Were you hurt in a Lime Bike accident? If so, the Lime bike share lawyers of The Benton Law Firm can help you hold the responsible party accountable for what happened to you. We have the experience and resources you need to get justice.
In February 2018, D Magazine wrote that Dallas was “was an unlikely candidate to become the bike-share capital of North America.” But the nearly 20,000 bicycles in the city then were more than the 12,000 in New York or the 10,000 in Seattle. The following month, the Wall Street Journal declared Dallas was “ground zero for a nascent national bike-share war.”
Dockless bikes, which allow people to rent bicycles without returning them to specific stations or locations, began appearing in Dallas in August 2017 and quickly became quite popular. In December, the San Mateo, California-based dockless bike-share company Lime reported that the company had 45,000 active riders who had pedaled 105,000 miles in months.
Some dockless bike companies abandoned Dallas
As quickly as dockless bikes arrived in Dallas, the companies behind the bikes began to disappear. In August 2018, KXAS-TV shared a photograph one of its viewers had taken of numerous Beijing-based Ofo bikes stacked at a local recycling plant.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings retweeted the picture, adding only a one-word statement: “Terrible.” According to KERA-TV, Ofo announced its exit in July, with San Francisco-based Spin following. Beijing-based Mobike then announced its departure in August.
The moves came shortly after the Dallas City Council approved bike-share regulations in June 2018. The Dallas Morning News reported that bike-share companies would be required to pay an initial $808 application fee and a fee of $21 per bike to operate in the city.
When a bike-share company receives a complaint, it must pick up the bike within two hours (Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.) or within 12 hours at any other time. Residents file complaints by calling 311, and KDFW-TV reported in June 2018 that Dallas had received about 3,200 complaints about bikes since September 2017.
Dallas’s dockless bike-sharing phenomenon is not dead as Lime continues to operate. Garland-based VBikes also continues to rent dockless bikes in the city.
Lime bike rentals are still available in Dallas
While the Morning News reported in August 2018 that there were fewer than 3,500 bikes in Dallas, dockless bikes can still be rented and will be seen on many city streets. Many dockless bike renters end up being involved in various kinds of devastating and potentially fatal accidents.
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a bike-share accident in Dallas, you will want to seek legal representation quickly. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Benton Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars in cases involving negligent drivers, such as a $495,000 settlement for a woman who had to undergo neck surgery after being struck by a construction truck that ran a red light. You can have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (214) 777-7777 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
How Lime and VBikes Work
Founded as LimeBike, Lime now has bike-share programs in 80 cities and 23 college campuses. They also operate in the Czech Republic, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Mexico, and New Zealand. The company had a valuation of $1.1 billion in 2018.
Lime’s bicycles are green and yellow, and dockless bikes usually cost $1 to rent for 30-minute rides. The Lime user agreement states that a user must report any accident, crash, damage, personal injury, or stolen or lost product to Lime as soon as possible. If a crash involves personal injury, property damage, or stolen merchandise, the user must file a report with the local police department within 24 hours.
VBikes have silver frames and yellow wheels. They cost $2 an hour to rent or $14.95 a month for unlimited rides.
Both Lime and VBikes operate similarly in that users download the companies’ mobile apps to locate and unlock a bicycle. After a rider is done using a dockless bike, both companies encourage users to park the bicycles near a bike rack or in a location that does not obstruct sidewalks.
Types of Bike-Share Accidents
As D Magazine described, Dallas is a “freeway-choked” city “whose transportation infrastructure is often downright hostile to anything on fewer than four wheels.” The thousands of dockless bike rentals show demand for these kinds of services, but many people in the city are still adjusting to an increased presence of bicyclists.
One of the most frequent crashes that bicyclists can be involved in includes collisions, often called “dooring” accidents. These crashes usually occur when a motor vehicle occupant swings open an automobile door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist.
People riding bikes are typically powerless to avoid collisions in these cases, as they cannot stop in time and cannot often go around the cars. When a bike travels full speed, a dooring crash can result in severe injuries—especially if the rider is thrown from the bicycle.
Other types of bike-share accidents in Dallas may include but are not limited to
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Left-turn accidents
- Right-turn accidents
- Failure to yield accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Sideswipe accidents
- Intersection accidents
Of course, any bike accident listed above could occur on a rental bike or an owned bicycle. Shared bikes are ridden by several people a day, and how one user operates a bicycle could lead to possible problems with the bike that cause an accident for the next user. In some cases, acts of vandalism on dockless bikes have made the bicycles unsafe.
Bike-share companies are responsible for ensuring that the bicycles they rent are safe to use. Any accident caused by a dangerous or defective bike could make the rental company liable for a victim’s injuries.
Sometimes, the bikes being rented may have defective parts that cause crashes. The manufacturer of that part could be liable if the part were defectively manufactured or designed.
Types of Bike-Share Injuries
Texas laws do not do much to protect bicyclists. Riders are not required to wear helmets, and Texas Transportation Code § 545.053 only requires drivers to pass at a “safe distance” without specifying a certain number of feet.
Bicyclists are susceptible to severe injuries when they are involved in almost any kind of motor vehicle accident. Some of the most common types of injuries bicyclists suffer include but are not limited to:
- Road rash
- Muscle strains
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Most bicycle accident victims will have to deal with enormous medical bills, and it could be several weeks, months, or even years before they can fully recover. Another problem victims face is an inability to return to work. With severe injuries, there is the possibility that some victims might never be able to maintain employment again.
Unfortunately, there are times when a bicyclist sustains fatal injuries. In these cases, the victim’s family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.
Contact a Lime Bike Share Lawyer Today
If you are involved in any bike-share crash, your first move should be to quickly seek medical attention, even if you do not believe you were hurt. Some injuries involve delayed symptoms, and an insurance company will often pounce on any delay in treatment.
Try to take pictures of the crash scene after your accident. Before they heal, it is important to photograph all factors relating to your accident, including pictures of your injuries.
You could also file a complaint with a bike rental company if your bicycle is defective, but the chance is that the company will conclude that the bike was fine and that the accident was your fault. It will be far more beneficial for you to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
An attorney will be able to conduct an independent investigation into your accident. They can determine the actual cause of your crash, collect key evidence, and identify all liable parties.
Immediate legal action is often required in these cases, as Texas has a statute of limitations of two years on most personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents. You should not wait to begin taking the steps necessary to preserve your claim.
Did you sustain catastrophic injuries, or was your loved one killed in a bike-share accident in the greater Dallas area? Make sure that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
The Benton Law Firm represents bike accident victims in Dallas and many surrounding areas of Texas. Call (214) 777-7777 or contact us online to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free consultation.