The growing market in the UK for rental bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters is already a massive market in the US, where Citi Bike, New York City’s biggest bike rental company, has been hit with numerous claims (amounting to millions of dollars) for bike crash injuries, many caused by poor maintenance and the defective state of its bikes. While customers are expected to check their rented bike, e-bike or e-scooter for damage before riding it, maintenance issues or manufacturing defects will not necessarily be apparent, while a software malfunction on an e-bike or e-scooter would be completely unforeseeable.
Another example of the risks facing rental bike, e-bike and e-scooter riders comes from Sweden, where the city of Stockholm was forced to suspend its e-bike rental scheme over fears that the vehicles could unexpectedly catch fire. The subsequent technical inspection found that an astonishing 58% of the e-bikes had known damage or faults, but were still available to rent. Many of these related to frame problems for which the e-bike supplier or manufacturer was most likely responsible. However, a proper system of inspection and maintenance by the city of Stockholm rental scheme operator should have ensured that riders were not put at risk of injury by being provided with unsafe e-bikes.
Either or both the rental company and manufacturer may therefore be to some degree responsible for bike, e-bike and e-scooter crashes and the resulting injuries. In the same way as rental companies, bike share scheme providers must also make sure that their bicycles are free from defects and safe to use. Riders risk serious injury if, for example, an e-bike travelling at 15 mph malfunctions and the rider loses control while crossing a busy junction. Both riders and pedestrians may be injured in accidents of this kind, and if the defective state of a bike, e-bike or e-scooter was the principal or contributing cause, both will be entitled to claim compensation.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective rental or shared bike, e-bike or e-scooter, contact our firm for expert legal advice from solicitors who are themselves cyclists with many years of experience in claiming compensation for riders injured through no fault of their own. Find out more: