Uber has become so popular that state lawmakers have now passed specific laws addressing Uber drivers and passengers involved in an Uber accident in Michigan. Knowing your rights is essential to ensure you and your loved ones are protected.
As an auto accident attorney, helping people who have been hurt in rideshare accidents such as Uber is becoming more and more common. It’s also an area of law that I’ve spoken about at legal seminars to other attorneys. Below I will review your legal rights and how Michigan law affects these rights when you’re driving or riding in an Uber.
I Was in an Uber Accident in Michigan, Now What?
In order to protect your legal rights and to avoid making any serious mistakes that can derail your lawsuit or ability to collect No-Fault benefits, here are some steps to take if you were in an Uber accident in Michigan:
- Seek medical treatment now if you are in pain
- Report ALL injuries to first responders and emergency room personnel
- Notify your insurance company immediately and file an application for benefits
- Obtain a copy of your police report
- Attend all medical appointments
- Keep good records
- Check your auto insurance policy for very specific notice requirements
The next thing most people want to figure out is how they’re going to pay for their medical bills and how they can support their family if injuries prevent them from returning to work. In short, they want to know how No-Fault works and how they can collect No-Fault PIP insurance benefits if they are injured while riding in an Uber. This is discussed in detail below.
Finally, people want to know is how you can bring a lawsuit to sue the at-fault driver who caused a car crash – whether it’s the Uber driver, if you are riding in the Uber or another driver who hits the Uber car that you are in – for your injuries and for your pain and suffering, as well as any future and excess medical bills and future work loss under Michigan law.
Uber Driver Rights
An Uber driver who is driving his or her own “personal vehicle” and is injured in an Uber accident in Michigan (while on-call for Uber or while transporting an Uber passenger) will receive No-Fault benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages through the auto insurance company that covers the vehicle. (MCL 500.3114(2) and (9))
Additionally, the Uber driver can seek pain and suffering compensation from the at-fault driver.
Uber Passenger Rights
A passenger in an Uber accident in Michigan will receive No-Fault benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages from one of the following sources – in descending order of priority:
- An Uber passenger’s own auto insurance policy (in which he or she is the “named insured”)
- An Uber passenger’s spouse’s auto insurance policy
- The auto insurance policy of a relative who lives with the Uber passenger (MCL 500.3114(1))
If coverage is not available through any of those sources or “under any other policy,” then the Uber passenger will receive No-Fault benefits “from the insurer” that covers the Uber vehicle. (MCL 500.3114(2)(g))
Importantly, the Uber passenger’s No-Fault PIP medical benefits will be limited by whatever coverage level was selected in the policy under which he or she is claiming No-Fault benefits. (MCL 500.3107c(5))
The coverage levels that will become available for all drivers – including Uber drivers – in policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020, include: (1) $50,000 for drivers on Medicaid; (2) $250,000; (3) $500,000; and (4) unlimited. (MCL 500.3107c(1)(a)) Significantly, if Uber is the “named insured” on a policy, then the only coverage levels available are $250,000, $500,000 and unlimited. (MCL 500.3107c(7))
Uber passengers can also file a lawsuit for pain and suffering compensation against the at-fault driver who caused the Uber accident in Michigan – whether it was the Uber driver or a driver of another vehicle who causes the crash.
When the at-fault driver is not the Uber driver and is either uninsured or underinsured, Uber will provide “Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance” to an injured rideshare passenger.
Liability Coverage For Uber Explained
Here are the rules for Uber liability coverage for pain and suffering compensation if an Uber driver is at-fault and injures an Uber passenger or someone else:
- If the Uber driver was on-call and was available to transport a passenger, then Uber’s liability will be 50/100 or “in the amount of at least $50,000.00 per person for death or bodily injury, $100,000.00 per incident for death or bodily injury.” (MCL 257.518b(1)(a)(i); 257.2123(2)(a))
- If the Uber driver was actually transporting an Uber passenger, then Uber’s liability “for all bodily injury” will be “a minimum combined single limit” of $1 million. (MCL 257.518b(1)(b)(i); 257.2123(3)(a))