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Bicycle Accident Attorney

Many tourists rent a bicycle to see the sights while enjoying California’s beautiful weather. But what happens if you are in an accident while riding the bicycle? Some accidents are the fault of another motorist, like the driver of a car which hits you. But in other accidents, you might lose control of the bicycle. Maybe it doesn’t stop even though you apply the brakes, or the handlebars fall off. In short, you might suffer an accident because of a problem with the bicycle. 

Those who rent bicycles might be able to sue the rental company. Our California bicycle accident lawyers look in more detail at these accidents.

When Would A Rental Company Have Liability For My Accident?

There are a few situations where you might be able to sue the bicycle rental company. 

Failure To Fix Bicycles Which Need Repairs

First, you might bring a lawsuit if the company knew something was wrong with the bicycle but rented it to you anyway. Perhaps a previous renter complained about the brakes or the handlebars, or they complained that the bicycle tire was wobbly. If you then suffer an accident because of this problem, the company is probably on the hook. They didn’t perform the maintenance they should have.

Failure To Inspect Bicycles

Second, you might also sue even if no complaint was made. Bicycle companies should inspect their bikes regularly to find problems. Maybe the tread is gone on a wheel, or the chain is too loose. They should promptly fix any defect they know about or find with the investigation.

Providing Defective Equipment

Third, the bicycle company might be liable if they rented defective equipment, like a helmet that doesn’t work correctly. If you bang your head, you might be able to sue the company.

Defective Bicycles: Manufacturing Or Design Defect?

Some bicycles are dangerous, but not the rental company’s fault. Instead, a design or manufacturing defect is to blame. Many defective bicycles are subject to a manufacturer’s recall when they gain wind that people are hurt. 

For example, Giant Bicycle recently recalled several 2021 Giant bicycles after receiving 86 complaints of the handlebar getting loose. As a result, riders quickly fell off the bicycle and suffered injuries. Every year, bicycle manufacturers recall bicycles.

In these examples, the defect is the fault of the manufacturer or designer—not the rental company. These types of manufacturing or design defects appear even when the bicycle is new. The good news is that California’s injury law makes manufacturers liable for defective products.

How Do You Prove Liability In A Bicycle Accident?

There are multiple steps an accident victim should take following a bicycle accident. For example, we recommend the following:

  • Take pictures of the bicycle immediately following the wreck. Try to get pictures to show all parts of the bicycle. But also zoom in on any serial number indicating the bike you were riding.
  • Inform the rental company you were involved in an accident when you return the bicycle. Ask them not to dispose of the bicycle because it might become relevant later.
  • Hold onto your receipt, which shows you rented the bike. You will want to establish that fact.
  • Write down your memories of what happened. When did you first notice the bicycle was out of your control? What did you do to try and correct the problem?
  • Identify witnesses to the accident. Someone might have seen you frantically try to apply the brakes even though the bike wouldn’t stop. This person can testify to that fact. Try to get their name and contact information.
  • Go to the hospital to have your injuries treated. Prompt treatment is often vital to making sure you receive compensation.

Why Is A California Bicycle Accident Lawyer Important?

You probably can’t tell by looking at a bicycle whether it is defective. All you know is that you were hurt and think the bicycle failed to work as expected. To prove your claim, however, you need someone who knows bikes to look at it. Maybe the defect is obvious. But it is a defect that only a bicycle designer or engineer can pinpoint.

An attorney can help with preserving the bicycle. We can contact the rental shop and tell them to hang onto it. We can then work with an expert witness who knows how bicycles are designed. This expert can inspect the bike and find out if something is wrong.

At Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, we understand that cases are won or lost at this stage. Evidence gathering is one of our specialties. We can work with the right expert to carefully inspect the bicycle for a defect.

Who Do I Sue If A Car Hit Me While I Was On A Bike?

If you were hit by a car, the defect might come into play. For example, you might have been riding toward an intersection when the brakes failed. Consequently, you rode into the middle of the intersection where you were hit by the car.

The driver might defend by claiming you were at fault. But, in reality, the bicycle was defective—you were trying to stop. You should meet with an attorney to carefully review your chances of bringing a claim.

Contact Our California Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today

Our legal team can immediately take steps to protect your ability to sue a rental company. Instead of trying to rehab injuries and build a legal case simultaneously, hire us. Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC has brought numerous compensation claims. We know how to find helpful evidence. Even better, we relieve you of the stress of haggling with insurance companies following a crash. Focus on your family while letting us represent you.

If you have questions, contact our firm to speak with a California bicycle accident lawyer today. You can call 888-848-5084 or send us an online message. Consultations are free and confidential.