Ride-Sharing Accidents Lead New Jersey Legislature to Act
Ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular as a way to get around town. Maybe you’re among the 15% of adults across the US who have used a ride-sharing app, and you find them to be a convenient and cost-effective means of transportation. However, do you know what you’d do if your Uber or Lyft driver was involved in a car accident that caused you to become injured? Who would pay for your injuries? Would you need to make a claim on your own insurance policy?
Lack of sufficient insurance coverage for injured passengers a possibility
Until recently, many New Jersey ride-share drivers were covered only by their personal insurance while driving for one of the apps. This could result in only minimal coverage for a serious accident if the driver carried only the legal minimum coverage, and only if the driver’s insurer didn’t decline coverage because the car was used for a commercial purpose that wasn’t covered by the policy. The members of the New Jersey state legislature, concerned about what this could mean for accident victims, tackled this issue and created a law that offers greater peace of mind to ride-share passengers.
New Jersey law makes substantial coverage mandatory
New Jersey Uber and Lyft passengers are now covered by the Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act. The law requires drivers and ride-share companies to obtain certain minimum insurance coverage to protect customers. Now, between the driver and the company for which the driver is working, passengers will have up to $1.5 million in insurance coverage protection.
The level of coverage carried by the driver will vary depending on when the accident occurs. If the driver is logged in to the app and is on the way to pick up a passenger, or has already picked up the passenger, the driver, company, or a combination of both, will have $1.5 million in primary auto liability insurance to cover bodily injury, death, or property damage, as well as coverage of at least $10,000 for medical payments per injured person that will just cover the driver, and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage of at least $1.5 million. If the driver’s own insurance has lapsed or a claim is denied, then the ride-share company’s insurance would cover the injured person’s expenses.
If you’ve been hurt in a New Jersey accident involving a vehicle driven for a ride-share company such as Lyft or Uber, contact the dedicated and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer Andrew R. Jacobs for a consultation, at 973-532-9681.