Arizona Uber and Lyft Injury Lawyers

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Throughout the country, the modern “gig economy” of rideshare workers has transformed the transportation industry, especially in urban and suburban environments. Of the handful of rideshare companies that were founded in the past decade, two stood out—Uber and Lyft. Together, their names are practically synonymous with the rideshare industry. Of course, even the most cautious driver—not to mention the negligent—may at some point be involved in an accident with a car driven by a rideshare driver. When rideshare accidents happen, injured parties are often left wondering how they can recover compensation. Our Arizona Uber and Lyft injury lawyers are here to help.

If you or a loved one were injured in a rideshare accident in Arizona, do not hesitate to speak with one of our Arizona personal injury attorneys today. We are easy to reach. Just call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 and ask for your 100% free consultation with experienced Arizona Uber and Lyft injury lawyers.

Rideshare accident Statistics

Since its introduction just over a decade ago, ridesharing has skyrocketed in popularity. According the Pew Research Center, only 15% of Americans used ridesharing services in 2015. This number more than doubled to 36% by the fall of 2018. In that same year, Uber alone reported “nearly 4 million Uber trips . . . every day in the U.S.—more than 45 rides every second.”

Ridesharing has been widely pushed as a means of increasing road safety, especially by decreasing the number of intoxicated or otherwise impaired drivers on roadways. This is a real benefit of ridesharing and may be reflected in the relatively low numbers of rideshare fatalities. For example, between 2017–2018, Uber reported 97 fatal car accidents and 107 total fatalities—a drop in the bucket compared to the number of Uber rides in 2018.

However, according to an independent study conducted by Rice University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, “the number of U.S. roadway deaths stood at 32,885 in 2010, its lowest level since 1949.” Uber was founded in 2009 and Lyft in 2012. By 2016, U.S. roadway deaths increased from their 2010 low to 37,461. Accordingly, the study estimated that “the introduction of ridesharing services accounts for a roughly 3% annual increase in those fatalities, or 987 people each year.”

Statistics aside, each personal injury accident should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Our Uber and Lyft accident attorneys in Arizona are dedicated to ensuring that all personal injury victims have access to excellent legal representation. Call today for your free case evaluation.

Read More: Phoenix Rideshare Accident Lawyers 

What is required to be an uber or lyft driver?

Uber and Lyft both maintain minimum requirements for their rideshare drivers and vehicles. Though there is some variation, some are quite similar and unsurprising. Below are the minimum requirements of each company for drivers and vehicles in Arizona. More information can be found on each company’s website.

Uber Driver Requirements

  • Have a valid driver’s license (see Arizona Driver’s License Requirements).
  • Have at least one year of licensed driving experience within the U.S. If the driver is under the age of 25, the experience requirement is raised to three years.
  • If applicable, meet the minimum age to drive in the driver’s city.
  • Drive an eligible vehicle (see ).
  • Show proof of vehicle insurance if the driver plans to drive their own car.
  • Show proof of residency in driver’s city and state.
  • Pass a driver screening, which includes a review of the driver’s driving history and criminal background.
  • Show an identifiable driver profile photo.

In the event of an accident, proof that one of these requirements was violated may serve as valuable evidence in your case. If you were involved in an Uber accident in Arizona, call us today to speak with an Arizona Uber accident lawyer for free.

Read more:

Lyft Driver Requirements

  • Have a valid driver’s license (see Arizona Driver’s License Requirements). Temporary or out-of-state licenses are also acceptable.
  • Be at least 25 years old.
  • Drive an eligible vehicle (see Lyft Vehicle Requirements in Arizona).
  • Show proof of vehicle registration.
  • Show proof of personal vehicle insurance.
  • Pass a driver screening, which includes a review of the driver’s driving history and criminal background.
  • Pass an Arizona vehicle inspection.
  • Show an identifiable driver profile photo.

Again, proof that any of these requirements was violated may turn out to be valuable evidence in a rideshare accident case. If you were injured in a Lyft accident, do not hesitate to call our Arizona Lyft accident lawyers today for a free consultation.

Read more: Lyft Driver Requirements.

Self-Driving Car kills pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona

One of the most notable rideshare accidents in Arizona in recent years did not involve a driver at all. The accident occurred when a self-driving Uber vehicle ran into and killed a pedestrian. The accident received national attention, as it was the first time a pedestrian had been killed by a self-driving rideshare vehicle.

On the night of March 18, 2018, Elaine Herzburg was pushing her bicycle across a four-lane road in Tempe. According to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), videos “show that the pedestrian, once visible, did not look in the direction of the vehicle until just before impact . . . [and that she] was dressed in dark clothing and that the bicycle did not have any side reflectors.”

She was struck by an Uber test vehicle that was operating in self-driving mode. A human safety backup driver was present in the driving seat.

According to the NTSB, “the operator departed Uber’s garage with the vehicle at 9:14 p.m. to run an established test route.” The report continued, “At the time of the crash, the vehicle was traveling on its second loop of the test route and had been in computer control since 9:39 p.m. (i.e., for the preceding 19 minutes).”

The accident led to renewed national interest and controversy regarding self-driving vehicles. According to an article published in The Guardian, “previously unseen emails between Uber and the office of governor Doug Ducey reveal how Uber began quietly testing self-driving cars in Phoenix in August 2016 without informing the public.”

If you were injured in an Arizona rideshare accident, do not hesitate to speak with an Uber or Lyft accident lawyer as soon as possible. Whether your accident was caused by the negligence of a human driver or by the failure of an automated car, our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers in Arizona are here to help.

Read more: Wakabayashi, Daisuke. “Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam.” The New York Times, 19 Mar. 2018; Randazzo, Ryan. “Who was really at fault in the fatal Uber crash? Here’s the whole story.” The Republic, 18 Mar. 2019; Conger, Kate. “Driver Charged in Uber’s Fatal 2018 Autonomous Car Crash.” The New York Times, 15 Sept. 2020.

Are uber and Lyft drivers independent contractors?

The short answer is, “Yes.” The reason why and the consequences for personal injury plaintiffs are more complicated.

Previously, when seeking compensation for rideshare accidents, one of the most important legal issues was the status of the driver. Were they an employee, or were they an independent contractor?

If drivers were employees, rideshare companies could be held vicariously liable for injuries caused by their negligent drivers. That is, in some sense, the employer could be deemed responsible for injuries caused by their drivers, and injured parties could seek compensation directly from the rideshare company. By contrast, if the driver was deemed an independent contractor, this avenue toward compensation would not be available to injured plaintiffs.

For a number of years, the classification of rideshare drivers was legally uncertain, and different jurisdictions took different approaches. To clear up confusion, Arizona passed a law in 2016 that assigns rideshare drivers a default status of independent contractor, thereby eliminating a powerful tool in the rideshare personal-injury plaintiff’s arsenal.

Basically, the Arizona law allows businesses to ask workers to sign a declaration form stating that they are independent contractors as a condition of employment. Once drivers acknowledge their status as an independent contractor, this may then serve as evidence in the event of litigation.

Once signed, the declaration form creates a very strong case against employee status. However, an experienced rideshare personal injury lawyer will be prepared to rebut this status.

Though this development in the law is unhelpful to accident victims, there are still other routes to compensation. Therefore, victims are highly encouraged to speak with an Uber or Lyft car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers are a phone call away.

Read more: Nagele-Piazza, Lisa. “Arizona Legislature Responds to Independent-Contractor Debate: New Arizona Law Creates a Rebuttable Presumption of Independent Contractor Status.” SHMR, 12 Aug. 2016.

Are Uber and Lyft Drivers insured?

In 2016 the Arizona State Legislature decided the create a strong presumption in favor of classifying rideshare drivers are independent contractors. However, large rideshare companies are not completely off the hook.

In 2015, the Legislature also passed a law requiring that rideshare behemoths—referred to legally as “transportation network companies” (TNCs)—maintain minimum insurance coverage for their drivers. This is meant to ensure that accident victims are not left without any recourse in the event of an accident.

According to the law, a TNC must comply with regulations as follows:

1. Before Accepting a Ride

A TNC driver is insured while he or she is available to provide transportation—both through an app or street hails. But they are not covered if they have not yet accepted a ride request. The TNC must maintain an amendment or endorsement to an existing motor vehicle liability policy (of the driver) or a motor vehicle liability insurance policy specifically providing coverage in the amount of:

  • $25,000 covering bodily injury to or death of any one person in any one accident, subject to the limit for one person;
  • $50,000 covering bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and
  • $20,000 covering injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

2. After Accepting a Ride

After a TNC driver has accepted a ride request—both through an app or street hails—the TNC must maintain the following insurance coverage:

  • a motor vehicle liability insurance policy (or amendment or endorsement to an existing motor vehicle liability policy) specifically providing insurance in a minimum amount of $250,000 per incident, and
  • an amendment or endorsement for uninsured motorist coverage in a minimum amount of $250,000 per incident.

3. Proof of Insurance

TNC drivers must carry proof of insurance in their vehicle at all times while providing transportation services. If an accident occurs, the TNC driver must provide proof of insurance to the parties involved in the accident at the time of the accident. The driver must also notify their company of the accident.

4. Mandatory Disclosure by TNCs and Insurers

In a coverage investigation, the TNC and any insurer providing coverage must fully cooperate in the exchange of information. They must also disclose to each other a clear description of the coverage, exclusions, and limits provided under all relevant insurance policies.

Notably, the law makes clear that these insurance minimums may be maintained by either individual drivers or by their TNCs. In response, both Uber and Lyft have adopted insurance policies that cover their drivers in the event of an accident. However, these companies also require that their drivers maintain personal auto insurance in addition to the company-provided insurance. If an accident happens, the company insurance only kicks in once the driver’s personal insurance is exhausted.

Read more: Arizona Insurance Requirements for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs); Uber Driver Insurance; Lyft Driver Insurance.

Beware of Opportunistic Auto-Insurance Providers

Accident victims often turn to insurance companies before speaking with attorneys. But no matter who maintains and provides the insurance, personal injury victims should always be cautious when negotiating with insurance companies. The truth is insurance companies—even your provider—are not neutral third parties.

Sadly, their settlement offers are not always calculated based on the objective facts of the accident. Instead, they are based on what the insurance provider believes might result at trial.

Having one of our Uber and Lyft accident lawyers evaluate your case first can ensure that you are being treated fairly. Remember, anything you say to an insurance company can be used against you in court or during litigation. Therefore, never sign forms or waivers provided by an insurance company and never admit fault before consulting with an attorney.

Read More: How to Negotiate with an Insurance Company.

Beware of the statute of limitations impacting uber and lyft injury accidents

Another very important element governing all personal injury cases is the statute of limitations. This simply refers to a law that sets a deadline; once it passes, you may not file a case seeking compensation. Each state sets its own statute of limitations. Most states, including Arizona, set the deadline at two years after the date of the accident.

Remember, once two years elapse after the date of your Uber or Lyft accident, you will be barred from filing your case. Therefore, it is very important that you bring your case to an Uber or Lyft car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Call Zinda Law Group to speak with an Uber or Lyft accident attorney in Arizona near you today.

OUR Arizona Uber and Lyft injury lawyers CAN HELP

Whether riding home from the airport or from a night out with friends, ridesharing apps provide both convenience and safety. Over the past decade, Uber and Lyft have emerged as the undeniable leaders of the rideshare industry.

However, as ridesharing has evolved, so has the law governing liability in the event of accidents. Successfully recovering compensation for injuries in the event of a rideshare accident requires the attention of a skilled personal injury attorney.

If you or a loved one were injured in a rideshare accident in Arizona, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with one of our rideshare accident attorneys today. Whether you need an Arizona Uber accident lawyer or a Lyft accident lawyer, we are here to help.

Furthermore, our clients pay nothing unless we win their case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.

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