Abel Law Firm represents people hurt in bike-share (or rent-a-bike) accidents in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas. You could be owed significant compensation for the harm you’ve suffered when you’ve been hurt in an accident. Whether as a rider or struck by a negligent rider. Turn to a legal team who understands this emerging market and 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).
Spokies: The Official Bikeshare Program in Oklahoma City
On January 9, 2018, the Journal Record reported that Spokies would expand again that spring by adding 24 more bikes and installing 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. That was 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. It includes 40 cities. The major difference with dockless bikes is that users do not have to find docking stations to return bikes. Instead, they lock the bikes at the nearest bike rack or 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 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 operational requirements.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a bike-share accident in Oklahoma City. You must retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Rental bike cases are complicated and require victims to take certain steps to preserve their cases.
Abel Law Firm represents residents 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 allows 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. Then they use the app, 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 the 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 looking for quicker ways to get to and from destinations. In many cases, bicycle renting allows a person to easily get somewhere without relying on a motor vehicle.
Bicyclists must deal with automobiles in Oklahoma City while 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 cannot 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:
- Distracted Driving Accidents — Drivers must always be focused on the road while operating motor vehicles, but accidents are caused by motorists 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 with 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 a blood alcohol concentration of only 0.02. Remember 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.
Bikeshare Companies Have an Obligation
In truth, all 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 must ensure that their bicycles are safe for people to use. When a bike is used too aggressively, it can affect how it functions. Some rental bikes may malfunction because of acts of vandalism.
While a rental company could be liable for failure to maintain the bike it rented out properly, some accidents could also result from 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 prohibits bicyclists from wearing headphones. While helmets can help reduce the chances of a person suffering serious head injuries, they cannot prevent all injuries.
Bicyclists frequently suffer a wide range of very severe injuries:
- 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, ensure you receive medical care—even if you do not believe you were hurt. Try photographing your accident scene from different distances and angles when possible. You will also want to get witnesses’ names and phone numbers for 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 your legal questions as soon as you call (405) 239-7046or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.