Bethesda, MD Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bethesda, MD bicycle accident lawyers know that bikeshare programs can be very useful and beneficial programs for people who live and work in busy cities. But it’s important to recognize that an accident can happen anytime — even when you’re riding on a bicycle that’s not your own. When this happens, you’ll want to know you’re legally protected.
Bikeshare Programs: What Are They?
The premise behind bikeshare programs is fairly simple: Several stations equipped with bikes are placed throughout a city, town, or campus. People pay a small fee to take a bike out of any station they choose. When they’re done using the bicycle, they can return it to any station with open spots.
Bethesda, MD bicycle accident lawyers know that these programs have found significant success in big cities, and data suggests that people who use these bikes might actually be safer than people who use their own personal bikes. One of the biggest theories for this is because these bicycles are built for durability — not for speed or comfort. However, despite these statistics, accidents can happen and there are a number of reasons why.
Risks With Bikeshares
With a personal bike, you’ll probably have a good idea about how much wear and tear you’ve put on it. First and foremost, when you use a bikeshare bicycle, you don’t know who has been using the bicycle before you or whether the bike has been maintained well. Secondly, bikeshare programs do not provide safety gear for bicyclists. Bethesda, MD bicycle accident lawyers will likely remind you that customers are expected to provide their own helmets or other safety gear before taking a bike.
Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
So who is responsible if an accident occurs with a bikeshare bicycle? The answer depends on what caused the accident. If someone operating the bicycle was negligent and collided with another bicyclist, pedestrian, or even a vehicle, then the bicyclist might be held liable for any damages they caused.
If you were operating a bikeshare bicycle and an accident occurred due to part of the bike malfunctioning, then you’ll likely want to talk to Bethesda, MD bicycle accident lawyers right away. Companies have a responsibility to keep their products reasonably safe for customers. Even though bikeshare operators assume some amount of risk by getting onto a bicycle, it’s reasonable to expect that the bikes have been inspected and maintained well enough that they shouldn’t cause an accident.
Many bikeshare programs require their customers to sign liability waivers stating that anyone operating one of the bikes will be responsible for their own safety. Even though these waivers might not hold up in court, they do tend to discourage people from filing lawsuits.
Protecting Yourself While Using a Bikeshare
Bethesda, MD bicycle accident lawyers will likely inform you that there are a few things that you can do to keep yourself safe while operating a bikeshare bicycle. First, you’ll want to inspect the bicycle you choose to make sure that nothing is out of place. Besides wearing a helmet, you may want to attach a small camera onto the bike (or even the helmet) to record what’s happening around you on the road. These types of recordings can be incredibly beneficial when a bike accident lawyer needs to prove liability.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bikeshare accident, do not hesitate to reach out to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. to set up your free consultation with Bethesda, MD bicycle accident lawyers today.