How Might You Recover Compensation After an Uber or Lyft Crash?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Oct 15, 2020 in Auto Accidents
Many people are unsure of how to pursue compensation after a car crash. They may not know how much compensation may be available or the types of damages that may be covered.
If the accident involved is a ridesharing vehicle, such as one being driven for Uber or Lyft, there can be even more confusion about what to do. This can be true not just for the passengers, but also for the drivers of these and other vehicles involved in the crash.
Below, Phillips Law Group’s experienced Phoenix auto accident attorneys explain what you need to know about pursuing compensation after an Uber or Lyft accident.
However, while reviewing the information below can help you get a better understanding of this issue, it is important to talk to an attorney about your claim. What policyholders may not realize is that insurance companies are not on your side. Their priority is first to the company and making a profit. They know how to trick accident victims and use their words against them to try to devalue any potential claim. Not surprisingly, those who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not.
Phillips Law Group offers crash victims a free, no-obligation legal consultation. If we validate your claim, there will be no upfront fees or any fees while we work on your case. Our attorneys do not get paid unless you get paid.
Filing a Claim as an Uber or Lyft Driver
The last thing an Uber or Lyft driver wants is to get into an accident. However, even if you drive defensively, another driver’s carelessness could still cause a crash, damaging your vehicle and potentially causing injuries.
If another driver is at fault for the crash, the claim would proceed in much the same way it would if you were not driving for a ridesharing company. You and your attorney would file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Arizona requires all drivers to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover damages from a crash they cause. Drivers must buy a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for each person and at least $50,000 in coverage per accident. Drivers are also required to buy at least $15,000 in property damage liability coverage. It is important to note drivers often purchase more than the minimum amount of coverage.
What if the Other Driver is Uninsured or Lacks Coverage?
Unfortunately, some drivers fail to buy insurance, or they lack enough coverage for your damages. If this happens, you consider turning to your own insurance coverage. However, your personal policy may not apply in this situation because you were being paid to drive for a ridesharing company. Insurance policies often have a business use exception that exempts the policy for coverage when the vehicle is being used for business purposes.
Ridesharing drivers have the option of purchasing commercial insurance to cover them when they are transporting passengers.
However, if you did not purchase a policy, you may be able to file a claim with the ridesharing company’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. For example, Uber’s insurance program provides this type of coverage when you are on route to pick up a passenger and when you are transporting a passenger. The amount of coverage varies by state, and this is something the attorneys at Phillips Law Group can research for you.
If you have comprehensive and collision coverage in your personal car insurance policy, Uber will also provide physical damage coverage for your car up to the actual cash value, no matter who was at fault for the accident. However, there is a deductible of $1,000 that you must pay before that coverage will kick in.
Lyft has a similar insurance program, including uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. There is also comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of the car, but there is a $2,500 deductible.
What if You Were a Passenger in a Ridesharing Vehicle?
Both Uber and Lyft provide third-party liability coverage to pay for damages suffered by passengers. Uber coverage limits vary by state but are usually at least $1,000,000. Lyft provides coverage limits of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. Usually, these policies only kick in after you have exhausted the ridesharing driver’s insurance, if he or she has insurance that still applies when his or her vehicle is being used for business purposes.
Passengers may also be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver, if it was not the driver of the ridesharing vehicle.
Compensation for Drivers and Passengers of Other Vehicles
If you were a passenger in another vehicle, and the driver of that vehicle was at fault for the crash, you should be able to file a claim with his or her insurance company, or the insurance policy of that vehicle’s owner.
If the driver of that car does not have enough insurance coverage, you may be able to turn to your own policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If the Uber or Lyft driver is to blame, you should be able to file a claim against that driver’s insurance or liability insurance from the ridesharing company.
Can a Crash Victim Sue a Ridesharing Company?
It is unlikely you would be able to do this in Arizona because rideshare drivers are not considered employees. They are treated as independent contractors, and courts are unlikely to hold companies legally liable for the actions of independent contractors.
However, California passed a law that took effect on Jan. 1, 2020 that seeks to compel companies to treat more independent contractors like employees. This may open the door to lawsuits over the actions of ridesharing drivers and other independent contractors.
Have Questions After a Car Crash? Call Today
For more than 28 years, Phillips Law Group has been fighting for personal injury victims throughout the state of Arizona. We have successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients, including millions for crash victims. Our firm obtained $4 million for a crash victim who suffered a spinal cord injury leading to paralysis.
We have dealt with many insurance companies and know how to protect the full value of a claim. We are aggressive negotiators who are committed to recovering maximum compensation for our clients. We want you to have the compensation you need to get through this difficult time.
We manage cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees. We do not get paid for our services unless you get paid.
Need legal help? Call Phillips Law Group today. Phone: 1-800-706-3000