Rideshare accidents involving companies like Uber and Lyft are becoming increasingly common. Often times, the cases can be convoluted and confusing as it is not necessarily clear who is fully at fault and who will pay for your injuries. There may be potential claims against the driver of the Uber/Lyft, potential claims against the driver or drivers impacted in the crash, and potential claims for the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage you maintain with your insurance company, as well as the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage provided by Lyft and Uber for passengers of active rides. These cases can become complex and it is important to find an attorney who understands the legal liabilities and avenues of monetary recovery. Our firm is familiar with these cases and is 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.
Important Insurance Issues:
While rideshare companies require insurance for a rideshare drivers to transport passengers, many driver's 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:
Overview of the Process:
Rideshare claims often involve multiple vehicles, multiple insurance companies, and require a determination of fault. First, we will need to determine all the parties involved, who is at fault, and who insures the involved individuals. Our firm will obtain a copy of the police report. The report will indicate the name and insurance companies of those involved and give the police officer's narrative of the events. This will include which vehicle is supposedly at fault, as well as any citations that were issued as a result of a driver's improper operation of a motor vehicle.
During this period, you should be assessed and treated for any medical issues. The job of the firm is to handle the insurance companies; your job is to get better. The insurance companies (potentially the insurance company for the ride share driver, the insurance company for the at-fault driver, and the insurance company for Uber/Lyft) will be in discussions regarding who is at fault and who needs to pay for the damages. After your treatment is concluded our office will collect all incident-related medical bills and treatment and draft a letter demanding the at-fault party pay for the sustained damages. If there is not enough insurance a supplemental claim with Uber or Lyft may be made as well. At this point cases may or may not receive an offer. If there is an offer to settle our office will evaluate the offer and give guidance on how to proceed.
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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.