MICHIGAN RIDESHARE ACCIDENT LAWYERS – UBER/LYFT/TAXIS & MORE
Uber & Lyft Auto Accident Attorneys Proudly Serving Southfield, MI, Detroit, MI, and the Surrounding Areas
Are Uber and Lyft drivers and passengers protected when injured in a car accident in Michigan? At the Mike Morse Law Firm we have attorneys that specialize in handling Uber and Lyft cases, so call today for a free consultation with one of our Uber and Lyft experts!
What are Uber and Lyft?
As many of us know, Uber and Lyft are a convenient way to order a quick ride without having cash on hand. While Uber and Lyft are discussed here, this article applies equally to all ridesharing and transportation network companies operating in Michigan.
But what are Uber and Lyft actually? Uber and Lyft are essentially just software companies. Uber and Lyft are apps that can be put on any “smart” mobile device to allow the user to simply press a few buttons to get a ride from a driver in the driver’s personal vehicle allowing payment to all be done through the app. However, these drivers that you are calling with this app aren’t actually Uber or Lyft employees. They are independent contractors allowed to provide rides and be paid for those rides. Uber and Lyft are two completely separate companies and fierce competitors. However, in most instances, drivers drive for both services! It generally depends on the time of day or location when deciding which company that they are driving for.
While Uber and Lyft provide a great service for those that need a ride, there are some very important considerations that anyone taking a ride from an Uber or Lyft must know. Call the Uber and Lyft experts at the Mike Morse Law Firm for your free consultation!
What do I do if I’ve been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft?
If you are injured as a driver or passenger in an Uber or Lyft, remember the following:
- Call 911. Make sure that a police report is made. Do not let the driver tell you that it is not necessary. Always make a police report in the event of an accident.
- Try to get as much information at the scene as you can. Take pictures or video. Get witness information.
- Get evaluated by a medical professional! Often times due to the adrenaline, pain does not set in for hours, days, or sometimes weeks. Too often people are afraid to incur medical or ambulance bills. But when you are in an Uber or Lyft, you are covered! Please see above for our discussion on No-Fault PIP benefits in an Uber or Lyft.
- Report the accident and any injuries to Uber or Lyft. This can be done through the app or through the website.
- Report the accident and any injuries to your personal insurance company.
- Call the Uber and Lyft experts at the Mike Morse Law Firm for a free consultation.
Tips For Riding in an Uber or Lyft.
When taking an Uber or Lyft, a number of things should be considered, but first and foremost is SAFETY. As many of us have heard on the news, Uber and Lyft have allowed some very unsafe drivers to drive for their services in the past. From what they report, the screening has improved, but when you decide to get into an Uber or Lyft, always err on the safe side and follow some very important safety tips from the Mike Morse Law Firm Uber and Lyft experts.
- Always read the reviews of your driver before accepting a ride with someone. Make sure they have close to a five-star rating and take a look at the lower ratings to see what complaints people have had.
- Always know the make, model and license plate of the vehicle that you reserved. Ask the driver’s name and make sure the response matches the name on the app.
- Uber and Lyft drivers are required to have a sign or decal identifying them as Uber or Lyft drivers visible from 65 feet away during the day. Both Uber and Lyft require that it be placed in the passenger side windshield.
- Text a friend the driver information, where you were picked up and where you are going.
- If you feel uncomfortable during the ride, find a safe location and have the driver drop you off. However, just make sure there are other drivers or friends in the area that can take you either home or to your destination.
- Consider upgrading to a higher end car such as an UberSelect of UberBlack, as the cars are nicer and better maintained. Furthermore, UberBlack cars are required to have commercial insurance which provides coverage well in excess of the standard insurance listed below.
- Whether you are in the front seat or back seat ALWAYS wear your seat belt.
- Make sure to leave a review, positive or negative, to help give others a safe and comfortable experience.
Am I Better off Taking a Taxi?
Probably not. While Uber and Lyft have their issues, the same issues apply to taxis and then some. Like Uber and Lyft, taxis are also usually not owned by the company painted on the car. Generally, the big cab companies are simply allowing a company or person use the name and logo of the big company. So just because it is a nationally recognized company, it does not mean that they have the training or insurance of the big name that you know.
If you do take a cab, you should take the same precautions as listed above. However, there is one thing that Uber and Lyft have that taxis do not. Uber and Lyft have a paper trial! Your rides are tracked on the app and service. This is not the case with a taxi.
Taxis are required to carry far less liability insurance than an Uber or Lyft. So you are likely still safer in an Uber or Lyft than a taxi!
Michigan Law and Uber/Lyft
In recent years, the State of Michigan has enacted laws regulating Uber and Lyft. The law lumps them together with the Transportation Network Companies of “TNC”.
Here are some of the requirements for drivers driving for Uber or Lyft:
- Drivers must beat least 19 years old or older. Uber and Lyft specifically require the driver to be at least 21. The following locations require the driver to be at least 25 years old: Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Northern Michigan, Saginaw and the Upper Peninsula.
- Drivers must have a valid driver’s license in Michigan or another state.
- Drivers must not have four moving violations or one “major moving violation” in the past three years. A “major moving violation” is: attempting to evade the police, reckless driving, or driving on a suspended or revoked license.
- Drivers must not be listed on the National Sex Offender Public Website.
- Drivers must not have any felony convictions in the past five years.
- Drivers must have a valid registration in Michigan or another state.
- Drivers must have proof of automobile liability insurance.
- Drivers do not require a chauffer’s license.
While most of us assume that these Uber or Lyft vehicles require an annual inspection, that is NOT always the case. The State of Michigan only requires an annual inspection if the vehicle is five years old or older! There is no inspection required on a vehicle less than five years old!
Do Uber and Lyft have insurance? If so, how much?
Uber and Lyft, or its driver MUST maintain primary automobile insurance on a vehicle being used to transport passengers WHILE the driver is logged on to accept passengers or while transporting passengers. The State of Michigan has guidelines for the type and amount of minimum coverage that is required for Uber and Lyft. The required coverage depends on the status of the vehicle.
- Driver is logged on to the network and available to accept rides: The minimum liability coverage if the driver causes injury to a passenger, another motorist or pedestrian is $50,000.00 for each injured person and $100,000.00 total for the incident. As for No-Fault PIP coverage only the state minimum is required.
- Driver is actively transporting a passenger through the network: The minimum liability coverage if the driver causes injury to a passenger, another motorist or pedestrian is $1,000,000.00 for each injured person and $1,000,000.00 total for the accident. As for No-Fault PIP coverage only the state minimum is required.
- Driver is driving the vehicle for his or her own personal use: The minimum coverage required by the State of Michigan.
As you can see, there is no requirement that Uber, Lyft or the driver carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Who covers your No-Fault PIP benefits (medical bills, lost wages, etcc) if you are injured while in an Uber or Lyft?
While Uber and Lyft vehicles are required by Michigan law to carry No-Fault PIP coverage, this does not mean that that insurance is the one responsible for your No-Fault benefits. If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft here is the order of priority for which insurance company pays:
- Your own insurance;
- Your spouse’s insurance;
- A resident relative’s insurance;
- The Uber or Lyft insurance.
The Uber and Lyft insurance are only responsible for paying your No-Fault benefits if there is no other insurance available to you.
What should I know if I am an Uber or Lyft driver?
The most important thing to do before becoming and Uber or Lyft driver is understanding your insurance policy and the Uber or Lyft insurance. Many personal policies have restrictions prohibiting their insureds from driving for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. If your insurance policy has one of these restrictions, absolutely do not drive for any rideshare company. The insurance company can rescind your policy which means that it is no different than driving without insurance. Many insurance companies provide rideshare endorsements that provide added protection. Getting the rideshare endorsement is not required but certainly recommended.
Know the insurance that you are purchasing from the rideshare company. In Michigan, Uber currently uses Allstate as its insurance company. Lyft uses a company called Indian Harbor Insurance Company. These policies have requirements on what coverages that you must maintain on your personal insurance policy. Make sure that your personal policy complies with the Uber or Lyft policy or the policy could be rescinded which would mean you are effectively driving without insurance.
As a driver, you are afforded the same amounts of coverage as discussed above. However, it is always recommended that you purchase additional coverage to further protect you and your passengers.
If you have any questions about your personal policy or Uber or Lyft policy call The Mike Morse Law Firm to speak with one of our Uber and Lyft experts.
Uber Accident Lawyers & Lyft Accident Attorneys Proudly Serving Southfield, MI, Detroit, MI, Rochester Hills, MI, Royal Oak, MI, Farmington Hills, MI & The Surrounding Areas
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