Electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, can pose a safety hazard to both pedestrians and motorists due to their unique features. Despite resembling ordinary pedal bicycles, e-bikes are equipped with inconspicuous motors that assist riders, enabling them to achieve significantly higher speeds than traditional bikes. With this comes an increased risk of serious injuries.
In New Jersey, the rising popularity of e-bikes may also mean more accidents, injuries, and even tragic deaths. What do you do if you or a loved one was seriously hurt in an e-bike crash? For legal assistance after being involved in an e-bike accident, reach out to The Grossman Law Firm, LLC today at (732) 625-9494.
What is an E-Bike?
An e-bike is a bicycle with an electric-assist feature, functioning much like a regular bike but with the capacity for greater speed from its motor. The State of New Jersey defines an e-bike as a pedal bike fitted with a maximum 750W supplementary motor to offer additional power and sustainable speed. On level ground, an e-bike is able to reach a maximum speed of 25mph.
The e-bike rider still actively pedals, which can often pose a challenge for drivers or pedestrians trying to distinguish the e-bike from a traditional bicycle. At present, in New Jersey, there is no requirement for e-bikes to be licensed or registered; however, operators must be at least 15 years old.
E-bikes and e-scooters have gained immense popularity across various cities in the United States, particularly in downtown areas where riders use them to swiftly navigate while shopping or dining. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these modes of transportation had an even greater surge in demand due to difficulties in repairing or replacing cars and conventional vehicles.
Dangers of E-Bikes in New Jersey
Despite being environmentally friendly and cost-effective, e-bikes and e-scooters can pose significant dangers to riders, other motorists, and pedestrians.
Many road users, including e-bike riders themselves, tend to treat these motorized devices like regular pedal bikes, unprepared for the greater speed that e-bikes provide. Consider that pedal bicycles typically travel at around 15 mph on city roads, but e-bikes in New Jersey have speeds of up to 28 mph. This increases the chance of collisions with pedestrians who are unable to promptly evade them or with motorists who are unable to anticipate such swift bike movement.
It’s unsurprising that electric bicycles are associated with more and more accident injuries. One analysis of US data reveals that persons injured by e-bikes were more likely to be hospitalized or suffer internal injuries than those injured by other kinds of bikes. Another study concluded that pediatric fractures were more common in e-bike crashes than in traditional pedalcycle accidents.
E-Bike Accidents: Common Causes
E-bike accidents can occur due to various factors. These include:
- Collisions involving pedestrians
- Collisions with vehicles moving at high speeds
- Collisions with other bicyclists, whether they are riding e-bikes or conventional bicycles
- Distracted drivers, who engage in activities like texting, eating, or drinking while driving
- Drivers who tailgate or follow too closely
- Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Fatigued or drowsy drivers
- Drivers who fail to yield the right of way
- Drivers who run stop signs and red lights
- Drivers who make unsafe turns or lane changes, neglecting to use signals or check mirrors and blind spots for e-bike riders.
- Drivers who fail to check behind them when reversing in a parking lot or out of a driveway
- Drivers who pass e-bikes at an unsafe distance
- Inexperienced drivers
- Sidewalks, bike paths, roads, or intersections that are negligently or defectively designed
- Broken or uneven pavement on sidewalks or bike paths
- Negligent maintenance of an e-bike
- Design or manufacturing defects in an e-bike.
Regardless of what caused an accident, it is crucial to consult with a New Jersey bike accident attorney to ensure the protection of your rights. Claiming compensation from an e-bike accident can be challenging, especially because laws are still catching up to these relatively new devices. We at the Grossman Law Firm fully comprehend the implications of the law in relation to pursuing an e-bike personal injury claim, helping you maximize your compensation.
Common Injuries Associated with E-Bike Accidents
Regrettably, e-bike crashes can result in serious or life-threatening injuries. Some of the most frequent injuries suffered in e-bike accidents include:
- Bone fractures
- Road rash, abrasions, or lacerations
- Dislocated joints
- Sprains and tears of ligaments
- Strains and tears of tendons and muscles
- Whiplash injuries
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis
- Internal damage or bleeding
- Facial laceration and disfigurement
- Severe concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Limb amputations.
You Can Receive Compensation for Your E-Bike Injuries
When pursuing compensation from a negligent party, you are aiming to secure a financial settlement that covers your various losses like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. It is crucial to act promptly because claiming injury compensation is subject to certain time limits. Reach out to a seasoned NJ e-bike injury attorney without delay.
The Grossman Law Firm, LLC specializes in lawsuits involving severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic incidents. Our 25+ years of experience also extends to wrongful death cases resulting from fatal e-bike crashes. Talk to us if you or a family member was harmed in an e-bike incident in New Jersey.
Tips for Ensuring Your Safety on E-Bikes and Scooters
To safeguard your well-being while riding an e-bike or scooter, remember these safety guidelines:
- Always wear a proper helmet: Prioritize your head’s safety by consistently wearing protective headgear.
- Protect your joints: Prevent potential joint injuries by wearing elbow and knee pads.
- Stick to single-passenger rides: To ensure stability and control, never allow more than one rider on the e-bike.
- Avoid riding under the influence: Never operate an e-bike or scooter while under the influence of alcohol or any impairing substance.
- Avoid riding when fatigued: To minimize the risk of accidents, refrain from riding a scooter, moped, or electric bike when feeling excessively tired.
In certain situations, despite all the precautions you may have taken, accidents can still occur. If you collide with a motorist or meet a road accident due to a pothole or other road hazards, you should move away from traffic and promptly seek immediate medical assistance.
Steps to Take After an E-Bike Accident in New Jersey
To ensure the protection of your legal rights following an e-bike accident in New Jersey, it is crucial to take the following measures:
- Ask for the contact details and insurance information of any driver who may have been involved in the accident.
- Request a copy of the accident report from law enforcement officers who responded to the incident.
- Whenever possible, capture photos or videos of significant details at the accident scene. Such documentation should include vehicle damage, skid marks on the road, traffic lights and signs, lighting and weather conditions, as well as any visible injuries you sustained.
- Arrange an immediate appointment with a healthcare professional, diligently following all treatment instructions and recommendations.
- Retain copies of all medical bills, invoices, and any incurred expenses related to your treatment and recovery. Also keep duplicates of pay stubs, income statements, and tax returns if you experience work loss or income reduction as a result of your injuries.
- Minimize social media activity during your treatment and while pursuing compensation. Insurance companies and defense lawyers often scrutinize posts made by individuals who have suffered injuries to exploit such content as evidence against the victim’s credibility and claims.
- Consult a seasoned attorney specializing in New Jersey e-bike cases to thoroughly discuss your legal options.
Seek Assistance from a New Jersey E-Bike Accident Attorney
If you find yourself involved in an e-bike accident, The Grossman Law Firm, LLC is ready to help you pursue your full compensation. Contact us today at (732) 625-9494 for a complimentary evaluation of your case.