Arizona is an “at-fault” state, which means that in a motor vehicle accident, the driver who was responsible pays restitution to anyone who sustained injuries or property damage. A police report could declare a driver at fault, but the officer’s assessment may not be entirely accurate. There often are many factors that contribute to an accident.

Identifying the responsible party is difficult in any car crash case. However, determining fault following an Uber accident in Phoenix is much more complicated. An experienced rideshare collision lawyer could investigate who might be liable and help an injured person seek damages from all potentially responsible parties.

Negligence in Phoenix Car Accident Cases

When someone seeks compensation for the injuries they received in a car accident, they must prove another person was negligent. To prove liability, an injured person’s attorney must establish the following:

  • The defendant owed the injured person a duty of care
  • The defendant breached that duty
  • The breach caused the accident
  • The accident cause compensable injuries

In a car accident case, negligence might mean disobeying traffic laws or failing to maintain a vehicle. When a commercial driver is involved, their employer may bear liability for hiring an unqualified driver.

Comparative Negligence Laws

Occasionally, the opposing party claims the injured person was negligent in some way. For example, a rideshare driver may argue that the injured passenger was distracting them at the time of the accident.

Arizona Revised Statute §12-2505 states that a plaintiff can seek damages from other negligent parties, even when they hold primary responsibility for an accident. However, a judge will reduce the damages a negligent plaintiff receives by an amount that reflects their degree of responsibility.

Who Are the Potentially Liable Parties in a Rideshare Accident?

Car accidents are not always the fault of one person. Multiple people or entities can contribute to a severe auto wreck. An injured person may seek damages against anyone whose negligence might have contributed to the accident.

A plaintiff’s attorney could investigate an accident to determine whose actions might have been negligent. The potentially liable parties could include:

  • The rideshare driver
  • The other motorist
  • The rideshare company
  • The vehicle or parts manufacturer
  • A local government agency—if street maintenance or signage was an issue
  • Cyclists or pedestrians
  • Vehicle passengers

Although employers are vicariously liable for their employees’ negligent behavior, passengers must note that most rideshare drivers are not employees. Drivers for companies such as Uber are typically independent contractors.

Uber is not vicariously liable for their drivers’ actions, but the company is responsible for its own actions. For example, if a motorist had a poor driving record, but Uber continued to allow them to drive, the rideshare company might be negligent for facilitating an unsafe driver transporting passengers.

How Much Compensation Could an Injured Passenger Receive from Uber?

All Uber drivers must carry personal comprehensive vehicle insurance. That insurance will cover any incidents that occur when the driver is not logged into the app. Once the driver begins working, Uber offers additional coverage.

When a driver is logged into the app but has not accepted a ride, Uber’s coverage offers $50,000 for bodily injury of one person, $100,000 aggregate for bodily injury of more than one person, and $25,000 for property damage. This policy applies if the driver’s personal insurance is not adequate to cover an injured person’s damages.

Once the driver accepts a ride, Uber’s full coverage goes into effect. This policy offers $1,000,000 in third party liability and uninsured motorist coverage. These higher coverage limits apply from the moment the driver accepts a ride on the app and continues until the ride ends.

An Experienced Attorney Could Help with Determining Fault Following Uber Accidents in Phoenix

Car accident cases can be complicated, and when a rideshare company is involved, it adds another layer of complexity. Uber vigorously defends itself against negligence claims and could employ aggressive tactics to minimize its liability. If you have suffered injuries in a case involving a large rideshare company, do not try to negotiate a settlement on your own.

Instead, call on an experienced lawyer to help you. At Zanes Law, we are familiar with the process of determining fault following Uber accidents in Phoenix. Contact us today to get started on your claim.

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