Liability for Electric Bike Accidents

More than 900,000 New Yorkers regularly ride a bike. The number of bike trips taken in the city in a day is around triple the number taken 15 years ago. Use of electric bikes has risen around the country and across the state. Electric bikes are battery powered “micro-mobility vehicles.” In conjunction with a rise in operation, there has been a push towards making sure there are safe dedicated space for operators. Unfortunately, the increased use of micro-mobility vehicles has led to injuries arising from their use going up 70% in the last four years according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If you were injured or a loved one died in an electric bike accident, you should discuss whether you have a basis for a claim with experienced White Plains personal injury lawyer Mark A. Siesel.

You should wear a helmet when riding an electric bike, e-scooter, or hoverboard. Head injuries and visits to the emergency room after an accident involving these micro-mobility vehicles are common. From 2017 – 2020, there were 190,000 E.R. visits in connection with riding them. While cars remain a primary danger to bicyclists and pedestrians, those riding the electric bikes and other micro-mobility vehicles face a real risk of injuries and deaths; an actress was killed in the city after being hit by an e-scooter.

The CPSC has found e-scooters have problems with fires and breaks. Some of the injuries and deaths are sustained by children riding these vehicles.

Electric bikes don’t require a license to operate. Moreover, they’re easily rented through app-based services. While voluntary standards are being developed for these vehicles by the CPSC, ASTM International and Underwriters Laboratories, there are various precautions bikers should take, including wearing a helmet and inspecting these vehicles for defects and damages in order to avoid a crash.

If you were injured on an electric bike or you were a pedestrian into whom an electric bike rider crashed, our lawyers may be able to recover damages by bringing a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, we’ll need to establish another’s negligence. This requires us to show: (1) you were owed a duty to use reasonable care by the defendant, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. The defendant’s duty of care depends on the particular situation.

In some instances, others besides a biker or a driver may bear responsibility. For example, an employer of a drunk delivery person who injured someone on an electric bicycle might be held accountable.

Often, a defendant’s attorneys and her insurers aggressively look for ways in which the plaintiff is at fault for the injuries sustained. New York follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, a plaintiff’s damages are reduced by her amount of proportionate fault for the accident. This is one of the reasons it is critical to consult your own legal counsel.

If you were injured in an electric bike accident, you should discuss your situation with our experienced White Plains personal injury lawyers. Mark Siesel has more than 35 years of experience in court representing accident victims in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, as well as Ulster, Rockland, Sullivan, Dutchess, Orange, Kings, Putnam, and Westchester. Call us at (914) 428-7386 or complete our online form.