Tracey Solicitors LLP provide legal advice and assistance to those who have sustained an injury while operating an e-bike or e-scooter and to those who have been involved in an accident at the hands of an e-bike/e-scooter rider.
What is an E-Bike/E-Scooter?
An electric bicycle or electric scooter is a vehicle that has a small motor attached to its frame which propels the motor vehicle. Along with the electric motor, the rider can also propel these light electric vehicles forward by pushing forward with their feet or pedalling the bicycle.
The use of electric-powered scooters has become ever more popular in our Irish transport system. Although there are uncertainties surrounding the law as to how and where riding an e-scooter is allowed. E-scooter users are still vulnerable to road traffic accidents, whereby the incident was not their fault. In cases where another party may have been responsible for your accident & resulting injuries, you may be eligible to make an e-scooter claim. Compensation awarded in such cases could help you to cover the cost of medical fees and any potential loss of earnings from time spent out of work.
The Road Safety Authority
What is the legal status of electric scooters?
The rules are the same regardless of the type of bike, its speed, or whether it requires a push start. If the vehicle can run on mechanical or electrical power alone (i.e., without you pedalling or scooting it), it is considered a mechanically powered device (MPV).
If an MPV is used in a public area or on public roads, it is subject to all of the provisions of the road traffic law.
- It must meet the same regulatory requirements as other cars, such as being roadworthy.
- The vehicle should be registered, taxed, and insured.
- The vehicle’s driver must have the relevant driver’s license and is required to wear a crash helmet.
What does it mean to drive a “mechanically propelled vehicle (MPV)”?
It is defined as a vehicle intended or fitted for mechanical propulsion under Section 3(1) (a) and (b) of the Road Traffic Act 1961.
- A bicycle or tricycle having a mechanically propelled attachment, whether or not the attachment is in use.
- A vehicle with an electrical or partially electrical and partly mechanical propulsion system.
If an e-bike or scooter does not have a license plate, how can it be registered?
A COC document is a producer’s declaration that the vehicle complies with the given approved type. If the manufacturer is unable to provide a COC, your e-bike or scooter can only be used on private property.
For more information regarding the legislation around the use of e-scooters/e-bikes in Ireland, visit the Road Safety Authority’s FAQ guide by clicking here.
Common E-Bike/E-Scooter Accident Claims*
According to the Injuries Board, road traffic accidents are the most common source of claims. E-bike/e-scooter accident claims fall under this category and are seen as vulnerable road users as these light electric vehicles don’t offer much protection to the rider.
The most common e-bike/e-scooter accident claims are:
What to do if I am involved in an E-Bike/E-scooter accident?
Following an e-bike/e-scooter accident, there are a number of steps you should follow:
Seek medical attention
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an e-bike/e-scooter accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else involved in the accident need medical attention. If you or anyone else involved has sustained a serious injury, ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.
For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
Gather all relevant information at the scene
It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:
- Detail of the driver(s) that caused the accident/people involved: name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number and vehicle insurance information. You can also offer your own information to the others involved in the accident.
- Name and contact details of any emergency service workers at the scene – paramedic/Gardaí.
- Take a picture of the scene, from different angles; this will help your solicitor understand how the accident happened.
- If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident, such as CCTV cameras in a nearby shop, for example, you should try to obtain this footage.
- Record the time and date of the accident.
- Weather conditions at the time.
Report the incident to the Gardaí
Regardless of how minor or serious the e-bike accident was, it is important that you call the Gardaí to report the accident immediately.
For minor accidents, the Gardaí may tell you that they will not be attending the scene. It may be a case where you can settle the issue yourself. In this scenario, it is important that all of the appropriate information is exchanged with the other party involved in the accident. In these cases, it is also important that you visit your nearest Garda station to request that they take details of the accident and to take your statement about the accident.
For more serious e-bike/e-scooter accidents, where an ambulance has been called, the Gardaí may arrive at the scene to assess, take statements from the people involved and any witnesses.
If you were unable to retrieve the details of the other party involved in the accident and are unable to trace these details, the next step may involve reporting the incident to The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The MIBI was established in 1955 by an Agreement between the Government and the companies underwriting motor insurance in Ireland for the purpose of compensating victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles, including e-bikes and e-scooters.
Speak to an e-bike/e-scooter accident claims solicitor
If you are considering moving forward with an e-bike accident claim for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with an e-bike accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. An e-bike/e-scooter accident solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.
It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or Garda reports, where possible as you will need them when making a claim.