Everything You Need to Know About Your Bike Share Accident
Bike share companies allow the general public to rent dockless bicycles. Although it’s a convenient service, many companies don’t take the necessary precautions to keep riders safe. A lack of protection leaves bike share users vulnerable to collisions.
Typically, companies require a prospective rider to agree to various terms. Many people don’t understand the terms and what it means to agree to them. Bike share companies might be at fault for injuries, but the signed agreement often allows them to deny liability.
If you sustained injuries in a bike share accident someone else caused, knowing what to do to recover compensation is crucial. You should take immediate action to hold the bike share company, a motorist, or another party accountable for what happened.
Common Types of Bike Share Accidents
Companies such as Nice Ride and Lime suggest anyone renting a bike perform a safety check and report any problems they find. It might seem effective, but many riders don’t know how to determine whether a bicycle is safe. Bike share companies depend too much on their customers to inform them of damage, defects, and other issues.
Multiple factors can contribute to a bike share accident. The most common types of crashes include:
- Rear-end collisions – Sharing the road might be necessary if there isn’t a designated bike lane. An impatient driver can tailgate a bike share rider, crashing into them if the bicyclist suddenly stops or slows down.
- Backing up accidents – Motorists can hit bikers passing behind their vehicles if they don’t look before backing out of a parking space.
- Dooring accidents – A dooring accident occurs when a driver opens their car door in a bicyclist’s path. They must check for anyone near their vehicle after parking to avoid injuring an approaching rider.
- Left-turn accidents – Drivers should stop or slow down and look for oncoming traffic before completing a left-hand turn. Proceeding ahead of a bicyclist who has the right of way can have deadly consequences.
- Sideswipe crashes – A distracted or inattentive driver can drift into the bicycle lane and sideswipe a nearby bike share rider.
Who Is Liable for a Bike Share Accident?
Various parties can be at fault for collisions involving bicyclists. The most common include:
- Driver – If someone driving a car is at fault for the accident, they might be liable for your medical bills and other expenses. For example, you can hold them responsible for speeding, driving under the influence, or running a red light if those behaviors caused the accident and your injuries.
- Bike share company – You might be able to pursue compensation from the bike share company. However, holding these companies liable is challenging. If you signed a liability waiver, it prevents you from going after the company for injuries you sustain while using the bike.
- Manufacturer – The manufacturer can be at fault if a defective bicycle or part they supplied contributed to the crash.
Compensation for Bike Share Accidents
In Minnesota, all drivers must buy at least $40,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP pays for hospital and medical expenses, lost wages, and replacement services, such as household cleaning costs up to the policy limit. You can file a claim with your insurance company even though you were on a bicycle when the accident occurred.
You might be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier once you exhaust your PIP limit. However, you must meet at least one of these requirements:
- You incurred $4,000 or more in reasonable medical costs due to the collision
- You suffered 60 days of a permanent injury, permanent disfigurement, or disability from the accident
The compensation you receive in a liability claim or lawsuit might cover your:
- Prescriptions, hospitalization, physical therapy, and other medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Repair or replacement of personal property
In a lawsuit, you might also recover punitive damages. You must show clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s deliberate disregard for others’ safety or rights to receive this financial award.
Statute of Limitations for a Bike Share Accident
In Minnesota, the statute of limitations for bike share accidents allows a two-year timeframe to file a lawsuit against someone else. That means you must initiate your lawsuit against the negligent driver or another party within two years of the crash date.
Contact an Experienced Bike Share Accident Attorney Today
At Robert Wilson & Associates, our legal team has represented injured clients in Minnesota for over 30 years. We will protect your rights and aggressively pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. Let us help you in the fight for justice.
Call us at (612) 334-3444 today for your confidential consultation if you were injured in a bike share accident due to someone else’s negligence. Our Minneapolis bike share accident attorneys will listen to your story and advise you on your next best steps.