a family member can sue Uber or Lyft for a wrongful death.
The answer is that you can sometimes sue Uber or Lyft for wrongful death. Rideshare accident claims can be complicated and usually require an experienced attorney to guide you through the legal process. Today, we’ll discuss the complexities of filing a rideshare accident lawsuit.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Jersey?
Each state has different laws on who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. According to N.J. Stat. § 2A:31-2, the executor of the will or personal representative of the estate may file the claim. The damages recovered by the wrongful death lawsuit may then be distributed to eligible survivors. Those eligible include the decedent’s:
- Siblings, and
- Nephews or nieces.
Anyone else must be able to prove that they were a dependent of the decedent. It is important to understand who can file this type of claim before pursuing litigation.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft for a Wrongful Death?
According to N.J. Stat. § 2A:31-1, wrongful death occurs when one person dies as a result of the wrongful act or negligence of another. This would include death stemming from negligence-based incidents like rideshare vehicle accidents.
If the facts of your case support a wrongful death lawsuit against a rideshare company, you can sue for compensation. Every case is unique, so it is important to have a lawyer determine the party or parties who are responsible.
It matters whether your loved one was a passenger in the rideshare vehicle when the accident occurred, the driver of another vehicle, a pedestrian, or involved in another way. It also matters whether the collision was caused by the rideshare driver, another driver, or something completely different such as a mechanical defect or poorly maintained roadway. Ultimately, you will file your wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party.
How Do I Know If I Have a Rideshare Accident Lawsuit?
It is important to have your attorney conduct an independent investigation into your claim to determine who is at fault. All drivers in New Jersey are required to carry personal injury protection insurance up to a certain amount. Unfortunately, the cost of severe injuries often exceeds that coverage amount. New Jersey also requires that rideshare drivers carry a Ride Sharing Endorsement, which provides $1.5 million in medical coverage in the event of an accident. Uber and Lyft also have their own liability coverage.
If your loved one was a rideshare passenger at the time of the accident, it may be possible that you can sue Uber or Lyft for wrongful death. This could also be true if the accident was caused by a rideshare driver who was logged in to the app (working), even if they did not have a passenger at the time.
Why Is Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Uber or Lyft Complicated?
Each case has its own level of complexity, but the truth is that no one ever eagerly accepts the blame and responsibility for an accident. Both rideshare companies have their own policies regarding liability and their own legal teams tasked with making sure they pay out as little as possible.
When it comes to a rideshare accident lawsuit, there are often multiple parties involved, including multiple insurance companies. Though it may be tempting to accept a fast settlement at a lower amount than what you are entitled to, it is important that you wait to ensure you receive fair compensation.
O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, has a history of success and professionalism. We understand how devastating the loss of a loved one can be. Our team is committed to pursuing justice and maximum compensation, so you can focus on managing your grief and navigating life without your loved one. During this time, the last thing you want to stress about is the details of a wrongful death lawsuit. Let us help. Contact us to schedule your case consultation.