Statistically speaking, a significant percentage of bikes on the roads in the US are e-bikes. This population is projected to grow given the popularity of this vehicle is on the verge of demand. However, with the advantages of this new form of transportation come the inevitable risks of accidents and injuries.
Accidents are unpredictable, and not much can be done about them, but you can control what you do following the accident itself. There are some key points that you must do quickly after a collision in order to protect yourself from lawsuits and make insurance claims.
What Are Common Injuries In An Electric Bicycle Accident?
Given the higher speeds at which we ride, it is understandable why a higher percentage of accidents happen in the case of e-bikes rather than traditional ones.
The most common injuries resulting from accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Pelvis fractures
- Abrasions and Lacerations
- Abdominal injuries
- Road rash
Many of these accidents also end up with fatal consequences. Hence, the importance of practicing road safety and cycling responsibly is a must.
How Are Electric Bicycle Accidents Caused?
In order to prevent accidents, it is essential to understand the causes of bike accidents. There are plenty of times when the bike itself may be faulty, and the victim may hold the manufacturer and product retailer liable for the injuries. You can also claim compensation from the rental company if your e-bike is a rental one. However, more often than not, the fault lies in the cyclist and their riding.
- Inexperienced cycling – Most people fail to realize that riding e-bikes are very different from cycling traditional bikes. Before you start commuting with your e-bike, it is best that you practice in empty parking lots away from pedestrians to reduce the risk of injury.
- Negligent cycling – Distracted drivers are one of the biggest reasons for accidents, and this is true for e-bike riders also. Cyclists busy on the phone will certainly fail to observe the average pedestrian crossing the street.
- Driving under the influence – Another huge factor behind accidents is drunk driving, and this also applies to e-bikes. In many states, cyclists are liable to fines for driving under the influence.
Although issues regarding the cyclists depend entirely on the bike rider themselves, riding a good quality e-bike can eliminate risks related to poorly designed bikes. You can visit here to find well-designed, reliable, and safe e-bikes for your commute and other riding needs. Additionally, here are some tips to keep your bike safe.
Do You Need A License To Operate An Electric Bike?
This varies between states. For example, California doesn’t require a license for driving e-bikes whereas Tennessee, Alabama, and Hawaii require cyclists to register their e-bikes.
Seek Medical Help
E-bikes travel at very high speeds, so collisions with other high-speed vehicles are potentially devastating. If you are a victim of an accident and are able to move, call emergency services as soon as possible. Ask for help if you are unable to call by yourself.
In the event of an accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention immediately. Keep in mind that a seemingly mild injury could result in fatal internal bleeding. If the emergency service providers are delayed, ask to be taken to the nearest hospital or clinic.
Ensure that all records of the injuries are kept, no matter how minor. This will prove important when you file a lawsuit later on for insurance claims.
Use First Aid Treatment
First aid treatment can be a determinant of life and death in road traffic accidents. If you are trained in providing first aid, then you curb the bleeding and prevent infection until the victim receives proper medical attention. This is why it is always advised to carry first aid kits in your e-bikes.
Contact the Police
After informing the emergency services, the police should be contacted regarding the accident. They will gather evidence along with witness reports, which are essential to make reports and official records. These play a pivotal role in making insurance and personal injury claims as well as filing lawsuits if one of the parties was involved in drunk driving.
Keep Evidence Of The Accident
This should be the last thing that a victim should be concerned about. Unfortunately, evidence is key if you want to make any claims or file lawsuits regarding the accident. Relying on police reports isn’t enough, they may be unable to identify key evidence, or there may be report loss.
If your phone is still working, take pictures of the crash site, damaged vehicles, and all injuries. You can also ask a bystander for help. Be sure to obtain any contact info and address of the people involved in the accident as well as eyewitness testimonies. They will play a pivotal role in turning the case in your favor when it is presented in court or for insurance claims.
Consult A Personal Injury Attorney
After paying attention to your medical needs, consult a personal injury lawyer with the evidence you have collected. They are well-versed in dealing with similar cases and will provide the best counsel so that you can receive your due insurance claims or litigations.
However, most states have a time limit to file the lawsuit so a lawyer is essential to guide you through the complex legal process involved.
If the accident is due to snow-covered roads or visibility obstruction, the municipality or city needs to be given a notice of pending litigation within 10 days of the accident.
Don’t Post Anything On Social Media
As tempting as it may sound to post about your e-bike accident on Facebook and go on a long rant, avoid it at all costs. This can be taken out of context and used against you by insurance companies to swindle your fine out of your insurance claims. Therefore, avoid the posts and tweets until your case has been resolved.
It is well-known that it is easier to raid a dragon’s den of treasure than to get money out of an insurance company. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to make your case stronger and turn the tide in your favor.
You must inform your insurance company of the vehicle that hit you after the accident. Moreover, inform your work or school as well to claim disability insurance.
What Damages Could I Claim After An Electric Bike Accident?
There has been much discussion regarding damage claims. But as a victim, you should be aware of the claims that you are entitled to. These include economic damages:
- Medical Expenses
- Treatment Costs
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Lost Wages and Future Earnings
- Childcare Costs
As well as non-economic damages mainly pertaining to psychological damage which includes but is not limited to:
- Scarring / Disfigurement
- Long-Term Disability
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering Depression PTSD
If the accident results in death, the victim’s family reserves the right to file for wrongful death. This allows them to be compensated for the financial costs of the death as well as liable for damages both economic and non-economic in the future.
No one wishes to be involved in an accident. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry and prepare for worst-case scenarios. These suggestions and information mentioned in the article are to equip you with knowledge should you face a similar situation in the future.
Nevertheless, the best piece of advice is to avoid being in an accident at all costs. Drive responsibly and do not drive under the influence to keep yourself safe as well as other drivers and pedestrians.