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 the 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.
With so many possible scenarios for accidents involving electric bikes or scooters, the injuries sustained during an accident can vary dramatically. The most common types of injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises;
- Strains and sprains;
- Broken bones and fractures;
- Internal bleeding or injury to organs;
- Traumatic head injuries;
- Concussions; or,
- Loss of life.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving an e-bike or e-scooter, talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer right away. A skilled lawyer will be able to get you access to the treatment, benefits, and compensation you deserve. If you have questions about making a claim, call or email us to speak with a Calgary electric bike or scooter accident lawyer today.
Not so cut and dry
Picture 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.
The outcome of each of these cases will ultimately depend on the specifics of the incident and insurance coverage. Our Calgary e-bike and e-scooter accident lawyers will look to insurance policies, waivers, terms and conditions, and user agreements to resolve complex liability issues. In cases like these, numerous questions arise. For example, is checking the “accept” box at the bottom of a lengthy list of terms and conditions (which nobody actually reads) enough to shield a company from having to pay out a claim? Do the safety notices and videos on company websites exempt them from responsibility for riders’ who use scooters unsafely? Our Calgary e-bike and e-scooter accident lawyers unpack these issues, wade through the complexities, and fight for a fair resolution on your behalf.
Making a claim.
Public-use electric bikes and scooters offer a new form of transportation, and therefore many of these claims venture into new legal territory. While some cases are cut-and-dry, others require the skill of an experienced lawyer who can think outside the box to build a rock-solid case. Determining who is legally responsible depends on many factors. If you are hit by an electric bike or scooter rider and sustained injuries from the accident, that individual may be held liable, and their insurance company may pay out a claim on their behalf. If you are hit or injured by a motor vehicle while riding an e-bike or e-scooter, the situation is different. An e-bike or e-scooter is no match for the weight, size, and speed of a vehicle; if the driver of that vehicle is found to be negligent, then the driver’s auto insurance provider may pay for the claim and you will likely be eligible for Section B Benefits. If your accident is the result of an electric scooter malfunction, the scooter company may be held liable for your claim. With so many different variables to consider, it’s always a good idea to contact a Personal Injury Lawyer to find out exactly what your rights are. At Litwiniuk & Company, it won’t cost you a thing to speak with a lawyer. And if you choose to proceed with a claim, you don’t pay us anything until we win.
In Alberta, you generally have up to two years from the date of an e-bike or e-scooter accident to make a claim in court or your right to do so is lost forever. But it’s important not to wait as there may be other important deadlines or other circumstances that may affect the deadline or your claim. If you have any questions about the limitation period for your claim, call or email us for a free consultation with one of our Calgary e-bike and e-scooter accident lawyers today.
Calgary’s E-bike and E-scooter Accident Lawyers
When electric bikes and scooters came on the scene, we knew there would be risks and legal uncertainty. Because e-bike and e-scooter claims are potentially so complex, it’s important to get free, personalized legal advice from an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer. We’ve represented the injured, as well as the families of those who have suffered fatal injuries, in Calgary and throughout Alberta for over 44 years. Let our firm work to get you the maximum compensation for your claim and the benefits and treatment you’re entitled to. We deal with the insurance companies and the law, while you focus on getting your life back to normal. If you are looking for a Calgary e-bike or e-scooter accident lawyer contact Litwiniuk & Company today for a free consultation. It won’t cost you anything to get an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer on your side, because we don’t get paid until you get paid.