- About Us
- Practice Areas
- Case Results
The number of electric bikes (e-bikes) on our streets may soon increase if the Illinois state legislature passes a proposed e-bike rebate bill. Illinois State Representative Kam Bucker (D-26th) has been working on the bill, HB3447, for the past two months. The legislation would provide a discount to residents who buy an electric bicycle.
In addition to helping reduce traffic congestion and pollution, e-bikes have other appealing qualities. Unlike traditional bikes, they don’t require major physical exertion from their riders. Instead of pedaling, a rider just sits and steers. However, the benefits mean nothing unless the bikes are operated in a safe way.
Increased Risk of Injury
Injuries can occur with any wheeled device, but because e-bikes can travel up to 30 mph and are heavier, the injuries can be more severe. Another risk is a lack of operator skill and knowledge. Unfortunately, no formalized road safety course is required to use an e-bike. The wise rider should have a basic knowledge of road rules and situational awareness to decrease the risk of injuries to themselves and others.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, e-bikes appear more dangerous. Here are some of their study’s findings: E-bike riders are likelier to suffer from internal injuries, concussions, and broken limbs; e-bike riding injuries are three times more likely to involve a crash with a pedestrian; e-bike riders are more likely to suffer from concussions.
While e-bike accident victims have a 17% risk of an internal injury, pedal-bike accident victims have a 7.5% risk of the same type of injury.
Risk of Product Defects for E-Bike Riders
Aside from operator error, there are other factors that make e-bikes more dangerous than their traditional counterparts.
Defective e-bikes can result in catastrophic injuries and accidents. These defects can take several forms, including battery fires, tire blowouts, bearing lock-ups, front-wheel failures, battery malfunctions, and throttle stickiness. If you operate an e-bike, it’s good practice to check for defects before every ride. If you notice that something doesn’t look right, don’t take unnecessary risks. Get it checked out.
What to Do After an E-Bike Accident
If you are involved in an accident – any accident – there are steps you should take immediately. If there are injuries, notify emergency personnel. Even if you believe no one is injured, a quick check by a medical professional will ensure that is true.
Even if your injuries are minor, seek medical attention, since they could become more serious later. Take photos at the scene if possible to use as evidence later on. Jot down notes that may jog your memory about details of the accident. Consider contacting an experienced bicycle accident lawyer immediately to help make the situation less stressful and ensure a more favorable outcome. An experienced Chicago e-bike accident attorney will help you determine if you have a case. They can file a lawsuit on your behalf to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, reduced future earnings, present and future medical expenses, impaired quality of life, and pain and suffering.
As personal injury lawyers with Smith LaCien LLP, we offer free, no-obligation consultations to accident victims and their families and handle cases on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless we win. To learn more about how we can help you, call (312) 509-8900 or contact us using our online form.
"*" indicates required fields