An NYC e-bike accident lawsuit is a claim for damages against the person or company responsible for injuries sustained by the rider of an electric bicycle. These lawsuits are typically brought against a motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian who causes the accident. But claims can also be brought against the manufacturer of the e-bike based on a products liability theory.
The earliest patents for electric bikes (e-bikes) date to the 1890s, but they've only exploded in popularity in the United States within the past several years—with no signs of slowing down. Indeed, e-bikes are booming, but unfortunately, more e-bikes buzzing around New York City has also meant more accidents.
When things go wrong with e-bikes, those who have been injured may be entitled to compensation for:
- Current and future medical bills and expenses,
- Lost wages and earning capacity,
- Pain & Suffering, and
- The loss of companionship.
- What is an e-bike?
An electric bicycle, or an e-bike, has an electric motor and runs on rechargeable batteries instead of being propelled solely by the pedaling of its rider as with a traditional bicycle.
The placement and power of the motor varies by e-bike, and batteries generally requiring recharging after between 20 and 100 miles. E-bikes come in different versions based how they are operated; some must be pedaled while pedaling is optional for others.
- What are common injuries associated with e-bikes?
Typical e-bike accidents often involve other e-bikes, cars, or pedestrians, and injuries can be extensive, including fatalities. Scientifically speaking, because e-bikes are heavier and faster than conventional bicycles, the force of impact of an e-bike on a pedestrian can be between four and 45 times harder.
Some of the most common types of injuries associated with e-bikes include the following:
- Head, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back and spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Who can be sued after an e-bike accident?
When e-bike accidents happen, victims may be able to sue several parties to recover compensation for injuries. Potentially liable parties in personal injury e-bike lawsuits include:
- Motor vehicle operators;
- Other e-bike operators;
If your accident happened because of a malfunction with the e-bike itself, you may also be able to sue the manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit with one or more of the following claims:
- Design Defect: an inherent flaw in the bike's design,
- Defective manufacturing: although the design is safe, something in the production process made the bike unsafe
- Warning or labeling error: the manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumer of dangers of using the e-bike.
- What is the process for filing an e-bike accident lawsuit?
The first step in filing an e-bike lawsuit is to contact an NYC personal injury attorney who will listen to your story and help you gather evidence to decide whether you have a solid case. If you do, your lawyer will file a complaint that details your injuries and requests the court for relief to compensate you for your damages, which may include:
- Reimbursement for medical treatment,
- Anticipated future medical costs,
- Lost wages during your recovery,
- Reduced earning capacity because of long-term effects of your injuries,
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering, and
- Loss of companionship.
The defendant then has an opportunity to respond to the complaint, and, unless there is a settlement through which the other party agrees to pay you a certain amount of money, the case will move into discovery. During this time, both sides produce documents and any other evidence that supports their position as well as conduct depositions of all parties, including any potential expert witnesses, treating physicians and other medical personnel, and anyone else whose testimony would be relevant to your case.
If your lawsuit reaches trial after various motions to dismiss or summary judgment motions, a jury will hear both sides and decide the case. If the court awards you damages, your attorney will help you collect them in a timely fashion.