Bike and Electric Scooter Ride Share Personal Injury Claims

In recent years, urban mobility has seen a significant transformation with the rising popularity of bike and electric scooter ride-shares. These eco-friendly and convenient transportation options cater to city dwellers and tourists alike, providing an efficient way to navigate congested city streets and tight urban spaces.

Chicago has embraced this trend with popular local schemes such as Divvy bikes and Lime scooters. These programs not only promote a greener commute but also enhance accessibility across the city.

However, with the increased use of these ride-shares comes a rise in associated risks and accidents. This article will discuss the bike and electric scooter-sharing schemes in Chicago, and accident statistics associated with the programs. We will also explore the rights and responsibilities of both the riders and the ride-share companies and advise you as to what you should do if you are involved in a bike or electric scooter accident.

Bike and Electric Scooter Sharing Schemes in Chicago

Hitting the streets of Chicago on two wheels has become more accessible thanks to bike and electric scooter-sharing programs. Here’s a quick breakdown of the two main options:

  • Divvy This city-owned program is a leader in docked bike sharing. Divvy and Lyft offer classic bicycles, electric bikes (e-bikes), and electric scooters. You can rent these vehicles using the Divvy app and pick them up or drop them off at designated stations located throughout Chicago.  Divvy is a great choice for both residents and visitors looking for a reliable and affordable way to explore the city.
  • Electric Scooter Rentals — Several private companies, like Lime and Spin, also operate dockless electric scooter-sharing programs in Chicago. Unlike Divvy, these scooters don’t require docking at specific stations. You can locate, unlock, and pay for a scooter using the company’s app and leave it parked responsibly within designated zones once your ride is complete.

Partnerships and Endorsements

Divvy and the electric scooter programs collaborate closely with the City of Chicago. Divvy is part of a broader partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation, ensuring that the bike-share system aligns with citywide transportation planning and sustainability goals. Electric scooter operators work under city regulations and pilot program guidelines to ensure safety and order in their deployment. 

Through these innovative ride-share schemes, Chicago is making strides toward creating a more connected and sustainable urban environment, aligning modern transportation needs with environmental consciousness and urban planning objectives.

Accident Statistics and Safety Concerns

As bike and electric scooter ride-share programs become more integral to urban transportation in Chicago, understanding the safety implications and accident statistics associated with these services is crucial for riders and policymakers alike.

Accident Statistics

While comprehensive and up-to-date statistics on accidents involving ride-share bikes and electric scooters in Chicago are continually evolving, data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests that e–scooter and e-bike related injuries have increased by nearly 21% over the past two years.  

Here’s a quick breakdown of some common factors contributing to these incidents:

  • Rider Error (30%) — Speeding, reckless riding, and ignoring traffic signals are all major contributors to accidents.
  • Dooring Accidents (20%) — These occur when a parked car door swings open into the path of an oncoming rider.
  • Driver Negligence (40%) — This seems to be the leading cause of bike and scooter accidents, and it includes failing to yield the right of way, turning without checking blind spots, and distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone). 
  • Poor Road Conditions (10%) — Potholes, uneven pavement, and debris can cause riders to lose control.
  • Malfunctioning Bikes or Scooters — While less frequent, faulty brakes, tire malfunctions, or electrical issues with e-scooters can also lead to accidents.

Types of Injuries Sustained in Bike and Electric Scooter Accidents

The lack of significant protection for riders makes bike and electric scooter accidents particularly dangerous. According to a recent study published by Forbes, scooter-related injuries and surgeries have drastically increased over the past four years. 

Here’s a look at some of the most common injuries related to these types of accidents:

  • Broken Bones — Falls and collisions can result in fractured arms, legs, wrists, ankles, and ribs.
  • Road Rash — Sliding on pavement can cause severe scrapes and abrasions, leading to pain, infection, and scarring.
  • Head Injuries — Without a helmet, riders are at high risk of head trauma, ranging from concussions to more serious injuries like skull fractures.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries — The most devastating injuries involve the spinal cord, potentially leading to paralysis and permanent disability.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities

Understanding the legal framework and individual responsibilities is essential for bike and electric scooter ride-share users in Chicago. This knowledge not only helps users navigate these services more safely but also prepares them in case of accidents.

Legal Framework Governing Ride-Shares in Chicago

In Chicago, bike and electric scooter ride-shares are governed by local ordinances and state laws regulating their use, safety standards, and operational guidelines. These regulations are designed to integrate ride-shares smoothly into the city’s existing transportation system while ensuring public safety and accessibility.

For instance, electric scooters are part of a carefully monitored pilot program that dictates where and how scooters can be deployed, used, and stored. Similarly, bike share programs like Divvy are regulated to ensure they meet safety and maintenance standards set forth by city transportation authorities.

Riders’ Responsibilities

When using bike or electric scooter ride-share services, riders are obligated to follow a set of rules to ensure their safety and that of others:

  • Compliance with Traffic Laws Riders must adhere to the same traffic laws applicable to all road users, including obeying traffic signals and signs and using designated bike lanes where available.
  • Age Restrictions Users must meet age requirements set by the service providers, typically 18 years or older, for electric scooters.
  • Proper Use of Equipment Riders should use the equipment correctly, including adjusting the helmet and ensuring the bike or scooter is in good working condition before starting their ride.
  • Parking Riders must park bikes and scooters in designated areas to avoid obstructing pedestrian paths or causing hazards to other road users.

Liability of Ride-Share Companies in Accidents

Ride-share companies have certain liabilities in the event of accidents involving their bikes or scooters:

  • Maintenance of Vehicles Companies are responsible for the regular and thorough maintenance of their fleets. Failure to do so can result in liability for accidents caused by equipment failure.
  • Adequate Safety Warnings — It is the duty of the companies to provide clear and adequate safety instructions and warnings about the proper use of their vehicles.
  • Insurance Coverage — Ride-share services are required to have insurance policies that can cover damages or injuries resulting from accidents where the company is found to be at fault. This does not absolve the rider from personal liability if the rider’s negligence contributed to the accident.

It is crucial for both ride-share users and companies to understand and fulfill their legal obligations. 

What to Do After a Bike or Electric Scooter Ride Share Accident?

Being involved in a bike or electric scooter accident can be a frightening and overwhelming experience.  Here are some crucial steps to follow in the aftermath of such an incident:

  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention Your health is the top priority. Even if you don’t feel immediate pain, adrenaline can mask injuries.  Get checked out by a doctor to ensure there are no underlying issues.
  • Report the Accident to the Ride-Sharing Company Each ride-sharing company has its reporting procedures. Report the accident through their app or by calling their customer service line. It is important to document the incident and potentially receive assistance.
  • Document the Scene If you are able, gather as much evidence as possible.  Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to the bike/scooter, your injuries (if visible), and any road hazards that may have contributed to the accident.
  • Witnesses If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information. Their statements can be invaluable in establishing what happened.
  • Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer—Personal injury lawyers specialize in helping accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. An experienced attorney can navigate the legalities of your case, deal with the ride-sharing company and potentially negligent drivers, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Choose Pullano & Siporin to Represent You After a Bike or Electric Scooter Ride Share Injury

The aftermath of a bike or electric scooter accident can be stressful and confusing. At Pullano & Siporin, we understand the challenges you face and are here to help you navigate the legal process. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers has a proven track record of securing fair compensation for our clients.

Our firm’s commitment to advocating for the rights of the injured ensures that clients receive dedicated and expert legal representation to navigate their claims effectively. Pullano & Siporin is equipped to handle all aspects of personal injury associated with bike and electric scooter ride-shares.

Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers and trial attorneys has a proven track record of successful verdicts and settlements handling a wide range of personal injury claims, including electric scooters and bike accidents. They are skilled negotiators and litigators, prepared to fight for your rights in court, if necessary.

Contact Us Today 

We understand the financial burden and emotional toll an accident can take.  Our promise to you is that we will fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the fair compensation you deserve.

Don’t struggle alone. Contact us today and schedule a free personalized consultation. We will help you understand your legal options and take the first step towards holding those responsible accountable.

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