At our law firm, we have years of experience helping people who have been injured in bike accidents get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation! We will work tirelessly to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
How Does Capital Bikeshare Work?
Capital Bikeshare is a bike-sharing system in Washington, D.C. The system consists of over 600 docking stations and 5,000 bikes. Cyclists can purchase a single trip, 24-hour pass, or annual membership to rent bikes using this system. Riders can use the Capital Bikeshare app to find available bikes and docks throughout DC, Virginia, and Maryland.
Since its inception, Capital Bikeshare has been a popular mode of transportation for residents and visitors alike. However, as the system has grown, so has the number of accidents involving Capital Bikeshare bikes.
Common Causes of BikeShare Accidents
Many different factors can contribute to a bike-share accident. Two of the most common causes of accidents include:
Collisions With Cars
One of the most common causes of bike-share accidents is collisions with cars. About one-third of bicycle accidents involve a collision with a motor vehicle. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 843 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2019. These accidents often occur when a car makes a turn and doesn’t see the cyclist or when a vehicle rear-ends a cyclist who is stopped at a light.
Bicycle Defects and Other Causes
Bicycle defects are another common cause of bike-share accidents. In some cases, the accident is caused by a problem with the bike itself. For example, if the brakes fail, the cyclist may not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident. Other times, the accident is caused by something else entirely, such as a pothole in the road or poor weather conditions.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
Some of the most common bicycle accidents include:
- Dooring Accidents – A dooring accident occurs when a cyclist rides next to a parked car, and the driver opens their door, hitting the cyclist.
- Left-Cross Accident – These accidents occur when a car turns left into the path of an oncoming cyclist. Distracted drivers often cause this type of accident.
- Sideswipe Accident – Sideswipe accidents often occur when a car veers out of their lane into the bike lane, causing them to hit a cyclist riding in the same direction.
- Right-Hook Accident – Right-hook accidents occur when a car makes a right turn and hits a cyclist who is going straight. This often happens at intersections or when drivers leave parking lots or driveways.
Injuries from Bikesharing Accidents
There are a variety of injuries that can occur in a bike accident, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries like broken bones and head trauma. Some of the most common injuries we see at our law firm include:
A fall from a bicycle in a bike accident can cause a hard impact on the road, leading to broken bones in several places on the body. Broken bones can cause difficulties with mobility, work duties, and daily tasks.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries are caused when a significant force is exerted on the brain. As a result of such force, your brain can strike the inside of your skull, causing a brain injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries often require lifelong medical care and may prevent a person from ever being able to return to work.
A cyclist hit by a car can suffer from broken ribs, a punctured lung, or internal bleeding. A fall from a bike can also cause internal injuries.
Practice DC Bicycle Safety to Prevent an Accident
There are several things cyclists can do to prevent an accident. Here are some safety tips:
- Wear a helmet – Wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet is the best way to prevent a head injury in the event of an accident.
- Be aware of your surroundings – Cyclists should always be mindful of their surroundings, including upcoming traffic, obstacles in the road, and pedestrians.
- Obey traffic signals and signs – Cyclists should always obey traffic signals and signs, even if they believe they have the right of way.
- Use caution when passing – When passing another cyclist or vehicle, use caution and make sure there is enough space to do so safely.
- Respect other cyclists – Cyclists should always respect other cyclists on the road and give them plenty of space.
Bicycling can be a great way to get around Washington D.C., but it is important to practice safety at all times to prevent an accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in a Capital Bikeshare accident, contact our law firm today for a free consultation.
What Are the Rules of the Road for Bikeshare Riders?
Bikeshare riders are subject to the same rules and regulations as other cyclists on the road. This includes:
- Riding Between Lanes – Cyclists are allowed to ride between lanes in Washington D.C., as long as they are not impeding traffic.
- Bike Lanes – Bicycle lanes are designed to keep cyclists safe. However, when provided, bike riders are not required to use designated bike lanes.
- Sidewalk Riding – Though not recommended, D.C. law states that cyclists can ride on the sidewalk as long as they are outside the central business district. Sidewalk riding is also prohibited in Prince George’s County, on King Street in Old Town Alexandria, and within the memorials on the National Mall.
- Stay Visible to Crossing Traffic – A cyclist should maintain no less than 2 feet of clearance from the edge of the usable pavement in wide lanes.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Bikeshare Accident
We know that not every bicycle accident can be prevented. If you or someone you love has been injured in a Capital Bikeshare accident, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. We have years of experience handling bike-share accident cases at our law firm. We will work tirelessly to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
When you contact our law firm, we will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of your accident
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Handle all communication with the other driver’s insurance company
- Fight for the maximum compensation you deserve
How Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help You
The Washington, D.C. bicycle accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a bicycle accident, gathering evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
The Washington DC Vulnerable User Recovery Act for Bicycle Accident Cases
In 2020, Washington D.C. passed the Washington DC Vulnerable User Recovery Act to protect those most vulnerable on the road. Cyclists and pedestrians are most likely to suffer severe injuries when involved in a motor vehicle accident. Under the Vulnerable User Recovery Act, the plaintiff’s negligence is not a bar to recovery if the Plaintiff’s negligence is 50% or less.
This means that pedestrians, cyclists, and users of other non-motorized devices like skateboards can recover up to 100% of their losses. These losses include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage so long as the pedestrian, cyclist, or another vulnerable user was no more than 50% at fault for a collision. This law uses comparative negligence rather than contributory negligence. Comparative negligence compares the amount of fault by each party rather than contributory negligence, which bars recovery even if you are even 1% negligent.
However, the 2016 law did not include motorized devices, like motorized scooters, electric bikes, motorcycles, or electric mobility devices. The amendment of 2020 added these vulnerable users.
Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Crashes
In Washington D.C., the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years from the accident date. You have three years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. However, this rule has some exceptions, so it is important to speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. For example, wrongful death claims in Washington, DC, have a statute of limitations of 2 years.
We Will Get You the Compensation You Deserve
For more than 50 years, the Washington DC lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones due to someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
- $3.5 million for a man who suffered a brain injury when a District of Columbia police officer opened his door into traffic and “doored” him.
- $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury due to a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury due to a doctor’s inappropriate chemical product use.
- $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
- $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.
See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.
Contact Our DC Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your bicycle accident claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.