Using rideshare services like Uber and Lyft is increasingly common. Along with the increased use of these services comes an increase in accident-related injuries. Uber and Lyft claims differ slightly from traditional car accident claims where the victim is riding in their own vehicle. Traditionally, in a car accident the primary method of recovery is the at-fault party's automobile liability insurance policy. If the at-fault party does not have insurance or the insurance is inadequate to pay for the damage caused then the injured party may receive additional compensation from their own optional automobile policy add-ons. Rideshare claims differ because these companies provide the insurance coverage for all parties riding inside an Uber or Lyft at the time of an accident. This means there is a higher likelihood that the claim will have adequate funds to compensate the injured party for his or her injuries. However, the claims can become more difficult because there is another party involved and the insurance companies may dispute liability or who is required to pay what to whom. These cases can become complex and it is important to find an attorney who understands the legal liabilities and avenues of monetary recovery. Members of Goodnow|McKay are experienced with these claims and are here to help. We are committed to helping our clients recover fair compensation. We are often able to negotiate reasonable settlements with the responsible insurance companies, but we are willing to fight for our clients through trial if necessary.
Common Types of Claims:
Liability/Bodily Injury Claims: a liability claim (often referred to as a bodily injury claim) is a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company to pay for the damage the at-fault driver caused. This is the primary method of monetary recovery in automobile cases.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims: Arizona only requires a driver carry $15,000 dollars of insurance per person and $30,000 of insurance per accident in auto insurance coverage. This means that if a single person is in an accident, they may receive up to $15,000 in coverage. If there is a car full of people involved in an accident, they will have to split a maximum of $30,000 to pay for all the injuries. Generally, drivers do not have enough insurance to pay for the damage they inflicted. According to the Insurance Information Institute, an estimated 12 percent of Arizona drivers may not even have insurance. So, not only do many drivers have inadequate coverage, they may not have any insurance at all. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM for short), is an optional insurance coverage motorists can buy to supplement the at-fault driver's insurance coverage. This means if a driver hits you and the driver has inadequate coverage or no coverage at all, your own UM/UIM policy will supplement or stand in for the at-fault driver's insurance policy to help pay for the damages. This policy is optional in Arizona but may be one of the most important insurance policies you can purchase. Please read more about the importance of the policies here.
Important to note is that while you may not carry UM/UIM insurance, Uber and Lyft carry up to $1 million dollars in UM/UIM coverage for passengers on an active ride share. Additionally, the level of insurance coverage potentially changes depending on what stage of the ride you were on. This process can be complicated and intricate but we can help.
Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage (Med Pay for short) is an optional insurance coverage you can add to your insurance policy to help pay for automobile accident-related medical care. While this is optional, it can be invaluable in helping accident victims pay for necessary medical care.
Important Insurance Issues:
While rideshare companies require insurance for a rideshare driver to transport passengers, many drivers are improperly insured. Many of the drivers may be unaware they are improperly insured. Generally, when you are in an accident, the driver's insurance may be the first method of recovery for your injuries (if the driver had fault for the accident). Unfortunately, many of the drivers operate on a personal plan and not a commercial rideshare plan. As the accident occurred while on business and not during a personal activity the insurance company may deny the claim. At this point you are left with either your own optional uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or the rideshare company's uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
These cases often involve multiple vehicles with multiple different policies with different levels of coverage and priority depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. The potentially complicated nature of the insurance claims process can be lengthy and subject to numerous delays. It is important to find an attorney who understands the intricacies and nuances of these claims to help maximize recovery and resolve the claim in the most appropriate and expedient manner.
Members of Goodnow|McKay are vigilant in research and advocacy on behalf of accident victims. Please see the linked articles below related to automobile crashes:
© 2019 GOODNOW | MCKAY. All Rights Reserved.
Chris Goodnow is licensed in Arizona. Justin McKay is licensed in Arizona. Matters in other areas are handled by licensed attorneys employed, associated, or co-counseled with Goodnow|McKay.