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Types of Rideshare Accidents

Lawyers Helping Injured Passengers in Phoenix

Types of Rideshare AccidentsRidesharing services have become incredibly common and largely overshadow the taxi industry. These services offer a quick and convenient way to contact drivers through cellphone apps to arrange rides. People also like them because payment of tipping is handled through the app and cash exchanges are not required. Because ridesharing services have seen explosive growth, many of the legal issues that they raise have not been addressed. This includes understanding the role that multiple auto insurance policies may play after a crash as well as whether rideshare services can treat their drivers as independent contractors instead of as employees. At Abels & Annes, our committed Phoenix car accident attorneys are available to assist people who have been injured in all types of rideshare accidents.

Common Types of Rideshare Accidents

A rideshare accident can cause a wide array of injuries to occur. Whenever a stranger is picking up an unfamiliar person in a crowded or busy area, this creates additional chaos and increases the chances that someone may not use appropriate caution. One of the most common types of rideshare accidents is a pedestrian accident. While a driver is busy attempting to locate a rider, he or she may not be paying sufficient attention to pedestrians near his or her vehicle.

Rideshare drivers are also often in a hurry, either looking for their next fare or hurrying to meet a rider who is waiting for a ride. When a driver is feeling rushed, he or she may cut more corners and engage in unsafe driving behaviors like speeding, ignoring traffic laws, and tailgating other vehicles.

Common Injuries from Rideshare Accidents

Just like any other traffic accident, passengers in a rideshare vehicle can suffer from a multitude of accident-related injuries like:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Death

And when it comes to passengers themselves causing harm, rideshare accidents have been linked to dooring accidents, which are accidents where a bicyclist is struck with a car door as a passenger enters or exits the vehicle. These accidents create many questions about liability such as whether the ridesharing service is liable to the injured bicyclist.

Seek Compensation after a Rideshare Accident

If you were involved in a rideshare accident, it is critical that you understand your legal options and how to seek compensation. You may have a claim against multiple parties involved in the incident including the driver of the vehicle in which you were riding, the driver of another vehicle involved in the crash, and/or the rideshare company.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor Issue

An important issue in this context is that rideshare companies generally try to classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees so as to avoid liability for collisions, among other things. However, a seasoned car accident attorney can help you argue that rideshare drivers are employees who are subject to substantial control by rideshare companies, and that those companies should therefore be legally responsible for their drivers’ negligent conduct.

Rideshare Insurance Coverage

It is also critical to understand Arizona’s rideshare liability laws. These laws require rideshare drivers to maintain $250,000 in liability coverage to cover damages sustained by passengers in their vehicles. Further, and while each company is different, both Lyft and Uber maintain $1 million insurance policies to cover accidents involving their drivers, but these policies only apply if the rideshare app is in use.

For example, if the accident took place while you were being transported as a rider through the service, these policies should apply to your damages. But if a rideshare driver is using the app while awaiting notification to pick up a new passenger at the time of a crash, Lyft and Uber’s coverage will only be $50,000 per person and $100,000 per incident.

Further, if the app was off and you were struck as a pedestrian, then you may only be able to assert a claim for damages against the driver and his or her individual auto insurance policy. Finally, in some situations your own insurance coverage could even be triggered. An experienced lawyer can help determine which parties are responsible for different types of rideshare accidents.

The Burden of Proof and Damages

To recover compensation following a crash involving a rideshare company under any of the circumstances described above, you will need to show that the driver who caused the accident failed to use reasonable care and skill at the time of the crash and that you would not have suffered injuries but for the driver’s lack of due care. If you prevail in establishing liability, categories of damages you can collect include amounts for your past and future medical costs, lost earnings, loss of future earning capacity, and more.

Contact a Phoenix Attorney for a Consultation

Rideshare accidents are incredibly complicated and a relatively new area of the law. This can make it even more challenging for an accident victim to receive the timely and appropriate compensation that he or she deserves from a party who acted negligently in connection with a rideshare service. Rideshare companies can be very large and have ample resources to battle any claims of negligence against it or its drivers. At Abels & Annes, our Phoenix lawyers are available to discuss your rideshare accident and whether we can help you fight for the outcome that you deserve. Call us today at (602) 819-5191 or contact us online to get started.

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