Oklahoma City Rent-a-Bike Injury Attorney
Abel Law Firm represents people who have been hurt in bike-share (or rent-a-bike) accidents in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas. When you’ve been hurt in an accident, whether as a rider or if you were struck by a negligent rider, you could be owed significant compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Turn to a legal team who understands this emerging market and that knows how to get justice for you.
Oklahoma City launched its Spokies OKC bike-share program on May 18, 2012, with an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant administered by the City of Oklahoma City’s Office of Sustainability. Spokies became part of Embark, the public transportation authority of Oklahoma City, on August 1, 2014. Two years later, the Oklahoman reported that Spokies was being relaunched with 50 new bicycles from a new vendor, Waterloo, Wisconsin-based bike-sharing company bCycle (along with a mobile phone app and bCycle memberships, which are usable in 50 other cities).
On January 9, 2018, the Journal Record reported that Spokies would expand again that spring with the addition of 24 more bikes and the installation of three new bike stations. According to the Journal Record, the program hit a peak rental period of 1,800 bikes during the summer of 2017, an increase from the peak of 1,400 bikes in 2016.
Spokies is the official bike-sharing program in Oklahoma City, but it may not be the only one. Multiple companies have been delivering dockless bikes (bicycles with locks integrated into their frames) to cities all over the country.
Tinker AFB Bike Share is in the Social Bicycles (or SoBi) network of shared bikes that includes 40 cities. The major difference with dockless bikes is that users do not have to find docking stations to return bikes. Instead, they simply lock the bikes at the nearest bike rack or other location that doesn’t obstruct roadways or walkways.
In April 2018, the Bike Retailer and Industry News reported that North American Bikeshare Association claimed victory after an Oklahoma Senate bill that would have preempted local control of dockless bike sharing did not make it to the House floor. The association claimed that the bill was problematic because it did not address the privacy protection of sensitive customer data and did not outline satisfactory safety standards or operational requirements for shared bicycles. Further, it preempted local control over bike-share implementation, the public right-of-way, and local control over safety standards and bike-share operational requirements.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a bike-share accident in Oklahoma City, it is critical for you to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Rental bike cases are very complicated and require victims to take certain steps to preserve their cases.
Abel Law Firm represents residents of and visitors to Oklahoma City and many other surrounding areas. Call (405) 239-7046 or fill out an online contact form to have our Oklahoma bike share injury attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
How Bike-Share Programs Work in Oklahoma City
Spokies has several different bike rental options. A person can pay $3.50 for a half-hour ride, $9 for an Explorer’s Pass that provides unlimited three-hour rides during a 24-hour access period, a two-day pass for $9 that provides unlimited one-hour rides in a 48-hour period, a monthly or recurring pass that allows for unlimited rides during a 30-day access period, or a $70 annual pass that provides unlimited rides during a 365-day access period.
With Spokies, a user checks bike availability through the mobile app and then uses the app, their credit card, or the Spokies fob to unlock the bike. The person can ride the bike wherever they want, but it must be returned to a Spokies station within the rental period to avoid usage fees.
When rides exceed rental periods, users can be charged usage fees of $1.75 per 30 minutes (up to $80.50 a day). If the bike is not returned within 48 hours, a user can be assessed a nonrefundable $1,000 fee.
Tinker AFB works similarly in that users find bikes through mobile apps. After reserving a bicycle, a user will enter a four-digit PIN code to unlock a bike, but unlike Spokies, the bike does not have to be returned to any station.
SoBi charges $6 for hourly rentals of its bikes, $15 for monthly rentals, and $85 for annual memberships. The system charges $10 for locking a bike outside an official hub within a system area and $50 for locking a bike outside a system area. The maximum charge for riding time is $25 a day.
Types of Rent-a-Bike Accidents We Handle
Bike sharing programs are tremendously convenient for people who might be looking for quicker ways to get to and from destinations. In many cases, renting a bicycle allows a person to easily get somewhere without having to rely on a motor vehicle.
Bicyclists must deal with automobiles in Oklahoma City while they are riding, and, undoubtedly, one of the most common kinds of accidents they can be involved in is the so-called “dooring” accident. A dooring crash involves an automobile occupant opening a motor vehicle door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist. Most bicyclists are unable to avoid this type of collision, with many suffering serious injuries when these collisions happen at full speed.
Other common causes of bike-share injuries in Oklahoma City include, but are not limited to:
- Distracted Driving Accidents — Drivers must always be focused on the road while operating motor vehicles, but accidents are caused by motorists who are preoccupied with other activities. In most cases, drivers were talking or text messaging on cell phones, but other distractions could include talking to another passenger, adjusting stereo or climate controls, or eating, drinking, or smoking.
- Left-Turn or Right-Turn Accidents — A left-turn accident occurs when a driver turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, while a right-turn accident involves a driver turning right into a bicyclist who is usually traveling in the same direction.
- Drunk Driving Accidents — A driver can be arrested for driving under the influence in Oklahoma when they have a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The legal limit is even lower for certain other kinds of drivers, as a commercial driver can be charged at a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04, and minors commit drunk driving offenses when they have blood alcohol concentration of only 0.02. Keep in mind that a criminal case is separate from a civil action, so a driver acquitted of DUI or who otherwise avoids a conviction can still be held civilly liable.
- Failure to Yield Accidents — Another common cause of many bicycle accidents is motorists failing to obey traffic signs or signals.
- Sideswipe Accidents — A sideswipe accident usually involves a bicyclist being struck or bumped by a motor vehicle moving in the same direction. In many cases, these crashes involve automobiles moving out of their lanes.
- Head-On Collisions — Head-to-head crashes between bicycles and automobiles are not as common as other accidents, but they are often fatal when they do occur. These accidents are much more likely at night when bicyclists can be harder to see, and most cases involve a driver swerving into bicycle lanes.
In truth, all of the accidents listed above can occur on any bicycle, rented or owned. Certain other kinds of accidents may be specific to shared bicycles and may not even involve a motor vehicle.
Bike-share companies have an obligation to ensure that their bicycles are safe for people to use. When a bike has been used too aggressively, it can affect how the bike functions. Some rental bikes may malfunction because of acts of vandalism.
While a rental company could be liable for failure to properly maintain the bike it rented out, some accidents could also be the result of malfunctioning parts. With a defective bike part, the liable party will usually be the manufacturer of that part.
Commonly-Reported Rent-a-Bike Injuries
Oklahoma City requires bicyclists of all ages to wear helmets, and it also prohibits bicyclists from wearing headphones. While helmets can certainly help reduce the chances of a person suffering serious head injuries, they cannot prevent all injuries.
Bicyclists are frequently suffer a wide range of very severe injuries, which can include but are not limited to:
- Internal organ injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Muscle strains
- Nerve damage
If a bicyclist is killed in a bike-share accident, their family members could be able to pursue a wrongful death action against the negligent party responsible for the death.
Contact an Oklahoma City Bikeshare Injury Attorney Today
If you or your loved one is involved in a rental bike accident in Oklahoma City, make sure that you receive medical care—even if you do not believe you were hurt. When possible, try to photograph your accident scene from different distances and angles. You will also want to get the names and phone numbers of witnesses to the crash.
Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a bike-share accident in Oklahoma City? Do not speak to any insurance company until you have legal representation.
Abel Law Firm has recovered more than $250 million for its clients. You can have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (405) 239-7046or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.