Phoenix Rideshare Accidents Lawyer

Dedicated Phoenix Lawyers Helping Injured Rideshare Passengers

Ridesharing services have become incredibly popular, especially in crowded cities like Phoenix, where parking can be difficult to find. This relatively new way to get from place to place has sparked some legal issues, including those related to rideshare insurance coverage in the event that an accident takes place. If you were involved in a collision while using a rideshare service, you should speak to an experienced Phoenix rideshare accidents attorney about your right to compensation.

Many people find these services more convenient than a taxi service because of the ease of calling a car using the app. These services offer a quick and convenient way to contact drivers through cellphone apps to arrange rides. People also like them because payment and tipping are handled through the app, and cash exchanges are not required.

However, if you are injured in a rideshare accident, you may not know where to turn for help. The Phoenix rideshare accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. have experience handling this relatively new area of personal injury law, and we can help guide you through the legal maze surrounding rideshare accidents.

Regardless of whether the driver of the vehicle in which you were riding is at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. The ridesharing coverage laws are changing on a state-by-state basis, which is all the more reason to retain an experienced legal professional to help protect your rights.

Rideshare Accidents Laws are Still Evolving

Because ridesharing apps have seen explosive growth, many of the legal issues involved in rideshare accidents have not been addressed. After experiencing a rideshare collision, it's important to understand that multiple auto insurance policies may be viable sources of compensation. But this depends on whether rideshare companies can treat their drivers as independent contractors instead of as employees.

After an Uber or Lyft crash, rest assured our dedicated Phoenix car accident attorneys are available to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. With our legal guidance, you have a better chance of receiving the maximum amount available to help cover your injury expenses, lost income, and other losses resulting from all types of rideshare accidents.

Common Types of Rideshare Accidents

A rideshare accident can happen in many ways. When a stranger is picking up an unfamiliar person in a crowded or busy area, this creates additional chaos and increases the chances that someone may not use appropriate caution. Many factors can cause ridesharing crashes, and multiple parties could be held responsible for someone's injuries, depending on the unique circumstances surrounding the event.

One of the most common types of rideshare accidents is a pedestrian accident. For example, while a driver is busy attempting to locate a rider, they may not be paying sufficient attention to pedestrians near their vehicle. A sudden swerve to the curb could lead to pedestrian injuries or even death.

Speeding is another common cause of many vehicle accidents. Rideshare drivers are often in a hurry, either looking for their next fare or hurrying to meet a rider who is waiting for a ride. When a driver is feeling rushed, they may exceed the speed limit and otherwise engage in unsafe driving behaviors like ignoring traffic signals and tailgating other vehicles.

Rideshare drivers rely on their cell phones for their livelihood. They must use their mobile phones to accept rides and finish their trips, but they may also use geolocation and driving apps to help them navigate to their destinations. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of all motor vehicle accidents in the US, and it's clearly responsible for many rideshare collisions.

Common Injuries Our Rideshare Accident Lawyers Handle

Just like any other traffic accident, passengers in a rideshare vehicle can suffer from a multitude of accident-related injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Death

And in some cases, rideshare passengers themselves harm someone else. More rideshare accidents have been linked to dooring accidents, which are accidents where a car door strikes a bicyclist as a passenger enters or exits the vehicle without looking first. These accidents create many liability questions, such as whether the ridesharing service can be held liable to the injured bicyclist.

An Experienced Rideshare Accident Attorney Can Help You Seek Compensation After a Rideshare Crash

If you were involved in a rideshare accident, it is critical that you understand your legal options and how to seek compensation. You may have a claim against multiple parties involved in the incident, including the driver of the rideshare vehicle, the driver of another vehicle involved in the crash, and/or the rideshare company.

Rideshare Companies Try to Avoid Responsibility for Injured Riders

Uber and Lyft Have Argued Their Drivers are Independent Contractors, Not Employees

In general, ridesharing services attempt to treat drivers like independent contractors. However, this is an ongoing legal issue. Our legal team disagrees, and we hold firm that these drivers act like employees, and the employers should be subject to the same laws as other companies.

Each driver contracts with the rideshare service to perform driving services and operate according to the company's rules and regulations. The rideshare service describes itself as a marketplace that connects drivers with people seeking rides. By attempting to define the drivers as independent contractors, the ridesharing service is trying not to be held vicariously liable for any careless or reckless actions on the part of the drivers.

However, a tenacious car accident attorney handling rideshare cases can help you argue that rideshare drivers are employees under substantial control by rideshare companies and that those companies should be legally responsible for their drivers’ negligent conduct.

What Insurance Coverage Do Rideshare Companies Carry?

Although each rideshare company is different, Uber and Lyft both carry $1 million insurance policies to cover situations where a driver gets into an accident. However, this $1,000,000 coverage only applies if the rideshare is carrying a passenger or is on the way to pick up a ride.

If a driver is using the app and is waiting to be assigned a fair, Uber and Lyft still provide insurance, but only $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence. If the driver was not using the app at the time of your accident, you will most likely have to make a claim through their insurance carrier, and the rideshare company will not be involved.

To make matters even more complicated, not all insurance companies will extend policies to rideshare drivers. Although Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage, your situation may be different if you use another company. And when it comes to traditional taxi services, taxi companies are required to provide a company-wide insurance policy.

In rare circumstances, your own auto policy or a rideshare passenger’s insurance could come into play. Determining which policy is triggered and whether you are entitled to coverage may involve complex legal analysis, and a skilled car accident lawyer can help.

For example, if the driver has low insurance coverage limits or no insurance, your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage could apply. Since each situation is different, the best way to determine the dynamics of the insurance policies involved in your situation is to speak to knowledgeable legal counsel.

What Damages Can You Recover After a Rideshare Accident Injury?

To recover compensation following a crash involving a rideshare company under any of the circumstances described above, we will need to show that the driver who caused the accident failed to use reasonable care and skill at the time of the crash and that you would not have suffered injuries if not for the driver’s lack of due care. If we prevail in establishing the driver's and/or the rideshare company's liability, you will receive compensation for the financial losses we can prove.

Similar to other auto accident losses, you may request a variety of damages from the at-fault party or parties. Some of the most common legal damages an injured rideshare passenger or pedestrian involved in a rideshare collision can request include:

  • Expenses related to your current and future medical costs
  • Lost earnings and other forms of income
  • Loss of future earning capacity if you cannot return to the same employment after the crash
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • The cost to repair or replace any damaged personal property
  • Other injury-related expenses related to your rideshare accident

Contact a Phoenix Rideshare Accidents Attorney For a Free Consultation

Rideshare accidents are incredibly complicated and a relatively new area of the law. This can make it even more challenging for an accident victim to receive the timely and appropriate compensation they deserve from the party who acted negligently in connection with a rideshare service. Rideshare companies can be very large and have ample resources to hire a team of lawyers to battle against any claims of negligence involving their drivers.

At Abels & Annes, our Phoenix rideshare accident lawyers are available to discuss your rideshare crash and determine if we can help you fight for the outcome that you deserve. Call us today at (602) 819-5191 or contact us online to get started.