How Can People Be Injured on or by a LimeBike?
Lime (formerly known as LimeBike) and its users have been accused of violating many local ordinances and traffic laws to promote their app-based rental program. Lime, Bird, Scoot, Jump, and even Ford brand electric bikes and/or scooters are flooding the streets of cities all over the world.
As always, new transportation technologies come with all-new potential for injuries! Our experienced accident attorneys in Beverly Hills, CA are familiar with the issues raised by LimeBike and electric scooter use, and how to help victims of LimeBike collisions obtain compensation.
How Lime Works
The concept is simple. Instead of hiring an Uber or Lyft driver to take you around congested cities in gridlock traffic, why not take an electric scooter or e-bike rental for a few cents a minute? The users download an app for their SmartPhones that directs them to the GPS location of a potential e-scooter or e-bike.
Some companies like Jump and Ford have dedicated drop-off locations that limit the flexibility of your route. The unlawful drop-off-anywhere lure of e-scooters and e-bikes by companies like Lime are arguably violating many local California ordinances, which is why San Francisco ordered electric scooters removed from its streets in June 2018.
Legal Difficulties Caused by LimeBikes and E-Scooters
The laws for riding an electric scooter or bike may vary wildly between jurisdictions. Some cities require drivers making a left turn to dismount their rental and walk it across the street as a pedestrian. Driving at night without a headlight is likely a violation in many other jurisdictions. In some places, it may be unlawful to operate the rental without a helmet. Rental bikes and scooters with pedals are often required to drive in bike lanes if available, or otherwise on the roads under the same traffic laws as any motorcycle or automobile.
These laws create a lot of strict liability problems for operators of these rentals. If they fail to follow the local ordinances they may be found negligent in the courts and held liable for any injuries that result from their breach of community contract. If you have been involved in a LimeBike accident, it’s all the more important to retain an accident attorney who is familiar with legal precedent in e-bike and e-scooter cases and can help you defend your rights.
Who Is At Fault?
The people who rent and use LimeBikes may fail to brush up on the laws before deciding to drive on a sidewalk and endanger pedestrians. On the other side of the coin, a responsible LimeBike operator may be following all the rules perfectly and encounter negligent motorists. An automobile may fail to yield to a LimeBike rider overtaking them, or may suddenly open their doors before checking for all types of traffic. LimeBike riders have also been involved in accidents with parked vehicles.
What Kind of Injuries Can a LimeBike Accident Cause?
There are a variety of injuries that can be incurred in a LimeBike accident even at low city speeds. It is not uncommon to see cases of whiplash, lacerations, broken bones, fractures, muscular bruising, concussions, and even major dental emergencies.
How is Fault Determined in LimeBike Accidents?
Whenever there is an accident, the question of fault arises — because that’s what determines who gets compensation from whom. In the case of a LimeBike, the answer may not always be clear. The courts often use the established laws to determine brightline rules of negligence. If one party was not following the traffic laws or local ordinances where this may be an underlying cause of the accident, it is easy to impute blame on the party.
Accidents often occur as a result of what are termed “multiple proximate causes.” It is not only the negligence of the driver that is to blame as the sole proximate cause of the injuries, because the victim of circumstance may play a part in causation as well. For example, the LimeBike rider may have been negligent for driving his bike on the sidewalk. However, in his defense, he may cite that he was operating it at the pace of people walking the sidewalk and did not present a clear and present danger for which the law was logically applicable. The man walking out of the business with the expensive painting in his hand may be found to have comparative negligence for rushing out the door with sunglasses on and bumping into another man who could not maneuver due to the LimeBike next to him.
Yes, the LimeBike driver violated a local ordinance and failed to anticipate the logical risk of a “saint of circumstance” injury. The liability comes from the fact that it is easier to trip on bicycles on the sidewalk and more difficult to maneuver around them when high traffic negotiations are needed. Nevertheless, the LimeBike driver did not act with malicious intent and would not have been in this situation without the negligence of the art collector rushing out the door and running over pedestrians himself. The LimeBike driver could in no manner be held fully accountable for the actions of the art collector, who was also at fault.
What Types of Compensation are Available?
Generally, LimeBike accident victims will need to hire an accident lawyer familiar with e-bike and e-scooter accidents. An expert personal injury attorney can help you receive compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, permanent disability, wrongful death, diminished quality of life issues, and any other damages to property. If an automobile is involved in negligence, the accident claims are typically filed against the driver’s insurance company.
The wide-open landscape of these cases presents some gray areas to navigate. There may be interesting points to consider that are unique to LimeBikes and difficult to weigh. It is usually the victim who is able to garnish the most sympathy in any given situation unless he was plainly in the wrong and consciously took some risks. In any regard, you will need the assistance of an experienced accident attorney to present your claims in the best light and calculate your damages fairly.
How Does a LimeBike Accident Attorney Prepare My Case?
As an accident victim, you play an important role in preparing for your case. If you have been injured in an accident with a Lime electric vehicle, it is paramount that you first of all focus on obtaining prompt medical care for your injuries — and that you remain silent. Insurance adjusters may attempt to twist your words around if you discuss your claim with the defendant parties after an accident. It is important to gather as much photographic, videographic, and eye-witness evidence as possible. If you are incapacitated, ask a friend or family member to assist you.
No matter how innocuous or mild the accident may seem at first, you may later feel the debilitating effects of whiplash. It is important to get insurance information off the party at fault even if you feel nothing more than a little jarred by the experience. Whiplash typically does not kick in until the fight-or-flight mode adrenaline levels have dropped back down to normal. This is why people who get into violent fights may continue fighting despite multiple heavy blows. Their bodies do not register the damage until much later from the volume of endorphins flooding their bloodstream.
You may later feel:
- Total Body Soreness
- Numbness or Tingling (especially in the fingers)
- Blurred vision
- Muscle spasms
- Concentration and Memory Problems
Only an experienced accident attorney can put the most effective case together for you, giving you your best chance at winning the maximum compensation owed to you by law. A hard-working attorney is able to weed out the issues that are irrelevant to the claim and focus on the operative facts, deflecting accusations from the other side that you were somehow to blame. When you are injured and can demonstrate under the circumstances how they had failed to obey simple laws, you have a solid case for damages.
Nevertheless, the technicalities of the law can make it impossible for non-attorneys to receive any compensation for these accident claims even in a small claims court. These are not the type of claims you want to present yourself. Expert testimony and medical bills demonstrating the extent of your injuries are the tried and tested method for forcing your opponents to settle. Most juries are sympathetic for accident victims and will rule in their favor if there is no obvious evidence of negligence on their part.
If you decide to try a LimeBike yourself, always remember to drive safely and check the local ordinances to ensure you do not become liable. Because the laws are constantly being updated in response to community incidents involving LimeBikes and their competitors, it is important that you follow the news and regularly check official local ordinances to ensure that the law hasn’t changed.
And if you’ve been injured in a LimeBike accident, call us right away to set up a FREE initial consultation to discuss your case! Our accident attorneys are ready to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.