Less than a decade ago, New York City pedestrians were mostly worried about dangerous car, truck and taxi drivers hitting them as they crossed busy streets and intersections. Today, nearly all New Yorkers are more fearful of being seriously injured (or even killed) by careless electric scooter owners and electric bike riders.
While electric bike and scooter riders are allowed to travel in regular bicycle lanes at up to 30 MPH, that added congestion raises accident risks for everyone.
Here’s additional information that can help you or a loved one know what to expect after you’ve been injured in an accident due to a Manhattan electric scooter or e-bike rider. Our law firm is ready to help you fight for the maximum compensation available after you’ve been seriously injured (or after the wrongful death of a close family member). We believe all these tragic accidents are preventable and are eager to advocate for your rights.
How our Manhattan e-bike and electric scooter accident law firm can help each client
One of our investigators can visit the accident scene. We are ready to search for any useful evidence that may still be there. We can also talk to surrounding shop owners or businesses to see if they or any of their employees witnessed your accident.
We can take photos of the area while at the scene, making careful note of any nearby video surveillance cameras that may have caught the accident on film. Videos captured by nearby business or government entities often provide the most valuable evidence we can use to settle your case or win a substantial trial verdict.
Our firm can help you preserve any cell phone GPS data that documented where you were at the time the accident occurred.
We can start requesting copies of all your initial medical treatment records
Your lawyer can obtain copies of any police accident reports. If the cops were called to the accident scene, they sometimes add helpful drawings to their reports and make initial comments about who may have been liable for the event.
Members of your legal team may consult with an accident reconstruction expert. These individuals can help us build strong cases even on circumstantial evidence, especially when camera footage and witness statements are not available.
As your lawyers, we’re prepared to handle all these important matters – along with trying to negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies — while you concentrate on obtaining all of the medical care you need to heal.
Defining e-bikes and e-scooters Accidents
While most of us know that electric bikes are simply regular bicycles with an alternate motorized capacity, many people do not understand what constitutes an e-scooter. In general, an electric scooter (e-scooter) looks like the scooters many of us used while growing up. It features two wheels, handlebars that help you steer, and a floorboard you can stand on.
What’s somewhat unique about an e-scooter is that it has a battery-powered motor that is mounted near one of the wheels. Although you don’t currently have to be licensed to drive an e-scooter in New York City, you must be at least 16 years old to ride on one. Also, while everyone should always wear a helmet when riding an e-bike or e-scooter, the law only requires this of 16- and 17-year-old riders.
Most common injuries our clients report after being hurt by e-bikes & e-scooters
Ways that New York’s comparative fault laws can affect your case
If you have ever filed a personal injury claim in the past, you may already know that insurance adjustors always try to blame most (or all) the fault for any accident on the victim. While this is often sad and dishonorable, it can help you to understand how your case will may move forward, as these types of arguments are alleged against you. We’re prepared to use all the available evidence to refute each of these claims on your behalf.
If you were wearing any headphones or using a smartphone when injured, the insurance company may claim that you increased your own chances of being hurt. They will also say that if you had been simply listening to your surroundings, you would have heard enough to move out of the way before you were hurt.
You may be accused of having been speeding on your own bicycle. Likewise, if you were a pedestrian, they may claim that you were walking against the traffic light when hit.
An insurance adjustor may allege that since your bicycle did not have proper mounted lights or reflectors – you increased your own chances of being hit.
Normally, we can successfully counter all these arguments on your behalf. Yet it’s important to know that should a court later assign partial fault for the accident to you, it’s still often possible to recover a sizeable amount of compensation.
The most common causes of e-bike and e-scooter accidents
The e-scooter rider who hit you was driving above the top speed allowed. At present, New York City has set a basic speed of 15 MPH for e-scooters. However, if the e-bike or e-scooter owner was riding in a bike lane and or on the street, the maximum speed allowed is up to 30 MPH.
The e-bike or e-scooter rider was disobeying traffic lights or signs.
A bus, car, or truck veered into the e-scooter or e-bike rider’s path. This may have caused that e-bike or e-scooter driver to hit you. Keep in mind, our firm always carefully reviews all the evidence so we can name every potential defendant in your lawsuit. One or more parties may be partially liable for your injuries.
The e-bike or e-scooter rider had not received proper training. Unfortunately, too many members of the public think that these convenient sources of travel are easy to drive. In fact, they are often much harder to maneuver than regular, nonmotorized scooters and bicycles. Hopefully, many boroughs will decide to copy a Bronx program that offers new riders the chance to attend a monthly training session. However, e-scooter riders must avoid traveling on the Bronx River Parkway and other NYC bike lanes and streets that have specifically forbidden the operation of any battery-powered vehicles.
Road defects. Sometimes, a driver may hit a pothole or skid across a spilled substance before accidentally harming you.
Rider distraction. Too many e-scooter and e-bike riders pay little attention to their surroundings. In fact, some may even be listening to music while moving down the street.
What should you do right after being hit by an e-scooter or e-bike?
As is true regarding the aftermath of most personal injuries, you need to obtain the best medical care and treatment you can as soon as possible. If your injuries are not life-threatening, you might want to quickly handle the following tasks, before seeking medical care.
Take pictures with your cell phone. It can prove particularly useful to have photos of where you and everyone else involved in the accident ended up immediately after impact. It’s also wise to take photos of your injuries.
Ask any witnesses you see for their contact information. Many people are willing to help in these situations, especially when they believe you were the victim. Be sure to tell them that your attorney may contact them directly to request a sworn statement.
Keep everything you were wearing and carrying when hit. All such evidence can prove extremely useful in demonstrating the power of the impact and all that you suffered. In some cases, people may also lose valuable belongings that they were carrying when hit.
Be prepared to provide any law enforcement officials who come to the accident scene with your name and contact information. It’s also wise to note the officer’s name and badge number. Avoid offering a lengthy statement to anyone at the accident scene – unless you’re wanting to truthfully tell the police that you believe that the other party involved caused the entire event.
If you were riding any type of bicycle, moped or e-scooter that was damaged, try to arrange to get a friend to come pick up the vehicle. You might also drop it off at a friend’s home when traveling to a neighborhood medical clinic or emergency room.
Compensation available to most Manhattan e-bicycle or e-scooter accident survivors
Funds to cover all accident-related medical bills. This can include money to cover all future care and treatment, too.
Pain and suffering
Reduced or minimized daily quality of life. Spouses often sue for what’s called a “loss of consortium” when their severely injured spouse can no longer have sexual relations with them. Other changes in prior family activities may also be covered.
Lost earnings or wages. In some cases, we can also make a claim for your lost earning capacity. This often happens if a client’s injuries are so severe that you may never be able to work in your previous job field again – or find other suitable employment.
Property damage. This might involve your own e-bike if you were hit by someone else riding an e-bike or e-scooter. It could also involve valuable property you were carrying at the time you were hit and knocked to the ground.
While there may be other potential types of losses entitling you to additional compensation, the main categories are listed above.
If you have suffered serious injuries after an e-bike accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our New York City e-scooter law firm. We will carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.