What If I’m Injured While Using a Bike Share?
Peer-to-peer models of business are increasingly popular nationwide, particularly in California. By cutting out the middleman, consumers can save both time and money while finding a way to get around California’s bustling downtown areas. California, a state known for both its entrepreneurship and environmentalism, has been ground zero for all types of ride shares. Not only does it have the headquarters for Uber, it also is home to Bird Scooters, an electric scooter ride sharing service, and a number of smaller bike sharing companies.
Peer to peer services may be convenient and cost-effective, but they also have certain negative consequences. For example, the legality surrounding these programs are still emerging. Liability concerns remain complex, especially if you sustain an injury. What happens if you suffer harm while using a bike share. Explore the unique legal considerations with the help of a Santa Ana bike accident lawyer.
What California Law Says About Bike Sharing
The peer to peer model of business is fairly new. As such, the laws surrounding liability and sharing services are still evolving. This can create some uncertainty if you sustain injuries in an accident. However, you have several possible avenues for legal recourse if you suffer harm on a bike share.
Here are a few possible scenarios:
Injured on an Orange County Bike Share – Hit by a Car
Pedestrian and bicyclist accidents are decreasing in California, thanks to a widespread initiative in urban areas to install separate bike paths, lanes, and increase walkability. Unfortunately, accidents involving bikes can and do happen each year. While they make up the minority of car accidents, they also can lead to severe and even life-threatening injuries.
If you sustain injuries in an accident with a vehicle, while using a bike share, you may be able to file an insurance claim against an at-fault driver. Bikers and motorists have a legal obligation to “share the road,” and some drivers do not use proper care when driving around bicyclists. If you sustain injuries in an accident with a motorist, your best course of action will likely be to file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy.
Injury From a Bike Malfunction or Defect
Secondly, you might sustain an injury on a bike share resulting from a defect inherent in the bike itself. When you pay for a bike share, you have the reasonable expectation that the company will take certain steps to assure your bike’s safety. This means that a bike sharing company must test, inspect, and reasonably maintain the bikes in order to prevent risk of serious injury. As an example, if you were using a bike share and the chain snapped, sending you flying through the air, the bike sharing company might be guilty of negligence and liable for any damages you incur.
In general, bike sharing services fall into an area of law known as product liability law. Under these laws, any company who makes, distributes, or sells (or rents) bikes must use reasonable care to prevent foreseeable injury.
One of the most essential points in establishing a product liability claim is whether or not a user’s injuries were in fact foreseeable. For example, we can reasonably assume that a person can sustain an injury from a bike that lacks proper servicing or care.
In other cases, it might be the manufacturer of the bike itself that’s liable for your injuries. This applies when your injuries result from an inherent product defect, flaw in design, or error in assembly.
Bike sharing is an evolving area of law, so victims may have several avenues of legal recourse following an accident. Most importantly, an Irvine product liability attorney can help you determine the liable party and hold them accountable for the harm you suffer.