Electric bikes are growing in popularity, which means that we are going to see a lot more of them on the roads. These electric bikes (also called “e-bikes”) are bicycles with an integrated electric motor which can be used for propulsion. There are many different styles, from some e-bikes with small motors to assist the rider’s pedalling power to more powerful styles that are closer to mopeds. Keep in mind that mopeds and e-bikes are not quite the same thing, as most types of e-bikes are not fully automatic and still require the rider to pedal in order to move forward.
E-bikes and their special motors provide a boost in power. This means that the rider does not have to pedal quite as hard in order to keep moving. They offer smoother rides, faster speeds, and less work for the rider (which also means that they can keep riding for longer).
For the most part, e-bike accidents can happen just like any other bicycle accident. However, due to the motorized part of e-bikes, there are a few key differences. E-bikes can move and accelerate faster and handle differently from regular bicycles. Thus, sometimes riders, drivers, and pedestrians can miscalculate if they don’t realize how fast the e-bike is traveling. E-bike accidents can include e-bikes and cars, pedestrians, or other bikers. Depending on the circumstances, injuries from e-bike accidents can be severe, especially if the accident involves a collision between an e-bike and an automobile.
What Other Issues are Associated With Electric Bikes?
In addition to conventional collision-type accidents, other issues associated with electric bikes can relate to potential product liability claims.
As with any other electric-powered vehicle, e-bikes may be at risk for fire due to their motorized components. The specific cause of the fire or electrical issue can arise from a few different issues, such as a design defect or a manufacturing defect. In cases of product defects, the manufacturer may issue a product recall for defective e-bikes or defective parts.
If you have encountered problems with an e-bike (such as electrical issues that caused injury), you may have a claim for a product liability case. Depending on the circumstances, class action lawsuits may also result, especially if the issue is widespread.
If the problem with the e-bike affects a large number of people, then a class action lawsuit may be the best option for a group of plaintiffs. For example, if there is a design defect that causes the electrical components of the e-bike to short out and catch fire, and a large number of people are injured due to this design defect, a class action lawsuit can be filed on behalf of the group. Class actions sometimes help to reduce the costs of litigation and increase efficiency in the court system–instead of having 100 cases based on the same incident, there is only one.
Who Can be Held 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 the case of accidents or collisions, liable parties can include
- Vehicle drivers;
- Other cyclists; and/or
In the case of a product liability claim (such as a design defect or manufacturing defect), liable parties can involve various parties in the chain of manufacturing, such as e-bike manufacturers and distributors. In some cases, the 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 (whether the cyclist, the pedestrian, or the driver of the car) was negligent under the circumstances, and the result was an accident that caused injury to the plaintiff. In cases based on recklessness, the plaintiff will need to show that the defendant’s behavior was reckless (n other words, that the defendant behaved in a manner that showed utter disregard for the safety of others).
Awards in e-bike lawsuits may include compensatory damages for the plaintiff, intended to cover the plaintiff’s losses as a result of the accident. Compensatory damages can include a variety of elements, including hospital bills, medical costs, property damage, lost wages (if the plaintiff’s injury caused them to miss work), and other losses. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the plaintiff may also be awarded money for losses such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With an Electric Bike Accident Lawsuit?
If you are facing a lawsuit for an electric bike accident, or if you have been injured as a result of an electric bike accident, it is in your best interests to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The right lawyer can help you to protect your rights under the circumstances of the case, and can advise you on the best way to proceed with your case. Your lawyer can also file the appropriate paperwork and represent you in court in order to help you get the best possible outcome for your situation.