E-Bikes Pose Serious Head Injury Risks in California
E-bikes have suddenly appeared in all of California’s major cities. Some believe this is worth celebrating, as more e-bikes equate to lower carbon emissions and better sustainability. Others are not so enthusiastic, pointing out that e-bikes pose serious injury risks to both riders and members of the general public. Still others want to have these vehicles removed entirely, claiming that they represent a public menace. The truth is that while e-bikes make getting around more convenient, they also have the potential to cause serious injuries – including concussions and TBIs. The issue is becoming even more obvious as e-bike usage increases and California struggles to keep up with new laws.
But what can you do if you have suffered a head injury in an e-bike crash? What if you were struck by an e-bike rider? What if that e-bike rider fled the scene of the crash without stopping? What kind of legal options do you have? Is it possible to sue for your injuries and receive compensation? Let’s find out.
California Residents are Fed Up With E-Bikes
On January 16, 2023, the Los Angeles Times published an article highlighting the level of dissatisfaction with e-bikes in California. One resident compared stepping onto the boardwalk at Newport Beach to “crossing the 405 Freeway” on foot. Residents have to remember to look both ways – even when walking down pathways designed for pedestrians – not high-speed vehicles. The boardwalk in Newport Beach has a speed limit of 8 miles per hour – something that is routinely ignored by e-bike users in the area.
Residents have experienced head-on collisions with these vehicles. Some have watched their dogs get run over. Head injuries are common among both riders and pedestrians. Local people have had enough. The key issue is the speed of these vehicles, which can reach up to 30 miles per hour. These vehicles clearly belong on the road with cars and motorcycles, but they mostly appear on sidewalks and boardwalks. Some cities have chosen to ban them on beach paths – but not all cities.
Doctors in California are all too familiar with e-bike injuries these days, treating hundreds of patients within a single year. E-bike users rarely wear helmets, and this leads to serious head injuries. Pedestrians may also suffer head injuries after being struck and thrown to the ground. The most common injuries associated with e-bike crashes include concussions, skull fractures, and facial fractures.
Some municipalities have tried to combat this issue with fines of a few hundred dollars. But this is not having the desired effect, especially when the government of California incentivizes the purchase of e-bikes to boost sustainability and reduce carbon emissions. Those who purchase e-bikes can expect hundreds of dollars in government rebates.
E-Bikes are Becoming an International Problem
But it is not just California that is struggling with an e-bike problem. In the UK, it was reported that an e-bike rider struck a senior citizen in January of 2023. The elderly woman suffered serious head injuries and was hospitalized as a result. The e-bike rider was questioned by police with potential criminal charges following. The rider fled the scene of the crash after the impact, which is a common outcome after e-bike crashes. To make matters even worse, e-bike riders may not face the consequences for committing hit-and-runs under the current legislation.
Amsterdam is one of the worst cities in the world for e-bike safety, with Dutch authorities currently facing a losing battle against youngsters on “souped up” e-bikes. These individuals have discovered a way to disable internal speed limits on their e-bikes, allowing them to achieve speeds of almost 30 miles per hour. One Dutch pedestrian described a situation in which an e-bike collision broke her shoulder. For riders, the issue is the lack of helmet use. A counselor at a Dutch rehab center admitted that he had witnessed a massive surge in brain injuries caused by e-bike accidents.
In 2022, a horrifying video of an e-bike rider in Auckland was published on the internet. This video showed the rider being tossed into the air after an impact with a car, highlighting the serious safety issues associated with these vehicles. In January of 2023, a similar crash occurred in Australia, with two teens flying into the air after striking a car. Both suffered critical head injuries.
E-Bikes Come in Many Forms
The word “e-bike” has become a catch-all phrase to describe a wide range of different vehicles. It might include bicycles that can either be pedaled or powered electronically. E-bikes may be scooters that operate solely with electrical power. They might even take the form of Vespas. Onewheels and hoverboards also fall into this general category – vehicles that have long been associated with head injuries and serious safety concerns.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has already warned riders to stay away from these vehicles at all costs, reporting that Onewheels have been linked to at least four deaths. One of the main concerns is a sudden power failure that causes these vehicles to “nosedive,” sending riders flying through the air. Impacts can cause serious head injuries.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Head Injury Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced head injury attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With our help, you can hold negligent parties accountable for the injuries you have sustained. Whether you were riding an e-bike or you were struck by one while walking down the street, you have every right to explore your legal options. You can do this by booking a consultation with us at your earliest convenience.
If you are suffering from a serious head injury, you may face medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and many other damages. If you were injured by someone else’s negligence, there is no need to pay for these damages out of your own pocket. Book a consultation today to pursue justice and receive the compensation you need and deserve.