Charleston Rental Bike Accident Lawyers
The Post and Courier reported that after the first year of Charleston’s Holy Spokes bike share program, data from Holy Spokes showed riders burned more than 4 million calories, took almost 49,000 trips, and traveled 105,000 miles. The riders saved $60,900 and reduced carbon emissions by 92,590 pounds.
The bike share program is intended to differ from traditional bike rentals in that the bikes do not need to be returned to the original rental location. When Holy Spokes launched the program, the Post and Courier reported that the company placed 250 bicycles at 27 hubs. The Medical University of South Carolina is the title partner in the program.
While Holy Spokes identifies itself as the official bike share program of Charleston, it is not the only such program. Affordabike is another entrant in the bike share market, and bike sharing in other cities suggests that other companies may try to offer a similar service.
For many people, the bike share program provides a fun and convenient way to find transportation when you need it. Despite the many benefits, bike sharing has involved its share of accidents.
If you sustained severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a bike share accident in Charleston, it is important for you to act quickly to preserve your legal rights. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you get justice.
Evans Moore, LLC has been helping clients all over South Carolina since 2010. Call (843) 995-5000 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
Bike Sharing in South Carolina
Holy Spokes’ bike share system is for individuals 16 years of age and older. All riders who are 16 or 17 years of age must have the permission of a parent or legal guardian.
A person can purchase any level of Holy Spokes’ membership online or through the SoBi mobile app on a smartphone. After registering, a rider will be able to view a map of hubs that indicates how many bikes are available and will receive an account number and pin code that can be used to unlock a bike.
Bikes must be returned and locked at a designated Holy Spokes station. Holy Spokes charges a $50 out-of-system fee for locking a bike outside the system area and a $5 out-of-hub fee for locking outside a station.
You can pay as you go for Holy Spokes rentals at a rate of $8 per hour. A day pass is $12 a rider, a monthly pass is $15, and an annual pass is $69. MUSC students and employees (as well as all college students) are eligible for discount pricing.
Affordabike charges $6 for the first hour and $3 for each additional hour. The fee is only $20 for parking a bike outside a hub, but its service does involve a $100 pre-authorization on your credit card.
Rental Bike Accident Claims We Handle
Bicycles are certainly enjoyable to ride, but they often involve interacting with many other types of motor vehicles on city streets. Many bicyclists end up being involved in accidents caused by negligent automobiles drivers.
Not all incidents necessarily involve negligent drivers though. Negligent passengers can also cause injuries, such as in cases of events more commonly referred to as “dooring” accidents.
In a dooring accident, the occupant of a motor vehicle opens an automobile door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist. On most city streets, bicyclists cannot turn to either side to avoid the collision and end up hitting the doors at full speed. Many bicyclists are thrown several feet from their bikes.
Other common causes of rental bike accidents in Charleston include but are not limited to:
- Drunk or Drugged Driving Accidents — A driver commits the crime of driving under the influence in South Carolina if they have a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. State law also notes that a BAC level may be considered along with other evidence to infer that a person was under the influence when their BAC was at least 0.05 percent but less than 0.08 percent. In April 2018, the state reported that almost half of all fatal crashes in South Carolina involved drunken or drugged drivers. Cocaine was the drug involved in the highest number of traffic fatalities in the state, but there were triple-digit percentage level increases in the number of crashes involving oxycodone, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.
- Distracted Driving Accidents — Greater public attention has been paid to the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, but many motorists simply cannot resist the opportunity to check recent notifications. When a bike share accident is caused by a driver who was using their cell phone, an attorney may be able to subpoena that driver’s phone records to prove they were using the phone and, thus, were negligent. There are certainly many other kinds of distractions that can cause bicycle crashes as well, such as simply talking to passengers, adjusting climate controls or car stereos, and eating or drinking.
- Left-Turn Accidents — Some drivers do not wait for oncoming bicyclists to pass and instead try to turn in front of them quickly. This maneuver is always dangerous because the bicyclist usually does not have many options to avoid a collision. In most cases, bicyclists strike turning vehicles at full force, but they can also hit other objects when turning to prevent such collisions.
- Right-Turn Accidents — In a right-turn accident, the motor vehicle is traveling in the same direction as the bicyclist and turns into them. These types of crashes are again common when a driver misjudges of the speed of a bicyclist, usually assuming they have safely passed them without thinking of how much the bike has caught up as they slowed to turn.
- Failure to Yield Accidents — Drivers must stop and yield to bicyclists at certain intersections, but some motorists fail to do as required and usually end up colliding with passing bicyclists.
- Head-On Collisions — When a bicycle and motor vehicle are traveling in opposite directions, a sudden shift in either party’s path could produce a head-to-head crash. The fundamental size difference between a motor vehicle and a bicycle usually means that a bicyclist will sustain catastrophic injuries.
- Sideswipe Accidents — A bicyclist could be bumped or struck by an automobile traveling in the same direction because of simple driver negligence and a failure to notice the bicyclist’s presence.
- The types of crashes listed above can happen on any bike, whether the rider is renting or owns the bicycle. With the bike share program, another common kind of unique accident involves crashes caused because of dangerous or defective bicycles.
Holy Spokes, Affordabike, and any other bike share companies that enter the Charleston market must regularly maintain their bikes and make sure they are safe for riders. Failure to do this can lead to bikes malfunctioning while riders are using them, causing bicyclists to suffer injuries.
Some of these accidents could also be the result of defective bike parts. In such cases, a defectively designed or defectively manufactured part could make the manufacturer liable for a victim’s injuries.
Types of Rental Bike Accident Injuries
South Carolina has no state law requiring bicycle riders to wear helmets. Even those who do wear helmets can still suffer severe injuries in bicycle crashes.
Injuries that bicyclists may suffer include, but are not limited to:
● Traumatic brain injuries
● Spinal cord injuries
● Neck injuries
● Internal organ injuries
● Nerve damage
● Muscle strains
● Road rash
Many bicycle accidents involve a high risk of fatal injuries. When a loved one is killed in a bike crash caused by another party’s negligence, certain members can pursue a wrongful death claim.
Contact a Charleston Rental Bike Accident Attorney Today
For many bike share accident victims, it can be a waste of time trying to approach the rental company about the crash. Even when a bike was to blame, the rental company will more than likely claim that a victim did not ride the bike correctly and that there was nothing wrong with the bicycle.
When a person is hurt in a bicycle accident in South Carolina, they should always make sure to receive medical care. Even when it does not appear that a person was injured, medical attention is an essential safeguard in a case where there are injuries with delayed symptoms.
Another good step to take is to take multiple photographs of the accident scene from multiple angles and distances and collect the names and phone numbers of any people who saw your accident. Have a friend or family member do this for you if you are unable, and then make sure that you contact a lawyer.
Contact a Charleston Rental Bike Lawyer
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one was killed in a bike share accident in the Charleston area? Make sure to hire a firm that has the right experience and resources to help you get justice.
Evans Moore, LLC was named to the 10 Best Attorneys in 2017 for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys and is listed under the American Society of Legal Advocates’ Top 40 Lawyers under 40. You can have our attorneys review your rental bike injury case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (843) 995-5000 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.