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480.991.7677

Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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Phoenix Rideshare Accident Attorney

Rideshare companies such as Uber or Lyft are currently one of the trendiest ways to catch a ride. These companies offer an easy way to lift the burden of owning your own vehicle, while still having the freedom to travel where you need to go. However, they aren’t risk-free. If you experience an accident in Arizona when employing a rideshare company, it is important to contact a Phoenix rideshare accident attorney at Knapp & Roberts to determine the next steps.

Arizona Rideshare Accident Resources:

 

The Difference Between Rideshare and a Taxi Company

When you summon a rideshare driver from an app on your smartphone, you are putting out a signal to all the local drivers in the area. Each driver operates as their own small business. Uber and Lyft hire drivers on an independent contractor basis – meaning the companies can deny fault in the accident. Uber drivers do carry a $1 million maximum insurance policy to help pay for any bodily harm while on duty. The terms of the insurance policy are very specific based on who is in the car at the time of the accident, whether or not the driver is on the clock, and more small details.

Because the drivers operate as independent contractors, if your driver was at fault for the accident, you will have to make a claim through their insurance as well. Not all insurance companies will cover a rideshare driver on their personal policy, which is why Uber covers their drivers with a $1 million policy.

A more traditional taxi company must protect drivers with a company-wide insurance policy. This commercial insurance policy exists for the sole purpose of insuring drivers in the taxi company. When a taxi driver is at fault for an accident, claims can happen against the entire company as a whole. This is why taxi companies need to carry a full insurance policy for all drivers. This increases overhead for the business and means that fares are slightly higher for customers, but it also means protection in the event of an accident.

Who Is Liable for Rideshare Accidents?

What happens when your Uber driver gets into an accident while you are in the vehicle? Who is at fault for your injuries? Just like with a regular car crash, it will depend on the type of accident. Uber and Lyft bot have insurance policies in Arizona that include coverage for both bodily injury and property damage. However, Uber and Lyft drivers work as independent contractors, and must make sure their insurance is up to date and can handle claims made from the customers in their business. This is not, however, always the case. Some drivers don’t even realize their insurance policy does not cover them while on the job.

When it comes to rideshare insurance coverage there are three parties involved at all times – Uber, the driver, and the passenger. Depending on how the accident occurs, one of the following insurance scenarios will occur:

  • If the accident occurs when the app is off, the drivers personal auto insurance is responsible and the company will not cover any damages.
  • If the accident occurs when the app is on, the drivers personal auto insurance and the company’s liability coverage will cover damages.
  • If an accident happens during the ride, the rideshare company’s commercial insurance applies.
  • If an accident happens during the ride, due to the negligence of the passenger, the passenger’s personal insurance will cover damages.

What to Do If Your Uber Driver Gets in an Accident

Accidents are always unexpected. If you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident specifically, it’s important to document each part of the accident for your insurance and eventual accident claim. If your Uber driver gets into a car accident, you should:

  • Remain at the scene as a witness.
  • Clear the scene if there is something dangerous occurring, like a fuel spill or flames.
  • Call the proper authorities to report the accident.
  • When an official police report is in your hands, make a feedback report to Uber. A representative will be in contact with you to ask questions and to determine if you are a candidate for an insurance claim.
  • Get checked out by a medical professional.
  • Speak to an accident attorney after the accident to ensure you’ve gone through the proper channels.

What Type of Damages Can I Recover in a Rideshare Accident

Just as in a car accident claim, a victim can be awarded both economic and non-economic damages for personal injuries so long as they can prove drivers negligence at the time of the accident. There is no cap on personal injury claims in Arizona. The damages awarded can be:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life

If it is proven that the at fault driver acted with reckless behavior and extreme negligence, punitive damages, such as jail time and community service, may also be awarded.

When to Call a Phoenix Rideshare Accident Attorney

There is a 2 year statue of limitations for filing claim in the state of Arizona from the date of the accident. Because the rideshare business is fairly new, clear laws and processes may not yet be entirely mapped out. It is important to immediately get in contact with an accident attorney in your area when involved in a rideshare accident, as they will be able to map out the best legal strategy for your case.

If you have been in an Uber accident, you may want to talk with a Phoenix rideshare accident attorney about this new aspect of law. If you are a passenger in a rideshare vehicle during an accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Contact our office before the statute of limitations date.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.