Is Uber the New 9-1-1?

Uber Car Crash Lawyer

In November 2015, a Grand Rapids, Michigan man was shot and was bleeding heavily. Instead of calling 911, he called an Uber.

Slow ambulance response times and the astronomical service fees that follow, have many individuals taking matters into their own hands, or phones actually. Individuals in need of emergency care are now picking up their smartphones, opening their favorite ridesharing app, and instead of adding their local bar as their destination, users are requesting to be dropped off at the nearest emergency room. Uber, in particular, has responded to this trend by creating a non-emergency transportation application to help healthcare providers, Uber Health.

Distressed people find themselves waiting long periods of time for an emergency vehicle to arrive. These slow response times have caused life-threatening obstacles for many individuals. In 2013, “the city of Detroit had fewer than 10 working ambulances. A 911 caller with a medical emergency was likely to wait 20 minutes or more for help to arrive,” according to the Altarum Institute. In 2014, Detroit had seen some of its worst response times in decades. In January 2014, the average response time of Detroit's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was 18 minutes, as mentioned by, The Motor City Muckraker. But, the article also mentions that in 2015, The City of Detroit saw an increase from 12 to 25 EMS vehicles after Mayor Mike Duggan took office, and started an initiative to improve Detroit’s ambulance response time. The article also mentions that the initiative, which began in April 2015, saw response times surpassing the national average, dropping 10 minutes to 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

But even with improved emergency service response times, many individuals are still choosing ridesharing services over calling 9-1-1. Why? Ambulance rides are expensive! A deciding factor in choosing transportation for many individuals is how much it will cost them. People love Uber for the simple reasons that they can arrive at a destination quickly and without breaking their wallets. And when the price of an ambulance ride to the hospital can range from $600 to $1,000, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, it’s no wonder people prefer an Uber! According to the University of Kansas, “the use of Uber in cities across the country has reduced per capita ambulance volume by at least 7%,” likely because patients want to avoid the expensive ambulance ride with paramedics. The study looked at ambulance rates in 766 U.S. cities across 43 states from the time Uber was made available in the area from 2013-2015.

Although taking an Uber to the hospital may be much cheaper and at times faster, it might not be a medically sound decision to rule out an ambulance. A 5-star uber driver may provide bottled water and your choice of music but ambulances come equipped with trained professionals who provide life-saving care! Also, an emergency vehicle can legally impede traffic to race an individual to an emergency room, where ridesharing services cannot.

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

While Uber does not encourage using their services in place of emergency care, they have recognized the need for more efficient and easy to use transportation in the medical sector, and have introduced Uber Health. According to Uber, “Uber health is a technology solution for healthcare organizations that leverages the ride hailing power of Uber platform... the app allows hospitals and other healthcare professionals to request, manage, and pay for rides for others, at a scale.” Healthcare organizations use Uber Health to allow patients to request or schedule a ride to and from their place or treatment, and for staff to get to and from work, 24/7. Uber Health is currently available in the United States everywhere Uber is already available. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “services like Uber Health could help patients avoid missing appointments because of lack of affordable transportation.”

But it should be stressed again that Uber Health is not an alternative to calling 911, but rather an aid for healthcare providers to arrange higher quality transportation services for patients. Requesting ridesharing services instead of emergency vehicles because of slow EMS response times or hefty medical bills may put injured victims at a higher risk of not getting proper medical attention.


Calling an Uber to go to the ER for a paper cut is a better idea than calling an ambulance. But, taking an Uber to the ER after experiencing a heart attack may not be the best medical decision. No one likes going to the hospital or dealing with piling medical bills. The personal injury attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC understand the frustration that injured victims feel and help them so they can focus on their recovery. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Suspect Tackled After High-Speed Chase On I-75

A dramatic scene unfolded on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Detroit as police tackled a suspect in the middle of traffic on I-75. Detroit Police arrested a man suspected of homicide, following a high speed chase that had started nearly an hour and a half earlier. According to Click on Detroit, police began following the suspect around 11:30 in the morning. After briefly losing the suspect, the chase resumed around 12:30 PM after his car, a grey Nissan Murano SUV, was spotted from a helicopter. The suspect drove into traffic on Grand River Ave, going in and out of parking structures, and entering and exiting both I-75 and I-96 multiple times. The chase concluded with the suspect being tackled to the ground by police at 12:50 PM.

While many would think an arrest on the highway would mean the suspect was in a car, the real story is much more interesting. The Detroit Free Press reported that the suspect pulled over on the shoulder of I-75 after sustaining a flat tire to his left front wheel. The suspect got out of the car, jumped over the median, and started running into northbound traffic. Police also exited their cars, hopped the median, and ran after the suspect. The suspect then ran up the hood of an oncoming Chrysler Town and Country, and stood on the roof of the vehicle. The Chrysler stopped moving, and police officers tackled the suspect from the roof of the car onto the ground. 

Police took the suspect into custody, where in addition to being charged with attempting to flee police and resisting arrest, he will also be questioned regarding the shooting of a woman. Officials say the woman in question is in “extremely grave condition”. 

The driver of the Chrysler vehicle spoke with the Detroit Free Press. He is an employee for an Italian company called Vigel North America and was driving a company car north from Detroit back to their headquarters in Madison Heights. The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, said “it looked like in the movies,” and that he had stopped the car “because [he] didn’t know what to do.” The driver is still distraught from the incident, saying he feared for his life and is “still shaking from what happened.”

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Police chases as noteworthy as this one are rare.  A report published by USA Today found that 76% of police chases are over in 5 minutes or less. But sometimes, they go wrong. That same USA Today report found that nationally, 11,506 people have been killed in police chases between 1979 and 2013. That's an average of nearly one death per day. Of that number, more than 5,000 were innocent bystanders, most of whom were killed in their own car after being hit by a fleeing driver. In the state of Michigan, 27 people died as a result of police chases in 2014, according to Mlive. This is a significant increase from 16 deaths in 2013. While police chases like the one that happened on I-75 can be exciting and look like they are straight out of an action movie, it is clear that they can also be extremely dangerous. For more information on the dangers of high-speed police chases, check out this recent post from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog.


High speed pursuits are dangerous for everyone involved - the police, the suspect, and innocent bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like any instance in which a car is speeding, motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian car crashes are possible. Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation if you have been involved in an automobile accident. Our attorneys work hard to help those who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents.