What To Do If You’re in a Bike Sharing Accident in California

Bike Share Accident California

Are the victim of a bike sharing accident? Bicycle accidents often involve severe injuries like skull fractures, spinal cord compression/tearing, and organ damage. As bike sharing programs have appeared in virtually every major city, the number of bike crashes has been on the rise. An accident involving a rental bicycle or your own bicycle is just as dangerous. But filing a bike sharing accident claim can be particularly challenging, especially when it comes to liability and negligence. So what do you do if you’re in a bike sharing accident in California?

It’s not uncommon to suffer fractured bones, while joint, muscle, ligament, and cartilage injuries are also common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 846 bicyclists were killed in traffic collisions in 2019, the majority of which occurred in urban areas where they were more likely to encounter motor vehicles.

Who Is Liable or Negligent in a Bike Sharing Accident?

The bicycle rider can be held partially liable if they were acting recklessly at the time of the accident. However, this doesn’t prevent you from reporting a repair or maintenance issue to the rideshare company. Although reporting doesn’t guarantee the bike will be repaired before another user rents it. By signing the company’s user agreement, which is an enforceable contract, you may be waiving the company of any liability should anything happen during a ride. These agreements are often 50+ pages long, so consumers don’t always read what they’re signing.

Issues of Liability or Negligence

  • Motor Vehicle Collisions: In urban areas, bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles are far too common. Motorists often don’t realize that bicyclists have the same rights on the road. A bicyclist has a much greater chance of being severely injured, even at low speeds, than any driver of an enclosed motorized vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore bicyclists or fail to see them in time.
  • Pedestrian Accidents: In many California communities, bicyclists can share sidewalks with pedestrians. They have a duty to operate their bikes to ensure pedestrians’ safety. Pedestrians also must use due care and caution. In bike/pedestrian accident cases, both parties often share fault under the state’s comparative negligence law. Regardless of degree of fault, someone could still be awarded a settlement through a liable party’s insurance company.

Steps to Take Following a Bike Sharing Accident

The actions you take immediately following your accident can make all the difference in your case. If you’ve been in a bike sharing accident:

1. Contact the Police

Victims of bike accidents often don’t know they’ve been injured until hours or days later. Without a police report, it can be hard to connect an injury with an accident. Police can verify the circumstances around the incident and verify the identity of any driver involved, along with their registration and insurance information. Make sure you provide any responding officer with a statement; without one, it might be assumed the officer felt the accident was your fault.

2. Get an Accident Report

Never say you were uninjured; you might be injured and not know it at the time. Verify that any information in the report is correct, including any injures, property damage, skid mark measurements, and other relevant information. A statement from the driver and witnesses should be included, if possible. If the driver was ticketed, the insurance company may be on your side in settling the case. Also, be sure to obtain the name and contact information of the driver, and any witnesses at the scene, or have someone do so for you.

3.  Seek Medical Help

See a doctor immediately before making any conclusions about your injuries. A seemingly minor injury can become very serious if not treated right away. A through evaluation should be performed to determine whether you need additional treatment or are in the all-clear. A complete medical evaluation can also prove you were injured due to the accident, which is crucial when dealing with the driver’s insurance company.

Consult with a California Personal Injury Attorney

Even if you’re intent on being reasonable with the driver’s insurance company, don’t speak with them unless you have consulted an attorney first. Any information the insurer tries to gather is intended to use against you to reduce or avoid a potential payment. Your personal injury attorney will look after your rights. Whether you were on a rental or personal bicycle, the driver’s insurance company will be responsible for compensation if the driver is found to be negligent.

Your attorney can also help if the driver was uninsured or underinsured, or it was a hit-and-run accident. In these cases, the lawyer may work with your auto insurance provider. If an underinsured driver’s insurance company offers you a settlement, do not accept it unless your insurer approves. Otherwise, your claim may be denied.

Contact The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani

Our experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney has decades of experience representing injured clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a ride sharing bicycle accident, we can recover a fair settlement from the driver’s insurance company or any other responsible party or entity. A settlement can cover your medical and hospital bills, prescription medication costs, lost pay, and property damage as well as emotional trauma and pain and suffering. To schedule your free consultation, call 888-952-2952 today.

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