August 7, 2020
California has given the world many innovative new products and services — and ridesharing is one great example. Just a little over a decade ago, Uber was a tiny startup operating in the Bay Area. Today Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing firms are an entrenched part of daily life for millions and millions of people.
Yet while ridesharing vehicles can offer convenience and help reduce traffic density or the need for car ownership, they can also present a hazard on the road. That hazard is especially dangerous for cyclists, who have little protection from a recklessly driven car. The same is true for ridesharing’s more analog forerunner, taxi services.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the danger of collisions between cyclists and ridesharing vehicles/taxis.
Cyclists can be injured in a number of different ways by Uber or taxi drivers. Some of the most common include being “doored,” having the driver illegally enter a protected bike lane and unlawful turns, stops and lane changes. Any of these maneuvers can leave a cyclist with lifelong injuries or result in death.
In the wake of a collision, the victim can either choose to negotiate with the insurer of the taxi or ridesharing service or hire an attorney. Insurance companies representing these companies often vigorously contest claims, or try to get victims to settle for the lowest possible dollar amount. Most insurers employ teams of skilled claims personnel, people who generally have considerable experience and expertise in negotiation and investigation.
Because most injured cyclists are not trained in this fashion, this creates an asymmetrical negotiation, where one side has a much better understanding on what constitutes a “fair” deal. This setup is in the insurer’s favor and often results in victims taking less than they deserve.
Additionally, because ridesharing is fairly new, the laws surrounding ridesharing accidents are somewhat complex and vary between jurisdictions.
Hiring an attorney is a smart way to ensure that you are not lowballed or treated with anything less than the respect you deserve. An attorney can also help you navigate the settlement process, or file a legal action should that process not bear fruit.
Gary Brustin is a lifelong cyclist and a specialist in bicycle accident litigation. In fact, these are the only types of cases that he will accept. If you’ve been injured in a collision or have suffered from the negligence of another, we urge you to contact Gary for a complimentary consultation.