Phoenix Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer
Individuals are more and more frequently relying on rideshare drivers for companies like Uber or Lyft to get them from point A to point B. This mode of transportation, however, can raise complicated questions about responsibility when an accident occurs. Vehicle crashes are all too likely give that there were nearly 130,000 car crashes in Arizona in 2019. These crashes resulted in 982 fatalities and over 50,000 injuries. Nearly 100,000 crashes occurred in Maricopa County alone.
The victims of rideshare car accidents include passengers and drivers. If any party suffers injury due to the negligence of another party, they are entitled to seek recovery.
Seeking Recovery After an Accident
A driver is considered at fault for injuries in an accident if they acted negligently or intentionally in a way that contributed to the victim’s injuries. A violation of a traffic rule or regulation, such as speeding or drinking under the influence, is strong evidence of negligence.
Immediately after an accident, make your health and safety the first priority. Once you have taken care of yourself, be sure that you secure a police report. A police report will document the scene of the crash, witness information, and any traffic citations that are issued. This will all be important evidence of negligence. The considerations for recovery will differ for passengers and drivers.
After a rideshare accident, it will be important to determine whether you should seek recovery from the insurance company of the driver or the rideshare company. In most instances, the insurance policy for the rideshare company will be responsible for injuries. This is beneficial because these policies tend to have more liberal coverage. For example, the Uber insurance policy includes liability coverage up to $1 million if the Uber driver is found at fault for the accident. The insurance company may not agree with the amount of compensation requested by the victim and may refuse to pay any amount or only a portion. If your injuries are severe, your damages may exceed the limit of the policy. Managing these conversations with an insurance company can be incredibly frustrating, especially as you are managing your medical needs. Work with your attorney to handle communications with the insurance company, consider settlement offers, and ensure you secure fair compensation for your injuries.
Most employee injuries are covered through a state’s workers’ compensation program. Workers’ compensation is not available, however, for independent contractors. The following factors indicate that an individual is an independent contractor rather than an employee:
- The individual controls the work performed and how it is done;
- They manage the business aspects of the job;
- The company does not provide any employee benefits; and
- There is no formal employee contract
Often this is a complicated analysis, but the National Labor Relations Board has advised that rideshare drivers are independent contractors. Recent legislation in California has contradicted this holding, but similar legislation has not yet been introduced in Arizona.
Because rideshare drivers are not considered employees, they will need to seek recovery for on-the-job injuries from either the other driver involved in the accident, their personal auto insurance provider, or the rideshare company’s insurance provider.
After an accident, the rideshare driver should review the rideshare company’s policy for reporting accidents. If the rideshare app was on at the time of the accident, the driver can seek recovery from the rideshare company. Uber and Lyft require the injured driver to submit a report in order to recover under the company insurance policy. Submitting a report is only the first step. As with injured passengers, the insurance company is likely to contest the damages claim. An attorney can work with you to navigate this process and difficult conversations with the insurance provider or rideshare company.
Preparing a Damages Demand
Once you have determined which party is responsible for the accident, you will need to prepare a comprehensive damages claim. Common injuries suffered after a car accident include:
- Medical Expenses: The negligent party is responsible for your medical expenses, including the costs of hospital stays, doctor’s bills, prescription medication, and physical therapy.
- Lost Income: If you were forced to miss work or work reduced hours because of injuries or damage to your property, such as your vehicle, you are entitled to compensation for lost wages. If your injuries prevent you from working in the same capacity in the future, your lawyer can work with an economic expert to determine your lost future earnings.
- Property Damage: If you were the rideshare driver, it is likely that your vehicle was damage or destroyed in the accident. The negligent party is responsible for the costs of repair or replacement.
- Emotional Distress: It is not uncommon for car accident victims to suffer from emotional distress after an accident, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Be sure to include these damages.
- Loss of Enjoyment: In addition to affecting your ability to perform your job duties, your injuries can affect your ability to participate in activities that were previously an important part of your life.
It is important to prepare a thorough assessment of your injuries to include in a damages demand. This amount will be used as the parties negotiate settlement conversations and by the jury if the matter proceeds to trial.
Contact an Attorney Today
The attorneys at Suzuki Law Offices have an impressive history of success in securing recovery for rideshare accident victims in Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding area. We are available 24/7 to support our clients in all aspects of their case, including analyzing the strength of their case, evaluating damages, advising on settlement offers, and filing court documents.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a rideshare vehicle accident, it is important to understand your rights and who is to pursue for recovery. We help our clients secure recovery for the losses they have suffered. Contact our firm today at (602) 962-2017 for a free consultation today.