The Legal Ins and Outs of a Rideshare Accident
Ridesharing has become popular in Arizona and throughout the nation in recent years. It provides people with a convenient, cost-effective way to get around without driving. However, rideshare drivers can be involved in accidents the same as other drivers.
In 2017-2018, there were 97 fatal Uber crashes, as stated in the 2019 Uber US Safety Report. One person died in 93% of these fatal crashes, while the remainder caused multiple fatalities. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, there were 105 Lyft motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S., according to the company’s first Community Safety Report.
Are Rideshare Companies Responsible for Accidents?
Initially, Uber and Lyft classified their drivers as independent contractors – instead of employees – which allowed them to deny financial responsibility for accidents. However, both companies have been sued because of this policy. Uber will pay $8.44 million in a class action settlement based on the claim that the company misclassified drivers as independent contractors in the state of California. Lyft agreed to pay a $12.25 million settlement to drivers and to offer them additional protections in another class action lawsuit but refused to reclassify its drivers as employees.
What Are the Different Ways a Person Could Be Injured by a Rideshare Driver?
Typical Uber and Lyft drivers have no special driving qualifications. They may be distracted by checking their apps and navigating to pick-up and drop-off locations, fatigued from driving long hours, or in a hurry to pick up more fares and make more money. Rideshare drivers can cause accidents and injuries in several different scenarios. For example, a person could be injured:
- As a passenger when an Uber or Lyft driver crashes
- In a car collision caused by a rideshare driver
- As a pedestrian hit by a rideshare driver
Whose Insurance Coverage Applies After a Rideshare Accident?
Coverage for a crash involving a rideshare driver will depend on how the accident happened and what the driver was doing when it occurred:
- If the driver was off the clock with the rideshare app off at the time of the accident, the driver’s personal auto liability coverage will apply.
- If the rideshare app was on and the driver was waiting for a ride request, Uber or Lyft coverage is available with limits of $50,000 bodily injury per person, $100,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage per accident.
- If the app was on and the driver was enroute to pick up a passenger or transporting a passenger to a destination, both Uber and Lyft provide up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage per accident.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
After an accident caused by a rideshare driver, your best chance of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries is to have an experienced Phoenix rideshare car accident attorney handling your claim. Insurance companies are in business for profit. Their goal is to minimize their payout or deny your claim altogether. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to:
- Thoroughly investigate your accident to determine fault and liability
- Secure evidence to support your claim
- Build a strong case based on the evidence
- Assess the full extent of your losses
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
- Take your case to trial if necessary
The Husband & Wife Law Team practices injury and wrongful death law exclusively. We have a reputation for success and for fighting for our clients. Our attorneys have been awarded membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the U.S. If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a rideshare driver, call us at (602) 457-6222 to schedule a free consultation.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer