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Rideshare Car Accident Causes and Insurance Requirements in New Jersey

Rideshare Car Accident Causes and Insurance Requirements in New Jersey

A rideshare service, such as Uber and Lyft, is a great alternative to driving yourself to a destination. However, there is the possibility of being involved in an accident. One of the most significant setbacks to being involved in a rideshare accident is that the company does not own its vehicles and does not manage a fleet of cars. All rideshare vehicles on the road belong to private car owners, who are considered independent contractors. 

Rideshare companies provide advanced technology that connects a driver and a passenger seeking a ride to a destination. However, the drivers are paid, which means they can be regarded as commercial vehicles. That means the rideshare company is a standard commercial carrier, which also raises the question of insurance.

Rideshare accidents are never the same, and the outcome of each one varies depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, there are:

  • Sideswipe Crashes – when both vehicles are traveling in the same direction. 

  • Single-Vehicle Crashes – often involves a driver running into a stationary object. 

  • T-Bone Collisions – also known as side-impact crashes. 

  • Rollover Accidents – extremely serious and can cause the driver's death, including any passengers.

  • Head-On Collisions – even low-speed collisions can be deadly.

  • Rear-End Accidents – the speed of the crash is a significant factor in the seriousness of injuries sustained.

The top reason for rideshare accidents in New Jersey is distracted driving. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three types of distraction:

  •  Visual: The driver's eyes are not on the road (e.g., looking down at their cell phone).

  •  Manual: The driver's hands are not on the wheel.

  •  Cognitive: The driver's mind is “elsewhere” and not focused on driving.

Rideshare Accident Causes

Rideshare accidents can happen for the same or similar reasons that other motor vehicle collisions happen and can be caused by:

  • Distracted Driving

  • Speeding


  • Road Rage

  • Weather Conditions

  • Road Conditions

  • Tailgating

  • Aggressive Driving

  • Reckless Driving

  • Rubbernecking

  • Fatigued Driving

  • Defective Vehicles

What Happens if a Rideshare Vehicle Gets into Accident?

A rideshare accident is complicated. There are state-wide regulations in New Jersey that cover how much commercial insurance must be on hand if there is a collision. The Act ushering in regulations for the rideshare industry was the Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act (TNCSRA). The regulations stated there had to be at least $1.5 million in commercial insurance available in a crash. 

Regulations become complicated due to the three periods a rideshare driver could be in when they are online on the rideshare application. Each period has a different amount of insurance available. Determining which period the driver was in before the accident is crucial.

Rideshare accidents may look like other motor vehicles involved in a collision. However, the main difference is that if someone is injured, they can file a claim against the rideshare driver's insurance, the rideshare company’s insurance policy, or another at-fault driver's insurance. Rideshare accidents can be complex. We encourage anyone injured in this type of crash to discuss their case with an experienced New Jersey Uber or Lyft Accident Injury Attorney.

Rideshare Company Insurance Requirements

Once a rideshare driver, such as an Uber or Lyft driver, accepts a passenger, they must have a commercial car insurance policy with at least $1.5 million in liability coverage for death, bodily injury and property damage. They must also provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in an amount of at least $1.5 million, which covers all who occupy the vehicle if another motorist causes an accident and does not have any insurance, or does not have sufficient insurance.

In New Jersey, if you are in a car accident, and you have selected the “limitation on lawsuit option” for your car insurance coverage, you will need to prove that you have sustained a permanent injury based on objective evidence, even if the other driver was at-fault. However, if you are injured in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, whether you are a driver or passenger of the other vehicle, or a passenger of an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the limitation on lawsuit option does not apply and you will not need to prove you have sustained a permanent injury. As written in the statute, it states:

“The limitation on lawsuit option set forth in subsection a. of section 8 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-8) shall not be assertable by a transportation network company or a transportation network company driver in any action for damages arising from a prearranged ride, or be asserted against any party not receiving personal injury protection benefits in any action for damages arising from a prearranged ride.”

When not providing a pre-arranged ride (i.e., is logged in and is looking for a passenger) a rideshare driver must maintain liability insurance for at least $50,000 for death or bodily injury, per person, and $100,000 for death or bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage.

Contact an Experienced New Jersey Uber/Lyft Accident Injury Lawyer Now!

If you, suffered a serious injury in a New Jersey Uber or Lyft accident, or sadly, lost or a loved one in an Uber or Lyft accident, the dedicated Rideshare Accident Injury Lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm are here to help.  For more than 30 years, we have been helping clients who have been seriously injured in all types of accidents.  We are a five-star rated law firm, recovering a total of more than $100 million on behalf of our clients.  We will do our best to hold the negligent driver fully accountable for their actions and get you the justice you deserve.

We recognize the challenges you face as a result of a serious motor vehicle crash and are uniquely positioned to protect your rights and help you through the recovery process. To learn more and to schedule a FREE consultation, give us a call today at 973-920-7900. You can also connect with us through our online form. There is never a fee unless we win your case.  We have two conveniently located offices in Denville and Morristown, New Jersey.

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Todd J. Leonard Law Firm

At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm we have represented thousands of people who have been injured in all types of accidents. Our office has recovered millions of dollars on our clients’ behalf. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a fatal accident, we will fight to protect your rights.Call today to speak with a New Jersey personal injury lawyer at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm     Todd J. Leonard Law Firm3010 NJ-10Denville, NJ 07834(973) 920-7900https://www.lawleonard.com        5 Maple Ave., #2Morristown, NJ 07960(973) 842-0935... View full business profile here: Todd J. Leonard Law Firm

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