Giroux Trial Attorneys, P.C.
Personal Injury

What Can I Do if I Am Hurt In an Uber Accident?

I Am Hurt In an Uber Accident

Uber Accident

If you are one of the thousands of Michiganders who use Uber to get you where you want to go, you likely think in terms of financial savings, not necessarily safety. Unfortunately, however, Uber accidents in which passengers are injured are not uncommon in Michigan. When they happen, Uber’s acclaimed $1 million insurance coverage may or may not compensate the accident victims.

Uber Regulations

As of 2017, Michigan’s Limousine, Taxicab, and Transportation Network Company Act placed Uber and all other rideshare companies under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Specifically, the Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing Bureau regulates Uber.

One important fact you should know is that under Michigan law, an Uber vehicle is not considered a “commercial vehicle.” Consequently, Uber drivers need neither a chauffeur’s license nor a commercial driver’s license in order to drive you from place to place.

Accident Insurance

Under Michigan’s auto insurance reform legislation passed earlier this year, Uber drivers must carry $1 million in liability coverage. Uber offers such coverage to its drivers via their “driver-partner” policy that drivers can purchase. Unfortunately, not all drivers buy this insurance.

In addition, a driver’s personal insurance policy must provide for $250,000, $500,000 or unlimited Personal Injury Protection coverage. Given that Michigan is a no-fault state, PIP benefits pay for medical bills and lost wages after an accident, regardless of who caused it. However, at best, the only way your Uber driver’s PIP benefits will cover you as a passenger is if you do not have a no-fault insurance policy of your own. They may not cover you at all if your driver’s personal auto insurance policy excludes coverage in “ride-for-hire” situations and he or she has no commercial or ridesharing insurance.

When Uber’s Insurance Applies

As if all of this weren’t confusing enough, Uber has its own rules for when its insurance covers passengers. Basically, Uber’s $1 million “driver-partner” insurance only covers you in accidents that meet the following four conditions:

  1. Driver bought Uber’s “driver-partner insurance.”
  2. Driver has a commercial auto insurance policy that covers “ride-for-hire” passengers.
  3. Driver caused the accident.
  4. Driver’s policy has already paid for your injuries up to its limit.

In a situation where the other driver caused the accident, Uber’s insurance only applies under the following four conditions:

  1. Driver bought Uber’s “driver-partner insurance.”
  2. Driver has a commercial auto insurance policy that covers “ride-for-hire” passengers.
  3. Other driver caused the accident.
  4. Other driver had no insurance or was underinsured OR other driver fled the scene and his or her identity cannot be determined.

In other words, Uber’s insurance is confusing, contingent and contains many coverage gaps.

Steps to Take After an Accident

If your Uber vehicle is involved in an accident while you’re a passenger, your wisest strategy consists of treating it just like any other accident. Try to follow the following steps as nearly as possible:

  1. Call 911, report the accident and request medical and law enforcement assistance.
  2. While waiting for officers to arrive, talk with your driver, the other driver, other passengers and any bystanders who witnessed the accident, jotting down their names, contact information and generally what they say.
  3. Obtain insurance information from your driver and all other drivers, including company and contact information.
  4. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles involved and the existence or absence of traffic signals, stop signs, etc.
  5. When officers arrive, write down their names and badge numbers, request that they make a police report and find out its number, as well as when, where and how you can get a copy of it.
  6. Call your own auto insurance company and report the accident, especially the fact that you were a passenger in an Uber vehicle.
  7. Call Uber, if possible, and report the accident.

Be sure to see a doctor within a day or two after the accident, even if you think you suffered no serious injuries. You may also want to consider contacting a personal injury law firm. Our experienced Uber accident lawyers at Giroux Trial Attorneys can sort through the confusion of who to sue in the event a lawsuit becomes necessary.

Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys takes pride in treating every client like a member of their own family because we understand that when your loved one is suffering they need a strong voice to help navigate them through the legal process and we won’t stop until we get the right result for you. If you need to speak with an attorney about your case do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to answer any questions you may have. The consultation is free.

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