Understanding the Legal Implications of E-bike accidents in NYC
Electric bicycles, also known as ebikes, have been gaining popularity in recent years as a mode of transportation in New York City. While these vehicles may be convenient and eco-friendly, there have been growing concerns regarding their safety. Our NYC personal injury lawyers who represent people involving in ebike accidents know that injuries from these accident tend to be more serious than those from traditional bicycle accidents. Obviously, electric bikes have the capacity to go much faster than traditional bicycles, since some ebikes can reach speeds of up to 30 mph.This increase in speed seems to be correlating with a higher rate of more serious injuries and even fatalities. It is common sense that the faster a vehicle is traveling, the greater the likelihood and severity of injury in the event of an accident. The City of New York recently released accident statistics that show that accidents involving electric bikes are resulting a higher rate of fatalities compared to deaths from accidents involving traditional bicycles. According to the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), there were 196 reported crashes involving ebikes in 2019 alone, resulting in 206 injuries and 4 fatalities.
Under New York law, ebikes have the same rights to use the road as cars and trucks and now can go about as fast as other vehicles, on City roads. Careless drivers not seeing bicyclists has always been a problem in New York City. In places like Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, where cars frequently change lanes to get around traffic or beat lights, these drivers often fail to oberve a bicyclist or ebike rider that is to their side. One of the most frequent questions that our NYC ebike accident lawyers are asked is what can I do if I was hit by a car while riding an ebike? Another frequent question is who is "I was hit by a car while riding an ebike, who is responsible for my medical bills".
If you were hit by a car while riding an ebike, don't worry, you will not get stuck with the medical bills, so you should not hestitate to seek medical attention. So long as the ebike qualifies as an ebike and not a motorcycle, which means that its top speed is under 30 mph, if you were hit by a car while riding an ebike, the insurance company for the car has to pay your medical bills and pay your lost wages. One of the most frequent questions that our Manhattan ebike accident lawyers are asked is how do I know who the insurance company for the car that hit me is. Often times an injured ebike rider is taken to the hospital and has no information about the car that hit him. The answer is that in all injury cases where the police respond, they prepare an accident report, which has the insurance information. The ebike rider has only 30 days to obtain this information and submit a no fault application for benefits to the insurance company for the car that hit them. Our highly expereinced Manhattan car accident lawyers can prepare this application in a matter of minutes and thanks to new technologies, our ebike accident attorneys can even do this remotely for injured clients that cannot make it to our physical office in either Midtown Manhattan or in White Plains. One nuance to this general rule, is that if you were working at the time of an ebike accident, you are entitled to workers compensation benefits. In New York City, there has been a tremendous rise in ebike delivery drivers working for uber eats, door dash and other food delivery services.
Another frequent question that our Manhattan ebike accident lawyers are asked is, can I sue the car that hit me. Our clients often ask who is responsible when an ebike rider is hit by a car. Vehicle operators have a responsiblitiy to follow the rules of the road and if they are negligent or fail to follow the rules of the road, the driver can be sued if they cause a serious injury to an ebike rider. Some of the most frequent causes of ebike accidents are careless drivers moving from a lane when it is not reasonably safe to do so, failing to observe an ebike rider and turning when an ebike rider is to their side and is going straight. If you sustained injuries while you were riding an ebike because the operator of a car was careless, call our NYC ebike attorneys for a free consultation today.