Chicago Electric Bike Accident Attorneys
If you were involved in an electric bike accident and have sustained injuries as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Our successful lawyers here at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are well-versed on personal injury claims and are ready to help you get started with your case.
Walking around the city you may see people riding on odd-looking bikes with “Lime” or “Jump” on the side. These are the names of companies that provide rental electric bikes, or e-bikes. These new types of bikes were brought into existence a couple of years ago when the major companies Lime and Bird were founded. More rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber later joined in. Jump, for example, is an e-bike that is rented using the Uber app.
These bikes can travel at a decent speed. Lime bikes go as fast as 15 mph, while Jump bikes can reach up to 20 mph. Electric bikes are pedal-assisted, which means that you are still required to pedal while the motors give you a boost. And while these new toys seem like a fun time at first glance, a deeper look proves that they pose many dangers.
What Exactly is Lime & Jump?
Lime and Jump, which is owned by Uber, are rental rideshare companies. Lime provides both electric bikes and electric scooters, while Uber is a rideshare company that is just now branching out into the electric bike world. You download the app, enter your card information for payment, see where the nearest electric scooter or bike is to your location using GPS, and then pay to activate the bike of your choice. You may ride for as long as you would like to pay for before ending the ride and leaving the bike wherever for the next person. While these companies do have “safety guidelines” for their riders, they do not regularly enforce them.
What are the Dangers of Using E-Bikes?
Riders take on many risks when they rent an e-bike. Just as riding a regular bike has its risks, riding an electrically boosted bike has a few more. These risks can result in minor and major injuries, and even death, to both riders and non-riders. More problems arise because e-bikes are not owned by the rider, but rather being rented.
Common minor injuries for bike accidents include simple cuts, gashes, and road rash. More severe injuries include fractures, sprains, and dislocations. E-bikes also have a high risk of brain trauma, which can lead to death, especially when the rider is not wearing a helmet. When these bikes collide with motor vehicles, the risk of death is much higher. Since e-bike companies do not provide helmets, the odds of a user bringing one themselves is slim, increasing the risk even more.
Even if you were not even riding an electric bike, you can still be seriously injured if involved in a collision with one. Injuries vary with these bike vs. pedestrian accidents, and they are sometimes serious in nature. E-bike companies have been plagued with malfunction and brake issues, causing all sorts of injuries. Of course, they pull them out, fix the issue, and distribute them to the masses again. But they continue to sprout new issues, and they may be overlooking many causes of injury that they most likely feel is too much work to really fix too. The only “safety” information these companies really provide is suggesting to wear a helmet and to read the bike laws in the user’s specific state. While the companies may claim they are safety-oriented, this is simply not the case. It is hard to manage something of this magnitude where bikes are being rented from just about anywhere and without supervision.
How Can I Be Safe On or Around E-Bikes?
If you are using an electric bike from either of these companies, it is extremely important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Know who is around you, how fast you are going, what is in front of you, and what might suddenly be in front of you at any moment. Test the bikes before hopping on. Ensure that the brakes are working. The bike should be in perfect riding condition with nothing off or working incorrectly. If something seems off, report the bike on the app and choose a different one.
If you are going to ride on a sidewalk, always ride slowly and use the bell to alert pedestrians of your presence. Ride at a crawl until you are away from pedestrians. Always have your hands on the brakes. You should never be riding so fast that you would not be able to stop quickly in the event of an emergency. If riding in the road, use hand signals when turning. Be aware of what is going on behind you, in front of you, and to your side. Last but not least, always bring a helmet. Do not ride if you do not have a helmet.
If you are a driver or pedestrian not using an e-bike but are near one, be alert as well. Give them a wide berth and attempt to put space between you. Do not dart in front of them or distract the rider. It is best to avoid them if you can. But if it’s not possible, move slowly and be very careful until you are away from each other.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for an E-Bike Accident?
If you have been involved in an electric bike accident, whether you were the one riding or not, it is imperative that you hire an attorney. Injury claims related to using a rental means of transportation are more difficult than standard vehicle accidents. With e-bike accidents, it can be difficult to identify the liable party or parties. Not only can a rider, driver, or pedestrian be reckless or negligent, but also the rideshare company and the bikes themselves can play a role in causing the accident.
With not only e-bike accidents but any personal injury claim, it is difficult to gather the evidence needed for your case and to represent yourself in court. When you add in all the other factors of a rental company accident, it gets more complex. This is why it is always a smart decision to hire a lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney will know exactly what they are doing and has done it before. They know how to get the evidence necessary to build the strongest case possible for you. An attorney can effectively argue your case in court and represent you in a positive light. They will fight for the full and fair compensation that you deserve for your e-bike injuries. Hiring a lawyer for your accident will ultimately be far more beneficial than representing and fighting for yourself. You are more likely to recover much more compensation with the help of an attorney than if you were to represent yourself. Allowing an attorney to handle all the complex legal matters will lift the burden off your shoulders. You’ll be able to focus on your health and recovery.
Why Should I Choose Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC?
The legal team at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC has won clients tens of millions of dollars over the years in a wide variety of personal injury cases. We fought hard for them, and we will fight for you, no matter how small or how large it may be. If you’ve been injured in an accident to someone else’s negligence, we believe that you deserve compensation for the suffering you have endured. We will fight tirelessly to hold the responsible party accountable and get you the compensation you are owed.
Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC has been in practice for nearly five decades, and we will put our vast experience and knowledge to work for you and your case. Our lawyers know that, when in pain, life is not fun, and neither is having to deal with an injury claim, especially with a difficult one regarding e-bike rentals. We know that while nothing will ever be able to make up for the suffering you have had to go through, you deserve to be fairly compensated for all damages. We will not rest until justice is served and you are made whole again.
Get in Contact With Us
Electric bike accidents are often serious in nature. We understand that you are in a difficult time of life if you have been injured in an e-bike accident. We want to help by making this trying time as smooth and easy as possible for you. Do not hesitate to get in contact with us via chat or a phone call if you have any questions that were not addressed. Call 312-346-8620 to get in touch with one of our lawyers at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC to start the process of recovery today.