Who Is Liable for E-Bike Accidents in New York City? Resource by New York City E-Bike Personal Injury Lawyer
The popularity of e-bikes has risen dramatically in the two years since the vehicles were fully legalized for ownership and rental in New York City. As pedestrians, cyclists, and automobile drivers adapt to the presence of e-bikes on the road across the five boroughs, accidents involving e-bikes are also on the rise.
In this article, New York City personal injury attorneys Glenn and Robin Herman explain which parties may be held liable in NYC e-bike personal injury cases.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for E-Bike Accidents Under New York Law?
Identifying the liable party in a New York City e-bike accident case will depend on the exact circumstances of the case. If you have been injured in an e-bike accident, be sure to contact a reputable NYC personal injury attorney who will protect your rights and obtain the maximum settlement or verdict in your case.
Pedestrians. In some cases, negligent pedestrians can be held responsible for an accident involving an e-bike. For example, a pedestrian who is pedestrian, a pedestrian who is crossing against the light or a pedestrian who does not have the right of way and is texting or not paying attention can cause a danger. If a cyclist has to unexpectedly swerve to avoid the pedestrian and gets injured as a result, the pedestrian may be liable for the accident.
Cyclists and other e-bike riders. Similarly, another cyclist (either on a traditional bike or an e-bike) who is going in the wrong direction or not complying with traffic control devices (stop and yield signs and red lights), could also be responsible for an injury causing accident or a or direct collision. E-scooter riders can also cause accidents with e-bike riders, other cyclists and pedestrians in the same manner as noted above.
Car drivers. Motorists on the road pose a huge danger to e-bike riders. Just like people riding motorcycles, mopeds, and traditional bicycles, e-bike riders have little protection in accidents with larger vehicles such as cars and trucks, especially when those larger vehicles are traveling significantly faster. Though some parts of New York City are accessible to cyclists, many roads lack bike lanes, forcing e-bike riders onto the roads with cars traveling two or three times as fast.
E-bike manufacturers. In some cases, a defect in the e-bike itself may be the underlying cause of the accident. These are known as product liability cases. In a product liability case, the manufacturer and the seller of the bike could be responsible for the injuries caused by a poorly or defectively made bike.
When Are E-Bike Manufacturers Liable for E-Bike Accidents and Injuries?
Product liability is a rare occurrence in e-bike accident personal injury cases. Victims of injury resulting from an e-bike accident can only take legal action against e-bike manufacturers under very specific circumstances where it can be shown that the accident was caused by a flaw in the bike itself and not by user error. The three main circumstances in which an e-bike manufacturer can be held responsible for an accident involving one of their vehicles are:
Design defects. In some cases, poorly designed vehicles may cause accidents even when the person riding the e-bike is doing so correctly.
Manufacturing defects. Similarly, a mistake in the manufacturing process can lead to a defective, potentially dangerous flaw with the e-bike.
Failure to warn consumers about product defects. In the instance that there is a known product defect with an e-bike or one of the components that make up the e-bike, the manufacturer has a legal duty to inform consumers of the defects. When the manufacturer fails to do so, tragic accidents can occur.
While motor vehicle crashes, roadway defects and collisions with other cyclists and pedestrians are unfortunately very common, defects in e-bikes, regular bikes and e-scooters can and often cause horrific and sometimes life altering injuries. For example, lightweight materials used to build front bike forks and down tubes have been known to just collapse during a ride, leading to severe injuries. Also, improperly designed and manufactured components and parts can come apart and cause a bike to seize up and stop short.
If you believe that a defect with your e-bike, regular bike or e-scooter has led to an injury causing event, connect with an NYC personal injury attorney with ample experience handling e-bike accident cases.
About New York City E-Bike Personal Injury Lawyers Glenn & Robin Herman
Our New York City Personal Injury attorneys take the time to learn every aspect of your case during our initial meeting in order to properly evaluate the full extent of the damages you or a loved one have suffered. We have been representing seriously injured New Yorkers for over 25 years. Born, raised, and living in the City, we know that when you have been injured in this town, you need an attorney to protect your rights and explain the law to you in a way you can understand.
For a no charge consultation today to discuss the details of your injury event:
We represent clients in all five boroughs of New York (NY): Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, along with Suffolk County & Nassau County on Long Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, and throughout the entire state of New York.
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Source: Herman & Herman, P.C