As major cities make an effort to “go green”, and more people look to transport sharing companies for cheap ways to get around without the need for public transport, companies like Lyft monopolize on the change. However, this move toward shared transport isn’t without its hazards.
Recently, the ride-share company Lyft pulled its electric bikes from city centers after customers complained about brakes that are too strong. While strong brakes are definitely better than no brakes, customers in New York, Washington D.C and San Francisco have all had problems with the Lyft e-bikes. The bike-sharing companies owned by Lyft that have been affected include Citi Bike, Capital Bikeshare, and Ford GoBike.
It wasn’t just the complaints that got Lyft to take action, however. Many major news outlets reported cyclist injuries after being thrown from the bikes upon braking, and Lyft decided to pull the e-bikes in an effort to prevent anyone else from being hurt. Lyft says they are working to fix the problem soon, but for now, you’ll have to use the power of your legs if you want to use their services.
E-bikes are growing in popularity in cities around the world. These e-bikes work in the same way as a hybrid electric car, except instead of using fuel to recharge, it uses your own manpower. These e-bikes contain a small battery and motor that charges as you pedal, which can then carry you along. They are proving a popular solution for those who want to get across the city above ground, and for those who would have used a bicycle but who couldn’t turn up at their destination looking like they’d just had a thirty-minute workout. But, as with all these new ride-share and bike-share companies, there’s one big question – when something goes wrong, who’s at fault?
Who is Liable for an Injury Sustained on a Rented E-Bike?
E-bikes can end up in accidents, just like cars, and there are all kinds of hazards in the city that may cause one. Bicycle accidents are, unfortunately, common, and they often leave cyclists with severe injuries. We often see accidents where a cyclist has been hit by a negligent driver, and while getting hit with any vehicle can cause life-changing injuries, the trend toward larger and larger SUVs and trucks means that being a cyclist in the roads is more dangerous than ever.
But being hit by another road user isn’t the only hazard that may be someone else’s fault – if you were riding a bike that was defective then it is the company who made the bike or rented it to you who is at fault. This is the situation those injured by Lyft’s electric bikes found themselves in.
If you are a cyclist who has sustained an injury in an accident that was caused by someone else, you are likely considering seeking compensation. If you were injured on a defective bike you rented from a bike-share company like Lyft, they may be liable for the damages you sustained.
Liability essentially comes down to negligence – was Lyft, or another bike-sharing company, negligent in your case? If your bike should have been recalled or properly maintained but wasn’t, they are likely responsible for the costs of your physical and mental trauma.
What Are Some Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Unfortunately, bike accident injuries are often severe. Of course, the worst injuries result in the cyclist being killed, and if someone is killed while operating a defunct bicycle it is considered a “wrongful death”, and if this occurs the family or estate will be able to seek compensation. Other severe injuries include:
- Brain Trauma After a Bicycle Accident – traumatic brain injury is a common injury for cyclists who were not wearing helmets at the time of their injury, or who were wearing ill-fitting or aged helmets. Traumatic brain injuries are often life-changing, and the recovery process can be a long road that not only leaves the victim with large medical bills but also an inability to work.
- Broken Bones After a Bicycle Accident – another extremely common injury are broken bones, especially in the limbs and ribs. No break is a good one, but in bad accidents, the fractures may compound (break through the skin) or compromise other organs. All breaks, even minor ones, take at least six weeks to heal, and most people will be forced to take time away from work during this time.
- Cuts and Gashes After a Bicycle Accident – bicycle accidents can often result in deep cuts and gashes that require stitches, and sometimes a hospital stay and antibiotics. If the laceration is deep enough, the victim may lose a lot of blood, sever an artery, or even puncture an organ. All of these injuries are unpleasant and may result in time away from work and possibly a period of bedrest.
I Was Injured While Riding an E-Bike, What Should I Do?
If you were injured while using a ride-share bike, it’s important that you call a ride-share bike lawyer to work on your personal injury case. The company’s insurance company will never want to compensate you for your injuries, so it’s important you get someone to advocate for you so you can focus on recovering. If you think you may be due compensation for an accident you were a victim, contact The Injury FIrm as soon as possible in Fort Lauderdale 954-951-0000, in Boston 883-332-1333 or in West Palm Beach 883-332-1333 .