There are many ways to get around, including electric bikes, scooters, and skateboards. People using these forms of transportation are particularly vulnerable to serious injury — a major accident could leave a rider with bone fractures, an injury to the spinal cord, or a brain injury. Car accident lawyers are often asked about injury claims arising from electric bike, scooter, or skateboard accidents. Is it possible to make a claim if you are injured on or by an electric bike, scooter, or skateboard?
Injuries Arising From Accidents Involving E-Bikes, Scooters, or Skateboards
It is possible to make a claim if you are injured in an accident on an electric bike, scooter, or skateboard, and it may also be possible to make a claim if you were injured in an accident caused by the operator of an electric bike, scooter or skateboard. In fact, you may be eligible for more than one type of claim, depending on the circumstances of the accident that brought about your injuries:
- An ICBC Part 7 benefits claim (also known as a “no-fault” claim). In many cases, injured parties are entitled to make a claim for no-fault benefits under Part 7 of BC’s Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
- If you are injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle, even if you were wholly or partially responsible for causing the accident, you can claim Part 7 benefits to cover your medical and rehabilitation expenses, wage loss and disability benefits, housekeeping benefits, and death benefits, up to certain limits, provided that you meet the definition of an “insured.”
- The definition of an “insured” who is entitled to Part 7 coverage is quite broad. If you have a BC driver’s licence, own a car registered in BC, or live with someone who does, you are eligible to claim for Part 7 coverage against that policy. If none of those situations apply to you, but you were injured in an accident that arose out of “the use or operation of a motor vehicle” (e.g., a collision between an electric bicycle and a car), you can claim for Part 7 benefits against the insurance policy of the driver of the car involved in the accident (or for hit and run accident coverage if the driver is unidentifiable).
- A personal injury claim (also known as a “tort claim”). In an accident involving an e-bike, scooter, or skateboard and another motor vehicle, the accident victim can claim for personal injury compensation from the at-fault party.
- For example, if a distracted driver was wholly or partially responsible for the accident, the rider of the electric bicycle can bring a tort claim against the negligent driver for compensation for pain and suffering, past and future wage loss, and other types of damages.
- If the rider can establish the driver’s negligence, he or she can recover damages from the driver’s vehicle insurance policy. If the rider bears some fault for the accident (for example, because he or she was operating a motorized scooter or motorized skateboard on a BC road or sidewalk adjacent to a road), or some responsibility for the injuries sustained (for example, by failing to wear a helmet), his or her compensation will be reduced based on the apportionment of fault.
- What if the accident was entirely the fault of the operator of the e-bike, scooter, or skateboard, or if the accident was between two riders of electronic bicycles, scooters, or skateboards? ICBC does not require operators of such “low-powered vehicles” to carry third party liability coverage. In these situations, it is worth exploring other sources of insurance coverage, such as the at-fault operator’s tenant or home insurance. Depending on where and how the accident occurred (e.g., a skatepark, a driveway of a home, a parking lot), there may also be a claim against a private property owner, commercial property owner, or municipality.
Coverage and claim eligibility in this area is complex. If you have been injured in an accident involving an electric bicycle, scooter, or skateboard, the best course of action is to discuss your options for compensation with a top car accident lawyer.
Have You Sustained a Brain Injury or Other Serious Injury? Contact Experienced Car Accident Lawyers
The legal team at Simpson, Thomas & Associates has extensive experience handling claims arising from all types of accidents, including electric bicycle, scooter, and skateboard accidents. We represent clients who have sustained all manner of injuries, ranging from soft tissue injuries, to spinal cord injuries, fractured bones, and traumatic brain injury. Car accident lawyers at our firm can assist you in exploring your claim options and securing the compensation you deserve. Request your free consultation today.