Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are affordable and convenient, but using these services still involves some risk. According to Uber’s latest safety report, there were 91 fatal Uber-related auto accidents in 2019-2020. There were many more non-fatal accidents. Some left drivers, passengers, and other parties with long-term injuries.

In these situations, people often wonder who pays for injuries after an Uber or Lyft accident. Rideshare companies offer insurance to cover their drivers’ liability, but this coverage is available to injured parties only in limited circumstances. For that reason, you will want to hire a rideshare injury liability attorney to hold the correct party accountable for your injuries. 

An Overview of New Jersey Car Insurance 

New Jersey is a no-fault state. Drivers each file claims with their own insurance companies to recover for medical expenses and lost income, up to the limits of the policy. However, a driver can still be liable for certain types of serious injuries. In that case, the injured parties can sue the driver to recover for all their losses, including pain and suffering.

Rideshare Insurance Coverage Explained

Drivers for rideshare platforms are independent contractors. They work for themselves and not the companies. Uber and Lyft are not always liable for accidents caused by these drivers. Drivers must have personal car insurance policies, but Uber and Lyft offer liability coverage when the driver is driving for the app. 

Below is an explanation of which insurance coverage applies after an accident and Uber’s and Lyft’s policy limits.

Driver Is Offline and Not Driving for the App

Uber and Lyft do not provide insurance coverage if the driver is not driving for either service at the time of the accident. For example, Uber’s liability coverage will not apply if a driver hits another car while driving to the store for personal reasons. Only the driver’s personal insurance policy applies. 

One caveat to this is that Lyft offers its drivers vehicles through a rental service called Express Drive. This service includes car insurance, even when the driver is not working for Lyft at the time of the accident. 

Driver Is Online and Waiting for a Ride

If the driver is online and waiting for a fare, both Uber and Lyft offer third-party liability insurance. 

Both Uber and Lyft offer:

  • Bodily injury coverage of $50,000 per injury, $100,000 total per accident, and
  • Property damage coverage of $25,000 total per accident. 

However, the companies only offer this service if the driver’s personal liability insurance does not apply. 

Driver Is Driving to Pick Up Passengers or Driving a Passenger

When the driver has a passenger or is on the way to pick up a passenger, both Uber and Lyft offer third-party liability coverage of $1,000,000. They also offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Do I Need a Lawyer After an Uber or Lyft Accident? 

While we can’t give you a firm yes or no, it almost always helps to speak with an attorney after any car accident. 

Your attorney can help you understand who pays for injuries after an Uber or Lyft accident and fight on your behalf to recover your damages. Moreover, your attorney will take care of the many small yet essential components of getting you compensation.

These can include:

  • Investigating the accident. A lawyer will review the police report, interview witnesses, consult experts, and analyze photos and videos.
  • Calculating your damages. Damage calculations include medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, time off work, and more.
  • Filing necessary documents. Your attorney can help submit your insurance claims and file a lawsuit.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies. Insurers sometimes make lowball offers, so it’s best to have an advocate who can get a high return for you. 
  • Advocating for you at trial. Trial is rare, but your attorney will be ready to prove to a jury why you are entitled to damages from the at-fault party.

Do not forget the mental and emotional effects of a car accident. You will want to recover from your injuries and get back to what you love. Hiring an attorney can let you focus on what matters most during this trying time.

Schedule a Consultation with a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer

The team at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble has helped recover millions of dollars for those injured in auto accidents. We know how to reach settlements with insurance companies and get justice for you. 

U.S. News ranked us as one of the Best Law Firms in New Jersey because of our award-winning personal injury attorneys. Call our firm today to speak with a rideshare injury liability lawyer.

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