Uber and Lyft both operate as ride-sharing and taxi services in Arizona.
Uber and Lyft have been in the news over the past year due to blaring liability issues and the lack of protection they offer to passengers and those on the road with their vehicles.
This raises an important legal question: When an Uber or Lyft driver gets into an accident, who bears the liability?
Anyone involved in an accident with a ride-sharing service must understand the laws and contact a Tempe personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.
Uber and Lyft Employ Independent Contractors
Uber and Lyft do not employ the drivers in their service – instead, they are classified as contractors. When a contractor acts negligently, the respondeat superior doctrine of personal injury law does not apply.
Recently, Uber and Lyft changed their policies. These policies still do not classify drivers as employees, but the plans do provide up to $1 million in liability coverage in the event a driver causes an accident. However, once the $1 million in damages is surpassed, collecting further compensation becomes complicated.
Uber and Lyft urge their drivers to purchase additional liability coverage on their insurance policies, but most drivers fail to do so.
In a coordinated study between SherpaShare and NerdWallet, it was discovered that 77 percent of Lyft and Uber drivers do not obtain rideshare insurance coverage in addition to the $1 million liability. The most common reason is because of the added cost, but many are unaware of the risks of not carrying adequate coverage.
After all, an accident could easily surpass $1 million in damages, especially if someone suffers a catastrophic injury.
Arizona’s Laws Against Ride Sharing
Arizona reacted to Uber and Lyft’s limited policies by enacting House Bill 2135 in 2015. This bill regulates these services in Arizona and creates a framework to ensure responsibility among drivers and ride-sharing apps.
Under the law, drivers working for ride-sharing services must carry a minimum of $250,000 in private liability coverage if they have a passenger in their vehicle. Furthermore, these drivers must conduct vehicle inspections, the companies must perform background checks, and there is a zero-tolerance policy requirement for drug and alcohol use. Therefore, any driver with a DUI cannot qualify to work for these services in Arizona.
How a Tempe Personal Injury Attorney Can Help in a Ride-Sharing Accident
Whether a victim is a passenger of a ride-sharing service or in their vehicle when the ride-sharing driver causes an accident, collecting compensation might be more complex than initially realized.
Even with the $1 million in coverage, these ride-sharing services deploy law firms to protect their best interests and limit how much of that liability coverage they pay.
Therefore, it is imperative an accident victim speak with a personal injury attorney from Tobler Law as soon as possible.
An accident attorney can ensure that you and your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve for your accident, including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact a Tempe personal injury attorney from Tobler Law now at 480-898-9700 or reach out to a lawyer online for your free consultation.