Phoenix Uber Accident Attorney
In large urban areas like Phoenix and all over the country, 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 suffered injuries in a Phoenix Uber accident or Phoenix Lyft crash, Gallagher & Kennedy may be able to help you obtain compensation for your damages. We help Phoenix car crash victims by providing effective counsel against corporations such as rideshare companies. Our Phoenix Uber accident lawyers have the experience and resources to build a strong case on your behalf.
Call us at (602) 902-1707 or complete our online contact form to request a free consultation today about your case.
Gallagher & Kennedy has provided effective representation to injured people throughout Phoenix and Arizona for more than 45 years, and we have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in total compensation for our clients. Some aspects about our firm to consider as you seek legal representation for your rideshare accident claim:
- 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 40 years to the Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury and Wrongful Death practice in Phoenix and across the state of Arizona.
- We operate using a contingency fee setup, meaning our Uber accident lawyers accept cases on a contingent or hybrid basis. We won’t get a fee unless we recover compensation for you.
Our personal injury lawyers have gained reputations for excellence, professionalism, and commitment to our clients. We will take an active interest in your case and fight hard to help you get the maximum financial recovery possible.
Contact Gallagher & Kennedy at (602) 902-1707 to have an experienced Phoenix rideshare accident attorney review your claim and advise you of your options at no cost.
When To Hire a Phoenix Uber Accident Attorney
If you get into an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver or if you suffer an injury as a passenger, you should contact an experienced Phoenix Uber accident attorney immediately. Not having an experienced law firm on your side while you fight rideshare companies could put you at a major disadvantage.
Insurance companies often take advantage of non-represented 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 accident attorney from Gallagher & Kennedy to represent you could balance the scales and optimize your odds of achieving financial recovery.
Ridesharing disrupted the taxi industry. They are entirely separate, each with different rules and regulations. A rideshare company is a Transportation Network Company (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 licensing, 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 investigate their drivers’ complete criminal and driving backgrounds. By contrast, Uber and Lyft do not meet their drivers or run 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.
In Phoenix and throughout the state, Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors. If an Uber 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 commercial 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.
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 the 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 Phoenix 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.
How Does Uber/Lyft Insurance Work?
Uber and Lyft provide supplemental insurance to their drivers, but this insurance applies only when the driver has their app turned on. If the driver does not have the app engaged, their own insurance will cover them in an accident.
If the driver has the app on and is waiting to accept a ride and they get into a car accident, the company’s insurance will cover them only if their own insurance does not.
When an Uber or Lyft driver accepts a ride request and picks up a passenger, Uber or Lyft’s insurance will provide full coverage until the driver safely transports the passenger to their destination and the passenger exits the vehicle.
Uber and Lyft both provide liability insurance coverage that offers:
- $1 million third-party liability coverage
- Uninsured or underinsured bodily injury coverage, when the Uber driver is not at fault
- Contingent comprehensive and collision insurance that covers the “actual cash value” of your car with a $2,500 deductible (although some deductibles are only $1,000).
Comprehensive and collision coverage may only apply if you have personal injury auto insurance with comprehensive and collision for the vehicle you use as a driver and you are not using the app when you get into an accident.
Also, if you have a commercial driver’s license and insurance and you drive for Uber or Lyft, you should contact your commercial insurance company to find out your options for recovering damages and filing a claim.
What Should You Do After an Uber, Left, or Ridesharing Accident?
After an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you want to make sure everyone is all right and document as much as you can to file a successful claim. It is also in your best interest to contact a car accident attorney immediately following the crash before you speak with any other drivers or the police or report the accident to Uber or Lyft. This is true whether you are the rideshare driver, a passenger in their car, or a third party involved in the crash.
If you can, you should move all wrecked vehicles to the shoulder or median to prevent secondary collisions. If you can’t move the vehicles, you should engage their hazard lights, if possible, or place flares or other warnings around the vehicles to warn other motorists of the accident. Other important actions include:
Get medical attention – If you suffer injuries in an Uber accident, you should get a prompt medical evaluation as soon as possible. Call 911 and report an accident with injuries. Paramedics will likely respond and provide triage until they can transport you to a hospital. You should always go to the emergency room or urgent care regardless of how serious you think your injuries are and have a licensed physician evaluate you. A medical professional should examine you and document your injuries so you have a record of receiving medical care.
You should always get a medical evaluation following an Uber or Lyft accident even if you feel fine following the accident. Some injuries may not present symptoms right away, like whiplash and concussions, and your body has likely released a lot of adrenaline, which can often mask injury symptoms. A doctor can evaluate you for any injuries that may be hard to determine and order MRIs, CT scans, and other diagnostic procedures to diagnose the extent of your current injuries or rule out any injuries that may manifest later.
Call the police – Arizona law requires drivers to report an accident that results in injury or death or causes more than $2,000 in property damage. A police officer will interview witnesses and parties involved in the crash and will submit the official police report within 24 hours of the accident. To pursue compensation, you will need a copy of the police report or accident report to file as part of your injury claim.
Document the accident scene – If you are able, you should document as much evidence of the accident scene as possible. You should photograph or take videos of the wreckage and any skid marks the vehicles made prior to the collision. You should also take pictures of your injuries and any injuries your loved ones sustained. Also, you should jot down all details you remember from the crash while they are fresh in your mind.
Report the accident to Uber or Lyft – Uber and Lyft both provide ways for drivers, passengers, and third parties to report an accident. You can report an accident through the app or through either company’s website.
However, if you are a passenger, you need to speak with an attorney before reporting the accident because the accident report form will ask you general questions about the crash and your injuries. You do not want to state anything that can come back and hurt your chances of obtaining compensation.
Get an attorney – Recovering damages following an Uber accident can be complex and involve complicated laws. Whether you are a rideshare driver, a passenger, or a third party involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, an attorney can advise you of your options and help you determine what to say and how best to handle the situation.
What Should Uber and Lyft Drivers Do Following an Accident?
If you are driving for Uber or Lyft and you get into an accident—and you did not suffer injuries yourself–your top priority is to ensure your passengers are safe and uninjured. You should also call 911 and report the accident and contact your rideshare company and report it to them as well. Whether you were actively driving for Uber or Lyft or not, you should also report the accident to your own insurance company.
Be very careful about what you say to your rideshare company or your insurance company so as to not inadvertently say anything that places blame on you for causing the accident, especially if you were not at fault.
You also need to get the insurance information from any other drivers involved along with the contact details of your passengers, if applicable.
What Should Uber or Lyft Passengers Do After an Accident?
Provided you did not suffer injuries, you should gather the following information:
- The Uber or Lyft driver’s rideshare insurance information
- The rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance information
- The contact information of any other drivers involved
If you suffered injuries, you should get immediate medical attention and call an attorney to discuss your options for pursuing compensation.
What Should Other Drivers Do if Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
If you are another driver involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, you should get the rideshare driver’s contact information, their rideshare insurance information, and their personal auto insurance information.
Depending on who was responsible for the accident, the rideshare insurance policy may cover your bodily injuries and property damage. If the rideshare driver was at fault and the rideshare insurance policy does not cover your injuries and losses, you may have to file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance.
If the rideshare insurance company or the driver’s personal insurance company contacts you to get a recorded statement, do not provide one without first consulting an attorney. Many times, insurance companies will ask questions to lead you into accepting blame for the crash, or they may try to lessen the severity of your injuries by misinterpreting or misrepresenting what you say about how you feel.
The insurance company may use a number of tactics to try and deny liability or reduce the amount they will pay on your claim. An experienced auto accident attorney can deal with the insurance company for you and file your claim so you don’t have to worry about doing or saying something that may affect your ability to get the compensation you need.
Uber and Lyft Crash Statistics
According to the latest statistics, Uber claims to have around 93 million users and processes more than 1.4 billion rides every quarter. The company also claims around 90 percent of accidents involving Uber vehicles occur in densely populated urban areas, such as Phoenix.
Uber also claims that around 100 fatal accidents occur each year involving Uber vehicles. Nearly 60 percent of victims were third parties, with the remaining numbers split evenly between Uber drivers and their passengers.
Lyft has a smaller market share than Uber, with just over 20 million riders annually. In the most recent year of their accident report, though, Lyft reported 49 motor vehicle fatalities.
The reports do not break down how many accidents Uber or Lyft drivers caused, and each company conducts background and driving record checks and continuously monitors their drivers for criminal activity or unsafe driving behaviors. Still, many believe neither rideshare company does enough to screen and vet their drivers.
Where Do Most Uber/Left Accidents Occur in Phoenix?
As with any major metropolitan area, Phoenix sees its share of motor vehicle accidents each year. The city reported 40,833 total accidents in 2021, with nearly 11,000 injuries and 278 deaths.
Car accidents happen frequently on Interstate 10, both in the downtown area during rush hour as well as in suburban areas to the east and west of the city. Other roads that see a lot of vehicle accidents include:
- 59th Avenue
- Tatum Boulevard
- Seventh Street/Seventh Avenue
- Indian School Road and the intersection of 75th Avenue
- Camelback Road and 16th Street
- Southern Avenue and 19th Avenue
Also, many accidents occur downtown on any of the one-way streets throughout the city. Drivers who aren’t familiar with Phoenix may not see the one-way sign and take a wrong turn, which can lead to a serious head-on collision.
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 in Phoenix have suffered significant physical and emotional injuries from driver-related assaults.
Rideshare drivers, like Uber and Lyft, 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.
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
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Muscle tears
- 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 not only your financial costs and losses but other areas of your life impacted by the tragedy. You may receive both economic and non-economic damages to cover things like:
- Medical expenses.Most successful rideshare accident claims end in compensation for victims’ past and future medical bills and costs. This can include ambulance fees, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, medical devices, live-in care, ongoing therapy, rehabilitation, and other healthcare costs connected to the Uber or Lyft accident.
- Property damage.If your vehicle sustained property 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 earning capacity based on your previous income level.
- Pain and suffering.State civil laws permit the recovery of damages that may not have a specific dollar amount or value. These include chronic 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.
What Is the Claims Process?
Filing a car accident claim for compensation is challenging under any circumstances, but pursuing compensation following an Uber or Lyft accident can be especially complicated. The biggest issues involve the fact that you will have to deal with two or three (or more) insurance companies, and you may have to deal with more than one driver or vested party.
Auto insurance covers almost every motor vehicle accident, and you will need an attorney to help you deal with the insurance company–including your own—and file your claim for you. The insurer will investigate the crash and work to determine liability. This will determine whether they will accept your claim and how much they will pay. Even if they accept your claim and offer you a settlement, the amount may not be enough to cover your injuries and losses, and you will need an attorney to negotiate a higher amount for you.
If the insurance company denies your claim, or if they act in bad faith regarding your claim, you may have to take them to court to sue for the money you need.
How Long Do I Have to Sue After an Accident?
Arizona’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of your injury. If your attorney does not file your lawsuit within that time, you may forfeit any chance you have to obtain compensation.
You also need to get a medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible after the accident to prove you suffered injuries. You will need that information as part of your injury claim or lawsuit.
Discuss Your Phoenix Uber/Lyft Accident and Injuries for Free Today
Our Phoenix Uber accident injury lawyers can secure positive case results on behalf of victims with serious and catastrophic injuries in Phoenix. We have represented many Uber and Lyft accident claimants and may be able to help you pursue financial compensation for injuries as well.
By meeting with one of our Phoenix personal injury attorneys, you can get answers to any questions you have about your case, and we will objectively evaluate your claim and advise you on your best options.
Our experienced injury lawyers offer confidential, one-on-one consultations at no charge or obligation, and we charge nothing upfront to represent you if you have a viable claim. Call (602) 530-8400 or complete our online contact form to request your free consultation today.
Gallagher & Kennedy – Phoenix Office
2575 E Camelback Rd, Suite 810
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Tel: (602) 530-8400