Bicyclist Says He Was Hit By Uninsured Lyft Driver

A bicyclist wants answers after he was hit by an uninsured Lyft driver.

"People are not paying attention," said Joe Mariscal, who has braved the roads for more than 30 years. "They're going too fast....they're being daring and getting too close."

He's never had an accident, until this past June. Mariscal said he was stopped at a red light when the car in front of him started backing up.

"I saw her coming at the last instant, and dove to the right as she plowed into my bicycle and pinned it under the back end of her car," he explained.

Mariscal said the driver was eager to leave, explaining to him that she was a Lyft driver and she had a customer waiting.

Mariscal was unharmed, but his bike wasn't. So, before the driver left, he snapped pictures of her driver's license, her insurance card and her plates. Back at home he even filed a police report.

Mariscal then called the driver's insurance company to file a claim for his banged-up bike. He was shocked when the insurance company told him the policy had expired.

"Very aggravating. I was angry," Mariscal said.

He then turned to Lyft, wondering if its insurance would cover the cost of repairing his bent bike frame. He called and emailed Lyft, but he said for the next two weeks all he received from the rideshare company were automated emails.

"It wasn't good enough for me because they weren't answering my questions," Mariscal said. "My questions involved getting my bicycle fixed or replaced."

So, he reached out to the Responds team for help.

We checked out Lyft's insurance guidelines and found there are differing levels of protections, depending on what a driver is doing. If a driver hasn't logged onto Lyft's system, Lyft offers no insurance. Thus, you rely on the driver's personal insurance.

If a driver is logged onto Lyft, but hasn't accepted a ride, Lyft's insurance is a back up to the driver's personal insurance.

Once a driver accepts a ride, Lyft's insurance assumes primary coverage.

This was the case with Mariscal. We reached out to Lyft about his incident, resulting in an immediate call from a claims adjuster. Days later, he got a check for $1600 — the cost to fix his bike.

Lyft said it was in the process of handling Mariscal's claim before we got involved. As for Mariscal, once his bike was fixed, he was back on it.

"I'm not injured. I'm healthy. I can still ride my bicycle," he said.

Lyft says drivers must be personally insured to drive with the company. It says according to its records, the driver who hit Mariscal was personally insured. But, the insurance information she gave him showed she wasn't. We checked Uber's insurance policies and they're similar to Lyft's. Coverage varies based on whether the driver is on a trip or not.

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