Ridesharing has steadily increased in popularity this past decade. The presence of the technology and willing stakeholders led to the rise of companies like Uber and Lyft. These companies gave the public an affordable and accessible alternative to the traditional means of commuting. The convenience and ease of use that these companies presented propelled their growth into multimillion-dollar ventures. Today, both these companies are found all over the world.
These companies do not operate the way that traditional public transport companies do and the liablity for uber and ridesharing accidents has come into question. That is the reason why new considerations and classifications have cropped up legally. These considerations and classifications continue to change for rideshare companies all around the world.
Classifying Rideshare Apps
Ridesharing is a service that involves a car owner and a passenger. The passenger arranges a one-time trip with the car owner for a set fee. In most cases, this is arranged through the use of a mobile app or service. That is the business model that made Uber and Lift the rideshare titans that they are today.
Rideshare companies, when they first started, were classified as software companies. As time went by, Michigan eventually reclassified them similar to that of limousines and taxicabs. That does not mean that your Uber ride is now identical to a taxi ride. Some aspects, like the regulatory body that oversees them, are now similar.
Rideshare Regulation and Requirements in Michigan
Rideshare companies are regulated in Michigan by the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA. The regulations set by this board aim to protect both riders and drivers while maintaining convenience and safety.
Some of the most notable requirements for ridesharing companies and potential drivers are the following:
- Driver age: Michigan requires rideshare companies to have drivers aged 19 and above. However, some companies like Uber may have higher age requirements.
- Other requirements for drivers: Applying drivers must have a valid driver’s license issued by Michigan or any other state. The driver must not be a registered sex offender and have no felony records in the past three years.
- Vehicle age: The vehicle must not be more than 15 years of age. Inspections by a licensed mechanic is a requirement for cars over five years of age.
- Other vehicle requirements: Some companies, like Uber, have stricter requirements for their vehicles. These include the number of doors (4 for Uber), lack of cosmetic damage, absence of ads, and more.
Also, all potential Uber partners must have no-fault auto insurance in Michigan. The company maintains the automobile liability insurance for all partners.
Who is Responsible in Case of an Accident?
As innovative as rideshare apps may be, accidents can still happen. Like any other vehicular accident, the question of who is responsible for payments will eventually come up. Here are some of the essential points to remember regarding payments in case of an accident:
- No-fault insurance: Remember that Uber requires partners to have no-fault auto insurance in Michigan. Those involved in the accident will get benefits from the insurance company as a result.
- The driver at fault: Michigan requires no-fault insurance. In states like these, a victim can sue the driver that caused the accident in certain instances. One such example is when expenses exceed the benefits given by the insurance company.
- Personal injury protection: Michigan requires all drivers to have personal injury protection or PIP. It may also cover the rideshare driver’s expenses should an accident occur.
- Driver status: The rideshare company’s insurance will only take effect if the driver’s app is on when the accident occurs. All passengers injured will not receive benefits from the company’s insurance if the ride is tagged as personal.
The Status of Rideshare Companies in Michigan
Rideshare companies show no signs of slowing growth. On the contrary, these companies continue to expand their coverage and services. Uber remains a massive company that is still steadily growing. More services are now available. As these services grow, new regulations and laws will come into place to meet the demand. These regulations will inevitably affect how rideshare companies will operate in the future. These will also impact how requirements and insurance will work.
Are You In Need of a Rideshare Accident Lawyer?
Did your Uber ride get into an accident? If you feel like you have a claim because of the accident, consulting a lawyer would be best. The Clark Law Office is the best in Okemos. We have experienced accident lawyers that can help you with your claim. You may drop us a line at +1 (517) 347-6900.
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