Can You Sue Citi Bike After an Accident in NYC?
Citi Bike rentals are available across NYC. Riders use them while visiting from outside the city or as part of weekly travel or to get around on weekends. If you are hit by a car while riding a Citi Bike, what happens next? Can you sue Citi Bike, or is someone else responsible for your crash?
Typically, Citi Bike is not responsible for accidents unless they were caused by equipment failure. In other accident cases, you would typically sue the driver who hit you – but you may be able to include Citi Bike in some cases where their bikes were dangerous and should not have been rented out.
Talk to a Buffalo bicycle accident lawyer for more help with your case. The NYC bicycle accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm offer free case reviews. Call us today at (718) 841-0083 to speak with our NYC fatal bicycle accident lawyer.
Is Citi Bike at Fault for a Bike Accident in NYC?
If you were riding a rented Citi Bike when you were hit by a car, you may think that you can sue Citi Bike. After all, you never would have been hit by a car if you weren’t riding their bike when the accident happened. Unfortunately, you usually cannot sue Citi Bike in most accident cases. However, there will certainly be cases where you might be entitled to sue Citi Bike, at least as a codefendant.
In a bike accident, you would usually file your case against the driver who hit you. Citi Bike does not involve themselves in your case simply by being the one to rent you the bike – at least not legally. However, if the bike you rented was not safe, that could be Citi Bike’s fault.
For Citi Bike to share responsibility for the accident, you would usually need to show that there was something wrong with the bike. In many cases, Citi Bike will try to counter this by saying that you should not have rented that bike if you knew it was damaged. In fact, Section 6 of the Citi Bike Rental Agreement says that you agree to check the bike for damage first before riding it. However, damage or wear and tear is not always going to be obvious and might not be caught in your initial inspection anyway.
Who Is at Fault for a Bike Accident in NYC?
Typically, bike accidents involve the cyclist and the driver of a car or truck that hit them. Rarely, accidents can include a bike and a pedestrian or two cyclists – in which case you will determine fault among those parties and sue them for your injuries.
With accidents involving a bike and a vehicle (or multiple vehicles), drivers in cars and trucks are often at fault for the crash.
Drivers have bigger vehicles, and cyclists are more vulnerable to injury. It is important for drivers to follow traffic laws and keep an eye out for cyclists. In fact, many traffic laws are specifically designed to keep bikers safe. Stop signs, red lights, and speed limits are placed with safety in mind, especially where bikers share the road with cars.
Many accidents are initially caused because the driver of a car or truck violates one of these laws or breaches some other reasonable safe-driving rule, injuring the bike rider. When this happens, the driver is responsible for the crash.
In some bike accident cases, the bicycle rider will actually share fault for the crash. According to the Bronx fatal bicycle accident lawyer, bike laws require drivers to ride on the street or a bike lane rather than the sidewalk, stop at red lights and stop signs, and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Citi Bike’s website even tries to remind people of these rules. If you violated one of these traffic laws while riding a Citi Bike, you could share partial fault. However, New York’s fault rules often will not block you from seeking compensation from the at-fault driver even if you shared partial fault. Your damages will simply be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Can You Sue for Citi Bike Bicycle Accidents in NYC?
When you ride a Citi Bike, you do agree to some terms and conditions. The Citi Bike rental agreement for NYC does mention a liability waiver, so that might affect your right to sue Citi Bike for the accident. Your Bronx bicycle accident lawyer can go over the details of this potential waiver with you and discuss your rights. Your right to sue the at-fault driver is not usually affected just because you were riding a Citi Bike. However, there are also New York insurance rules that might affect your right to sue.
NYC and New York as a whole use a “no-fault” insurance system. This means that when you are involved in an auto accident, you would usually file a claim against your own car insurance rather than suing the other driver. If you have car insurance, that might cover your bike accident.
Most bike riders in NYC probably do not have car insurance. Even if you don’t have insurance, the driver who hit you is required to have an auto insurance policy. That policy might cover your accident.
Filing through insurance is required in many cases, and victims are blocked from a lawsuit. However, victims of bike accidents are always allowed to sue if their injuries reach a certain cost level or if they are “severe.” The family of a victim can also sue for a loved one’s death without being blocked by insurance rules.
Call Our NYC Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you were hurt in an accident while riding a Citi Bike in NYC, call the New York City bicycle accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm today. Our Brooklyn bicycle accident attorneys offer free case consultations. Call us at (718) 841-0083.