New York City's emergency rooms have seen a dramatic rise in electric bike and scooter accidents, resulting in serious injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. Proponents of the e-scooter and bike program emphasized the critical need for transportation access in certain areas. However, NYC saw increased accidents and injuries, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.
Medical Experts Started Seeing Increases in 2020
In 2020, medical experts reported a significant increase in electric bike and scooter-related emergency room visits, especially from the Revel electric scooter. This vehicle, which has a top speed of 43 miles per hour, is one example of the pay-per-use motorized scooters becoming increasingly popular in New York.
Doctors emphasized that both pedestrians and riders of these scooters were suffering from injuries. Additionally, they stated that individuals failed to wear helmets and adhere to common sense while operating them. Riders who fail to operate motorized vehicles legally or properly may face obstacles to a recovery in a personal injury case resulint from a scooter or e-bike accident.
Dangerous Numbers at Dangerous Speeds
According to NYC OpenData, there have been 5,770 e-scooter and e-bike accidents since 2020, which is about seven or eight accidents per day. As e-scooter technology advances, the scooters become faster and more powerful, posing a serious risk of injury or death to cyclists and pedestrians. Scooters are legal to ride on streets with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less and in bicycle lanes.
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Face the Numbers: NYC Is Not Alone
The popularity of electric scooters, bicycles, and even hoverboards is taking the country by storm. A recent U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report shows that injuries associated with these vehicles have increased by 70 percent from 2016 to 2020, with more than 190,000 emergency room visits. Sadly, at least 71 people have lost their lives due to an accident.
You can review the CPSC's key findings by visiting their web page here.
What to Do If Someone Else Causes Your E-Scooter or E-Bike Accident Injuries?
Electric scooters are becoming more prevalent in the world's largest cities, and NYC is no exception. These compact but deceptively fast and dangerous vehicles are popular with tourists and non-car owners alike. Regardless, you should contact an experienced NYC personal injury attorney immediately if someone else caused an accident that led to your injuries.
Injury victims may have four options available that include filing a claim against the:
- City government
- Business owner
Option 1. File a Claim Against the Rider
You file a claim against the e-scooter or e-bike rider if they were responsible for causing your injuries. However, recovering compensation is challenging unless the rider or injured party was:
- Acting within the scope of employment; or
- Covered by an automobile insurance policy; or
- Covered by a homeowners' insurance policy; or
- Covered by a health insurance policy; or
- On commercial property or government property
While victims can file a civil lawsuit against the rider, there may be no way to obtain compensation if the rider has no insurance or the financial means to pay a settlement. Hiring an attorney can help you determine what legal options are available if you face this situation.
Option 2. File a Claim Against the Provider
You would file a claim against the scooter or bike company if they were to blame for your injuries in some manner. For example, let's say that an e-scooter rider crashes into you one evening while crossing the street. A forensic analysis concludes that it malfunctioned due to several missed maintenance checks.
In this situation, you could hold the provider accountable. You may also have to name their service provider as a defendant if the company contracts the service to a local store. Depending upon the facts of your accident, your lawyer may also recommend filing a claim against the rider.
Option 3. File a Claim Against the City
Was a government entity responsible for your injuries? You could sue the City of New York if they were negligent while you were lawfully operating an e-bike or -e-scooter. Common claims against the city may include negligent road maintenance, negligent sign placements, and other violations of the rules of the City of New York. Any claims against a governmental entity must first be made within 90 days of the accident, under the tort claim notice law.
If you are curious about where to find these rules online, American Legal Publishing makes them publicly available here.
Option 4. File a Claim Against a Business or Property Owner
NYC business owners with a physical location must reasonably maintain their properties for the safety of visitors, customers, and guests. This includes shoveling snow, keeping debris secure, and warning others about hazards on the property. You could pursue a case against a business if they did not follow local ordinances or take reasonable action to maintain safe premises, and their conduc led to your injuries.
Related Article: WHAT IS A “PREMISES LIABILITY” CASE?
Hunt & Associates Handles NYC E-Scooter or E-Bike Cases
Hunt & Associates, LLC represents people who were negligently injured by or while operating an e-scooter or e-bike in New York City. Our legal team has closely monitored these claims since the start and has achieved favorable results for clients. Damages that we have recovered include doctors' bills, future medical costs, lost wages, future lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
Related Article: HOW DO I PAY FOR MY MEDICAL EXPENSES AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
Can Hunt & Associates, LLC Get Me Legal Answers at No Cost?
Yes, our NYC personal injury firm can help you get the legal answers you deserve at no cost. Our law firm works on a contingency fees basis – which means we do not get paid unless we recovery money for you. You pay no fees at all.
Call Hunt & Associates, LLC Now at 866-456-HUNT (4868) for a Free Consultation. You are also welcome to message us directly online via the chatbox to the right of this page or complete our contact form here. We don't get paid until we win your case if you choose to hire us.
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