Michigan Uber Liability and Future Regulation Countrywide

October 20, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Michigan Uber Liability and Future Regulation Countrywide

What Michigan Uber Laws Mean for Countrywide Rideshare Regulation

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft stormed onto the scene in the early 2010s and changed the way that we get from point A to point B. This revolutionary new innovation of affordable rapid transport immediately made waves and developed into a billion dollar industry employing countless drivers. As a consequence of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft changing the transportation landscape, questions of liability, insurance coverage, qualification, and regulation have cropped up after the initial rise of these apps. These regulations have steadily changed over time as accidents with rideshare vehicles continue to occur and their presence changes to traffic patterns.

Uber and Lyft Regulation and Difference from Taxis

When Uber started out, it enjoyed the benefits of being a revolutionary service that defied the usual classifications that transport regulation worked with. Uber actually does not fall into the classification of a taxi company. Rideshare companies actually are considered software companies. They reason that they merely offer an application that allows riders to hail drivers that are independent contractors. Since they do not directly employ their drivers and manage drivers they do not have to deal with the same regulations as taxis. So this means that the insurance requirements, driver background checks, and vehicle limits that are placed on taxis do not apply to rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.

Michigan Regulations on Uber

As a consequence of Uber operations resulting in several incidents where the liability and standards of Ubers were called into question, the state of Michigan enacted several regulations to ensure that Uber would not take advantage of their relatively free reign. First and foremost, defining what exactly it took to become an Uber became a priority.

Michigan's Uber Requirements

  • 15-year-old vehicle or newer
  • 4-door vehicle
  • Good condition with no cosmetic damage
  • No commercial branding
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Valid US driver's license
  • Proof of personal Michigan No-Fault Auto Insurance
  • Proof of vehicle registration
  • Pass a vehicle inspection if your vehicle is 5 model years or older

Liability and Insurance for Uber and Lyft

Like with any vehicle that shares the road, an Uber or Lyft shares the same risk of being involved in an accident. When this happens many will wonder who will be paying for their injuries and damages. Michigan implemented Uber and Lyft regulations that would serve as an inspiration to many of the policies that other states would implement when it comes to Uber and Lyft liability. Essentially, those that are in an accident with an Uber or Lyft in Michigan will receive no-fault benefits like medical expense and lost wages payments through their own no-fault insurance policy or that of a spouse or relative like a parent. Otherwise, an accident victim would be covered by the insurance that covers the Uber or Lyft. For pain and suffering compensation, the driver that was at fault for the accident would be the one that is liable regardless of whether they are an Uber/Lyft driver or not. In the case that the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault or an underinsured or uninsured non-Uber/Lyft driver is at fault then a passenger is covered by Uber or Lyft's $1 million minimum insurance coverage.

Michigan's Uber Regulations and Florida's Own Rideshare Rules

Florida has its fair share of Uber and Lyft services offered that the general populace uses quite liberally. Naturally, accidents do happen and people want compensation for the damages they suffered. Like many states such as Michigan, Florida has its own laws when it comes to Uber and Lyft. For the most part, they are pretty similar when it comes to the requirements of an Uber or Lyft. In Florida, an Uber or Lyft driver is required to have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. They are also required to have a background check performed on them. A person can not become an Uber driver if:
  • They have been convicted of reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI), hit-and-run, and various other offenses that would make them unfit within the past five years.
  • They have been convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license within the past three years;
  • Are listed on the federal sex offender registry;
  • Do not possess a valid driver's license or do not possess proof of registration of the vehicle to be used for ridesharing services.

Uber and Lyft Liability Stages

While Uber and Lyft accidents have certain liability rules applied to them in terms of insurance coverage but this can easily change depending on certain circumstances. There are three stages of rideshare in which an accident can occur and different liability applies. The first is when a driver is driving the vehicle for personal use with the app off. In this case, they have no insurance coverage from Uber or Lyft at all. The second scenario is when the driver has the app on and is waiting for a ride request. They would have Uber coverage for third party liability in the event they cause an accident but only after their own insurance has kicked in. The most important stage is when a driver is on their way to a request or they have a passenger. In this case, a Florida Uber or Lyft passenger would be covered by the at-fault driver's insurance if they suffer an injury severe enough that it is more than their own no-fault insurance. If the at-fault driver's insurance is insufficient or the driver has no insurance then the passenger is eligible to receive Uber or Lyft's $1 million minimum insurance coverage.

The Future of Uber and Lyft Regulation

Uber and Lyft only seem to be growing and have steadily offered more and more services t compliment their bread and butter rideshare/ride-hail services. As this goes on and Uber and Lyft evolve, so too will the regulations and laws that determine the liability and coverage when it comes to accidents. These changes can greatly affect the course of an Uber or Lyft accident injury claim so it is best to keep abreast of whatever developments arise in terms of Uber and Lyft laws. Uber and Lyft lawyers such as Superlawyers page and the lawyers of the Dolman Law team make it a priority to stay one step ahead of the curve when it comes to Uber and Lyft accidents. They have handled many cases where Uber or Lyft passengers and drivers have suffered severe injuries as a result of an accident and need compensation to help cover the many expenses they sustained as a result.

Seek an Experienced Uber and Lyft Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your possible claim. You may have questions as to how coverage may work or how you can ensure you receive the appropriately sized settlement and the Dolman Law team is happy to oblige. Our Lawyers will be happy to hear the details of your case and outline some options for legal action you can take. Consider Dolman Law group for your legal representation with big firm results and small firm personal attention. Contact us at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA's offices by submitting an online contact form or call us at 727-451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/accident-with-an-uber-or-lyft/


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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