Turn Your Setback
Into a Comeback!
No Upfront Legal Fees 100% Free Case Review
Turn Your Setback
Into a Comeback!

How Has St. Louis Addressed Personal Injury Cases Involving E-Scooters and Shared Bicycles?

Latest News

How Has the Emergence of E-Scooters and Shared Bicycles Impacted St. Louis Personal Injury Cases?

With rising gas prices and increased concern by many over their carbon footprint in the last few years, new transportation technology and systems have gained popularity in St. Louis and other US cities. E-scooters or e-bikes are bicycles equipped with an electric motor that provides assistance when the rider is pedaling. Many jurisdictions, including Missouri, have adopted a three-class classification system for e-bikes based on the motor’s maximum assisted speed and whether it is pedal-assist or throttle-assisted. The motor assistance on e-bikes cuts off when the bike reaches a certain speed. These e-bikes are popular choices for commuters and sightseers alike because they blend the enjoyable aspects of a bicycle ride with the ease of self-propelled vehicles like cars and motorcycles.

Shared bicycle programs provide convenient options for those who wish to travel by bike but want to avoid the hassle of purchasing, transporting, or securing a bicycle. Shared bicycles are available at docking stations or hubs throughout the city, allowing users to rent a bike and return it to any station within the system. While both e-bikes and shared bicycles make bike riding more accessible to a greater number of St. Louis residents and visitors, navigating the aftermath of an accident on one of these modes of transportation can be challenging for victims. It’s crucial to have the assistance of an experienced St. Louis bicycle accident attorney who can uphold your rights and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to by law.

What Injuries Are Commonly Seen in E-Bike and Shared Bicycle Accidents?

Injuries from e-scooter and shared bicycle accidents can be severe and may require extensive medical treatment. Collisions with cars or unmarked stationary objects, particularly on an e-bike moving at speed, can be particularly devastating. Victims of bicycle accidents can suffer a wide range of physical harm, including, but not limited to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Concussions
  • Skull fractures
  • Facial injuries, including lost teeth, broken jaw, and vision damage
  • Fractures, especially of the clavicle, arm, wrist, leg, pelvis, and ribs
  • Dislocations
  • Sprains and strains
  • Spinal cord injuries, potentially leading to paralysis
  • Abrasions, lacerations, and contusions, including “road rash,” that can cause severe scarring
  • Internal organ damage
  • Catastrophic injuries leading to long-term disabilities or death

Does St. Louis Have Specific Rules About E-Bike and Shared Bicycle Use?

Under Missouri state statutes, all bicycle riders, including riders of shared bicycles and e-bikes, have the same rights and duties as motor vehicle operators. Bicyclists are expected to obey traffic signals, ride with traffic, and use designated bike lanes or paths when available.

Riders on shared bicycles are subject to the same laws as individuals on personal bikes in St. Louis. They must exercise particular care when riding near traffic, on residential sidewalks, or around other bicyclists.

The St. Louis Code of Ordinances 17.37 specifies city-wide laws for e-scooter use, including the following provisions:

  • Operators must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Operators must wear a properly fitting helmet that meets state requirements.
  • E-scooters cannot be driven in excess of 15 MPH in the city.
  • E-scooters cannot be operated on highways.
  • Using an e-scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited.

Violating city ordinances could result in a fine of up to $500 or a maximum jail sentence of 90 days. Importantly, if you experience an accident while breaching a state or city bicycle law, it could have an adverse impact on a personal injury claim. Missouri is a pure comparative fault state. Under this fault system, a plaintiff’s settlement is reduced in proportion to their liability for the accident.

Engaging in prohibited activities at the time of the crash, such as speeding or operating an e-scooter under the influence, may decrease your overall compensation. However, speaking to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is crucial to understanding how the state’s laws could impact your specific case.

Why Are E-Bike and Shared Bicycle Accident Claims So Complex?

E-scooter and shared bicycle accidents often involve joint responsibility between multiple parties, including the rider, pedestrians, other motorists, and even e-scooter companies. Accurately determining each party’s level of responsibility for the accident and resulting injuries is crucial in establishing liability and recovering fair compensation. Unfortunately, this complexity can lead to disputes over fault and challenges in seeking damages.

The legal framework governing e-scooters and shared bicycles is still evolving, with varying regulations and laws across jurisdictions. The current variability in the laws and their application can create uncertainty and complexity in personal injury cases. For example, although e-scooters can reach speeds high enough to cause serious injuries, there is no mandatory insurance requirement for these vehicles in Missouri. It can be critical to engage the services of a lawyer who can examine the details of your case and identify your options for recovering damages, such as a personal injury lawsuit, product liability claim, premises liability claim, or a claim with your own homeowners or health insurance.

How Can a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Assist You?

It’s crucial to stay informed about local regulations, helmet requirements, and insurance coverage to ensure your safety while riding and protect your legal rights in the event of a crash. Sadly, accidents can occur to even the most conscientious riders. To make matters more challenging, personal injury cases involving e-scooters and shared bicycles in Missouri require a deep familiarity with the complex legal landscape that is out of the knowledge base of most accident victims.

If you’ve been hurt on a St. Louis e-scooter or shared bike, consulting with an experienced Missouri bicycle accident attorney from Jett Accident & Injury Lawyers who understands the intricacies of these cases is critical. Eligible plaintiffs may be able to seek damages, including medical expenses, current and future loss of income, and pain and suffering. To schedule a free case review and discuss your legal options, contact our firm through this online form or call our office today at 314-501-9509.

Related Articles