Rideshare Insurance Coverage
Ridesharing services have become incredibly popular, especially in crowded cities like Phoenix where parking can be difficult to find. This relatively new way to get from place to place has come with some legal issues, including those related to rideshare insurance coverage in the event that an accident takes place. If you were involved in a collision while using a rideshare service, you should speak to an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney about your right to compensation.
At Abels & Annes, we are prepared to assist you with your potential legal claims. Regardless of whether the driver of the vehicle in which you were riding is at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. The ridesharing coverage laws are evolving on a state-by-state basis, which is all the more reason to retain an experienced legal professional to help you protect your rights.Establishing Liability in Accidents Involving Ridesharing Services
Rideshare companies include services like Uber and Lyft that use drivers to offer rides to people who use their apps. This makes it easy for individuals who are visiting a city for vacation or work to get around, while also providing local residents with a simplified way to travel. Some people find these services more convenient than a taxi service because of the ease of calling a car using the app.
While very convenient, a rideshare service creates serious risks for passengers if the driver does not pay attention and adhere to the rules of the road. Many drivers in rideshare services are working for commissions and eager to ensure that they can pick up enough riders. For this reason, many of them rush around and may engage in dangerous diving practices like speeding, tailgating, and road rage.The Independent Contractor vs. Employee Rideshare Issue
In general, ridesharing services attempt to treat drivers like independent contractors. However, this is an ongoing legal issue. In reality, these drivers act like employees.
Each driver contracts with the rideshare service to perform driving services, and operate by the rules and regulations of the company. The rideshare service describes itself as a marketplace that connects drivers with people seeking rides. By attempting to define the drivers as independent contractors, the ridesharing service attempts to not be held vicariously liable for any careless or reckless actions on the part of the drivers.
On the other hand, accident victims and their lawyers argue that the drivers are employees under a significant amount of control of the rideshare companies. Therefore, Uber and Lyft should be liable for the negligent actions of their drivers.Rideshare Insurance Coverage
Although each rideshare company is different, Uber and Lyft both carry $1 million insurance policies to cover situations where a driver gets into an accident. However, this $1,000,000 coverage only applies if the rideshare is carrying a passenger or is on the way to pick up a ride.
If a driver is using the app and is waiting to be assigned a fair, Uber and Lyft still provide insurance, but only $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence. If the driver was not using the app at the time of the accident, you will most likely have to make a claim through his or her insurance carrier if you are involved in an accident.
To make matters even more complicated, not all insurance companies will extend policies to rideshare drivers. This is why Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage, but the situation may be different with another company. And when it comes to traditional taxi services, taxi companies are required to provide a company-wide insurance policy.
In rare circumstances, your own auto policy or a rideshare passenger’s insurance could come into play. Determining which policy is triggered and whether you are entitled to coverage may involve complex legal analysis, and a skilled car accident lawyer can help.
For example, if the accident happens as a result of the passenger’s negligence, such as a passenger opening a car door into a bike lane and striking an approaching cyclist, then the passenger may be partially liable for the damages. Further, if there is an accident with low limits or no insurance, your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage could apply. Each situation is different, however, and the best way to determine the dynamics of the insurance policies involved in your situation is to speak to knowledgeable legal counsel.Meet with a Compassionate Car Accident Attorney in Phoenix
Obtaining advice from an experienced car accident lawyer can help you ensure that your legal rights are asserted to the fullest extent, and that you pursue the compensation that you deserve in a timely fashion in a case involving rideshare insurance coverage. The dedicated Phoenix legal team at Abels & Annes is available to discuss your situation in a free and confidential consultation. Call the office at (855) 749-5299 or contact us online to get started.