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Is the Rider or the Company Liable in a Bike Share Accident?

On behalf of Brad Wicker of BDIW Law posted on Friday August 13, 2021.

The bike share company is only liable if a defect in the bicycle contributed to the accident; otherwise, the money for your accident-related medical bills could come from the at-fault driver’s insurance or your own MedPay insurance or underinsured motorist coverage.

If a car hits your bicycle, you are at high risk of suffering serious injuries that will require costly treatment; it does not matter whether the bike belongs to you or if you have rented it from a bike share company. You may have heard that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft will pay up to $1 million dollars for damages caused by their drivers, but that is not the case with bike sharing, since you are the one in control of the bike’s movements. In most cases, the legal ramifications of getting injured in a collision on a rideshare bike are the same as if you own the bike. If the at-fault driver’s car insurance is sufficient to cover your accident-related losses, then the driver’s insurance can pay for your treatment, but if not, insurance policies that you own are probably your best hope. Contact a Ponca City bicycle accident lawyer to find out more.

In Most Cases, Your Own Insurance Pays

The liability insurance that Oklahoma law requires drivers to carry covers $25,000 per person injured in an accident. Given the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, the medical bills from a bicycle accident can cost more than that, when you factor in hospital stays, doctors’ office visits, and physical therapy. Therefore, you have a better chance of getting the money you need from insurance policies you have bought for yourself, such as underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP), also known as MedPay. It is a good idea to carry these kinds of insurance if you ride bicycles frequently, whether you own a bike or rely on bike share services.

Why You Need a Lawyer After a Bike Share Accident

If a contributing factor in the accident was a defect in the ride share bike or its poor state of maintenance, then the bike share company could be legally responsible for at least a portion of your medical bills. Do not expect the bike share company to admit this freely, however. The rental agreement is full of disclaimers, and if you have not fulfilled your obligations according to the rental agreement, you forfeit your claim to any damages. The agreement might also say that you cannot sue the bike share company for accidents caused by the company’s negligence, but these clauses are legally unenforceable. Likewise, the agreement might include arbitration clauses, which put you at a disadvantage in a legal dispute with the bike share company. Therefore, you should contact a bicycle accident lawyer before reporting the accident to the bike share company or returning the bike.

Contact BDIW Law About Bicycle Share Accidents

If you were injured when a car hit your ride share bike, a personal injury lawyer can help you file claims with the relevant insurance companies. Contact BDIW Law in Ponca City, Oklahoma or call (580)765-9660.