Injured by a Negligent E-Scooter or E-Bike Rider

E-bike and e-scooter usage has been on the rise over the last few years in just about every city in America. The reasons include but are not limited to the cost of gas, other expensive costs to own and operate motor vehicles, and the convenience of not having to navigate and find parking for full-sized vehicles in large cities such as New York City. This makes the usage of e-bikes and e-scooters increasingly attractive for the daily commuter. 

This popularity and increase in use of e-bikes and e-scooters means that with there being more of them on the streets, and the companies who rent and sell them expanding the market, there are also an increasing number of accidents relating to them. With this being among the newer problems in the world of liabilities, it may be difficult to navigate without the help of a legal expert in the area. In this article, we will discuss the basics of what a victim who has been hit by an e-scooter or e-bike needs to know, and how they should proceed.  

What Is an E-Bike?

Most of the electric scooter usage is seen in larger city downtowns such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Austin. An e-bike or e-scooter is an electrically assisted vehicle that operates mostly like their standard, non-motorized versions, but also has a small electric motor to help add speed and efficiency to short and medium distances of travel. “E-scooter” refers to an electric scooter and “e-bike” refers to an electric bike.

E-bikes are generally more expensive than scooters but are becoming an increasingly popular and cost efficient mode of travel for people who want to commute to work, run errands without gas-powered vehicles. Similarly, e-scooters can be used for similar reasons, however they are not as fast and may be less comfortable for slightly longer distances. Both however, can be very dangerous modes of travel because they leave riders vulnerable and open to injury, as well as for pedestrians who may be hit by an individual who is operating an e-bike or e-scooter negligently. 

Injured by an E-Bike or E-Scooter?

Immediately after an accident of any kind, the following steps should generally be taken:

  1. Seek medical assistance and contact police
  2. Take note of as many details as possible in the accident
  3. Obtain names and contact information of witnesses and involved parties
  4. Don’t over-disclose information to officers or medical staff
  5. Contact an expert attorney with experience in traffic accidents and personal injury

It’s important to prioritize health and wellness before any other measures after an injury of any kind. A victim’s injury due to an e-bike or e-scooter could be much more serious than it may seem. When someone is hurt after being hit by an electric mobility device such as an e-scooter or e-bike, the injuries may not always be readily visible. A person might have internal bleeding or minor bone fractures. Seeking medical attention is also vital for another reason. A doctor’s office or hospital will always keep physical records of any injuries their patients suffered due to an accident, which could be crucial for a potential case after such an incident.

Proving Liability, Fault, and Damages   

A person who is hit by an e-bike or e-scooter may be wondering who is responsible for their medical bills and/or property damages. There is no sure answer to this question without consulting an expert attorney. Generally, liability will depend on the circumstances of the incident and possibly the details leading up to it. Was the operator negligent or reckless? Was the vehicle properly maintained? Was there an issue with the road surface or signage where the incident took place? Let’s consider some possible liable parties:

  • The e-bike or e-scooter operator
  • The city where the incident occurred
  • The manufacturer of the e-bike or e-scooter

Here at Rosenblum Law, we analyze all aspects of an accident – often with the assistance of accident reconstruction experts – to determine who is at fault, and how much of the fault may be allocated to them. On some occasions more than one party is to blame. For example, when an e-bike hits a pedestrian but the city was negligent in posting the correct signage or keeping sidewalks safe, it may be held partially or fully liable for resulting injuries and damages. The same may hold true if surfaces are riddled with debris or potholes.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

Personal injury cases can take time. From the moment the initial medical treatment is received, accident investigations occur, and settlement negotiations take place to the possibility of a lawsuit being filed, the process can take months or even years. No one should get discouraged by the length of a case, especially when a law firm is working hard to get the money an injured party deserves for their injuries regardless of how long the entire process takes. Generally speaking, though there are exceptions, the longer a law firm spends on a case, the more they are able to develop it.

The Role of Insurance Companies 

The vast majority of cases that we handle often end in a settlement because it is the most efficient way to address liability in an accident. A settlement is when both parties come together and negotiate a monetary amount to be paid by the defendant in exchange for discontinuation of the lawsuit. Settlement negotiations are generally held between both parties’ attorneys as attorneys are best suited to settle claims based on their experience.

In the vast majority of cases, the settlement monies are paid by the liable party’s insurance. After all, this is why individuals carry insurance to begin with. The goal of insurance companies in these settlements is to end up paying the absolute least amount possible to prevent a victim from seeking action through the court system, which could result in the insurance company having to pay far more than what a settlement could result in. Insurance agents and adjusters are heavily trained in this process to be expert negotiators and it is absolutely unwise for a victim to pursue dealing with them on their own. An expert injury attorney will be trained in not only the law in this area, but also handling the insurance company and their tricky tactics. To get the best possible result after suffering an injury due to the negligence of an e-scooter or e-bike operator, an injured party should definitely seek the assistance of an attorney.  

How an Attorney Can Help

Suffering an injury such as being hit by a negligent operator of an e-scooter or e-bike will require a lot of steps before monetary damages can be recovered. After such an injury, one may need to take time away from work, extensive medical attention such as physical therapy, and somehow maintain all bills including those of any dependents. This can be extremely tough on someone who may not have insurance or an adequate amount of savings to cover their expenses while they recover. This process is usually very challenging and time-consuming. Especially with insurance companies looking to settle for the absolute lowest amount of compensation given out as possible. 

Furthermore, due to the difficulties of negotiating with insurance companies, the ideal settlement may not be reached. In this case, a lawsuit will need to be filed. In order to prepare all of the proper paperwork, evidence, legal arguments, and potential witnesses and experts, it’s best to involve an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. They will also have the legal education and experience necessary to persuade a jury and adhere to court procedures.  

Attorneys go to school for several years solely for the study of law. Furthermore, a personal injury attorney who has practiced for many years will have successfully argued similar cases, both in and out of the courtroom. They will be able to either get a fair settlement from the insurance company through negotiation, or take the case to court and get the justice deserved.

Related Facts and Statistics

The following are some facts and statistics regarding e-bikes, e-scooters, and moped accidents:

  • There were 190,000 emergency room visits due to e-mobility devices in the United States from 2017 to 2020.
    • This represents a 70% increase from previous years previous.
    • Much of this increase is attributed to e-scooters.
  • Physical injuries due to e-mobility devices usually happen in the limbs, head, and neck.
  • In 2020, there were 25,400 attributable emergency room visits related to e-scooter use alone.
  • There were 71 confirmed fatalities associated with micro-mobility products from 2017 to 2020.
  • According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, electric scooter share programs have spread to over 100 cities since 2017.
  • Electric scooter share programs saw a total ride surge of 130% to 88.5 million in 2019 from the previous year. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Could the company who manufcatured the scooter or bike be held liable for my injury?

It depends. If the accident was caused by the user’s negligence alone, then the company may not be held liable. If the accident was at least in part caused by a manufacturer defect in the transportation device, then they may be held liable. 

What if the person who negligently hit me with an e-scooter or e-bike runs away after the incident?

This is a very real possibility. If this happens, one should immediately contact emergency services to ensure that there is a record of the incident with the authorities, and have a medical checkup for one’s own wellbeing. Secondly, an injured party may want to see if there were any stores or other buildings nearby that caught the incident on a security camera. If the incident was caught on camera, it could be crucial for the injured party’s attorney to use in a legal proceeding.

Can’t I just contact the responsible party’s insurance on my own and try to negotiate a settlement before I contact an attorney?

It is never a good idea to try and engage in negotiations or communication about one’s own case with the responsible party’s insurance company. We advise against it because most people do not have the legal and negotiation experience to get the settlement they deserve. Insurance companies will try their best to give out the least amount of money they possibly can, and they do this through negotiation experts that may have decades of experience in doing so. Having an expert attorney on the case, with the injured party’s best interest in mind, will give the absolute best chance at getting the compensation one deserves.

Who Should You Contact?

On a normal day, no one expects to walk out of their front door thinking they will be a victim of an accident due to a negligent e-bike or e-scooter rider. Unfortunately, we know that unforeseen events can occur and cause you or a loved one injuries. Rest assured, if you or a loved one are the victim of an e-bike or e-scooter accident, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you are someone who likes to be in the loop about your legal casework, treated like family, and be represented by the best of the best, reach out to us at Rosenblum Law. For decades, we have successfully represented clients in a wide variety of legal areas. Call us today at 888-815-3649 for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Other Resources

E-Scooter Laws and Regulations in the U.S.

United States E-Scooter Laws in 2022

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