The bikes of our childhood got a new look and come back in an electric version in our cities, our roads, our sidewalks, and our cycle tracks: it is the electric bike. What happens in the event of an accident?

More and more electric bikes but also more and more electric scooters.

If you suffered injuries on an electric bike, then you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the electric scooter company. You might also be eligible for a class action. There are currently multiple class action lawsuits pending against scooter companies, including Bird Rides, Lime Bike, Skip or Spin. An e-scooter accident lawyer can help you explore your options.

What You Need to Know About the e-Scooter Class Action Lawsuit

There are several cases that could arise:

  • The pedestrian victim hit by a scooter

This is the simplest case since the scooter driver without motor is also considered as a pedestrian. As you can see, when it comes to the scooter driver without a motor, even if he is considered to be a pedestrian, he remains at fault and the pedestrian victim who has been knocked down will have to be compensated for all his injuries. Compensation to the victim pedestrian will be done through the liability insurance of the scooter driver without an engine.

  • Pedestrian struck by an electric scooter (homologated and not homologated)
  • The driver of a scooter hit by a motor vehicle
  • Case of a motor vehicle crashing into an electric scooter driver
  • The driver of a scooter hit by a pedestrian
  • A pedestrian who hits an electric scooter
  • The driver of the electric scooter must also wear a helmet and above all to be insured (more and more insurance vehicles offer specific insurance for new means of transport).

Scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, are currently facing personal injury and class action lawsuits. Many of the plaintiffs in these cases have the following similar complaints:

  • -The defendants contributed to injuries suffered by multiple plaintiffs.
  • -The defendants were negligent in dumping scooters along public streets without notice or authorization.
  • -The defendants failed to take action to eliminate the hazards and risks they imposed on the public.
  • -Bird’s and Lime’s safety instructions did not satisfy reasonable safety standards.
  • -Bird and Lime breached their warranties, thereby, building scooters that are not suitable for repeated public use.

If you have suffered injuries from an e-scooter and you are seeking compensation for your losses, you may be entitled to the following damages:

  • Hospital bills or other medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional turmoil
  • Lost pay or future earning capacity
  • Pain medication and other prescriptions
  • Long-term disability, rehabilitation, or additional future medical costs
  • Loss of consortium

What you can claim depends on the circumstances of your accident, your total losses, and if you can establish that an e-scooter company is responsible for your injuries. Our lawyers can help you establish liability and case value to get you the compensation you deserve.

Appropriate Riding Gear

Riders injured in a crash that was not their fault may still have to accept some of the blame if they are not wearing enough protective clothing. The legal term is “contributory negligence” and it can result in a reduced payout for riders, even if they are not at fault.

Contributory negligence is a defense often raised by the Traffic Accident Commission who represent the ‘at fault’ driver. It can cover a wide range of issues. The defense is raised when the TAC considers that the injured person’s damages should be reduced because their injuries were contributed to by their failure to take reasonable care for their own safety. This can be the case regardless of whether the rider’s actions partly caused the accident or if they were criminally at fault.

An example of criminal fault is not wearing a helmet, or being alcohol/drug-affected.

It can also be applied even if the rider’s actions were not illegal and did not contribute to the crash, but they were not wearing “appropriate riding gear”.

What constitutes appropriate riding gear?

In civil cases, the same standard is applied to all of these issues. In a civil setting, the standard that is placed on you is that you take reasonable care for your own safety. In other words, you may not have caused the crash, but if you contributed to your injuries by not wearing proper protective gear, your damages may be reduced due to a finding of contributory negligence. There is a reasonable expectation that if someone is riding a bike at high speed in shorts and thongs and not any appropriate gear, any degree by which their injury is made worse by failing to protect themselves may result in a reduction of their damages.

It may not be illegal to ride in shorts and thongs, but a court might say you could have done more to avoid injury. It can be a persuasive part of the defense argument.

This results that the lump-sum payout may be reduced by a percentage. The jury decides the amount of damages the injured person is entitled to, and then decides by what percentage, if any, it should be reduced by contributory negligence. The judge gives them some guidance but the percentage reduction is ultimately in the jury’s hands.

The lesson for riders is to wear the gear to reduce your exposure both physically and financially. It’s also a good idea to seek good legal representation as soon as possible after an accident.

 

 

It’s Getting Hot

Summer is here and everyone will be heading to swimming pools to cool off and have fun in the water. However, water and concrete in close proximity to each other makes swimming pools, natural places for accidents to occur. The sad truth is that swimming pool accidents are all too common and in some cases, innocent lives are lost.

The laws require public swimming pools to have a lifeguard on duty. But owners must notify users if there is no lifeguard on duty by posting signs. If a lifeguard is negligent in his or her duties or a sign is not posted, the owner of the swimming pool may be liable for the swimmers’ injuries.

The drains of swimming pools present potentially life-threatening situations for people, young children in particular. Federal law requires swimming pool owners to install an anti-entrapment device to keep swimmers’ limbs, hair, or clothing from being caught in the drainage system. If these devices are not installed in swimming pools, it could result in the occurrence of fatal or nearly fatal injuries.

There are many dangers in the areas surrounding swimming pools. Swimming pool decks that are made of concrete can become extremely slippery, causing people to slip and fall. The swimming pool owners have to make sure that proper precautions are taken so that there are no slippery or uneven decks around pool areas to cause slip and fall accidents.

If a person or a child is injured in a swimming pool accident, the owner of the property may be liable for the injuries. To hold the swimming pool owner liable for the injuries, you are required to show that the owner had a duty of care and that they breached that duty of care, and that breach caused your injuries.

You may seek compensation for injuries that you sustained in a swimming pool accident. The potential damages you can recover include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income.

You can also sue for wrongful death if one of your family members dies in a swimming pool accident caused by the owner or operator’s negligence. You can obtain compensation for your relative’s medical and funeral costs, loss of consortium and more.

Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit – this means that there is a time limit within which you must file a suit. If you do not file within that time period, your case will be dismissed. You should consult a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling swimming pool accident cases.

You should also bear in mind that although your case may seem simple and you think that you can handle it yourself, it is best to hire an attorney to assist you. There are certain rules and procedures that you need to follow and having an attorney will ensure that you do not make any mistakes and lose any compensation you may be entitled to.

90% minimum: this is the part of human responsibility generally accepted in road accidents. In other words, the large share of accidents due to a driving error that could be avoided by a vehicle driving independently. No fatigue, no inattention, distraction, no hesitation…the artificial intelligence coordinates the information cross-checked from the various onboard sensors (cameras, radars, laser radars) and the external data, resulting from the communication with infrastructures and other vehicles, even pedestrians and their smartphones … An immense stream of data analyzed continuously and managed by a processor endowed with artificial intelligence to be predictive of the driving situations and behaviors of other users and even better avoid all risks by acting on the brakes, throttle, and steering. Ideal on paper, but so complex to put in place!

Autonomous car accidents: should we be afraid?

self driving car accidentsIn the meantime, we are in a pivotal period of technological development, all communication infrastructures are not in place, far from it, and extensive road tests, whether in Europe or the United States, are only allowed. It is tough to let a car drive itself for hours while being ready to go into action in a fraction of a second when the time comes. This is precisely what failed in two different cases; two fatal accidents occurred a few days apart last March in the United States.

At the federal level, Congress has so far been unsuccessful in its effort to enact uniform safety legislation for the testing and deployment of self-driving cars. As a result, several states have proceeded to pass their safety regulations, and these impose varying degrees of responsibility (and liability) on manufacturers and owners of self-driving cars. For example:

  • https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2018/03/governor-ducey-updates-autonomous-vehicle-executive-order
  • https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/2018/2018_17

In practical terms, this lack of a national safety standard means that if you’re injured in an accident with a self-driving car, your legal recourse against the manufacturer and owner of the vehicle may vary depending on the state in which the accident occurred.

The Human Element

In a typical car accident with a human driver at the wheel, the driver engages in some negligence, such as running a red light that causes a collision with another car. In this situation, the negligent driver is primarily liable for the injuries caused by the crash.

In some states, the car’s owner may be liable as well, as long as the vehicle was being driven with the owner’s knowledge and consent. And in situations where the collision is caused by some manufacturing defect in the car itself, anyone injured may be able to sue the manufacturer on a “product liability” theory of fault. So, there could be three potential avenues of recourse when you are injured in a conventional car accident: the offending driver, the car’s owner, and the car’s manufacturer (putting aside the potential financial responsibility of the respective car insurance carriers).

With self-driving cars that have no “driver” to sue, it would appear at first blush that your recourse is now limited to a suit against the car’s owner, operator, or manufacturer. But this is a rapidly-evolving area. In many situations, until the technology advances to the point where self-driving cars are fully autonomous, a human is still required to sit in the driver’s seat so that he or she can take over the controls as conditions present themselves — or in the alternative, a human remote operator is required to monitor the vehicle’s movement and take over as necessary. Which brings us to our next topic…

Testing Company Liability for Self-Driving Vehicle Accidents

As we saw in March 2018, when a self-driving Uber car struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, self-driving technology has not yet been perfected to the point where the car can sense, react to, and avoid a sudden and unexpected danger.

The upshot of this reality is that as long as self-driving cars require human assistance, those humans (whether sitting in the driver’s seat or monitoring the vehicle remotely) will remain potentially liable if their negligence contributes to a car accident. And if these human drivers/remote operators are employees of companies like Uber, Google (Waymo), or another company engaged in testing self-driving vehicles, the companies will be on the legal hook under established principles of employer liability for a car accident.

With regard to a manufacturer’s liability, some states have passed laws that deem the automated driving system to be the “driver” or “operator” of an autonomous vehicle for purposes of determining conformance to applicable rules of the road. These states require manufacturers of these vehicles to assume fault for each incident in which the automated driving system is at fault. Under this theory, if the automated driving system’s “negligence” causes an accident, the manufacturer assumes that negligence, and the legal liability that comes with it.

While this may give some comfort to persons injured by self-driving cars given the “deep pockets” of vehicle manufacturers, it’s still necessary to prove fault. And precisely what this means — whether showing some kind of flaw in the design or development of the automated driving system, or retrieving the vehicle’s event/data recorder to prove that the vehicle ran a red light — will have to be sorted out as cases make their way through the nation’s courts, and the legal possibilities evolve into legal principles.