Rideshare Accident Lawyers
Rideshare services have become a staple of the transportation network of Arizona. Millions of app users take advantage of Uber and Lyft each year as these rideshare services offer an accessible alternative to public transportation and standard taxi services. Additionally, many people have taken to driving for rideshare companies to make extra cash. While most people have positive experiences with these services, it is vital for each of them to acknowledge the fact that they face the same risks in a rideshare vehicle as they would in any other vehicle. However, resolving the legal issues that a rideshare accident might generate is often more difficult than a standard car accident.
Helping Rideshare Accident Victims Recover in Scottsdale, AZ
Most car accidents in the state will require victims to file auto insurance claims against at-fault drivers, followed by personal injury claims when insurance alone cannot fully compensate a victim’s losses. However, rideshare companies have additional insurance coverage that can apply in different ways depending on when and how a rideshare accident occurs. This additional insurance may provide coverage for damages that personal auto insurance won’t cover, but there is never a guarantee that filing an insurance claim will be easy or straightforward or that an insurance company will handle a claim in good faith.
If you or a family member is struggling with the effects of a rideshare accident in Scottsdale, AZ, it’s possible that you face one or more insurance claims as well as a personal injury suit against whoever caused the accident. An experienced Scottsdale rideshare accident attorney is an invaluable asset in this situation. You can rely on your legal advocate to guide you through the complex insurance-related issues you are likely to encounter in the aftermath of a rideshare accident, and you may also need to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Whatever your recovery efforts may entail, Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., is ready to provide the responsive legal counsel you need to approach your case with confidence and peace of mind.
How Do Rideshare Accidents Happen in Scottsdale?
When you use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, it is important to remember that your driver may not exactly be a professional. The majority of Uber and Lyft drivers in Scottsdale and throughout the state are average people who drive for a rideshare company to earn money, and most have relatively equivalent driving experience to any other driver you might encounter on the road. Rideshare accidents can happen from the same causes as all other vehicle accidents, such as:
- Distracted driving. All drivers are expected to pay full attention to the road and their surroundings at all times. Any amount of distraction behind the wheel is potentially dangerous and can cause a serious accident. An experienced Scottsdale rideshare accident attorney can be an invaluable asset when it comes to gathering the evidence needed to prove an at-fault driver was distracted behind the wheel.
- Whenever any driver exceeds the speed limit, they are inherently increasing their chances of causing an accident. Speeding also increases the severity of the damages from an accident, and catastrophic and fatal injuries are most likely to occur when accidents happen at higher speeds.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. This is against the law and can lead to severe penalties upon conviction, including fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges. Penalties for DUI typically increase by a substantial degree whenever a defendant has injured or killed someone in a DUI accident. If your rideshare accident was caused by DUI, a Scottsdale rideshare accident attorney can advise you as to how the defendant’s illegal action could influence your recovery efforts.
- Traffic violations. Whenever drivers violate traffic signals, perform illegal turns, run through red lights or stop signs, or fail to yield the right-of-way, they can easily cause tremendous damage to themselves and others. Traffic camera footage and eyewitness statements are usually important for these cases when it comes to helping a victim prove liability.
These are just a few examples of how an Uber or Lyft accident might happen in Scottsdale. It’s also important for the victim of a rideshare accident to determine if and how rideshare insurance could come into play. If you were driving your own vehicle and a rideshare driver hit you, the rideshare company’s insurance might apply to your damages depending on whether the rideshare driver was on the clock or using their vehicle for personal reasons. If you were riding as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you must still determine fault for your accident, but the rideshare company’s insurance will likely cover any damages the at-fault driver’s insurance can’t cover.
Navigating the Insurance Claim Process After a Rideshare Car Accident in Scottsdale
Arizona law requires every individual driver to have personal auto insurance that meets basic coverage requirements. At a minimum, an individual policy must include at least $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, at least $50,000 for bodily injuries to multiple persons, and at least $15,000 to cover property damage. These coverage amounts may be sufficient to cover damages from a minor accident, but any serious injuries are likely to generate losses that a single insurance claim cannot cover entirely.
When it comes to rideshare company insurance, both Uber and Lyft have equivalent policies that function based on the timing of an accident. If a rideshare driver is not logged into their driver app and they are using their vehicle for personal reasons, their own insurance applies if they cause an accident. Once they have logged into their driver app and marked themselves as available for a passenger, the first level of the rideshare company’s insurance applies. At this first coverage level, the rideshare company’s insurance will provide up to $50,000 in bodily injury compensation for a single person, up to $100,000 in bodily injury compensation for more than one person, and up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Once a rideshare driver picks up a passenger, the next level of insurance coverage applies until they deliver their passenger to their destination. This level of insurance provides up to $1 million in third-party liability coverage. If you are riding in a rideshare driver’s vehicle and they cause an accident, their personal auto insurance will go toward your damages, and then the rideshare company’s insurance comes into play to compensate the remainder.
You have a limited time in which to notify an insurance carrier of your intention to file a claim, typically only a few days following the accident. Failure to notify an insurance company of your accident on time could jeopardize your ability to recover compensation. After you receive medical care for your injuries, you should seek out an experienced Scottsdale rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help file your claim, and they can be especially valuable when you must file more than one claim, such as one against the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance followed by a second against the rideshare company’s insurance.
After an insurance carrier receives your claim, they will investigate to determine whether the claim is valid and then deliver their settlement offer. Your Scottsdale rideshare accident attorney can determine whether such a claim is acceptable under the terms of the policy in question and help resolve any disputes that could arise with the insurance carrier. If you have damages that insurance cannot cover, you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim against the party responsible for causing your rideshare accident.
Building Your Personal Injury Claim for a Uber Accident in Scottsdale
The typical recovery process from a vehicle accident is an auto insurance claim followed by a personal injury claim. When it comes to rideshare accidents, a rideshare company’s insurance policy could come into play and compensate losses that the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance cannot cover, but this does not necessarily mean that the victim will be able to fully recover their damages through insurance alone.
If you are unable to fully recover the entire scope of the damages you can claim from the at-fault driver through insurance, you must file a personal injury suit against them. Success with a personal injury claim requires evidence that another party is directly responsible for causing your damages and clear proof of those damages. You must also be prepared to prove causation between the defendant’s actions and your claimed losses. In other words, you can only claim compensation for the direct effects of the defendant’s negligence or misconduct, and you must prove those damages did not result from some other cause.
Damages in a Scottsdale Personal Injury Case
If you can prove another party is directly responsible for harming you, you have the right to seek full accountability for all damages associated with the incident in question. Arizona law allows the plaintiff in a personal injury case to seek full repayment of all economic damages, which may include:
- Property damage. Insurance may pay for vehicle repair costs and any other damaged or destroyed property, but any outstanding property losses that cannot be recovered through insurance must be claimed in a personal injury action.
- Medical expenses. Any car accident is capable of causing life-changing injuries. Under state law, the plaintiff in a personal injury case has the right to seek full repayment of both immediate and future medical expenses resulting from the accident in question. Insurance could cover a substantial amount of your medical bills, but if you require extensive ongoing rehabilitative care, any medical expenses that insurance can’t cover may be included as economic damages in your personal injury suit.
- Lost income. Many people injured in serious vehicle accidents are unable to work and earn income while they recover. If this applies to your situation, you have the right to hold the defendant accountable for the income you are unable to earn due to their actions. If this entails lost future earning capacity because of a catastrophic injury, your Scottsdale rideshare accident attorney can be crucial for proving the full extent of the future income you are no longer able to earn.
Beyond your economic damages, you also have the right to seek pain and suffering compensation from the defendant. State law does not place a cap or limit on the amount of pain and suffering compensation a plaintiff may seek from a defendant, so this could be the largest share of the total compensation you win from your case if you suffered a serious injury.
Your Scottsdale rideshare accident attorney can help determine a reasonable amount of pain and suffering compensation to seek from the defendant based on the overall severity of your damages and the scope of long-term complications you are likely to face. Many plaintiffs discover that they secure more in pain and suffering compensation than they obtain in repayment for their economic damages.
If your rideshare accident caused severe injuries, it’s possible that insurance alone will not be able to fully compensate the entirety of your claimable damages. Even if the full coverage from the rideshare company’s policy applies to your case, you may discover that you can claim much more than insurance can provide, and you will need an attorney’s help to succeed with a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
Find Your Legal Counsel Now
Time is one of your most important considerations in the aftermath of any vehicle accident in Scottsdale, especially a rideshare accident that is likely to involve a very complex insurance claim process. You’re likely to face a great deal of uncertainty and have many pressing legal questions in the aftermath of any rideshare accident, and the sooner you connect with an attorney you can trust, the sooner you can have the answers and direction you need in this difficult situation.
Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., can provide the compassionate and detail-oriented legal representation you need after an Uber or Lyft accident in Scottsdale. Our firm has years of experience handling all types of complex personal injury cases and vehicle accident claims, including those that involve very frustrating insurance-related issues. Whatever your case entails, you can trust our firm to guide you to a positive outcome in your recovery efforts. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Scottsdale rideshare accident attorney and learn more about the legal services we can provide.