It is no surprise that as ridesharing (i.e., Uber, Lyft, etc.) has become a more popular mode of transportation in Michigan, the State has experienced an increase in accidents involving rideshares. If you or a loved one has suffered serious harm in such an accident, Miller & Tischler, P.C., an experienced team of Uber accident attorneys, is here to help.
We have the tools to navigate the complexities of insurance claims and legal matters — from in-depth knowledge of no-fault benefits to extensive experience in handling auto negligence and wrongful death claims. We are efficient, thorough, compassionate, and committed to getting you the compensation you deserve to repair and resume your life.
Convenience Versus Risk
It is clear that ridesharing has provided a new level of convenience for travel. Whether you are drawn to ridesharing because you do not drive (or own) a car, or simply because you prefer not to deal with traffic and parking, Uber rides offer the following advantages:
- Immediate access to rides through a cell phone App
- Ability to track the driver in real-time (no more hailing a cab in the rain)
- Automatic prepayment by credit card (no cash or credit card required for the trip)
- Drivers who are rated by passengers, and are therefore generally more courteous
- Driver-owned cars which are typically better maintained than company vehicles
In spite of these perks, you may be at greater risk of accident and injury in an Uber because drivers:
- Are not specially trained and may have as little as 1 year of driving experience
- Are only minimally vetted
- Tend to work unusually long hours, leading to exhaustion and sleepiness
- May be impaired by substances they take to keep them awake
- Work by using Apps and GPS and so are more likely to be distracted
If you have the misfortune of being seriously injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, you will need more than medical attention. You may require the services of one of Miller & Tischler’s highly competent Uber accident attorneys.
Why an Uber Accident Is Even More Complicated than Ordinary Traffic Accidents
Ambiguity regarding liability gives Uber accidents an added layer of complexity. Michigan, like most other states, considers rideshare drivers (also referred to as “transportation network company drivers”) independent contractors rather than employees. This results in a lack of clarity when it comes to determining company responsibility for driver negligence.
On the plus side, Michigan law requires that Uber carry $1 million in liability coverage for each of its drivers. On the minus side, however, Michigan law protects ridesharing companies from being sued by absolving them of vicarious liability based on employment theories (since their drivers are not employees). Though the law demands that Uber meets certain conditions to have this legal protection, you can be sure that the company goes out of its way to meet these restrictions in order to preserve their bottom line. Notwithstanding, the attorneys at Miller & Tischler have pursued other legal theories against ridesharing companies to avoid the employment limitation in Michigan law.
How Miller & Tischler Fights to Win
Our caring attorneys will be more than your legal advocates. We will be your allies, ready to go the distance to see to it that you receive the damages you need (and deserve) to compensate your injury. The somewhat blurred connection between your driver and the ridesharing company makes it crucial for you to have skilled legal representation. The fact that Michigan is a no-fault state is also a complicating factor.
Our team is adept at negotiating with insurance companies and opposing attorneys. All of our personal injury attorneys are steeped in knowledge of no-fault insurance in Michigan. If the insurance company remains unwilling to provide you with a reasonable settlement, we are fully prepared to take your case to court. Our attorneys are aggressive litigators, determined to see that you receive the settlement to which you’re entitled.
Michigan Is a No-Fault State
Michigan has a no-fault insurance system. This means that certain economic losses are payable regardless of whether or not you were at fault. Typically, you will claim this economic loss through your own insurance company. This filing, known as a “first-party” claim, will provide you with personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to cover losses including:
- Medical costs
- Work loss
- Household replacement services (also known as the household chores benefit)
- Personal attendant care
- Survivor’s loss benefits and funeral/burial expenses (in the event of a wrongful death)
Of course, in cases of severe injury or wrongful death, not all losses are economic. You may be wondering: “What about my pain and suffering? My loss of a loved one? How will I be compensated for my intangibles?” Though such losses are difficult to value, the law has not forgotten about non-economic losses.
Nonetheless, pursuing such losses in Michigan may not be easy. That’s because in Michigan, your injuries will have to rise to a certain level to be able to sue for noneconomic damages. Miller & Tischler’s accomplished attorneys will be able to seek these losses through a “third-party” claim if your injuries exceed at least one of the following three “threshold injuries” set forth in Michigan law:
- Permanent and serious disfigurement (e.g., bad scarring, deformity, amputation)
- Serious impairment of an important body function (e.g., walking, seeing, etc.)
Timing Is Important
It’s important to note that liability for ridesharing accidents depends on whether (1) the rideshare driver is logged onto the ridesharing company’s digital application and (2) whether the rideshare driver is engaged in a “prearranged” ride at the time of the accident. For example: if you are hit in your vehicle by a rideshare driver, and the rideshare driver was not logged into the rideshare company’s digital application at the time of the accident, no claim can be made against the ridesharing company. If, however, the rideshare driver was connected to the digital application and available for a ride request at the time of the crash, you may be able to access thousands of dollars worth of insurance to cover injuries. If you were injured while the rideshare driver was actually in the process of picking you or another passenger up or delivering you or another party to a destination, $1 million in third-party liability coverage may be available.
Contact Our Experienced Michigan Uber Accident Attorneys Today
As you can see, navigating through the legal and insurance maze of Uber accidents is difficult and requires intricate comprehension of this particular area of state law. When you contact Miller & Tischler, P.C., you will find us armed with winning strategies to achieve a successful outcome for your case.