If you or a loved one were struck by a motor vehicle while riding an E-scooter or E-bike in New York, it is likely that you sustained serious injuries. You may have significant medical expenses, missed time from work, and even have a temporary or permanent disability. While you have options, dealing with an insurance company in the aftermath of a collision can be extremely difficult on your own.
At Gold & Gold, PA, our attorneys can help. We understand how to handle these claims, the issues that are involved, and will work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome in your case. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, alternative modes of transportation have grown in popularity in New York City and the surrounding suburbs. Among them are E-bikes and E-scooters that were legalized in NYC in 2020. Combine those “micromobility devices” with traditional mopeds and motorcycles and we are seeing a growing confusion on how to define these vehicles and the laws that apply to them. This confusion has undoubtedly led to the misuse of E-bikes and E-scooters, leading to an uptick in serious or catastrophic injuries.
An E-scooter is defined by Vehicle and Traffic Law section 114-e as a device weighing less than 100 pounds that has handlebars, a floorboard or seat and can be powered by an electric motor or human power. An E-scooter has a maximum speed of no more than 20 miles per hour but in NYC, can only be operated at a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour. NYC does not require a license to operate an E-scooter and they do not require a registration. E-scooters can be operated in NYC bike lanes and NYC streets with speed limits no greater than 30 miles per hour.
An E-bike is defined by Vehicle and Traffic Law section 102-c as a bicycle no more than 36 inches wide with an electric motor less than 750 watts. Like E-scooters, E-bikes also do not require a license or registration to operate. E-bikes are divided into three classes with the main differences being pedal assist (Class 1); throttle up to 20 mph (Class 2) and throttle up to 25 mph (Class 3). All E-bikes can be operated in NYC bike lanes and NYC streets with speed limits no greater than 30 miles per hour.
Unlike E-scooters and E-bikes, to operate a moped or motorcycle, you are required to have a license and registration
Depending on your city, town or village, there may be additional laws, ordinances or definitions applicable to E-scooters and E-bikes. Make sure to check with your local government to ensure you are following the law and operating your E-scooter or E-bike safely.
E-scooter and E-bike injuries affect operators and pedestrians alike. Some common causes of accidents leading to injuries include:
Operators of E-scooters and E-bikes are far more vulnerable than operators of cars. That is why E-scooter and E-bike accidents often result in catastrophic injuries requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care. In many scenarios, New York State’s no-fault laws will help protect you following an E-scooter or E-bike accident. If you are operating an E-scooter or E-bike with a top speed of 20 mph and are struck by another vehicle, you are considered a pedestrian. In that scenario, you are a “covered person” under the New York no-fault laws and can seek up to $50,000.00 in medical care from the driver’s insurance carrier, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. If your E-scooter or E-bike has a top speed above 20 mph, you will not be covered by no-fault insurance. In that scenario, you would have to use your own medical insurance or pay out of pocket for your medical care. If you are a pedestrian struck by an E-scooter or E-bike, you may be covered under your own auto insurance for the cost of your medical care.
E-scooters and E-bikes are a relatively new trend that provide a fun, economical, and environmentally friendly way to get around. However, they also pose significant risks to their operators, other bikers, and pedestrians. Additionally, the rules and definitions of these devices make it tricky to determine who is responsible for the cost of your medical care.
If you were injured while operating an E-scooter or E-bike or by the operator of an E-scooter or E-bike, we can help. The trial attorneys at Gold & Gold have extensive experience in litigating claims arising from the use of E-scooters and E-bikes. Let our personal injury attorneys help you secure the fair compensation you deserve following an E-scooter or E-bike injury so you can focus on getting better.