Fresno is a big, wide-open place and when vehicle traffic is only inching along, it can be nice to hop on an electric bike and pedal to your destination.
The drawback is that those motorists trying to rush around everywhere can completely ignore you and your bikeshare rental. Their inattention to anyone but the car in front of them can land you in a painful accident.
If you are in an accident while on an e-bike from Lime or Jump or a local bike rental shop it’s important to protect your rights. Insurance companies like to blame bicycle accidents on the rider and try to help their driver escape blame. A California Rideshare Law Attorney can make sure they can’t dismiss or ignore your injuries. You didn’t cause your bikeshare accident and you shouldn’t have to face the consequences alone. Contact us for a free consultation on your case and let us determine your best path to compensation for your injuries.
California Bikeshare Accident Dangers
California might be one of the most popular biking destinations in the world. You can tour Hollywood or ride the coastline, or just rent a bike to get to work on the other side of Fresno. Unfortunately, California traffic can make using any bike a traumatic experience.
The Transporation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) collects data on these dangerous bicycle accidents each year. Across the state in 2019, there were 630 cycling accidents recorded with 133 victims either killed or seriously hurt in those accidents. Fresno County saw its share of tragic accidents as well. In 2019, the county reported 71 total bicycle accidents. Those incidents led to eight deaths and left another 67 people injured.
Many of these accidents are caused by the failure of many drivers to notice the smaller profile of a bicycle or e-bicycle on the road. Motorists are looking out for larger vehicles like their own and can forget to check their mirrors and blindspots closely for a bicyclist. Drivers can also be distracted and not even remember to look out for a rider. This common mistake can leave a defenseless cyclist badly injured and even claim a life.
Do Bikeshare Companies Provide Insurance?
The sad but probably not surprising truth is that bikeshare companies like Lyft or Lime generally don’t back the customers using their bikes. When you ride one of their bikes or a city-funded public bikeshare, you sign-up on the app, and part of that sign-up includes a liability waiver. You accept this to be able to unlock the bike, and that means in most cases the bike company won’t owe any compensation if you get hurt. You accept responsibility for your ride.
Otherwise, there are a few other options for bike accident victims depending on the circumstances.
- A bikeshare accident caused by a driver. If your accident is caused by a driver’s negligence then his or her insurance will be the target of your claim for damages. You can hope to recover the costs of hospitalization and any rehabilitation needed now and down the road. You can also demand help with your lost wages from having to miss time at work. Physical and emotional pain can also be factored in.
- Single rider accident. If you are the only one involved in your crash, say you fell off your bike or hit a tree, your own health insurance may be your only place to get help. Like any other injury or illness, you’d file a claim with your health insurance company. Your auto insurance won’t be of help in this case. They generally don’t cover policyholders when they ride something that rolls on less than four wheels.
- Holding Jump or a rental company responsible. You signed a waiver form, but if your bike malfunctions and sends you into a serious accident, you can hold a bikeshare company liable. There may be a brake problem, or a steering wheel issue that sends you veering into a busy street or a wall. These issues can be the companies fault or a local government’s fault in the case of public transportation. You can file a lawsuit in these cases.
What to Do if You Are in a Collision on an E-Bike
Since an accident on a bikeshare ride can involve your insurance, a driver’s insurance, and a national rideshare company’s insurance, it’s important to get as much evidence as you can right after a bicycle collision to build your case.
Try to gather these elements if you feel okay to move around:
- Give a full report to dispatchers and police. Their reports will become important evidence later.
- Document the scene with photos. Snap pics of the bike damage, the car that hit you, and street and lane signs. Show any of your injuries that are visible and any damage to clothing.
- Notice if there may be home or business security cameras that recorded your accident.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information. Ask them if they noticed the driver looking at a cellphone before the accident or making some other reckless move.
- Swap information with the driver.
- Get checked out by EMS crews if necessary and your own doctor. Notice any pain that arises in the days after the accident.
- Keep any damaged clothing and personal items. Don’t throw evidence out.
Contact a Freno Bikeshare Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury in a crash involving a rideshare or rental bike, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. After you tell us what happened, we will let you know all of your legal options. Our goal is to help you get the maximum amount of compensation available to you for your physical, emotional, and financial hardships after an accident.