What To Do If Injured In An Uber Accident
Most people do not know what to do if injured in an Uber accident in Michigan. Here I will discuss the steps you should take immediately after an Uber crash to protect your health, safety and your legal rights. I will also explain what you need to do to recover No-Fault benefits and pain and suffering compensation from the at-fault driver.
Safety steps for what to do if injured in an Uber accident
My advice for what to do if you were injured in an Uber accident include the following safety steps:
- Seek medical treatment now and if you experience new symptoms later
- Report ALL injuries to first responders and emergency room personnel
- Never give statements to an insurance adjuster or sign a release
- 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
- Those are also the steps that all car accident victims should take
What if a rideshare passenger got injured in an Uber accident?
If a rideshare passenger got injured in an Uber accident, then he or she may be able to recover No-Fault benefits for medical expenses and lost wages and pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages from the at-fault driver – whether that is the Uber driver or the driver of another vehicle.
Here is what an Uber passenger needs to know:
- You will be entitled to recover No-Fault benefits from the responsible auto insurance company which will cover your medical expenses, lost wages if your injuries prevent you from returning to work, mileage and transportation costs for traveling to and from your doctor appointments, household replacement services and attendant care services.
- To be entitled to recover No-Fault benefits, you must file an application for No-Fault benefits – which is also called your “written notice of injury” – with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year after the car accident. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4)) If you fail to file your application on time – within ONE YEAR from the date of your automobile crash – then you will forever lose any benefits to which you might be entitled.
- The auto insurance company that is responsible for paying No-Fault benefits to you as an Uber passenger will be one of the following: (1) your own auto insurance company; (2) the insurance company for your spouse or a relative who lives with you; and (3) if no coverage is available through those sources, then the auto insurance company that insurers the Uber vehicle will be responsible to pay your No-Fault benefits.
- If the Uber driver was at-fault in causing the accident, then you may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation as well as excess medical expenses and lost wages and other economic damages from the at-fault Uber driver. Under Michigan law, he or she will have at least $1 million in liability insurance coverage for the period that you were an Uber passenger in his or her vehicle. (MCL 257.518b(1)(b)(i); 257.2123(3)(a))
- If another driver was at-fault, then your pain and suffering recovery (including excess medical expenses and excess lost wages and other economic damages) will be subject to the policy limit on that driver’s liability insurance coverage.
What to do if injured in an Uber accident by an at-fault Uber driver?
If you were injured by an at-fault Uber driver in an accident and you were a driver or occupant of another vehicle or a pedestrian or a bicyclist, then you ability to recover No-Fault benefits and pain and suffering compensation will differ slightly from that of an Uber passenger.
If you are the driver of a vehicle that you own, then you will seek No-Fault benefits through your own insurance company. If you are the driver of a vehicle you don’t own or if you’re a passenger or a pedestrian or bicyclist, then you apply for No-Fault benefits from the following auto insurance companies in the following order of priority:
- Your own auto insurance company
- Your spouse’s auto insurance company
- The auto insurance company of a relative who lives with you
- The Michigan Assigned Claims Plan if coverage is not available through any of the other sources
If you were injured in an accident by an at-fault Uber driver and if you were not an Uber passenger, then your recovery for pain and suffering compensation as well as excess medical expenses and lost wages will largely be limited to the amount of liability insurance coverage the Uber driver had in effect at the time.
Under Michigan law, an Uber driver must have different minimum levels of liability coverage, depending on whether he or she is on-call and available transport passenger or whether he or she is actually transporting passengers:
- On-duty liability ($50,000/$100,000) – There must be liability coverage “in the amount of at least $50,000.00 per person for death or bodily injury” and “$100,000.00 per incident for death or bodily injury . . .” (MCL 257.2123(2)(a); 257.518b(1)(a)(i))
- Liability while transporting Uber passengers ($1 million) – There must be liability coverage “with a minimum combined single limit of $1,000,000.00 for all bodily injury or property damage.” (MCL 257.2123(3)(a); 257.518b(1)(b)(i))
This liability coverage may be provided by auto insurance liability policies maintained by the Uber Eats driver, Uber Eats or a combination of both. (MCL 257.2123(5) and (6))
What if an Uber driver got hurt in a crash?
If an Uber driver got injured in an accident – whether it was the Uber driver’s fault or someone else’s fault – then the Uber driver would be entitled to recover No-Fault benefits from the auto insurance company that insurers the personal vehicle he or she was driving while working as an Uber driver. (MCL 500.3114(2); 257.2123(2)(b) and (3)(b); 257.518b(1)(a)(ii) and (b)(ii))
If an Uber driver got injured in an accident that was caused by the at-fault driver of another vehicle, then the Uber driver may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation, excess medical expenses and lost wage as well as other economic damages, subject to the limits of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage.
Michigan law requires all Michigan drivers to carry liability insurance coverage with the following minimum limits:
- “[N]ot less than $250,000.00 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident.” (MCL 500.3101(1); 500.3131(2); 500.3009(1)(a))
- “[N]ot less than $500,000.00 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident.” (MCL 500.3101(1); 500.3131(2); 500.3009(1)(b))
The law also provides that a driver “may choose to purchase lower limits” of $50,000 and $100,000. (MCL 500.3009(5)
Need help? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
Call toll free anytime 24/7 at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys if you were injured in an Uber accident and you have questions about what to do if injured in an Uber accident. Michigan Auto Law attorneys have spoken at national seminars and legal conferences, teaching injury lawyers across the country how to better handle Uber car accident cases and better protect our clients. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.