Professional Personal Injury Attorneys Will Champion the Rights of Phoenix Uber & Lyft Accident Victims
Helping ride share crash victims in Arizona seek compensation for their injuries
The days of having to rely on public transit or taxi services are over. Ride share apps like Lyft and Uber—and local apps like totalride—are the new big players on the transportation scene. These services are game-changers in how we get from place to place. We no longer have to rely on bus or train schedules, and have a choice in services and fares. Many Phoenix residents find these app-based services less expensive and more convenient, as many of them are available to pick up and drop off in areas where taxis are unavailable.
What happens, though, if you're involved in a car accident as a passenger in a ride share vehicle? What are your rights when you step into the driver's car? If you're injured, who will take care of your medical bills or lost wages? Where does responsibility lie? You likely have a lot of questions, and it's the norm for these big companies to try to avoid your claim. However, you have an ally in Plattner Verderame, P.C. We protect the rights of victims of vehicle accidents throughout the Phoenix area. We know how to talk to ride share companies and will hold them accountable if they try to deny responsibility after an accident. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you.
Understanding the complexities of rideshare crashes
A rideshare company, even though it is different from a common carrier like a taxi, has a responsibility to its riders to provide a safe environment. What’s more, if there are any harmful risks associated with utilizing a rideshare company, there’s an obligation to make you aware of those, as well. When you are in a vehicle crash, your injuries could be severe and long lasting. Make sure you see a medical professional and get adequate care for any injuries you sustain as a result of your rideshare accident.
The most common injuries we see associated with car accidents are:
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Loss of limb
- Spinal injuries like paralysis
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Wrongful death
- Organ damage
- Broken bones or fractures
- Loss of vision or hearing
There are other injuries that can occur, as well as psychological damage. If you’ve been the victim of a car accident in or with a rideshare, contact a trustworthy Phoenix rideshare accident attorney to help you understand your options, rights, and to pursue a claim. You might be able to pursue a claim for lost wages, medical expenses, and for your pain and suffering. We are here to help, and we want to hear from you.
The ins and outs of Uber, Lyft, and totalride apps
Here's a primer on how ride share companies and apps work. The simplest explanation is that they're “driver for hire” services offered directly to consumers via a smartphone app. The companies contract with freelance drivers who use their own vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers.
Users who want a ride download the app, set up electronic payment, request a ride, and a driver immediately sets out on their way. While the user waits to be picked up, they can track the driver's progress, see their name and photo, and the make of their car. This way there's little risk of getting in the wrong vehicle with the wrong driver. The driver picks the customer up, knows where to drop them off already, and the customer pays via the app, so no cash has to be exchanged. The user can also tip via the app. And, both the passenger and the driver can rate each other on the app, so both future drivers and passengers know what to expect.
Are repeat traffic offenders allowed to drive for ride shares?
In short? No. When someone applies to drive for an Uber, Lyft, or totalride service, they must go undergo a screening process for criminal charges and a safe driving record. They provide the company information like:
- Name and date of birth
- Social security number
- Driver license number and copy of driver’s license
- Vehicle registration and insurance
- Proof of inspection
A third party also runs a background check.
Who is liable in a crash involving Uber, totalride or Lyft?
Transportation like taxis or and buses in Arizona are called “common carriers.” In the event of an accident, these companies are fully insured and must comply with many regulations. Their drivers are employees and fully work for the company or city. On the other hand, ride share drivers for Uber and Lyft are not employees—they're more like independent contractors, or freelancers. The companies attempt to position themselves more like middlemen, or even matchmakers, that simply provide the technology to connect drivers with passengers. They continually lobby the government to treat them as middlemen, as it relieves them of the legal responsibilities that come with having employees—including being liable for passenger safety.
In 2015, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation overhauling rules for the ride sharing business. House Bill 2135 effectively legitimized companies like Lyft and Uber in Arizona by setting up regulations like background checks, and requiring that drivers have at least $250,000 of liability insurance while a passenger is in the vehicle. The bill also defined some differences between common carriers and transportation network companies (TNCs). TNCs are another name for ride share companies.
In the early years of ride share, Uber and Lyft's policies regarding insurance were quite murky. In the event of an accident, they would attempt to deflect responsibility onto the driver by taking advantage of loopholes and challenging cases in court. They have since changed their policies, but if you are in a car accident as a ride share passenger, you may still find it difficult to receive compensation for your injuries. This is where your Phoenix car accident attorney can help.
Uber and Lyft's insurance policies
Passengers do have some protections when in an accident. Uber and Lyft have liability policies when their drivers are on the job. These are as follows:
- $0 when the driver is not logged into the app. So, if you are a passenger in a TNC and the driver is not using the app for some reason, there is zero liability insurance to cover you.
- $50,000/$100,000 bodily injury and $25,000 property damage when the driver is logged in but has not accepted a ride request. If you're a passenger and the driver has logged in, but has not officially accepted your request in the app, they only have this level of insurance.
- $1,000,000 when the driver is logged in and has accepted a ride request.
It's important you only accept rides from the driver you requested and ensure they officially accepted your ride request. Otherwise, they may not be liable in the event of an accident.
As with all insurance companies, even if policies state you're covered, it doesn't mean a company will automatically pay out. Or, your injuries may exceed the limits of the liability insurance. Sometimes you'll have to jump through many hoops, and this is where skilled and tenacious attorneys come in.
Types of Cases We Handle
Our attorneys handle a variety of accident cases, including:
Talk to our Phoenix personal injury attorneys about your ride share accident today
If you were in an accident while traveling as a passenger in an Uber, Lyft, totalride, or other ride share vehicle, you should explore all of your legal options before signing anything. Plattner Verderame, P.C. ensures companies take responsibility for negligent drivers and get you the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at 602-266-2002 or contact us online today. Consultations are free. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you win.
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