California Limebike Accident Lawyers

One of the newest phenomenons to hit cities across the United States is Lime. Also known as LimeBike, Lime loans out dockless smart bikes and electric scooters to anyone who downloads their app and is located in one of many major cities. LimeBike serves as a more green alternative to using a rideshare company and has gained popularity since it was founded.

The premise of Lime is simple: for a fee, you can unlock the “Lime” of your choice and ride around town at your leisure. If you’re working for a light workout, you can opt for a good old fashioned pedal bike. If you want to just get from Point A to Point B without exerting much effort, you can choose between an electric-assist bike (called a Lime-E) or an electric scooter (a Lime-S).

You locate an available Lime on the app and unlock it using your smartphone. Then, you pay $1 per every 30 minutes that you use it until you lock the Lime back up.

When used correctly, bikes and scooters from Lime can be time and money savers. Unfortunately, riders don’t always heed the various safety warnings provided on Lime’s website and in the app. Rather than locking a Lime at a bike rack, riders often leave them in the middle of sidewalks or on private property. Riders don’t always wear helmets and often ride on the sidewalk rather than in a bike lane. This leaves the door wide open for injury.

If you have been injured while riding a Lime bike or scooter or if you were hurt by someone else riding a Lime, call The May Firm today! You shouldn’t be left to deal with the consequences of your injuries alone.

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Injured Riders

Claims against Lime

What happens legally if you’re riding a Lime and you get hurt? Unfortunately, not much. Lime has drafted a lengthy user agreement, available on its website, detailing all of the terms that you will be agreeing to if you decide to use its services. This is an adhesion contract, meaning if you download the app and rent a Lime, you are agreeing to its terms. If you don’t agree, don’t use the product.

One of the terms of this user agreement that you are agreeing to when you rent and ride a Lime is to agree to binding arbitration. This means that if there is any dispute that arises through your use of Lime products, including injuries from an accident, it must be resolved through binding arbitration rather than litigation. In other words, you can’t sue Lime. If you were injured while riding a Lime, you will have to work to reach an agreement with a representative of Lime in the presence of a disinterested third-party. This third-party, typically a trained arbitrator, will ultimately decide who was at fault and what the resolution should be.

The problem with arbitration is that the decision is binding, which means you can’t appeal it, and the process takes place behind closed doors. If, for example, you sue a company because one of their products is defective and that defect caused you to get hurt, that information is public. Information that comes out during arbitration, however, is not. This means that if there was a problem with a product and this problem was resolved through arbitration, the public will never know. Arbitration agreements are relatively common, and Lime’s biggest competitors also utilize these types of agreements. However, they can put consumers in tough positions in the event of a dispute or injury.

If you were injured while riding a Lime and feel that the company is at fault, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit. You do have the option, however, of hiring a personal injury attorney who can help to prepare you for arbitration. The May Firm takes your hardships personally and want to help you have the best fighting chance at obtaining the relief that you deserve. If you were injured while riding a Lime, give The May Firm a call and we will discuss your legal options.

Claims against other riders

It is entirely possible that you could end up being injured by another rider while you are on a Lime bike or scooter. If another rider collides with you, you may be entitled to compensation. If you were injured after being struck by another bike or scooter rider, contact The May Firm to discuss your options!

Claims against motor vehicle operators

One of the worst fears of a bicyclist or scooterist is to get hit by a motor vehicle. Cars and trucks are much larger and heavier than a bike and travel at faster speeds so when they collide with a cyclist, the injuries can be horrific. Like any other bike or scooter rider, Lime riders may have legal recourse against the driver if they are injured by a motor vehicle. The May Firm has extensive experience in representing riders who have been injured by cars or trucks.

Injured Pedestrians

Although riders may not have very many legal options if they are injured while riding a Lime, pedestrians have many more. If you’re just walking down the street, you didn’t agree to the binding arbitration clause of Lime’s user agreement. You also don’t have any agreement with a rider not to sue them if their negligent riding causes you harm. Pedestrians have more access to legal recourse than riders against the company. Additionally, they are still able to seek compensation for injuries caused by other people, such as other bike riders or motor vehicle operators.

Pedestrians injured by discarded Limes

One of the biggest issues that Lime has encountered since its birth is riders locking and discarding Limes all over the place. Bikes and scooters have been found in front yards, in the middle of sidewalks, on the side of the street, and various other unsafe locations. This leaves the door wide open for people to get hurt.

In July of 2018, Lime had to pay thousands of dollars to recover 94 impounded bikes and scooters that were discarded at random locations in Coronado – a city where Lime did not have the necessary permits to operate*. The problem with riders dropping dockless Limes wherever they please is that they could cause injury before a Lime employee is able to recover them or before a city impounds them.

Let’s say that you were walking down the sidewalk and when you took a sharp corner, you tripped over a scooter. You fell to the ground and broke your wrist while trying to catch yourself. Who is responsible? The rider who discarded the scooter or Lime? The May Firm would argue both.

If you are a pedestrian who found yourself injured by a Lime docked in an improper or unsafe location, such as in the middle of the sidewalk, contact The May Firm. We will assess your options and determine how to best move forward with your case.

Claims against other riders

California is home to many, many bike lanes and bicyclists and scooterists are expected to travel in those lanes. Unfortunately, riders instead choose to ride on busy sidewalks. Riding a pedal powered bicycle on a sidewalk is dangerous enough because it puts all of the pedestrians at risk of being run over. However, riding a motorized scooter or bicycle on that same sidewalk can be even more dangerous because they may be traveling at higher speeds than a pedal powered bike.

If you were struck by a Lime rider, The May Firm may be able to assist you in recovering the compensation that you deserve. Bike and scooter riders are required to comply with all traffic laws and if they fail to do so and you are hurt as a result, they are responsible.

Lime-Induced Headaches

Due to the binding arbitration clause in Lime’s user agreement that riders are required to consent to in order to rent a bike or scooter, it is unlikely that you will hear about Lime being sued by a rider in the news. The company has, however, had some run-ins with some of the cities that its Limes have ended up in and has been deemed a nuisance to many.

Required permits

Unlike some of its competitors, Lime has typically made a point to comply with the permit requirements of the cities in which it operates. While this may sound positive, the problem lies in the fact that permits became necessary in the first place. San Francisco, for example, had never previously required scooter permits, but made the move to do so after Limes (as well as bikes and scooters from other companies) began to litter sidewalks and take up public space all over the city**. The city went so far as to require Lime to remove its bikes and scooters until they are properly permitted.

As of August 2018, the city of San Francisco has declined to extend operating permits to Lime***. This means that the company cannot legally operate there.

Limes scattered everywhere

One of the biggest issues that cities are having with Lime are the bikes and scooters littering the sidewalks and public spaces. Although Lime suggests that riders leave their Limes at designated bike racks, riders have been leaving them wherever they please with little to no regard for the safety of others. If you own or rent property in one of the cities in which Lime operates, you might be unpleasantly surprised to find a horde of neon green bikes in your front lawn or right in front of your front steps. At that point, you’ve got to either relocate them yourself or leave them in your way until random strangers come to claim them for their own use. This hardly seems fair if you weren’t the one using the bikes in the first place.

Another problem with Lime bikes and scooters being left scattered all over the place is that the risk of someone getting injured is heightened. If a rider locks and leaves a scooter in the bike lane, another bicyclist might have to swerve to avoid it, putting themselves at risk for being struck by a car in the process. People may take a corner and trip on a locked bike left in the middle of the sidewalk.

Helmets and helmet laws

Cities all over the United States require bike and scooter riders to wear helmets. In fact, the state of California and Lime itself require all of its users under the age of 18 to wear helmets – so why doesn’t the company provide helmets with each bike and scooter? After all, Lime allows minors to operate its bikes and scooters in certain circumstances and those riders are required by law to wear a helmet.

Riders of all ages (including those over 18 who are not legally required to wear a helmet as of January 2019 but who may choose to do so anyway) must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to be provided with a helmet. In order to be eligible for a “free” helmet, you must have a Lime balance of at least $10 AND be in one of the highlighted operating markets. To add insult to injury, these helmets are only available at certain locations during small windows of time. If you are looking for a helmet for a Lime-S, you had better make sure that you’re close to one of three locations in Lake Tahoe or one location in San Diego between 10am and noon and 2pm and 5pm, Monday through Friday****, or you’re going to have to find your own helmet.

It is not practical for a bike-share company to not provide helmets (which are required by law in order to ride) with its bikes and scooters. Lime presents itself as being a convenient way to take short-distance or even last-minute trips in the city. If, for example, a rider isn’t expecting to go to lunch fifteen blocks away from work until it happens, why would they have a helmet of their own with them? Lime would either have to expect its underage riders to break the law (which many do) and ride without a helmet or to carry one around with them wherever they go just in case they may end up needing to rent a bike or scooter. The former happens more often than the ladder and with riders using motorized scooters and bikes without helmets, injuries are inevitable.

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frequently asked questions

The attorneys at May Firm answer questions clients frequently ask about motor vehicle accidents and wrongful death claims in California.

When you are injured in an accident that was not caused by your fault, the most important thing you can do is take care of yourself. It can be very difficult, if not nearly impossible, to navigate through the accident claim process on your own. Insurance companies often attempt to settle cases as quickly as possible to avoid paying further medical fees for innocent victims like you. By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you can focus on getting back on your feet and you can trust that your legal battle is being fought by knowledgeable attorneys. As you heal from your physical and emotional injuries, an attorney will fight the insurance companies and the person who is at fault for the accident to get you the compensation you deserve. The personal injury attorneys at The May Firm have extensive knowledge on a variety of personal injury cases, as well as how the law applies to each individual case. You will not be taken advantage of by an insurance company with the guidance and support of an attorney. The May Firm will be a powerful advocate working for you.

An experienced personal injury attorney will work tirelessly to maximize the value of your case. Not hiring an attorney can be, and usually is, a major mistake. Unintentional legal mistakes occur during the first call or visit with the claims adjuster. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask certain questions that could pose problems for your case later. They are also trained to offer a small settlement amount right up front. Unfortunately, some people agree to the small up-front settlement and regret it later when they have on-going medical issues.

The May Firm offers clients a free, no-obligation initial consultation. During our first discussion together, our experienced personal injury attorneys will take the time to ask you questions. We will ask for details regarding the accident that led to your personal injury, in addition to information about the injuries you suffered due to the accident. The questions are asked in an effort to determine the viability of your case. If we determine that you have a solid case, we will help you gather police reports, photos, wage loss information, billing statements and medical records, all of which will help us build a solid foundation for your specific case.

A personal injury lawyer should be called whenever you experience an injury due to someone else’s negligence. Common personal injury cases may include: motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, dog bites, construction accidents, and injuries due to a defective product. It doesn’t matter if your injury is minor or severe, a personal injury attorney can help you manage claims against your insurance company, or the insurance company of the person who is responsible for the accident. An attorney will act as your advocate during this difficult time to ensure your rights are protected and fought for. The personal injury attorneys at The May Firm can also assist you in recovering damages for your time spent out of work due to your injury.

Our first meeting with potential clients is always a free consultation. There is no obligation to continue working together if the fit is not right. During the free consultation, an attorney at The May Firm will sit down with you and will ask you many questions to find out every detail about your situation. We will ask about how the accident happened, what injuries you suffered as a result of the accident, and what your life is like as you recover and heal from your physical injuries. We will also determine if you have a case. If we determine that you have a case, we will go over the next steps with you, including a list of documents you will need to gather for us to use as a starting point in building a strong case for you.

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When injuries occur due to someone else’s negligence we answer the call. Your family’s been through enough. We have serious experience in a variety of accident cases.

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The May Firm believes that companies should be held responsible if their products or services cause someone to be injured. Although binding arbitration may not be everyone’s idea of justice, using this process to resolve conflicts isn’t the end of the world.It’s often quicker than litigation and still allows you to have your claim considered. If you have been injured while riding a bike or scooter from Lime, contact The May Firm today to discuss your arbitration options.

If you found yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and were hurt by a Lime rider or perhaps by the Lime bike or scooter itself, give The May Firm a call! We can sit down to discuss the facts of your case and assess all of your options. There is no reason for you to suffer alone.


Disclaimer: Information on this page is designed for general information purposes only and should not be interpreted as being legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. You should always consult with an attorney before making a decision about your case. Pages are updated periodically but information provided on this page may not be up to date as circumstances may change over time. Please see our [LEGAL DISCLAIMERS] page for additional legal disclaimers.

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