The rideshare industry in Sun City and throughout Arizona has grown significantly in recent years. It’s not just young people who use “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft. Today, many elderly citizens who can no longer drive also routinely use these services. Unfortunately, their rides are not always safe. Uber drivers get into auto accidents like any other drivers on the road.
If you were hurt in one of these crashes, our diverse and experienced Sun City car accident lawyers at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC can thoroughly investigate your crash to determine liability. We will explore all of your options for pursuing compensation. As we explain below, those options may involve turning to multiple insurance policies. To learn more, call or reach us online today. We can review your case in a free consultation through our Sun City office.
What Can You Do If an Uber Driver Causes Your Crash?
Arizona overhauled its rules for the rideshare industry in 2015. To heighten safety within the industry, the state established several requirements such as vehicle inspections and driver criminal background checks. Still, Uber accidents continue to happen – and often due to the negligence of rideshare drivers.
If a careless or reckless Uber driver caused your accident and injuries, you may have many options for seeking compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, pain, suffering and other damages. Those options will depend on which one of the following three phases the Uber driver was in at the time of the crash:
Driving for Personal Reasons
If your crash occurred when an Uber driver was driving his or her car in Sun City for solely personal reasons, you would turn to that driver’s personal liability auto insurance. Neither Uber nor Lyft insures their drivers during this phase. Of course, you may also turn to your own insurance, if necessary. For instance, you may need to file an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim with your own insurer if the Uber driver’s insurance fails to sufficiently cover your crash-related losses.
Waiting for a Ride Request
Today, Uber provides “contingent” liability coverage for drivers who cause crashes while they are logged into the app and waiting to accept a ride request. You may turn to this coverage if an Uber driver injures you, and the driver’s personal insurance refuses to cover your damages or falls short of covering the full amount. Uber insures its drivers up to:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage.
Again, you may also be eligible to file a claim with your own insurance company. So, in this scenario, it is possible that as many as three different insurance polices could cover your damages. (Note: Lyft provides identical coverage to its drivers during this phase.)
Picking Up or Carrying a Passenger
Both Uber and Lyft provide a maximum of $1 million in total liability coverage to their drivers, which kicks in the moment a driver accepts a ride request until the driver drops off his or her passenger. If an Uber or Lyft driver causes your accident and injuries during this phase, the rideshare company’s insurance would be your primary option for seeking compensation.
What Can You Do If Another Driver Causes Your Uber Accident?
Uber drivers and their passengers can also be the victims of other drivers’ negligence in Sun City. If you suffered serious injury in this scenario – in other words, you were hurt as an Uber passenger – you would turn to the at-fault driver’s liability insurance as your primary source of compensation.
However, what can you do if the driver who caused your crash has no insurance or has insufficient insurance? You may be able to turn to your own UM/UIM coverage. Additionally, both Uber and Lyft provide UM/UIM coverage that extends to both its drivers and their passengers. Uber, for example, states that it provides “at least” $250,000 in UM/UIM coverage.
What Should You Do After an Uber Accident in Sun City?
If you are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in Sun City or elsewhere in Arizona, you should try to take the same basic steps at the scene of the crash that you would take after any other type of accident. You should make sure to call 911 so police can arrive, secure the scene and investigate what happened. You should also get the names and contact information of anyone who was involved in the crash, including the Uber driver, and of anyone who witnessed it. Additionally, you should:
- See a doctor – For the sake of your health, a doctor should check you for any injuries that you may have sustained in the crash. As you move forward, make sure to follow your treatment plan.
- Report your accident – You can put the rideshare company on notice about the crash by filing a simple report with the company. You can use the rideshare app, or you can go to the Uber or Lyft websites for information on how to report it.
- Keep a file – You should hold on to all documents relating to your crash, including medical bills, car repair bills, receipts of other out-of-pocket expenses and letters or e-mails that you receive from Uber, Lyft or its insurance companies. Also, do not delete the rideshare app or anything on your phone pertaining to the crash.
- Contact a lawyer – You have a limited amount of time in Arizona in which to file a personal injury claim after an auto accident of any kind, including one involving an Uber or Lyft driver. You should speak with an attorney as early as possible in order to understand your legal rights and options and to ensure that your lawyer has ample time to take legal action on your behalf.