Peer-to-peer rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have enjoyed an increase in popularity, thanks to their convenience and affordability. In 2018, Uber will celebrate its eighth anniversary, but the company hasn’t been without its fair share of controversy. From fatal car accidents to claims of assault, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft contribute to serious injuries every year. If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries in an accident with a ridesharing service, the service or the driver might owe you compensation for any damages that result. Contact the car accident attorneys in Phoenix at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., to schedule a free initial consultation and review your legal options.
Ridesharing Accidents: Liability Basics
Who is liable in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver? The answer depends largely on the circumstances. Ridesharing accidents function much as traditional car accident claims in Arizona, which means you must prove the following:
- The Uber or Lyft driver owed you a duty of care. These drivers must abide by the rules of the road and use reasonable caution while both on and off duty.
- He or she breached that duty (committed negligence). Ridesharing drivers may breach their duty of care in many ways, from speeding to failing to yield.
- The driver’s negligence directly led to your injuries.
- You suffered measurable harm as a result, such as medical bills or lost wages.
On the other hand, there are unique considerations when pursuing an accident claim against a ridesharing driver. The first applies to the driver’s relationship with the company. The second involves the question of filing a claim with the rideshare company’s policy for the driver or the driver’s personal insurance policy.
When Is the Driver Liable?
As a precondition to employment, both Uber and Lyft drivers must carry personal car insurance policies that meet Arizona minimum standards. Most insurance companies, however, exclude coverage when a person is operating his or her vehicle as a service. To address this exclusion, Uber and Lyft companies offer liability coverage for contractors under certain circumstances. While the details vary between the two companies, the basics include:
- Uber and Lyft drivers are only on duty when they’re logged into the app. When a driver is off duty, the company offers no liability coverage. Accidents that occur with an off-duty Uber driver will fall under his or her personal policy.
- When a driver is on duty but has yet to accept a ride request, Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage to the tune of $50,000 per person per accident, up to a total $100,000. They also offer up to $25,000 in property damage coverage.
- When a driver is actively transporting a passenger, both Uber and Lyft provide up to $1 million in liability coverage and additional property damage coverage.
When a Lyft or Uber driver is at fault for an accident, your legal recourse will depend on whether he or she logged into the app before the accident.
If you’re a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle and you sustain injuries in an accident, you may be able to file a claim against the rideshare driver’s and another driver’s policies, assuming they shared fault for the accident. These cases can become complicated and often require the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney.
Your Next Steps: Contact a Phoenix Ridesharing Accident Attorney
If you recently suffered damages in a ridesharing accident, the Uber and Lyft accident attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., can help. Let us help defend your right to fair compensation for your injuries and other damages under the law. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about your legal options today.