New York City Rental Bike Accident Lawyers
Hach & Rose, LLP represents people who have been hurt in rental bike accidents in New York City and across New York state. We understand the devastation that a bike accident can cause, whether you were hurt as a cyclist, a pedestrian, or as a motorist. These claims can be more complex than regular bike accidents, largely because larger corporate entities are involved and may share some level of liability for what happened. That’s why it is critical to hire an experienced attorney who understands these claims and who will work to make sure that you get what you are owed.
Rental bikes are nothing new to New York City, as Citi Bike, established in 2013, is the nation’s largest bike share program. Citi Bike has over 140,000 members averaging more than 70,000 trips daily on 12,000 bikes at 750 stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Jersey City. In May 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a dockless bike share pilot program would roll out in Coney Island, the Rockaways, the Bronx’s Fordham University neighborhood, and Staten Island’s North Shore in July 2018. The major difference from Citi Bike was that the dockless bike share program would not require stations. The companies offering dockless bikes vary by neighborhood. Lime and Pace operate in the Rockaways, Lime and Jump Bikes operate in Staten Island, Jump Bikes and Motivate operate in the Bronx, and Motivate operates in Coney Island.
With Citi Bike, riders become members or buy passes through the Citi Bike app. They find an available bike, unlock it with their ride code, and ride as long as their membership is active before returning the bike to a station. Single rides are $3 for trips of up to 30 minutes, day passes are $12 for unlimited rides in a 24-hour period, and annual memberships are $169 for unlimited rides. The prices of dockless bikes vary, but most are roughly $1 or $2 for 30-minute rentals. Again, the rider must have the app for the bike rental company, which they will use to receive a code to unlock the dockless bike.
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a rental bike accident in New York City? You could be entitled to compensation if your accident was the result of another party’s negligence. Hach & Rose, LLP achieved four of the top 100 results for personal injury claims as reported by the New York Jury Verdict Reporter in both 2010 and 2011. We know what it takes to win big settlements for victims of accidents just like yours. Call (212) 779-0057 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
Bike Rental Programs in New York City
The dockless bike share pilot program has largely involved four companies:
- Lime — Originally founded as LimeBike, Lime now rents bicycles and scooters in more than 100 markets. The San Mateo, California-based company had a valuation of $1.1 billion in 2018, and it reported 150,000 users in October 2017.
- Pace — Pace is powered by Zagster, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company operating over 200 programs in 35 states. Pace is currently operating in 13 cities. Costs are $1 per 30 minutes of use.
- Jump Bikes — Jump Bikes operates a dockless electric bicycle sharing system that costs $2 for the first 30 minutes. The ride-sharing company Uber acquired Jump in April 2018 for $200 million. Jump currently operates in 10 cities in the United States, launched a system in Germany in 2018, and has announced plans to expand into Canada.
- Motivate — Motivate operates several bike-sharing systems in the United States, including Citi Bike in New York City. It has agreements in seven other cities. In July 2018, Motivate was acquired by ride-sharing company Lyft.
The dockless bike share pilot program was expected to last four months, at which time the Department of Transportation would perform an evaluation to determine compliance with requirements.
Types of Rental Bike Accidents
For a location as congested as New York City, an increase in bicyclists would seemingly help take more motor vehicles off the streets. That may be true to some extent, but it also means more bicycles traversing city streets.
One of the most common kinds of bicycle accidents in cities like New York is the dooring accident. In these situations, occupants of motor vehicles on busy city streets swing the doors of their cars open into the paths of oncoming bicyclists. Bicyclists are often left powerless to avoid collisions in these situation and can be thrown several feet from their bikes.
Some of the other common kinds of bike accidents in New York City include:
- Distracted driving accidents
- Intersection accidents
- Failure to yield accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Sideswipe accidents
- Right-turn accidents
- Left-turn accidents
Any of these accidents can happen to people riding bikes they own or have rented. However, other kinds of accidents are more likely to happen to rented bikes.
For example, bike accidents caused by inadequate maintenance are a far greater concern on rental bikes. You may be renting a bicycle that was ridden particularly hard by the last person for a prolonged period of time, and the simple wear and tear may have taken a toll on certain components. The companies operating rental bikes in New York City must make sure that their bikes are safe to use. When an accident is caused by a defective bike part or a poorly maintained bike, the rental company could be liable for your injuries. In cases involving defective parts, it may also be possible that the part was defectively manufactured or designed. In these cases, the bike manufacturer could be at fault.
Types of Bike Share Injuries
All New York State bicyclists under 14 years of age are required to wear helmets when they are operators or passengers on bicycles, and children between 1 and 4 years of age must wear helmets and ride in child safety seats. New York State prohibits children under 1 year of age from being transported on a bicycle. A parent or guardian who permits their child to violate the helmet law can be fined up to $50. Helmets help prevent certain types of injuries, but other common kinds of injuries suffered by bicyclists in crashes include:
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Road rash
- Muscle strains
Several different factors can determine the severity of the injuries a bicyclist sustains. The type of crash, the speed involved, and the location of the crash could all play into how seriously a person is injured.
One of the most common consequences of a bike accident is huge medical expenses. Unfortunately, these unexpected expenses often coincide with the victim having to miss work while staying in the hospital, making them even harder to pay. In these cases, filing a personal injury suit against the at-fault party may be the only way to pay for all your accident-related expenses.
In the worst cases, bicycle accidents are fatal. In such cases, family members may be able to file wrongful death actions against negligent parties. Specific family members are eligible to file wrongful death suits to recover compensation for final expenses, loss of support, loss of income, loss of inheritance, and other damages.
Contact a New York City Rental Bike Accident Attorney Today
When you are involved in a rental bike accident, you could be confused about exactly what to do. If you attempt to file a complaint with a bike rental company about an unsafe bicycle, you will very likely be told that nothing was wrong with the bike and that your accident was actually the result of your own errors or improper use of the bike. You will make far better progress when you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
When you work with an attorney, they will be able to conduct a thorough independent investigation of your crash to determine the actual cause of the accident. The lawyer can also collect important evidence and then identify the potentially liable parties.
Your first step after any bike rental accident should be to seek medical care. Even if you do not think you were hurt, you should still visit a hospital, since some injuries involve delayed symptoms. Furthermore, this will prevent insurance companies from using a delay in treatment as an excuse to deny you compensation.
Victims should also try to take multiple photographs of their accident and try to get the names and phone numbers of all people who witnessed the crash. If you are unable to do this, you should ask a friend or family member to take these measures for you.
In the event that you are contacted by an insurance company representing a negligent party in your case, you should avoid speaking to them until you have legal counsel. If you are offered a lump sum settlement to resolve your case, you should know that the amount is almost always much less than what you are actually entitled.
The statute of limitations for most personal injury actions in New York City is three years, but you should not delay in seeking legal representation. Most cases benefit from quick action.
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a rental bike accident in New York City, you will want to get answers. A skilled personal injury will be able to help. Hach & Rose, LLP has recovered more than $150 million on behalf of its clients. You can have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (212) 779-0057 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.