Phoenix Rideshare Accident Attorney
Handling Even The Most Complex Personal Injury Cases in Arizona
Phoenix Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Professional & Experienced Lawyer – Available 24/7
Uber and Lyft have turned the taxi industry upside down by being more convenient and offering competitive prices compared to traditional taxi services. They’ve significantly grown in large cities like Phoenix, where it can be harder to find a taxi driver. While ridesharing services may be more convenient for passengers, you’re still at risk of being involved in an Uber or Lyft vehicle accident.
You could be entitled to damages if you sustained personal injuries in an accident involving ridesharing services. To schedule a free consultation today, contact a Phoenix rideshare accident attorney at the Belén Law Firm by calling our office at (602) 715-0908 or completing our online form.
What is a Rideshare Accident?
As rideshare services continue to become more popular, so does the likelihood of being involved in a rideshare accident. These accidents affect both the driver and the passenger. However, since an independent contractor drives for a rideshare service, the company they drive for can also become involved. A rideshare accident can be caused by a number of things, such as when the driver of Uber or Lyft becomes distracted or is otherwise negligent, causing a car accident.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Like any driver, rideshare drivers are at risk of being involved in car accidents. As more riders use these rideshare companies, the possibility of being involved in an accident also increases. Rideshare drivers are still susceptible to becoming distracted while driving and acting carelessly, especially if they drive for long hours. Listed below are some of the most common causes of rideshare accidents:
- Driver fatigue: According to a study performed by AAA, driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence. In fact, more than 20% of fatal car accidents involved driver fatigue. Since many rideshare trips happen late at night or early in the morning, rideshare drivers can be even more susceptible to fatigue. Many rideshare drivers work for Uber or Lyft as a side job, so they get behind the wheel for a rideshare shift after they finish working a 9 to 5 job. Other drivers work for a rideshare company full-time, which can lead to long rideshare trips. Whether a rideshare driver works for Uber or Lyft full-time or part-time, they can be at risk for driving while drowsy.
- Distracted driving: Driving while distracted is one of the most common causes of rideshare accidents because rideshare drivers have more distractions than the average driver. During a single rideshare trip, the driver will have their rideshare app running, which tells them their passenger information and pick-up and drop-off location. Your rideshare driver also has a map they’re focusing on to get you to your destination. The Uber or Lyft driver will be notified about their next pick-up on the app during your trip. Anything that takes the driver away from fully concentrating on driving is a distraction and can lead to an accident.
- Driving unfamiliar roads: When your driver is unfamiliar with the route to take you to your desired destination, this can lead to unexpected turns or stops, putting you at risk of being involved in a rideshare accident.
- Speeding: Over 10,000 people were killed in 2020 because of speeding, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA. Your driver may unintentionally speed due to being distracted or intentionally speed to try and fit in as many rides as possible during their shift.
- Unsafe pick-up or parking locations: When picking up a rider, your rideshare driver may be unable to find a parking spot close to your pick-up spot. If your driver chooses an unsafe location, like blocking a main road or obstructing traffic, this can lead to an accident.
- Vehicle maintenance: Before driving for a rideshare company, initial maintenance requirements must be met. However, Uber and Lyft do not have continued maintenance requirements once the driver begins working for the company. Not performing routine maintenance on a rideshare vehicle can lead to vehicle malfunctions, like brake or tire issues.
Rideshare Accident Injuries
The driver, passenger, and bystanders can sustain severe and life-threatening injuries when involved in a rideshare accident. The most common rideshare accident injuries are:
- Brain injury
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord damage
- Lacerations and bruises
- Wrongful death
What To Do Following a Car Accident in a Rideshare Vehicle
If the Uber or Lyft you were riding in was involved in an accident, follow the steps below to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries:
- Contact police: When an accident involving a rideshare vehicle occurs, the police must be called to the scene. Police must come to the location of the accident so they can investigate and write a report that insurance companies can use.
- Seek medical care: After an accident involving rideshare services, seek medical care immediately, regardless of whether or not you’re in pain. A medical professional must evaluate you to receive medical documentation that can be used toward your insurance claim. Many injuries sustained from car accidents don’t show up until later, and any delay in medical attention can make an insurance claim more difficult.
- Contact the rideshare company: If you were riding in an Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident, contact the company immediately through their app.
- Notify your insurance company: Reach out to your insurance company to inform them that you were involved in a rideshare accident and provide details surrounding the auto accident.
- Contact a Phoenix rideshare accident attorney: It’s important to contact a rideshare accident attorney immediately following an Uber or Lyft accident. The quicker you contact an attorney, the sooner they can collect evidence about your ridesharing accident claim.
Who is Liable in a Rideshare Accident?
After being involved in a rideshare accident, determining liability can be difficult. In a regular car accident, the driver at fault is held liable and responsible for damages. If the driver at fault in the car accident is determined to be working at the time of the accident, then the employer can be held liable. However, it can be tricky because Uber and Lyft drivers are technically independent contractors, not employees.
Rideshare Insurance Coverage
The driver must have their insurance policy when driving for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. Rideshare companies will only provide coverage in certain situations. Uber and Lyft provide very similar insurance policies.
Uber Insurance Coverage
Uber’s insurance policies for their drivers are as follows:
- Uber App is On and Driver “Available”: Their contingent liability coverage applies, but only for accident victims who were injured or had personal property damaged. Coverage can be up to $25,000 for damaged property, and $100,000 for injured passengers, $50,000 per individual. If the rideshare driver was injured or had vehicle damage, they must use their personal insurance policy.
- Uber App is Off: The driver’s personal insurance policy will be used for a car accident.
- Driver Accepted a Ride or Until Passenger is Dropped Off: The rideshare company’s commercial insurance policy will provide coverage in a car accident. This policy covers up to $1 million per car accident for bodily injury and property damage, plus an additional $1 million if the other driver involved is not insured or underinsured.
Lyft Insurance Coverage
Lyft’s insurance policies for their drivers are as follows:
- Lyft Driver is Waiting for a Ride Request: The driver’s private insurance company will cover an accident unless they refuse. If the insurance company refuses to cover the accident, Lyft’s rideshare insurance coverage will apply. Lyft’s coverage provides $100,000 per accident, $50,000 per person, and $25,000 for damaged property.
- Lyft App is Off: The driver’s insurance will cover any accident.
- Driver Accepted a Ride or Until Passenger is Dropped Off: If involved in a car accident, Lyft’s $1 million insurance policy will provide coverage.
Why You Need a Phoenix Rideshare Accident Lawyer to Help With Your Personal Injury Claim
Since drivers for Uber and Lyft are considered independent contractors and not employees, determining liability can be difficult. Rideshare companies are less likely to claim legal responsibility when their independent contractors are involved in an accident compared to if it were one of their employees.
Filing a lawsuit against rideshare companies is an extreme scenario since Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage for rideshare accidents. However, if you were involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, you need to know your rights. Even if everyone involved in the accident cooperates, obtaining legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected can still be beneficial.
If you were involved in an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, you could be entitled to the following damages:
- Non-economic damages:
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium damages for the injured spouse
- Emotional and psychological distress resulting from the accident
- Physical pain and suffering
- Economic damages:
- Lost wages if you’re unable to work during recovery
- Medical bills
- Property damage
Call a Phoenix Rideshare Accident Attorney at Belén Law Firm Today
A car accident injury can turn your life upside down. Not only do you have to deal with insurance companies, but when Uber and Lyft are involved, it can make the car accident claim process even more complicated.
You could be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one were injured in a rideshare accident. Contact the Phoenix personal injury attorneys at the Belén Law Firm by calling our office at (602) 715-0908 or completing our online form to schedule a free consultation today.