Rideshare Accident Lawyers in Phoenix
Uber & Lyft Collision Cases
If you have been in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should seek help from a lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC. Ridesharing services are incredibly helpful and can end up keeping many people safe, getting them to their needed location, and making transportation a breeze. Car accidents happen, and accidents are just as likely to happen in a rideshare vehicle as they are if you were driving in your own car. While there may be confusing aspects about what to do after an accident injured you, you should follow a few guidelines that will help you after you have been in any kind of car accident. When you follow the advice below, you can feel more confident about being a safe passenger and knowing what to do if you sustain an injury while riding in a Lyft or Uber.
The First Action You Should Take
After a rideshare accident, your first step should always be to check yourself for injuries. Regardless of whose fault the accident was (your driver’s or another driver’s), check yourself for obvious signs of injury like bruising, broken bones, bleeding, and dizziness. Once you have run a quick self-assessment, check on other passengers and your driver and make any necessary 9-1-1 calls if you or someone else needs emergency responders.
A few other things you should do after checking for injuries are:
- Gather as much evidence as possible by taking pictures on your phone
- Gather information like the driver’s personal insurance, their name, their car, and their license plate
- Perform the same step as above if another car was involved in the accident
- Check if there were nearby witnesses and get their contact information
- Call the local authorities to notify them of the accident so they can compile a police report
Who Is Responsible for Damages in an Uber Accident?
Because Uber drivers are independent contractors, they are not under the same insurance liability practices as someone who is an actual employee would be. Your lawyer can go into detail about insurance with you. That said, while the situation is tricky, you still have the right to compensation after an accident injured you.
The two likely scenarios are:
- Someone else was the cause of your accident; or
- Your driver was at fault.
In the first scenario, if there is another driver who is responsible for the accident and thus responsible for your injuries, you will likely file a claim against their insurance like you would with any other accident. This scenario is largely uncomplicated.
However, if your Uber or Lyft driver was responsible, who pays for your damages depends on whether they had their app open (and registered them as working) or not.
If They Weren’t Logged In. If the driver forgot to log you in as their passenger, they were not technically on a shift and the rideshare company would likely not provide coverage.
If They Were Logged In. If your driver successfully logged into the app and accepted your ride, then Uber and Lyft have liability coverage that can amount up to $1 million.
Aren’t More Insurance Policies a Good Thing?
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident as a passenger, you’re essentially dealing with at least three insurance policies: The private insurance of the rideshare driver, the private insurance of the other driver, and the insurance policy of the rideshare company. It would be tempting to assume that more insurance coverage is always better than less, but that’s not always the case. In fact, when there is some dispute over which policy should cover a crash, the insurers may all try to deny responsibility. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to connect with a lawyer at Kamper & Estrada, LLP as soon as you possibly can in the wake of a rideshare accident. The aftermath of these collisions is not as straightforward as the aftermath of many crashes tend to be.
One common problem stemming from rideshare accidents is that rideshare drivers may not have the right kind of insurance coverage. Most personal auto insurance policies specifically prohibit coverage while the policyholder is driving for money. They either need to purchase commercial auto insurance or pay for a ride-sharing endorsement (which is only offered in a few states). If the driver hasn’t taken these steps, their own insurance company may refuse to pay the claim. Once that happens, the rideshare company’s insurer may also deny the claim, alleging that it should be covered by the driver’s policy. This is when a lawyer can step in to help ensure that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to, regardless of the insurance company’s approach.
Pedestrian & Bicyclist Accidents with Rideshare Drivers
If you were struck by a rideshare driver while walking or riding a bicycle, there will likely be less complexity involved in your insurance coverage settlement challenges, but not by much. Liability will almost certainly rest with either the driver’s insurer or the rideshare company’s insurer. However, which entity will cover the crash could be a subject of significant dispute.
As noted above, a rideshare company’s insurance coverage can change from moment to moment, depending on where a driver is in the transportation cycle. Insurers may argue over the timing of an accident, resulting in less coverage or a denied claim. The best course of action is to hire a lawyer to strongly advocate for your rights throughout the process, because doing so will allow you to benefit from experienced, professional guidance.
Why an Experienced Lawyer Is So Important
Rideshare services have been around for several years, but the statutes and regulations governing them are not comprehensive. More importantly, questions of liability are far from settled, because there is not yet enough case law (precedent based on previous lawsuits) to provide clear guidance for courts under various circumstances. For these reasons and more, it is critical to hire a lawyer who understands the complexities of auto liability law and stays current on important legal decisions related to rideshare accidents.
If you were injured in a rideshare accident, your case may or may not need to go to trial (it could be settled out of court). But regardless of when and how it is resolved, you are likely to achieve a better outcome if you are represented by a skilled lawyer. Insurers make money by denying or limiting claim payouts, which is easier to do when victims don’t have their own lawyers. Hiring a Phoenix rideshare accident attorney shows all parties involved that you are serious about protecting your rights and receiving the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Get Help from a Lawyer
Your safety and healing after a rideshare accident are paramount and having an attorney on your side after this type of accident can help you navigate the process of finding the right person to file a claim with.
For more information on rideshare accidents, contact a lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC now.