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Metro Bike Share programs have been of immense importance in areas where it's inconvenient, costly, or even environmentally unsound to use an automobile. These services are common in big cities like New York or Los Angeles where public transportation is often preferable to owning a vehicle. Dock stations for Metro Bikes are placed every few blocks, leaving customers the option to pay for a bicycle ride, then being able to drop it off at the next dock or at the same dock as they "shared" the bike. These bikes are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no questions asked (provided you return the bike!).
The convenience of this is evident. If you need a bike for a short trip to the store, you've got it. If you need the metro bike share to commute to work, you know where to find the bikes. A rider can even find conveniently labeled maps of stations all around the city they reside in. Unlike Uber, where you must interact with a human being in order to catch your ride, these bikes are grab-and-go. The process doesn't get much easier than that. Although, like with everything else in life, one may be faced with legal implications that come into play with Metro Bikes.
Of course, all these newly-founded conveniences aren’t present unless they come with a price. Because of bike share services, many big cities have now found themselves experiencing outbreaks of accidents related to these bicycles. In addition, this can be an extremely complicated legal situation. Who is responsible when someone crashes into someone with a bike share? How about when someone is injured while riding on a bike share bike that malfunctions? Just like other forms of ride shares, Bike Shares can sometimes be at the centerpiece of an accident, even though a fairly new technology. Though this "bike share" service is fairly new, there has already been one reported death from riding a bike share. Wherever there are accidents, there need to be personal injury attorneys and product liability lawyers to sort through the wreckage.
When we think of a car accident, it's easy to think of who is at fault. One driver makes an error, while another driver suffers. Bicycle accidents can be a bit more complicated than this and it will take an experienced personal injury attorney to make sense of the mess. Below, we’ll decipher the diverse ways someone could get into a bike share accident:
This is perhaps the easiest to establish fault with. If you grab a Metro Bike Share bicycle, begin to ride it, then a defective part malfunctions and causes you to veer into traffic and suffer injuries, then the Metro Bike Share company is primarily at fault. The bike share industry must maintain bicycles that are safe to drive and in good condition. If they've left out a bicycle that had a loose part and shouldn't have been shared, then it's going to be easy for your personal injury attorney to say, "this company acted negligently and caused your accident." A judge is likely to agree.
Bicycle accidents can happen just like car accidents. If you're following the rules of the bicycle world and a vehicle still strikes you because they are not paying attention, then it's the driver of that car who is at fault. Some people don't know this, but often Metro Ride Share companies can STILL be held accountable for this type of accident. This is typically because they are usually required to carry some form of insurance that protects their riders from this type of scenario.
People who are walking can also cause bicycle accidents. In this case, you may need to retain a personal injury attorney to sue the pedestrian that was acting with negligence. The scenario could be that they blocked your path due to talking and not paying attention. In addition, there are violent incidents where a pedestrian might even strike or cause an accident intentionally. Once again, the ride share company may be partially to blame in some of this. The bike share company may be required by law to use their rider insurance to pay for some of your injuries.
Personal injury lawyers are there to help you when you're injured from Metro bike share accidents. Just because the company itself didn't play a huge part in the accident, doesn't mean they might not be required by law to compensate for some, or all of your injuries. This can include any loss wages you sustained because of the accident, a reduction in quality of life because of your accident and of course the dreaded pain and suffering that often comes to people who are injured while riding a bicycle.
Only a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer is going to be able to help you in your time of need. They know how to calculate the maximum amount of money that you might be owed according to laws governing ride share programs. A private ride share company is often required by law to maintain insurance for its riders, and you might also have insurance that will pay for some of the damages. You may never know if you're entitled to money unless you contact a personal injury lawyer who knows the laws about ride share companies. Please contact our personal injury firm today to get the compensation that you deserve for your ride share accident. Don’t settle for less.
Jack Ter-Saakyan has been a member of the California State Bar since 2009. Mr. Ter-Saakyan strives to provide each client with an informed understanding of the client’s legal rights, obligations, and options. Mr. Ter-Saakyan zealously advocates on behalf of his clients during all stages of his client’s cases.
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