Electric bikes and scooters have hit big in many larger cities across Canada, including Calgary and Edmonton. They are easy to access and handy for getting around, especially in downtown locations. You can locate one near you through an app, ride it to your destination for a few bucks, and leave it at a local Share & Go Zone. While e-bikes and e-scooters can be convenient and affordable, there are still many questions about their safety. Communities and governments across Canada are concerned about the rising numbers of injuries related to e-bikes and e-scooters. According to a recent article in The Star, e-scooter injuries send an average of six people to the hospital each day. Statistics show the injury rate in Calgary as almost 600 times higher than taking the bus. While companies like Lime and Bird encourage users to wear helmets and ride responsibly, what happens when riders fail to follow the guidelines and injure themselves or someone else? What if a rider is a minor? What are your rights if you have been hit and injured by an e-scooter? In some cases, the e-scooter company may be liable. In others, the individual involved in the incident may be legally responsible. The legal implications are complicated and not yet fully understood. If you have been injured in an e-bike or e-scooter accident that was not your fault, we can help. At Litwiniuk & Company, our Calgary e-bike and e-scooter accident lawyers will fight in your corner to get you fair compensation.
Low cost, high risk.With so little regulation surrounding the use of e-bikes and e-scooters, the window is wide open for numerous types of accidents to occur. According to Dr. Eddy Lang, an emergency room physician and Alberta Health Services spokesperson, the most common injuries include head or face injuries and fractures. In a recent interview with Global News, David Grant, owner of Vermin Scooters raises concerns about riders without helmets: “We haven’t seen anyone wearing a helmet at any time while riding the scooters and they get up to 20 km/h, which I think is pretty fast, so if they were to encounter a pedestrian or vehicle without a helmet, I would see that as kind of scary.” There are countless ways that an individual can be injured by a rider or while riding an electric bike or scooter. The most common types of accidents include:
- Collisions with motorists, pedestrians, or other riders;
- Improper or unsafe use of e-bikes or e-scooters;
- Riders falling or swerving into traffic to avoid pedestrians or other riders;
- Young or unsupervised children riding electric scooters or bikes;
- Use of e-bikes or e-scooters in undesignated locations;
- Injury due to improperly parked electric bikes or scooters;
- Electric bikes or scooters left in the middle of roads or sidewalks;
- People riding multiple electric scooters at one time or multiple people sharing one scooter;
- Malfunction such as brake failure, flat tires, battery crash, or locking of front wheel while riding;
- Crashes due to hazards such as debris, litter, or bumps on the road or sidewalk;
- Ice or water on the road; or,
- Low visibility at night.
- Cuts and bruises;
- Strains and sprains;
- Broken bones and fractures;
- Internal bleeding or injury to organs;
- Traumatic head injuries;
- Concussions; or,
- Loss of life.
Not so cut and dryPicture the following scenario: a rider of an e-scooter follows all the rules for riding but gets hit and injured by an insured motorist through no fault of their own. The case is simple; the insurance of the at-fault party will cover liability and damages. Now, imagine a few scenarios where liability becomes more complex:
- The rider is operating the e-bike or e-scooter impaired;
- The rider injures someone else through their own negligence;
- An unknown person leaves an e-bike or e-scooter on the street and a car runs over it, damaging the car and injuring the passengers;
- A child gets unauthorized access to an electric bike or scooter and is injured while riding; or
- The e-scooter or e-bike is mechanically faulty and causes injury to a rider.