E-bike injuries and deaths have dramatically increased in recent years, especially in weather friendly Southern California. With their much higher speeds and increasing popularity, e-bikes demand much scrutiny than the typical safety concerns we give to traditional pedal bikes.
Have you or a loved one suffered from an Orange County e-bike accident? Contact the experienced lawyers at Barrios & Machado to help you claim compensation. We have won millions on behalf of injured Californians, and we’ll provide you with a free consultation. You can contact us 24/7 – call us at (714) 515-9696 today.
Statistics: E-Bike Accidents Skyrocketing in Southern California
Electronic bike accidents have increased nationally, but Southern California cities are particularly seeing a surge.
In Mission Viejo, for instance, the Providence Mission Hospital has reported a 500 percent increase in e-bike-related trauma. From January to August 2020, the hospital took in just 11 e-bike injury patients, but in the same period in 2021, that number rose to 70. The hospital added that from those same months in 2020, they had just one pediatric e-bike-injured patient, but in 2021, that number spiked to 22.
A similar trend is happening in Carlsbad, where the percentage of e-bike accidents is gaining on other types of bikes. In 2019, out of the 30 bicycle accidents in the city, only two involved e-bikes. But in 2022, e-bikes figured in 32 out of the 57 bicycle crashes.
E-bike injuries are often costly, requiring emergency medical attention plus subsequent therapy and pain management. Recovery times may also be longer, creating more disruption in the patient’s work and personal life. Individuals and families have the right to pursue compensation from the party who caused their accident. Talk to us at Barrios & Machado to see your legal remedies for compensation.
Are E-Bike Injuries Worse than Traditional Bike Injuries?
Research has established that e-bikes cause serious injuries more than traditional bicycles do. An analysis of 18 years’ worth of US data showed that e-bike accident victims were more likely to suffer internal injuries or be hospitalized than victims of other types of bike crashes.
A separate study that focused on children found that fractures were more common from e-bike accidents than from traditional bike crashes. In particular, e-bike crashes caused lower extremity injuries more than other two-wheeled vehicle crashes did.
Yet another study, this time from Switzerland, concluded that e-bikers face a significantly greater risk than traditional cyclists to get severe to moderate traumatic brain injuries.
Common crash injuries from e-bikes include:
- Lacerations – cuts and wounds
- Fractures – broken bones, usually in the feet, legs, and pelvis
- Head and neck injuries – whiplash and neck strains
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – ranging from concussions to hematomas and hemorrhages
- Spine injuries – broken vertebrae, damaged spinal cord
- Internal injuries – internal bleeding, organ damage.
On top of crash injuries, electrical fires are also a known risk from e-bikes. The devices’ lithium-ion batteries tend to overheat, ignite, or explode, and have been pinpointed as the cause of several fatal fires across the US. In fact, from January 2021 to November 2022, the CPSC received reports of more than 200 overheating incidents with 19 deaths in various states. The agency has since declared fires one of the top hazards from e-bikes.
Whether you suffered from an e-bike crash or an overheated e-bike battery, you may have legal options to get compensated. The key is to identify and prove that another party’s negligence caused your accident. Our personal injury attorneys at Barrios & Machado are highly experienced in this area. Consult for free with us to get competent advice on your best next steps.
Why E-Bikes May Be More Dangerous in California
California law is relatively lenient on electric bicycles. Though these light vehicles are motor-powered, the state does not consider them motor vehicles and does not require a license or a plate to ride an e-bike. This means that anyone, including children, can ride e-bikes in the state. California doesn’t have a minimum age for using e-bikes, except for Class 3 e-bikes which can only be used by riders age 16 and up.
Riders often treat electric bikes like traditional bicycles, but e-bikes are faster and can be tricker to maneuver. While traditional pedalcycles may travel about 15 mph on urban roads, Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes in California go up to 20 mph, and Class 3 e-bikes go up to 28 mph. On some bikes, speed limiters can be illegally disabled which could lead to even higher speeds. These speeds can easily lead to a crash, especially when the rider is inexperienced or unaware of the risks of e-bike riding.
Who Pays for Injuries in an E-Bike Accident in California?
California’s accident law is fault-based, which means the person or entity who caused the accident is liable to pay for resulting injuries. In an e-bike crash, the liable party might be:
- A car driver or other motorist that hit a law-abiding e-bike rider
- An e-bike rider who failed to obey rules of the road
- An e-bike manufacturer, distributor, or service center that provided a defective product
- A government entity that failed to fix a defective road or bike path.
For an e-bike accident victim to claim compensation, they must establish the fault of the other party. In most accident cases, this will require proving the four elements of negligence:
- That the other party had a “duty of care” or the duty to act with reasonable safety
- That the other party failed this duty of care
- That the other party’s failure was the cause of the claimant’s injury
- That the claimant suffered damages such as physical and financial losses.
The service of an accident lawyer will be valuable in proving these elements. It can be even more crucial if the injured claimant herself or himself is accused of causing the accident. Under California’s comparative negligence rule, the claimant’s compensation may be reduced based on how much their own negligence contributed to the crash. This can be significant in e-bike accidents, as e-bikers are often blamed for their collisions.
Reach out to Barrios & Machado, one of Orange County’s highly trusted personal injury firms. With over 25 years of combined experience, we’ve obtained maximum compensation for our injured clients, including those in million-dollar accident cases. We meticulously gather evidence and build robust arguments to get each client the compensation they deserve. See what we can do for you – consult with us for free.
How Much Can I Get for My E-Bike Accident Injury?
Some e-bike accident settlements reach six or seven figures. For example, the tragic wrongful death case of Molly Steinsapir in Los Angeles resulted in a $1.5 million settlement in 2021. Note, however, that each case is unique and case outcomes vary widely depending on many factors.
In general, e-bike accident compensation may cover economic and non-economic losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Therapy/Rehabilitation costs
- Projected lifetime expenses (such as at-home care or prosthetics)
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished capacity to earn
- Diminished enjoyment of life.
If your family member died in an e-bike accident and you’re pursuing a wrongful death claim, you may receive compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost benefits
- Lost consortium, care, or companionship.
At Barrios & Machado, we research and investigate every part of an accident to determine the maximum value you deserve. We take into account your monetary losses and immediate hospital bills, as well as the greater impact of your injuries, including your future outlook and emotional wellness. Our injury lawyers are tenacious in asserting the full rights of our clients, which is why we’ve secured high-value settlements, including several that exceeded $1 million.
Contact a Competent E-Bike Accident Lawyer in Orange County
Barrios & Machado is known in Orange County as an aggressive law firm with genuine care for its clients. Most of our clients are referrals from former clients, which speaks to the trust that Southern Californians have placed on us, and the satisfaction that we’ve brought them through our successful injury cases.
Your consultation with us is free, and our phone line is available 24/7. Call Barrios & Machado at (714) 515-9696 today.