Rideshare Accident Lawyer in Detroit, MI
In recent years, a booming sharing economy has made companies such as Uber and Lyft increasingly more popular than standard taxis. As a result, more and more rideshare vehicles are on the road all the time, and they are subject to the same rules of the road and rights to compensation as other vehicles. If you suffered an injury in a rideshare accident caused by another driver, you have options for recovering compensation.
Who Is Liable for a Rideshare Accident?
Determining liability is the foundation of any car accident case. Typically, the fault lies on whoever violated their duty of care. For example, if you were driving the other vehicle involved in the accident, you would be liable for damages if you were at fault. Any injured party could potentially file a claim with your insurer. However, if the rideshare driver were at fault, either the driver’s private insurance or the rideshare company’s insurance would cover damages.
Elements of a Negligence Claim
To prove negligence in an auto accident case, you must support four claims:
- The driver owed you a duty of care. In a car crash case, the duty of care is simple. When someone operates a vehicle, they are responsible for abiding by traffic laws and acting in a manner that keeps everyone reasonably safe.
- The driver breached the duty of care. Breaching a duty of care generally means doing something that disregards the safety of others, such as violating traffic laws.
- The driver’s mistake caused your accident. The driver’s actions must cause the accident for them to be liable for damages.
- The accident directly caused your damages. Finally, you must prove your injuries or property damage occurred as a result of the accident.
Without damages, you have no reason to file a personal injury claim. Even with injuries, you may have access to compensation without making a negligence claim.
Does Michigan's No-Fault Auto Insurance Requirement Apply?
Michigan is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means all licensed drivers with operational vehicles, including rideshare drivers, must carry no-fault insurance, including the following policies:
- Personal injury protection coverage covers all reasonably necessary medical expenses and 85% of your missed income for three years if you suffer injuries in an auto accident.
- Property protection coverage covers up to $1 million for damage to another person’s property if you are at fault for an accident.
- Residential liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage protects you from a lawsuit from an auto accident unless someone dies, the victim is a non-resident, or you are in a different state.
In a rideshare accident case, Michigan drivers would turn to their own PIP and PPI policies to cover medical costs, lost wages, and property damage. Passengers have coverage under the driver’s PIP insurance as well.
Bypassing No-Fault Insurance
Under certain circumstances, you can bypass the no-fault insurance claim requirement and file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in your case. This threshold in Michigan states that you can only sue if the at-fault driver is a non-resident or the accident caused permanent disfigurement, severe impairment of a bodily function, or resulted in death. Additionally, if the damage to your car is less than $1,000 and not covered by your own insurance, you can file a lawsuit as long as the other driver is 50% or more at fault.
What Does the Rideshare Company's Insurance Cover?
Suppose you were the passenger in a rideshare vehicle or the driver in a car hit by the rideshare vehicle. In that case, you may file your claim with the rideshare company’s insurance policy. Most companies follow the same coverage structure. For example, Uber and Lyft cover drivers while waiting for a ride request and during a ride. If the rideshare app is offline, the driver’s personal insurance applies. While waiting for a ride request, both companies provide liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury, and personal injury protection at varying limits. While en route, they offer higher coverage of each policy and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage. If you have questions about filing a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance provider, talk to a rideshare accident lawyer first.
What Should You Do if You Are Involved in a Rideshare Accident?
A car accident is inherently shocking and can be physically impairing. Still, if you are able, there are a few things you can do to protect your right to compensation following an accident involving ridesharing:
- Report the accident. Call the police and report the accident to the rideshare company. When the police arrive, give them your official statement about what happened and avoid talking to anyone else.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, see a doctor immediately for a complete medical evaluation. You could have internal injuries with latent symptoms that may worsen without immediate care. Additionally, delaying treatment allows the insurance company to claim you may have been injured another way.
- Document the scene. Take photographs of the vehicles, the visible damages, and any injuries on your body that may appear in photos. If you prefer, you can record a video and explain how the accident occurred while your memory is clear.
- Gather information. Get the names and contact information of everyone involved. This includes the other driver, the rideshare company, and eyewitnesses.
Finally, contact a rideshare accident lawyer to see what steps you should take to protect your rights and get the compensation you need. Not all accidents require legal representation, but the consultation will be free, and you will have immediate answers to your questions.
How Can a Rideshare Accident Lawyer Help You Recover Compensation for Your Losses?
The road is full of potential hazards whether you are a driver or a passenger, and rideshare vehicles are just as susceptible to a crash as every other driver on the road. Suppose you recently suffered an injury or property damage in a car accident involving a rideshare vehicle. In that case, there are several ways a rideshare accident lawyer can help you build your case:
- Investigating the accident to determine who is liable and collecting the evidence needed to prove it
- Prepare the paperwork for your claim or lawsuit to ensure there are no mistakes that may delay your claim
- Talk to the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement
- Identify all potentially recoverable damages and their values to ensure your settlement or award accurately reflects your losses
- Ensure no one violates your rights during the legal process
- Locate resources, such as auto accident and medical experts, to provide testimony in support of your claim
- Prepare for trial should the insurer refuse to offer an appropriate settlement
If you must file your claim with a ridesharing company’s insurance provider, you may come up against serious pushback. It is in the company’s and the insurer’s best interests to deny your claim or downplay the company’s financial responsibility. At Mike Morse Law Firm, we know how to combat such claims and build a solid case to support your right to compensation. Whether you are a rideshare driver, passenger, pedestrian, or other driver involved in the crash, you are afforded the same opportunities for compensation as any other personal injury victim. Contact Mike Morse Law Firm at (855) 439-0159 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced rideshare accident attorney.