Lyft E-Bike Hazards and Accident Liability
Bicycle sharing services owned by the popular rideshare company, Lyft, have begun removing electric bikes from their bicycle fleets after complaints about unexpectedly strong brakes. Bicycle sharing services in New York, Washington, and San Francisco have all cited safety concerns over the bike’s brakes and have removed them from service until further notice. The Lyft owned bike-share companies include Citi Bike, Capital Bikeshare, and Ford GoBike that are used by a large number of people across the country to temporarily rent bicycles as an alternative to rideshare services or simply walking.
A number of users of the electronic bicycles reported “stronger than expected force on the front wheel”. Major news outlets have reported that a number of bicyclists have suffered injuries as a result of e-bikes resulting in bike-share companies to pull their bicycles from availability in order to avoid becoming liable for any further injuries suffered on their products.
The bike-share companies report that a new e-bike is currently on the way but for the time being, the bike-sharing services they offer will consist of only pedal propelled bicycles. E-bikes are bicycles that utilize a small electric battery and motor that charges up as the rider pedals and can provide a burst of speed. The pedal-assisted system of e-bikes can reach a maximum speed of 18 mile per hour and have become fairly popular in major metropolitan areas due to the reduced physical exertion the electric motor propulsion allows.
Liability for Electric Bike-Share Injuries
Bicycles, like many vehicles, can end up in accidents that injure all those involved. In fact, bicycle accidents here in Florida are actually quite commonplace and result in some surprisingly severe injuries suffered by cyclists. When a cyclist suffers one of these injuries as a result of a bicycle accident that is the fault of another party, they may want to consider seeking compensation for their injuries. Those at fault for a bicycle accident could include the driver of a vehicle that struck a cyclist, a bicycle manufacturing company that caused an accident with a defective product, or in the case of Lyft’s recent e-bike debacle, the owner of a bike-share company.
In the case that someone is injured while they are riding a bicycle that they rented, the owner of the bicycle that rented it to them may be liable for the damages in certain circumstances. When a bike-share company is negligent and puts out bicycles that they know may cause an injury due to some feature or defect then they can be found liable for the injuries that they cause. Lyft’s rideshare companies that have recently pulled their problematic e-bikes could potentially face legal action from a person that sustained a severe injury due to the e-bikes’ brakes. After having several people suffer accidents and injuries due to a feature of one of their products, the bike-share companies then have the knowledge that an aspect of their product can cause harm. To continue fielding an e-bike with a problematic brake would demonstrate negligence due to the fact that they were aware that there was a fixable condition that could hurt consumers.
Florida Rental Bike Injury Liability
While this e-bike controversy was focused in major cities in other states, the underlying principles of liability are applicable in similar situations here in Florida. Major cities here in Florida also have a variety of bike share services that can be used by people that are involved in accidents. Should a bicycle accident involving the use of a rented bike-share bike be caused by something like a defective part on that bike then the owners could be held liable in a bicycle accident claim.
Common Severe Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle Accident Traumatic Brain Injuries
One of the worst kinds of injuries that can be suffered in a bicycle accident is a traumatic brain injury. It is also one of the most common injuries to be suffered in a bicycle accident due to a large number of cyclists that choose to not wear bicycle helmets. Traumatic brain injuries regularly cause long-lasting damage to the victim’s cognitive functions and can result in massive damages to a victim’s finances.
Bicycle Accident Broken/ Fractured Bones
Collisions with bicyclists cause massive trauma that can break and fracture bones. Depending on what breaks or fractures, a bicycle accident victim could walk away either with a minor injury that can heal in a few weeks or a severe break that can compromise other organs. Broken or fractured bones regardless of severity can affect your ability to work and cost you lost wages.
Bicycle Accident Lacerations
Bicycle accidents can often result in deep cuts and lacerations that can put an accident victim out of work for some time. Cuts can result in heavy blood loss, puncturing of organs, and nerve damage. Permanent scarring and lingering damage can also have an effect on someone’s ability to perform their job.
Call a Clearwater, Florida Bike Accident Lawyer Today to Discuss Potential Damages in Your Personal Injury Case
Bicycles are no match for a motor vehicle. Consequently, when a motor vehicle collides with a bike on a Clearwater, Florida roadway, the results can be catastrophic and sometimes deadly. If the accident victim dies in the bike accident, the accident victim’s surviving relatives may be able to open an estate and pursue damages on the estate’s behalf, via a wrongful death claim.
If you have sustained damages in a bike accident, the insurance company is never on your side. In fact, the insurance company will do everything in its power to lessen or eliminate the amount of damages it has to pay out to you in a personal injury case.
The knowledgeable Clearwater, Florida bike accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group are prepared to take on the insurance company and make sure that you recover all of the monetary damages you are entitled to recover under the law. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Clearwater bike accident lawyer, please call us today at 727-451-6900 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765