Cincinnati Rental Bike Accident Attorneys
Lawrence & Associates represents people who have been hurt in rent-a-bike accidents all over the Greater Cincinnati area. If you were hurt as a cyclist, or if a negligent cyclist caused you harm, we can help you get the compensation you are owed.
In August 2018, a Xavier University spokesperson confirmed to WCPO-TV that the institution had signed a deal with Lime, a bike sharing company based in San Mateo, California. The deal allowed Lime to provide dockless bikes on campus. Cincinnati’s own bike sharing system, Red Bike, has been operating since 2014 but has no stations on the Xavier campus.
In 2012, the City of Cincinnati completed a feasibility study. It said the city would benefit from placing 21 stations in the Downtown or Over-the-Rhine (OTR) neighborhoods and 14 stations in the Uptown area. As of June 2018, Red Bike has 442 bikes at 57 stations.
The University of Cincinnati’s Bearcat Bike Share program began in 2010 and allows anyone with a university ID to check out bikes at no cost for a week at a time. Late fees can be assessed when a bike is not returned on time.
The bike sharing phenomenon is spreading. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in June 2018 that Blue Ash would be the first Cincinnati suburb to create its own bike share program. Blue Ash was offering a program through Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zagster, and the program would begin with 50 bikes at eight stations.
The addition of dockless bikes to Cincinnati’s roads and paths means there will be more bikes on the streets and more bikes left on the ground. There will also be more accidents as people adjust to this increase of bikes.
If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a rental bike accident in Cincinnati, you should know that it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel. Accidents involving rental bikes can be extremely complicated, and it may be possible that multiple parties are liable for your injuries.
You can have our Cincinnati rental bike accident lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (513) 351-5997 or complete an online contact form to set up a free consultation.
How Bike Sharing Works in Cincinnati
Red Bike and Lime are similar in that both companies provide services through mobile apps, but Red Bike also allows people to purchase day passes at stations or sign up online. With Red Bike, a user checks out a bike and must return it to another station within an hour.
A day pass with Red Bike is $8 and provides unlimited rides for a 24-hour period, but bikes have to be checked in every hour. If a trip lasts longer than an hour, Red Bike will charge an additional $4 for another half hour, capping at $20 per day. A monthly pass is $15 and allows for unlimited 90-minute trips while an annual pass is $80 and allows for unlimited one-hour trips, and the same late fees apply to both monthly and annual users.
Lime’s dockless bikes are typically $1 for 30-minute rides. The convenience of dockless bikes is that they do not need to be returned to stations, but they must still be properly parked.
Cincinnati bike laws state that cyclists must obey all traffic laws, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights. Cyclists must operate in the same direction as traffic and ride to the right of the roadway.
Only cyclists who are 15 years of age or younger can ride bikes on the sidewalk. People cannot stand or park motor vehicles in bike lanes.
Red Bike states that any user of their products involved in an accident should call 911 and contact police when appropriate. Red Bike also asks people involved in accidents to contact its Customer Service department.
The Lime user agreement also states that a user should contact local police within a day of injury, damage, or theft. It also requires users to report any accident, crash, damage, personal injury, or stolen or lost product to Lime as soon as possible.
Types of Rental Bike Accidents
Bicycles provide a number of benefits to bike share users. As the Cincinnati Bike Share Feasibility Study pointed out, a bike share annual membership costs no more than $100. This is far less annual spending than the nearly $9,000 estimated for ownership and operation of a motor vehicle, the $3,950 involved in a Zipcar membership and usage, or the $840 cost of a transit pass.
However, with these benefits come risks. In more urban areas of Cincinnati, one of the most common kinds of bicycle collisions is often referred to as a “dooring” accident. A dooring accident occurs when a person, who is usually exiting a motor vehicle, swings open the door into traffic and the path of an oncoming cyclist.
Cyclists have neither the time nor the space to avoid collisions in these cases, and usually strike the doors at full force. Because the impact is likely to occur low to the ground, it may send the cyclist through the air.
Several other kinds of bicycle crashes occur in Cincinnati, and some of the most common include, but are not limited to:
- Left-Turn or Right-Turn Accidents — Drivers frequently misjudge the speeds and distances of cyclists. Such miscalculations often factor into right- and left-turn crashes. A left-turn accident usually involves a driver turning left in front of an oncoming cyclist, while a right-turn accident occurs when a driver turns right in front of or into a cyclist traveling in the same direction.
- Drunk or Drugged Driving Accidents — The criminal offense that is often known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in other states is known as operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) in Ohio. A person can be charged with this crime when they are driving while having a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher or are under the influence of a controlled substance. The legal limit is only 0.04 for commercial drivers, and the legal limit for minors is only 0.02. It is important for people to understand that criminal cases are completely separate from civil cases. In other words, a person who is acquitted of drunk or drugged driving can still be held civilly liable, as the burden of proof is much lower in civil cases.
- Distracted Driving Accidents — All people need to be focused on the road, but many motorists are easily distracted by a number of occurrences. Some people might be searching for a radio station, others might be applying makeup. The most frequent distraction is a driver’s cell phone, and a lawyer can subpoena phone records to prove negligence when an accident involves a distracted driver.
- Failure to Yield Accidents — Cyclists and motorists are both expected to obey traffic laws, but violations at intersections can be particularly dangerous. Motorists’ failure to stop at intersections in which cyclists are passing can often have devastating consequences.
- Head-On Collisions — Bicycles rarely collide head-to-head with motor vehicles, but the results are often fatal when these crashes do happen. This is most likely to occur at night, when visibility is low.
- Sideswipe Accidents — These types of collisions are usually the result of a driver’s failure to pass a bicyclist successfully. Cincinnati requires drivers to provide at least three feet of space when passing.
While most of these accidents can occur on any bicycle, there are other types that are unique to bike share bicycles. Red Bike and Lime need to regularly maintain the bikes in their fleets to ensure that users can ride them safely.
When Lime or Red Bike do not properly inspect their vehicles and allow people to use a dangerous or defective bike, it can result in a crash. The rental company could be liable for any damages the rider suffered.
If a rental bike accident is the result of a defective part, then it is the manufacturer of that part that becomes responsible. When a part is defectively manufactured or defectively designed, the person injured could be able to file a product liability action.
Types of Rental Bike Accident Injuries
Cincinnati requires all children under 16 years of age to wear bicycle helmets. Red Bike strongly recommends adults wear helmets as well, but they only help reduce certain head injuries.
Helmets cannot do much to prevent some of the other injuries cyclists often suffer, which include, but are not limited to:
- Road rash
- Muscle strains
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal organ injuries
- Neck injuries
- Nerve damage
It is an unfortunate truth that many cyclists do not survive the injuries they sustain. When a loved one is killed in a bicycle accident caused by another party’s negligence, a family could be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact a Cincinnati Bike Share Accident Attorney Today
Did you suffer catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in a bike-share accident in Cincinnati? Do not wait to get yourself legal representation.
The bike share attorneys of Lawrence & Associates are willing to come meet you in your home or hospital room if you are unable to come to one of our locations. Call (513) 351-5997 or contact us online to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free consultation.