Phoenix Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney
Uber and Lyft changed the transportation industry by enabling travelers to hail cost-effective rides on demand. Many people view rideshare transportation as a safe alternative to driving – especially if someone has been drinking. Yet Uber and Lyft drivers make all the same mistakes as other drivers, including speeding, drowsy driving, and drunk driving.
If you were in an Uber or Lyft accident in Arizona that caused serious injuries, Gallagher & Kennedy may be able to help you obtain compensation for your damages. We help Arizona car crash victims by providing effective counsel against corporations such as rideshare companies. Our Phoenix Uber/Lyft accident lawyers have the experience and resources to build a strong case on your behalf.
Why We Are Right for You
- We have a deep understanding of the rideshare industry, including knowing when Uber or Lyft could be legally responsible for accidents involving their drivers.
- We have trial experience and are not afraid to take your case to court if necessary to achieve the best possible results.
- We have dedicated more than 20 years to the Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury and Wrongful Death practice in Arizona.
- We operate using a contingency fee setup, meaning our Uber accident lawyers accept cases on a contingent or hybrid basis (no fees unless we win).
When To Hire an Uber/Lyft Accident Attorney
It is not mandatory to use an attorney to represent you during an Uber or Lyft accident case in Arizona. Handling your claim alone, however, could put you at a major disadvantage. Insurance companies often take advantage of nonrepresented clients, using delay-and-deny tactics to get out of offering fair settlements. Winning a case against Uber or Lyft can be especially difficult, as these companies have a reputation for avoiding liability for collisions. Hiring a Phoenix Uber/Lyft accident attorney from Gallagher & Kennedy to represent you could balance the scales and optimize your odds of achieving financial recovery.
Arizona Rideshare Accident Resources: What Is the Difference Between a Rideshare Company and a Taxi Company?
Ridesharing disrupted the taxi industry. They are entirely separate, each with different rules and regulations. A rideshare company is a Transportation Network Company, or TNC. Taxi companies are not TNCs. TNCs have to meet regulations on a state (and sometimes city) level. In Arizona, for example, TNCs have special license, insurance, permit and compliance requirements. Different rules apply to the taxi industry. In general, the taxi industry is more heavily regulated than the rideshare industry.
A rideshare vehicle is one that a rider can hail through an app. Rideshare vehicles charge customers per trip rather than based on time spent in transit. Rideshare pricing is prone to price surges, however. A person can hail a rideshare vehicle on-demand to his or her location in a matter of minutes. It typically takes longer for a taxi to arrive, depending on location.
Taxi companies have a more comprehensive hiring process that includes fingerprint checks and in-person interviews. They look into their drivers’ complete criminal and driving backgrounds. In contrast, Uber and Lyft do not meet their drivers or runs fingerprints before allowing them to pick up passengers. Taxi companies also play a role in driver training and vehicle maintenance. Rideshare companies leave driving capabilities and vehicle maintenance in the control of drivers. Rideshare companies do not reimburse drivers for vehicle maintenance or repair costs. This can negatively impact the willingness of drivers to properly maintain their vehicles.
Who Is Liable for a Rideshare Accident in Phoenix, AZ?
In Arizona, Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors. If a driver causes a car accident, the company will not be vicariously liable for the actions of the driver, since the driver is not technically an employee of the company. This does not, however, entirely protect Uber and Lyft from liability. Both companies have $1 million insurance policies in place to cover rider injuries if a ride was underway at the time of the collision.
If an off-duty Uber or Lyft driver caused your collision, the driver will most likely be individually liable for your damages. You will file your claim with the driver’s personal insurance company. If the driver was working for Uber or Lyft at the time of the crash, however, the rideshare company’s insurance provider may cover your damages. A Phoenix accident lawyer from Gallagher & Kennedy can help you determine liability and file a claim against the correct party in Arizona.
Whose Insurance Covers a Lyft or Uber Accident?
Insurance coverage is a complex subject after a rideshare accident. Multiple insurance companies may play a part in crash recovery: the rideshare company’s, driver’s, passenger’s or a third party’s insurer. Determining which companies will absorb primary and secondary liability for your injuries may take help from a Phoenix rideshare accident lawyer.
- The at-fault driver. If a driver outside of the rideshare vehicle caused the collision, his or her auto insurance will cover victims’ damages. Other at-fault parties may also be liable for damages, including the City of Phoenix for an unsafe roadway or a vehicle manufacturer for a car defect. These parties will pay for damages through their insurance plans if found liable.
- The Uber or Lyft driver. All Uber and Lyft drivers must carry private insurance plans. Arizona’s minimum required insurance amounts are $25,000 per person for bodily injury coverage, $50,000 per accident and $15,000 in property damage liability. If the driver causes the crash, his or her insurance will be the primary source of recovery for injured victims and passengers.
- The rideshare company. Uber and Lyft carry insurance policies with $1 million maximums. This will provide coverage when the rideshare driver logs into the app and becomes available for ride requests. Different coverage maximums will apply depending on the phase of the ride: 50/100/25 insurance when drivers have logged on but have not yet accepted a ride and $1 million when the driver is carrying a passenger.
To determine whose insurance company will be liable for your injuries and damages after a rideshare accident, you or your personal injury lawyer will need to identify the at-fault party. You will also need to determine which phase of the ride you were in when the accident happened. One or multiple parties may owe you compensation. Filing with the correct company is important for maximum financial recovery. Discuss your recent Uber or Lyft accident with Gallagher & Kennedy today for more information about insurance coverage.
What Happens If You Are a Driver and You Are Injured in an Auto Accident While Working for Uber, Lyft or Another Rideshare Company?
Working for a rideshare company has many advantages. Uber and Lyft drivers can make their own schedules, work without a boss’s close supervision, and make as much or as little as they want. The screening and hiring processes are also easy, with lax regulations as to who Uber and Lyft hire as drivers. As of 2018, Uber had almost 4 million drivers and Lyft had close to 1.5 million.
Clocking long hours on the road transporting passengers as an Uber or Lyft driver can mean an increased risk of getting into a traffic accident. In most cases, you will not receive insurance coverage from the rideshare company after a crash. If someone else caused your accident, that person’s insurance will cover your damages. Uber or Lyft’s $1 million insurance policy generally will not kick in unless the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance. In this case, Uber or Lyft might help you cover your costs if you were logged into the app at the time of the collision.
If you caused the accident, the rideshare company will not pay for your damages. You will have to seek coverage from your own insurer or pay out of pocket for your expenses. Uber/Lyft will not pay to repair your vehicle or cover your medical costs if you were at fault. If you were transporting passengers and they have injuries, your insurance policy will be the first in line to cover their medical bills and property damages. Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies will then cover remaining passenger damages.
Assault Risks Associated With Ridesharing
Stepping into a vehicle with a stranger can run safety risks related to criminal activity. Uber and Lyft have received thousands of reports from riders regarding alleged sexual and physical assaults over the years. Other risks include robbery, abduction and homicide. Many rideshare passengers have suffered significant physical and emotional injuries from driver-related assaults.
Rideshare drivers also face exposure to assault risks. Passengers may get into the vehicle with weapons and try to threaten, rob or injure the driver. Passengers could also sexually assault or grope drivers during rides. Rideshare companies’ lack of protections for their independent contractors can make it difficult for drivers to obtain justice or financial recompense. They will not be eligible for any type of coverage such as workers’ compensation, for example.
Part of why the assault risks are so high with ridesharing is a lack of safety efforts by Uber and Lyft. Unlike taxi companies, rideshare companies are not under the jurisdiction of commercial carrier laws. Since they are privately owned companies, they can make their own rules. Unfortunately, both companies have not done much to ensure the safety of drivers or passengers. For example, they still only check drivers’ backgrounds up to the past seven years despite facing backlash for dangerous hiring procedures.
Although both companies say they have rolled out numerous safety features in their apps, driver and passenger assaults still happen regularly. If you experience an assault while in a rideshare vehicle in Phoenix, call the police right away to report the incident. Document the facts of your case, such as the name of the driver/passenger and a screenshot of the ride information. Then, contact Gallagher & Kennedy for legal advice about your options for financial recovery.
Could You Be Eligible for Compensation?
The plaintiffs’ attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy work hard to collect compensation on behalf of injured motor vehicle accident victims. We are passionate about helping people pursue financial recovery for damages that would not have occurred were it not for the negligent or reckless actions of another party.
If we are successful during your case, you could receive payment for damages such as medical expenses, physical pain, emotional anguish, disabilities, lost capacity to earn, lost wages, wrongful death, and property damage repairs. Contact us to discuss the potential value of your case.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover in a Rideshare Accident?
The aftermath of a rideshare vehicle accident can be devastating. People in the accident can suffer life-changing and catastrophic injuries, including broken bones, head and brain injuries, back and spine injuries, whiplash, muscle tears, lacerations, burns, and internal injuries. Traumatic accidents and injuries can also have emotional ramifications, such as significant distress, anguish, grief and lost quality of life. A rideshare accident insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit could reimburse you for many related damages.
- Medical expenses. Most successful rideshare accident claims end in compensation for victims’ past and future medical costs. This can include ambulance fees, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, medical devices, live-in care, ongoing therapy, rehabilitation and other health care costs connected to the Uber or Lyft accident.
- Property damages. If your vehicle sustained damage in the accident, you may recover the costs of car repairs or the replacement of a totaled vehicle. The at-fault party’s insurance company may also cover the costs of a rental vehicle while you wait for a mechanic to repair your car.
- Lost income. Serious personal injuries could take you out of work for days, months or life. You may be eligible to recover the past and future financial losses you have due to a temporary or permanent crash-related disability. A lawyer can help you calculate your future lost capacity to earn based on your previous income level.
- Pain and suffering. Arizona civil laws permit the recovery of noneconomic damages as well as economic. These include physical pain, emotional suffering and psychological trauma. An insurance company may owe you compensation for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief and many other intangible damages.
The amount you recover for an Uber or Lyft accident in Phoenix will depend on many factors. The severity and extent of your injuries can determine the value of your claim. Other factors include your age, health, income, disability level and the actions of the at-fault party. The skill of your accident lawyer during settlement negotiations or litigation can also change how much you receive for a rideshare accident claim.
Discuss Your Phoenix Uber/Lyft Accident and Injuries for Free Today
Our Phoenix Uber/Lyft accident injury lawyers can secure positive case results on behalf of victims with serious and catastrophic injuries in Arizona. We have represented many Uber and Lyft accident claimants and may be able to help you pursue financial compensation for injuries as well. A meeting with one of our Phoenix personal injury attorneys could answer any questions you may have about your case. Our experienced injury lawyers offer one-on-one consultations at no charge or obligation. Call (602) 530-8400 to request yours today.