The era of doorstep delivery is upon us and the term “fast food” seems to have an updated meaning. If you have a craving for a burger and fries, a brown bag can be dropped at your house while they are still warm. Postmates will even cover your grocery shopping.
The service makes mealtime a lot easier for many families. But for bicyclists just looking for a free lane to enjoy a ride, the added on-the-job vehicles on the roads presents an increasing problem. Drivers distracted by their work can make careless decisions that lead to bicycle accidents and tragic injuries.
Postmates and Uber Merge Businesses
Postmates is one national on-demand delivery company that started in the Bay Area. Like Uber, they have roots in San Francisco. In fact, Uber has recently agreed to purchase Postmates in a more than two and a half billion dollar deal.
Details on how this mega-deal, announced in June of 2020, will affect the delivery industry are yet to be seen. Unfortunately for bike riders, delivery traffic on local roads probably won’t get any lighter.
Cyclists Contend with Delivery Drivers
Doorstep food drops are a handy service that many Americans take advantage of. Upserve compiled some data on just how often we let someone else pick-up our take-out. 31% of Americans say they dial-up these third-party delivery services at least twice a week.
The fleets of vehicles that take to the streets for these dropoffs only create more headaches for bike riders.
San Francisco, Oakland and the entire Bay Area are all prime biking territory for commuting, exercise, and pleasure, but these are all high congestion areas. A bad driver, especially a driver with work distractions to contend with, can make a mistake that leaves a bicyclist badly injured. The injured biker can be left wondering who can be held responsible for an expensive medical recovery.
Distracted Postmates Drivers
It’s even scarier to think about how Bay Area delivery drivers can be distracted by so many more things than a normal driver. They are on the clock. The streets are their office. That means they may not always be focused on the road. Here are just a few of the added distractions:
- Customer Order-Up. The wait for the next customer. Multiple orders may come in at once. Some orders have special instructions. All distractions behind the wheel.
- Locating Destinations. The driver will need to find the restaurant or store to pick-up the order and then figure out how to reach the customer’s location. Delivery Drivers utilize GPS systems but even the directions those devices provide have been known to cause unsafe traffic decisions.
- Speeding to make their deadlines for delivery. Customers prefer their food to be warm.
- The food itself can become a factor if something spills or bags tumble.
These are all factors that can distract the best drivers and lead to a careless traffic maneuver that leaves a bicyclist with nowhere to go but to the pavement.
Postmates Insurance Policy for Drivers
Postmates provides drivers with an insurance policy that covers any accidents that happen anytime from the moment an order is accepted until the delivery is complete. Postmates maintains a one million dollar third party supplemental insurance policy.
The policy provided is intended to be supplemental to the delivery driver’s own insurance. And beware, Postmates drivers may be on the road waiting for their next order to come in, but until they accept an order they aren’t on the clock for Postmates. In most cases, the Postmates policy won’t cover the contract driver, when they’re not on a delivery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the deadline for filing a claim for an injury after a Bicycle Accident?
In California, the victim of any accident usually has two years from the date of the injury or from the date the injury was made known.
Can I file a claim for an injury even if I wasn’t wearing my helmet?
By law, a violation of the helmet law doesn’t automatically prevent you from getting compensation. However, a jury could determine that you were negligent in not wearing a helmet and most likely will reduce the amount of compensation you would otherwise receive.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
In California, a jury can divide fault between the driver/employer and the victim of an accident. Then the victim’s compensation is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. This is called comparative fault and it’s used in all personal injury cases in California including bicycle accident injuries.
California’s Bicycle Accident Lawyers.
If you are in a bicycle accident caused by a Postmates Delivery Driver, you will want an experienced attorney on your side who is familiar with delivery driver accidents. You may be dealing with the driver’s insurance in addition to Postmates’ own Insurance Adjusters and Lawyers all while attempting to recover from your injuries. Postmates should cover your medical bills and provide compensation for missed time from work. Don’t face this alone.
Bay Area Bicycle Law works with clients all over the State of California and is one of the state’s only personal injury law firms working exclusively with injured cyclists.
We handle cases in your area, and there are many benefits to working with a specialist.
Years of advocacy for bicycle crash victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest. Contact us today for a free consultation.