Bicycle Accidents While Riding Rental Or Bike Share Bicycles

Bicycle accidents can lead to devastating injuries, particularly for the bicyclists involved. Bike share programs have taken off in Portland and elsewhere in Oregon. They are an inexpensive and convenient way to get from place to place. However, as bike share programs have become more popular, it is important to understand who is liable for accidents when a person is writing a rental or bike share bicycle.

Do bicyclists sign a waiver?

In most cases, bicycle rideshare users or those who use rental bikes do not read the fine print of an agreement before they ride. However, most of these agreements require users to waive their right to file a lawsuit against the bicycle rental in the event an accident occurs. However, this does not mean you cannot recover compensation in the aftermath of a crash. It just means that it will be harder to obtain compensation from the bicycle company.

Who was negligent for the crash?

If you are on a rental or rideshare bicycle and are struck by a careless or negligent driver, you will be negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to secure compensation for your injuries. This is the same process that would occur if you were involved in an accident on a personal bicycle. If you cannot reach an agreement with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation.

What if the other driver is uninsured?

In Oregon, all drivers must have uninsured motorist coverage. If you have an auto insurance policy, you should be able to file a claim with your own policy in the event you are struck by an uninsured driver. However, the minimum amount required by law for uninsured motorist coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, so this coverage could quickly become exhausted.

You can turn to your own PIP insurance

Oregon is a hybrid no-fault accident state in which drivers can turn to their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage, also known as Med-Pay, in order to recover compensation for their injuries. However, you are only required to carry $15,000 in PIP coverage. If you file a claim with your own insurer after a bicycle accident, this coverage could become exhausted quickly. After you exhaust this coverage, you can still file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.

If you, as the bicyclist, were at fault for the accident, your PIP coverage will still be available to you in the aftermath of the crash, but only up to your policy limits.

Other coverage options

Since it will be incredibly difficult to pursue compensation from the bike rideshare or rental company, you can also explore using your own health insurance for coverage. If you have health insurance, your policy will cover the medical costs you sustain in a bicycle crash, though your insurance carrier may work to pursue compensation from an at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.

What if the bicycle was defective?

If the rideshare or rental bicycle was defective, then you may be able to file a claim against the bicycle company. These companies are required to properly maintain their vehicles to ensure rider safety. In these cases, you should speak to a qualified Portland bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible in order to explore your options.