Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft are here to stay in New Jersey. In February, Governor Christie signed compromise licensing legislation into law, supported by both the ride-share firms and the legislature.
Here are 4 facts that you should know about using ride-share companies in our state:
- Ride-share drivers must have background checks. Individuals cannot drive for these companies if they have been convicted of homicide, sexual assault, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving and possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance. However, prospective drivers will not be fingerprinted and may not even be interviewed in-person before being hired.
- Passengers are insured if you are in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, even if the driver isn't insured. Passengers injured in an accident while being driven by a ride-share driver have medical coverage for up to $1.5 million in medical bills. Even if the driver's insurance has lapsed, the ride-share company must cover you. This is a welcomed solution since many car insurance companies don't cover ride-hailing accidents in personal policies. This new coverage requirement means that ride-share companies are similar to limousines in New Jersey. The coverage also eliminates the complexity about which insurer is responsible for the resulting medical bills.
- Ride-share companies can keep data about their passengers secret from the public - but not from the state. Uber and Lyft submit passenger information to the state Department of Transportation, but it is considered confidential and not a government record under the state's Open Public Record Act. So data about when you used ride-share services and where you went is private and not accessible by the public, but the state may use this information in studies, for example, to analyze traffic peaks and congestion patterns.
- Access to ride-share safety records is still unavailable. Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and as such can't be offered safety training by ride-share firms. The companies collect safety data and track driver accidents, but neither the public nor the media can access this information.
We Can Help If You Have Been Involved in an Auto Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in an auto accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Essex County, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.