Who is Responsible for Insurance in Uber and Lyft Vehicles?

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Uber and Lyft, the popular ride-sharing apps that permit private car owners shuttle passengers for pay, are both challenging local, state and federal auto and insurance regulations.

The two California-based technology companies are besieged by lawsuits in too many jurisdictions to count.

The legal issue at stake is what insurance policy will cover an Uber or Lyft driver who becomes involved in an accident while working, but not carrying passengers.

Drivers for the two companies turn on their company provided cellphones and wait for riders in the vicinity to hail a ride.

However, Uber and Lyft only provide insurance coverage to drivers when a passenger is in the car. If the driver is involved in an accident on the way to a call or while waiting for a call, then the companies do not provide coverage.

Unfortunately, the drivers’ personal insurance coverage will not apply if the driver has the app on and is waiting to pick up riders.  Personal insurance companies state that the driver is engaging in commercial activity, and commercial activity is not covered under most personal insurance plans.  

Uber, Lyft & Major Insurance Companies Reach Agreement

While legislators all over the country are trying to figure out how to make up the gap coverage issues that have been identified, the two technology companies have been quietly working to come up with a viable framework.

Major insurance companies, along with several trade groups and have cobbled together a legislative proposal backed by both Uber and Lyft. The proposal mirrors a law that will take effect in California beginning July 1, 2015.

The California Department of insurance has worked with the insurance companies in the state to create policies to address what is being called Period 1. Period 1 concerns that time that a personal driver is not carrying a passenger, but the app is still on.

The new law, AB2293, will require personal policies to set out minimum insurance coverage for Period 1. The minimum coverage rates include:

  • $50,000 minimum for injury to a single person
  • $100,000 minimum for injury to multiple persons
  • $30,000 minimum for property damage

It is vitally important that these insurance coverage issues are resolved in a manner that keeps residents of Arizona safe. Phillips Law Group attorneys are paying close attention to these issues, in order to better serve car accident victims.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an auto accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, contact our law firm today for a free consultation.

Call 1-800-706-3000 24/7

Arizona DOT Urges Drivers to Slow Down for National Work Zone Awareness Week

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NWZAWAs part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Arizona Department of Transportation is urging drivers to avoid distractions and slow down near work zones.

Highway workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country with more than 500 people killed in work-zone related accidents in 2013. Each year, the National Highway Administration (NWHA) dedicates a week to raising awareness about driving safely through work zones.

Drivers should consider the following tips when navigating through a work zone:

  • Pay attention to road closures and detours
  • Watch for posted signs
  • Slow down and always give workers plenty of space
  • Keep a safe distance behind other vehicles
  • Obey road crew flaggers
  • Stay alert and avoid distractions
  • Check road conditions before you travel

In 2013, 17 people were killed in Arizona work zone crashes; this was a 58 percent increase when compared to 2012.

The “theme” of this year’s campaign is “Expect the Unexpected,” which is important for both drivers and highway workers. Drivers should be cautious of sudden changes in traffic shifts as well as workers and construction vehicles coming in and out of the area. Workers should be cautious of drivers who may be driving negligently or while distracted.

If you have been injured in a construction zone collision or lost a family member to this type of collision, we can help you determine what your legal options are.

At Phillips Law Group, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured as a result of another individual’s negligence.

For a free case review, call 1-800-706-3000 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form.

Stryker Recall Deadline Extended

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Patients who have been injured by Stryker Corporation’s orthopedic hip systems have until March 30, 2015 to enroll in the settlement program.

The hip devices, including the Rejuvenate Hip System and the ABG II have injured patients by becoming corroded.

Since the devices were first recalled in 2012, thousands of patients have filed suit against the company. The company has decided to settle with many patients rather than independently litigate each of the cases.

Patients are being offered a base price of $300,000 per hip. There are upward adjustments available for extraordinary injuries. For example, patients who suffered severe muscle damage or numerous revision injuries may receive additional monies.

Our Styrker hip recall injury lawyers have been working closely with patients who have received defective hip and joint implants produced by Stryker Corporation.

Now that the settlement deadline has been extended to file a claim, injured patients should consult with an attorney.

Even patients who miss the deadline; however, don’t give up their right to file a legal lawsuit for injuries that they have suffered. No matter what they want, it is important

Act Now for a Free Case Review

The sooner you act after a defective medical device injury, the sooner our attorneys can protect all of your interests. Do not hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys for a free case consultation. 

Call 1-800-706-3000 or use the Free Case Review. 

Ride-Sharing Apps & Driving Distracted

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female texting driverThe ubiquitous nature of smartphones and mobile communication has created a culture where we seemingly CAN'T be without our phones.

However, it’s prompting concerns about whether or not these services, which operate using smartphone applications, are causing driver distractions.

Do Ride-Sharing Apps Contribute to Distractions Behind the Wheel?

Take Uber, for example.

The concept behind these ride-sharing apps relies on technology to turn run-of-the-mill Phoenix drivers into informal taxicab operators. It works by allowing drivers to connect with potential passengers using a smartphone application.

However, in order to respond to potential riders, drivers must constantly take their focus off driving and focus instead on their smartphones. This means there’s always a screen in front of the drivers. Isn’t that a potential distraction?

The use of wireless communication devices by drivers is recognized to create a significant danger to other drivers and passengers due to driver distraction. And concern is mounting that smartphone applications promote negligence behind the wheel.

Mounting Concerns

  • Drivers only have 10-15 seconds to accept a request with the app.
  • If you miss a request, it hurts your acceptance rate, which in turn hurts your pay and could even get you de-activated as a driver.
  • The text of many of the apps is so small, drivers have to lean forward to see addresses or follow directions.

Uber and other ride-sharing companies insist they encourage safety measures and warn drivers about using the app while in motion. But, the question remains, is anyone listening and even more importantly, following those guidelines?

In today’s world of technological advancements, smartphones have become commonplace. And while they are designed to make our lives easier and more enjoyable, with negligence there are drawbacks.

Contact Us for a Free Case Review

If you or someone you love was the victim of a reckless driver, you may wish to file a lawsuit for the pain and suffering you experienced.

Contact our firm today for a free case review by calling 1-800-706-3000 or by filling out our free case review form.

General Motors Settles Ignition Switch Case

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Brooke Melton was killed in a Chevrolet Cobalt when the ignition switch defects disabled her car’s steering, brakes, and airbag systems.

She died on a highway in Georgia in 2010. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit and recovered $5 million in 2013. During that lawsuit, General Motors (GM) officials admitted that they were aware of the ignition switch defect for nearly 10 years.

The family filed a second lawsuit in light of the company’s admissions during depositions. The family’s first lawsuit led to widespread ignition switch recalls of millions of GM vehicles.

Rather than subject company officials to additional depositions that might reveal damaging testimony, GM quietly and secretly settled with the family.

The terms of the settlement have not been released and the company stated that they wanted to protect the Melton family’s privacy.

GM is under siege and is currently battling thousands of lawsuits across the country. At least 64 deaths have been linked to the ignition switch defect cases.

The GM Victim Compensation Fund, which is being administered by Kenneth Feinberg, has begun to settle with injured car accident victims outside of the court system.

The Melton family victory, however, may encourage injured persons and their families to bypass that process and sue GM directly for the injuries that the company has caused.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration already fined GM more than $30 million for failing to disclose the danger to the public. 

Recent reports are suggesting that U.S. Department of Justice is still investigating the company and its executives for possible criminal charges.

Ignition Switch Defect Lawyers

Attorneys at Phillips Law Group have been working with injured car accident victims for decades. We have experienced attorneys representing clients throughout Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and California.

If you have been injured due to General Motors’ negligence, contact us for a free case evaluation of your claim and your injuries.

Call 1-800-706-3000 or use the online contact form. 

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