The e-bike phenomenon has been strong in Asia and Europe for a long time, and it’s now catching on here in the United States. Electric bikes, or e-bikes for short, are regular bicycles with built-in electrical systems that consist of a motor, battery, and a means of controlling the resulting power.
New Yorkers have a strong love-hate relationship with e-bikes. Enthusiasts embraced them as a fast, efficient, and eco-friendly alternative to cars, but others complain that riders take up sidewalks, drive into traffic the wrong way, and present a collision risk to pedestrians who fail to get out of their way in time.
After widespread complaints from neighborhood safety groups, New York began cracking down on e-bike riding in the city in 2015. The NYPD issued summonses for hundreds of riders and confiscated dozens of the machines. In 2017 Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that enforcement against e-bikes would continue, with the police targeting both riders and the companies who employ them, such as delivery businesses. The machines are legal to own, but at present, anyone who rides an e-bike in New York can be fined up to $500.
Despite the ban, e-bikes remain common in the city. People who own them often earn extra money working for food delivery services. This type of work combines short deadlines with high speeds, which can lead to careless and negligent riding practices. Many New Yorkers complain about being cut off, grazed, and even pushed aside by food delivery bikers intent on reaching customers within a tight time frame.
Some of these encounters result in injuries. Like most large cities, New York deals with congestion on its roads and sidewalks, and when careless e-bike riders propel their machines at high speeds along crowded thoroughfares, ignoring traffic signals, disaster can result. Being struck by a traditional bicycle is traumatic enough, but the increased speed and momentum of electric bikes makes any collisions especially dangerous.
Examples of injuries arising from an e-bike collision include:
- Severe bruising
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
All of these injuries can be costly to treat and even prevent you from working while you recover. If the rider did not exercise reasonable care while operating their bike, then they may be held liable for your damages.
If you are stuck down and injured by a negligent e-bike rider, then contact a New York personal injury attorney who will not hesitate to hold that person accountable for your current and future medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Even if these bikes were not illegal in the city, failure to properly control them during use would make the person liable for your injuries, so don’t hesitate to act on your rights. Jayson Lutzky is a personal injury lawyer who has helped recover millions of dollars over the past 35 years for in cash settlements for his clients. Call 718-514-6619 to learn more about Mr. Lutzky’s Bronx office. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com for more information.