What is my potential liability regarding renting bikes and bike equipment to clients doing multi-day self guided bike tours?

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What is my potential liability regarding renting bikes and bike equipment to clients doing multi-day self guided bike tours?

Some of my clients tell me they occasionally plan their time poorly and end up riding after sunset without any lights. We currently do not provide lights for the bikes but I am considering doing so to address this situation, albeit with it being made clear to my clients that riding after sunset is strongly discouraged. Does providing lights increase my exposure should a client have an accident after sunset while using lights we provide vs. the same client having an accident after sunset with no lights or using their own lights?

Asked on December 2, 2014 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Providing lights would reduce your potential liability. You know that some of your clients end up riding after sunset, either deliberately or through poor time management; therefore, you are aware that you bikes will be used after dark. Riding at night without lights is much more dangerous; therefore, it could be viewed as negligent to rent bikes without lights when you know that at least some of the time, they will be used at night. Providing lights will your potential liability in that regard.


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