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Rideshare services are zipping passengers all across Oakland at all hours. The ability to get from one place to another for a few dollars is a terrific win for residents. But that win comes at the expense of safety on our roads.  This is especially true for local bicyclists fighting for lane space on already crowded streets.

Lyft is a rideshare service with roots in the Bay Area.  The company sends hundreds of cars out on local streets each day. As most bike riders will attest, a distracted driver is their worst enemy on the road and someone who drives for a living is working while behind the wheel.  That can lead to even more reasons for a driver to be distracted and even more accidents.

Getting Help After a Lyft Accident in Oakland

A cyclist can avoid a lot of the accidents they can see coming, but there’s always the incidents caused by unpredictable drivers they can’t foresee.  Drivers can miss seeing a bicyclist to the left or right of the car and sometimes even right in front of them.  These types of accidents only increase when drivers become careless and are focused on other things like their phones or their next customer.

A rider can suddenly be forced into an impact by a Lyft driver searching for their next “match.” The injuries that come out of these collisions can be severe.  A bicyclist can be left to wonder who to hold responsible in a collision with Lyft car. Compensation in these accidents sometimes involves the Lyft Driver’s Insurance, the Lyft Company’s coverage, or the policies of other drivers involved.

In these complex cases involving a nationwide company like Lyft, a local Oakland attorney with Bay Area Bicycle Law can be of great help to a victim just hoping to recover and get back on a bike. We specialize in getting bicycle victims the compensation they’ll need to cover their medical, emotional, and financial costs after a bicycle crash.

What to do after a Bicycle Accident

After an impact, a victim will likely feel overwhelmed and possibly be in a lot of pain. Of course, see to your safety first.  If you ended up in a spot that puts you in danger of getting hit again, try to get somewhere safe.  Call 911 of course.

Then, if able, you’ll need to start collecting details from your accident to build a strong case against the Lyft driver who caused it. Try to gather these crucial elements if possible:

  • Give a full report to dispatchers and police.
  • Take photos. Document the scene, the car that hit you, street signs. Take photos of any injuries that are visible and any damage to clothing.
  • Talk to any witnesses.
  • Exchange information with the Lyft driver involved but don’t make any statements about the accident. Insurance companies can use these statements against you later.
  • Get checked out by EMS crews and your own doctor. Get everything injury documented.
  • Keep your damaged bike and any damaged clothing and personal items. Don’t throw evidence out.
  • Make sure to keep receipts for any expenses you incur related to your accident.

How Long do I have to File a Claim Against a Lyft Driver?

The State of California generally provides victims up to two years to file a claim after an accident. We recommend that victims don’t wait this long though.  The more time that passes after an accident, the harder it’ll be to gather the evidence, contact witnesses, and collect documents needed to build a strong case against Lyft. A local, experienced bicycle attorney can help you with these important steps before you file a claim.

Lyft Insurance Policies in Accidents

California handles rideshare drivers a bit differently than some other states. Drivers working for Uber or Lyft are required to carry supplemental ridesharing coverage on their personal policies. Lyft does provide coverage in an accident but it is generally meant to be supplemental to the driver’s own insurance.

For what Lyft will cover in an accident, it depends on what phase their drivers are in when it occurs.  These are broken up into periods for the Lyft Driver.  If a Lyft driver is logged into the Lyft App in Period 1 and awaiting a customer or “match notification” Lyft doesn’t provide as much coverage. They would have a limit of 50,000 per injured person, 100,000 total injury liability, and 30,000 property damage liability.

Period 2 is when a driver has accepted a customer request and is on the way to pick them up.  Period 3 is when the passenger is in the car all the way until they are dropped off.  In both of these “periods” Lyft can provide up to one million dollars in liability insurance and one million dollars in uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage.

Remember, Lyft drivers may have their sign displayed in their car, but if they aren’t logged in and working, any accidents would likely only be covered by their personal insurance policy.

Contact an Oakland Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base, and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Oakland cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.