Electric bikes (e-bikes) are bicycles with an integrated electric motor used for propulsion. There are many different styles of these bikes: from the ones with small motors assisting the rider’s pedaling power to more powerful models that are closer in style to mopeds. Still, it is important to note that there is a difference between mopeds and electric bikes: most e-bikes are not fully automatic and require the rider to still pedal in order to move, while mopeds do not necessarily require pedaling.
The whole feature of electric bikes is that they have special motors that provide a boost in power. Thus, the rider does not have to pedal as hard to keep moving. These bikes generally offer smoother rides, faster speeds and require less work and effort from the rider.
Usually, e-bike accidents can happen just like any other bicycle accident. However, due to the motorized part of e-bikes, there are several key differences. E-bikes can move and accelerate faster and they handle differently from regular bikes.
People are generally not very aware of this. Hence, at times, other riders, drivers, and pedestrians can miscalculate the speed of e-bikes. This can lead to tremendous accidents and injuries.
E-bike accidents can involve other e-bike riders, cars, pedestrians, or other bikers. The seriousness of these accidents largely depends on circumstances and parties involved. At times, injuries from e-bike accidents can be severe. This is especially true if the accident involves a collision between an e-bike and an automobile.
Other Issues Associated with Electric Bikes
In addition to conventional collision-type accidents, issues with e-bikes can be related to potential product liability claims.
E-bikes may potentially be at risk for fire due to their motorized components. The specific cause of the fire or electrical issue can arise from various different issues, including design and manufacturing defects. In case of such defects, a rider may be able to bring a product liability lawsuit against the entity responsible for making the dangerous or defective product which ended up injuring the plaintiff. If you or your loved one got injured from an injury that was caused by any of these types of e-bike problems, you may have a claim for a product liability case.
Who Can Be Liable for an Electric Bike Accident or Injury?
Depending on the circumstances, various parties can be held liable for an e-bike accident or injury. In case of collisions, liable parties usually include vehicle drivers, other cyclists and/or pedestrians.
Furthermore, in product liability cases, liable parties can involve numerous parties in the chain of manufacturing, such as e-bike manufacturers and distributors. In some cases, liable parties may also include the company responsible for manufacturing particular parts.
In collision cases, the lawsuit may be based on negligence or recklessness. In negligence cases, the plaintiff must show that the other party was negligent under the circumstances, and that the result of that negligence was the accident that caused injury to the plaintiff.
At the same time, in cases based on recklessness, the plaintiff needs to show that the defendant’s behavior was reckless, meaning that he or she behaved in a manner that showed “utter disregard for the safety of others.”
Awards in e-bike lawsuits may include compensatory damages which usually cover for the plaintiff’s losses that resulted from the accident. On the other hand, compensatory damages can include a variety of elements, including hospital bills, medical costs, property damage, lost wages and other losses. Finally, depending on the circumstances of the accidents, the plaintiff may also be awarded money for losses such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium (award to cover pain and suffering the physical and emotional loss a spouse experiences after their spouse is injured).
Contact an experienced E-Bike Accident Attorney today
At the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff PLLC, we have a proven track record of success handling e-bike accident claims in New York. Whether your e-bike accident was caused by a vehicle, road maintenance issues, or another rider, cyclist or pedestrian, MSL will fight for your rights and represent your best interests, so you can concentrate on your recovery.