Have you been in an incident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle?

If you or someone you know has suffered in an Uber or Lyft incident, reach out to the personal injury lawyers at Avian Law Group in Chandler, Arizona, by dialing (888) 465-0540. Experiencing a car accident can be deeply distressing for both the victim and their family, often leaving the victim with injuries that require medical care.

The skilled attorneys at Avian Law Group are experts in handling cases related to Uber or Lyft accidents. Our offices are easily accessible in Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix. We offer flexible meeting options, including in-person at our offices, via phone, or through video calls. Contact us for a no-cost consultation, or continue reading to learn more.

Additionally, we offer support with other concerns that may be affecting your peace of mind, such as arranging a rental car quickly and locating a local doctor for your needs. Our aim is not just to provide legal assistance, but also to ensure your life remains stable while we pursue justice and compensation on your behalf. Our deep understanding of the Phoenix legal system boosts our confidence in securing the best possible outcome for your case.

Navigating the Aftermath of an Uber or Lyft Accident

Seeking compensation can be complex and daunting, especially when a rideshare driver is involved. This adds legal intricacies to determining financial responsibility. Having a seasoned attorney to represent the victim allows them to focus on recovery rather than legal challenges.

Is Uber or Lyft liable in case of an accident during a ride?

Ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft, and Veyo operate transportation services that are booked through a mobile application or, in Veyo’s case, via phone scheduling. Despite similarities with traditional taxi services, Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, not employees. This distinction is crucial in determining the company’s liability in accidents.

In certain scenarios, the driver might be held responsible, while in others, the company might share liability. If another party is found to be at fault, they too could be liable. Identifying the responsible parties is essential in deciding who pays the damages and which insurance policies are involved.

Are Uber or Lyft drivers employees of the companies?

People drive for Uber, Lyft, and Veyo to earn income, meeting basic requirements like driving age, experience, and having a suitable vehicle. However, these drivers are independent contractors, not employees (referenced in Arizona Revised Statute 23-1603). This distinction affects the potential liability of the companies in accidents involving their drivers.

Despite this, Uber, Lyft, and Veyo advertise their insurance coverage for accidents involving their drivers, indicating a recognition of their role in these situations.

The evolving nature of ridesharing business models means that legal responsibilities in accidents are still being defined.

What does being an Uber or Lyft accident victim entail? Accidents involving Uber or Lyft can vary. Victims might be passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists, each potentially facing different liability scenarios. For instance, a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle might have claims against both the driver and the company, as well as any other involved drivers. Conversely, a pedestrian or cyclist might only have a claim against the driver, or potentially the company, depending on the driver’s work status at the time.

Determining Liability and Financial Responsibility

Although Uber and Lyft are expected to provide insurance coverage, there are loopholes that their insurance companies exploit to avoid payouts, complicating the situation for victims. However, various avenues exist for those involved in accidents with Uber or Lyft drivers, emphasizing the importance of legal guidance in these situations.

What Should I Do If I’m in an Accident with an Uber or Lyft Driver?

1. Remain at the accident scene.

2. Prioritize the safety and medical attention of everyone involved. Once safety is ensured, inform the police about the accident, specifically mentioning it involved an Uber or Lyft driver.

This will lead to a police investigation and report, which can be crucial in establishing fault, proving liability, and determining who is responsible for compensating victims for their injuries and property damage.

3. If possible, gather names, contact details, and insurance information from all parties involved.

4. Try to obtain contact details of any witnesses.

5. Document the accident scene through photographs from various angles.

6. Create a detailed record of the accident, including the date, time, and your account of the events, noting factors like speed, weather, and traffic conditions.

7. Consult with a lawyer, such as those at Avian Law Group, promptly to understand your legal rights and potential compensation.

Documenting the incident, informing the police, and keeping accurate records are key as they clarify facts and aid in establishing liability. Engaging a knowledgeable attorney in Chandler, Arizona ensures your rights are safeguarded.

What Compensation Can I Claim as a Victim in an Uber or Lyft Accident?

Victims can claim financial compensation for physical injuries and property damage. This may include:

  • Medical expenses, both current and future.
  • Lost earnings.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Vehicle repair or replacement costs.

These compensations aim to cover actual losses and suffering experienced by the victim.

Understanding Arizona’s Laws for Accident Victims

Arizona follows a fault-based system for auto accidents. This implies that those responsible for causing an accident are financially liable for any resultant personal injury and property damage. In cases of shared fault, liability is distributed among the responsible parties.

In Arizona, an accident victim can:

  • File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  • File a claim with their own insurer, who may then pursue the at-fault party’s insurer.
  • Initiate a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
  • For Uber or Lyft accidents, victims might also file claims against these companies and their insurers.

Determining Liability in Uber or Lyft Accidents in Arizona

In fault states like Arizona, establishing who caused the accident is crucial to determine liability. Demonstrating negligence, such as violation of traffic laws or failure to drive responsibly, is key in establishing fault.

Negligent driving examples include speeding, distracted driving, and disobeying traffic signals. In such cases, the negligent driver is usually found liable and their insurance often covers the claim.

When a driver, such as those for Uber or Lyft, causes an accident while working, the employing company might also bear some liability. The critical factor is whether the driver was “working” for Uber or Lyft at the accident time, which influences the extent of the company’s liability.

Additionally, in accidents with multiple at-fault parties, Arizona’s comparative negligence law allows for shared liability, proportionate to each party’s fault.

Uber and Lyft Driver Insurance Coverage

Uber, Lyft, and Veyo require their drivers to have personal car insurance meeting state minimums. However, standard policies often exclude coverage when driving for commercial purposes.

Specialized insurance policies are available for rideshare drivers, but they are not automatically included in standard policies and must be specifically requested. As the number of rideshare drivers grows, legislative action might be considered to mandate offering such insurance.

Uber, Lyft, and Veyo provide additional insurance coverage, varying based on the driver’s status at the accident time.

Challenges in Claiming Compensation from Uber or Lyft Despite the availability of insurance, many claims against Uber or Lyft, including underinsured/uninsured motorist claims, face denials.

Uber’s Stance on Liability in Accidents

Uber differentiates responsibility based on the driver’s working status. If the driver was not working for Uber at the accident time (offline or not connected to the app), liability falls on the driver and their personal insurance. However, if the driver was working, Uber’s insurance may cover the damages, subject to specific conditions based on the driver’s status.

When the driver is connected to the app and waiting for a ride request, Uber’s insurance includes:

  • $50,000 for bodily injury per person.
  • $100,000 for bodily injury per accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident.

When the driver is en route to a passenger or during a trip, Uber’s coverage includes:

  • $1,000,000 for third-party liability.
  • Coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury.
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision up to the car’s actual value after a $1000 deductible.

What is Lyft’s Position on Accident Responsibility Involving Their Drivers?

Lyft’s stance on liability mirrors Uber’s approach, with the key factor being the driver’s work status at the accident time. If a Lyft driver is offline or not connected to the app, Lyft disclaims liability for any accidents during this period. The driver’s personal insurance would typically address any damages.

However, when the driver is active on the Lyft app and awaiting a ride request, Lyft provides secondary insurance coverage, which comes into play if the driver’s personal insurance is insufficient. This contingent coverage includes:

  • Up to $50,000 for individual bodily injury.
  • A total of $100,000 for bodily injury per accident.
  • A maximum of $25,000 for property damage.

Once a ride is accepted and until its conclusion, Lyft’s primary liability insurance activates, covering up to $1,000,000 per accident.

Notably, if a Lyft passenger is involved in an accident where the Lyft driver is not at fault, and the responsible driver is underinsured or uninsured, Lyft’s underinsured/uninsured liability coverage aims to compensate both the driver and the passenger for injuries and property damage incurred.

Lyft also motivates drivers to carry personal rideshare insurance, offering financial incentives on eligible fares for those who do.

What Does Veyo State About Its Responsibility in Accidents Involving Its Drivers?

Veyo, a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) broker, operates similarly to Lyft and Uber, with driver liability dependent on their working status. When a Veyo driver is offline, they and their insurance are liable for any accidents.

When online but not actively transporting a customer, Veyo drivers are expected to have additional personal insurance coverage, known as a rideshare endorsement, with minimum requirements including:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person.
  • $50,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident.
  • $20,000 for property damage per accident.

During active customer transport, Veyo’s Primary Commercial Insurance applies, offering:

  • Up to $1,000,000 liability coverage per accident.
  • Up to $250,000 for bodily injury.
  • Up to $50,000 for property damage with a $1500 deductible, contingent on the driver’s collision insurance.

When Does Uber or Lyft’s Insurance Cover Accident Damages?

Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies are designed to cover damages from accidents involving their drivers while engaged in rideshare activities.

However, challenges arise in claims processing, with denials often based on disputes over the driver’s work status or policy exclusions. Despite technology tracking driver activity, insurance companies frequently contend that policies do not apply, arguing that drivers, as vehicle owners and operators, bear primary responsibility.

Arizona law mandates that insurance policies cover both the named insured and others using the vehicle with permission (Arizona Revised Statute § 28-4009(A)(2)). This omnibus clause is intended to protect the public from uninsured drivers.

While Uber and Lyft assert insurance coverage for accidents during service provision, actual compensation can be complicated. Denials may stem from specific policy language or exclusions deemed legally permissible by courts.

What Are Permissible Policy Exclusions in Arizona?

Arizona allows certain insurance exclusions, provided they do not contradict the law, support public policy objectives, and do not impose undue financial burdens on accident victims. Courts have upheld exclusions that align with these principles, while invalidating those that do not.

Exclusions for punitive damages, self-injury by the insured, or specific groups under certain conditions have been upheld. However, exclusions that contravene statutory objectives or impose financial burdens on innocent parties have been invalidated.

In rideshare accidents, insurance complexities often arise, especially when determining whether company or personal insurance applies. This is further complicated by the need for each driver to have a policy that aligns with Arizona law.

What About Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Uber or Lyft Accidents?

Accident victims may encounter challenges when claiming underinsured motorist coverage. Under Arizona law, this coverage applies when the at-fault vehicle lacks sufficient insurance (Arizona Revised Statute § 20-259.01(E)). In cases where the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault, their mandated state-compliant insurance should theoretically offer coverage. However, if another underinsured driver is at fault, the victim may claim under the Uber or Lyft driver’s policy, or their own, if available.

Despite Uber and Lyft carrying underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance, victims often face claim denials. This insurance is crucial for protecting passengers when accidents occur due to third-party drivers lacking sufficient coverage.

Can Victims Claim Negligence Against Uber and Lyft?

Victims, including Uber and Lyft drivers and passengers, may pursue negligence claims against these companies for failing to provide adequate insurance. The argument hinges on the companies benefiting from the drivers’ services without ensuring sufficient insurance coverage. Past Arizona Supreme Court decisions, such as Napier v. Bertram, suggest a duty to provide adequate insurance for passengers, potentially supporting negligence claims.

Victims whose underinsured/uninsured motorist claims are denied may seek recourse if they can demonstrate reasonable belief in coverage, detrimental reliance, or policy misrepresentation.

Where to Seek Help After an Uber or Lyft Accident?

Navigating post-accident procedures as a passenger in Uber or Lyft can be overwhelming. Identifying responsible parties and securing compensation for medical expenses and lost wages require expert guidance.

For assistance, contact Avian Law Group in Phoenix, AZ. With over 15 years of experience in personal injury cases, including those involving Uber and Lyft accidents, our knowledgeable attorneys are ready to provide comprehensive legal support to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

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