Detroit Uber Accident Attorneys
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have changed the way we get around. Whether you live in a city, the suburbs, or elsewhere, the ability to catch a ride with a quick tap of your phone has made transportation more accessible and convenient. But getting into an Uber or Lyft comes with dangers as well. These cars are like all other vehicles on the road – vulnerable to injury-causing accidents, whether they are the rideshare driver’s fault or someone else.
Unlike crashes involving private vehicles, however, those involving Uber cars raise unique issues and challenges for those who seek to recover compensation for injuries sustained as a passenger in one of their vehicles.
The Michigan personal injury lawyers of Sommers Schwartz, P.C., understand the legal and practical nuances of injury claims against Uber, including the complicated insurance matters in these cases. We have the experience, advocacy skills, and tenacity to overcome the roadblocks that can stand in the way of recovering the compensation our clients deserve after an Uber accident. If you suffered injuries in an Uber vehicle, our lawyers stand ready to get you the resources you need to recover and move forward with your life.
Almost Anyone Can Drive an Uber – Including Negligent Drivers
Uber’s business plan’s very nature requires users to get into a vehicle with a total stranger. While much of the public assumes that Uber drivers must go through a training process or possess certain skills, that is not the case. Instead, Uber allows almost anyone to drive for the company. According to Uber’s website, “most folks are eligible to drive on the Uber platform.” Anyone who meets these qualifications can drive for Uber:
- Be at least the minimum driving age.
- Have one year of driving experience.
- Have a valid driver’s license.
- Use an eligible vehicle.
- Complete an online screening of the applicant’s driving history and criminal record.
Of course, driving a car is a skill like any other, and one year of driving experience is hardly enough to master safely transporting passengers, especially in busy metropolitan areas such as Detroit.
A result is a startling number of Uber accidents. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Chicago and Rice University, rideshare companies are believed to increase the number of fatal accidents in the United States by between two and three percent. A significant portion of these accidents occurs while the driver is “deadheading,” which describes the period when a driver is waiting for the app to match them with a passenger. Uber accidents are also responsible for many non-fatal car accidents, including pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and collisions with other vehicles.
Holding Uber Responsible for a Michigan Rideshare Accident
When Uber began operating in Michigan, there was no state-wide regulation of rideshare companies. Thus, in part, because Michigan is a no-fault state, there was confusion about the circumstances under which Uber could be held responsible for injuries caused by one of their drivers. However, Michigan lawmakers passed a law in 2017 that provided some much-needed clarity.
Under the 2017 law, rideshare companies – but not drivers – must register with the state and pay a fee. The law also characterizes Uber drivers as independent contractors, meaning they are not considered “employees.” This classification limits the situations in which accident victims can hold Uber responsible for their injuries, as companies generally are not responsible for independent contractors’ actions.
The law also imposed new insurance requirements for Uber and their drivers and outlined when an accident would be covered under those policies. Specifically, Uber drivers must have:
- $1 million in liability coverage for accidents occurring during a pre-arranged ride (while the driver is transporting a passenger); and
- $50,000 in liability coverage for accidents occurring between pre-arranged rides (while a driver is waiting for a passenger).
Therefore, under Michigan law, Uber’s $1 million insurance coverage applies only when the driver is transporting a passenger. Otherwise, the company’s $50,000 policy limit will apply. If an accident occurs while the driver’s app is off or they are not accepting rides, the company’s insurance policy will not cover any injuries or losses, though compensation may be available under the driver’s personal liability coverage.
Sorting out these insurance issues and working to ensure that sufficient funds are available to compensate you for your injuries and losses are just some of the ways we can help you recover after an Uber accident. When you meet with us for your free initial consultation, we will listen to your story, thoroughly analyze the facts and circumstances of your accident, and pursue the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.
Contact a Dedicated Michigan Uber Accident Lawyer Today for Your Free Initial Consultation
If you or someone you care about has recently suffered injuries in a Detroit Uber accident, contact the dedicated personal injury advocates at the law firm of Sommers Schwartz, P.C. Our attorneys have extensive experience and a long record of success recovering substantial compensation in all types of car accident cases, including those involving rideshare vehicles and drivers. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a compensation claim, call us today at 866-753-7774 to schedule a free consultation.
We fight hard. And we win.
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