Tag Archive for: accident

electric bike accidents

The Dangers of E-bike Accidents

A primary feature of electric bikes is that they have specialized motors that offer a power boost. Due to this, the rider does not have to pedal as vigorously to keep moving. These bikes usually offer smoother rides, faster speeds, and warrant less work and effort from the rider. In general, e-bike crashes can occur just like any other bicycle wreck. But due to the motorized part of e-bikes, there are various key differences. E-bikes can accelerate and move quicker, and they handle in a different manner compared to regular bikes.

People are usually not aware of this aspect. Thus, at times, motorists, pedestrians, and other riders can misjudge e-bike speeds, leading to devastating accidents and injuries. In e-bike accidents, other riders, automobiles, or pedestrians may be involved. The severity of such crashes largely depends on the parties and circumstances surrounding the accident. Sometimes, e-bike accident injuries can be serious, especially if the accident resulted in a collision between an automobile and an e-bike.

Research Highlights the Perils of E-Bikes

A study published in BMJ Journals focused on e-bike and scooter injuries and found that people riding electronic bikes were more likely to experience internal injuries and require hospitalization in comparison to those riding traditional pedal-operated bicycles. In addition, the study found that electronic bike-related injuries were thrice as likely to involve a collision with a pedestrian compared to either powered scooters or pedal bicycles.

The above study results indicate that scooters and bikes may be a threat to general maneuverability and safety. E-bikes can reach speeds of over 25 mph, and some riders do not operate these vehicles in a safe manner. Based on this, e-bike use, coupled with heavy foot traffic, can lead to severe biker-pedestrian accidents or even bike-automobile collisions. Additionally, negligent behavior on an e-bike, which can attain moderately high speeds, can cause serious falls or collisions.

E-bike Battery Catching Fire

An e-bike catching fire is unexpected and dangerous. You might have viewed videos showing e-bikes catching fire either during the charging time or while riding. An e-bike on fire can be a daunting sight for anyone. Most e-bikes contain Lithium batteries. These batteries are highly inflammable. A majority of these fires typically happen when home-made lithium batteries are subject to negligent treatment.

These fires are the most significant peril pertaining to e-bikes. But almost 80 percent of such fires could have been prevented with precautions and due care. For instance, never create your own battery pack unless you have conducted sufficient research related to it and fully understand what you are doing. For enhanced safety, always make sure to carry your batteries in a protective metal box when operating the bike. Also, a Battery Management System (BMS) helps reduce fire risks as well.

Remember to always purchase lithium batteries from a trustworthy dealer to ensure that it has the appropriate cell structure and design to support over-charging and high temperatures.

Excessive Acceleration at the Beginning

One of the biggest reasons for minor e-bike accidents is the application of excessive acceleration or starting from a high electric gear from a dead stop. Such crashes usually take place at very low speed and do not typically cause any serious damage. However, they can still be daunting to be involved in or witness.

Again, this reason for e-bike accidents is preventable if due care is exercised. For instance, if you are riding a throttle e-bike, never apply full throttle unless your electronic bike starts moving. On top of this, consider a switch installation to allow you the choice of various power levels during rides. Before commencing on a long ride, make sure that your controller and throttle are appropriately dialed up.

If you have a pedelec e-bike, ensure that you don’t start off at a gear (for instance, POWER mode). Start at a lower gear (such as ECO or even OFF) and then slowly accelerate as you pick up speed.

Not Following Traffic Regulations

Incredulously, most e-bike collisions occur not because of any internal defect in the design or idea of the e-bike, but how the users treat their vehicles. To begin with, appreciate the fact that an e-bike is basically a hybrid between a regular motorcycle and a regular bicycle.

In most jurisdictions, riding e-bikes is not as regulated as operating motorcycles. But the functions and speed of an electronic bike are similar to a low-performing motorbike in many ways. When an e-bike rider ignores this fact, the situation can become dangerous. For instance, you may not have legal obligations to follow specific speed limits or road signs when riding an e-bike. However, following these regulations could ensure the safety of riders and others on the road.

Hire an Experienced E-Bike Accident Attorney

Many e-bike related accidents are preventable simply by using it the right way, i.e., as a bicycle and not a motorcycle. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in an e-bike accident, the dedicated personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Garmo & Garmo can help.

We can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine the cause as well as guide you on the best options to obtain compensation. To set up a no-charge consultation with one of our attorneys, call our La Mesa office today at (619) 441-2500. 

commercial truck accident lawyers san diego

Steps to Take if you are in an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle

Getting into an accident with a tractor-trailer can result in some of the most serious and catastrophic injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are more than 400,000 commercial vehicle crashes each year, resulting in around 4,000 fatalities and tens of thousands of severe injuries.

If you have been involved in a collision with a big rig truck, it can be a very traumatic experience. Your first reaction is probably shock. Your heart rate accelerates, and your mind starts racing in all directions trying to figure out what all this means and what to do next. You may be looking at widespread damage to your vehicle, and you might not even be sure if you can get out of your car.

Perhaps you are reading this article at the scene of a commercial vehicle accident looking for answers. Or maybe you are doing research in order to be prepared in the event that something like this happens in the future. Whichever is the case, we are going to lay out the most important steps you need to take if you are in an accident with a commercial vehicle:

  1.  Call 911

As mentioned earlier, a collision with a large commercial vehicle is likely to result in some injuries, and the first priority is to make sure everyone is okay. You might be hurt, some passengers in your vehicle might be hurt, and the truck driver might be hurt. Call 911 right away and bring an ambulance to the scene, so anyone who has injuries can receive immediate medical attention. It is important to note that not all auto accident injuries are immediately apparent, so it is always best to get checked out just to be on the safe side.

  •  Bring the Police

Whenever there are injuries from a vehicle accident, the police should be called to the scene. The police will help secure the scene and get the vehicles involved out of the way of traffic, and they will interview those who experienced and saw what happened and document this information in an official report. The police report will be an important piece of evidence for any legal claim that is filed later on.

  •  Document what Happened

Although there will be an official police report, you should also create your own report of everything that happened while it is fresh in your mind. Create a detailed written report of the accident if you have something to write with. If not, you can create an audio report by using the voice recorder in your cell phone. Also be sure to take multiple photographs of the accident scene from as many angles as possible, so you have visual documentation of the event. And once the police report is on file, ask to review it so you can correct any inaccuracies that may be in the report.

  •  Get Statements from Witnesses

If there are any individuals nearby that saw the accident, speak with them and get their names and contact information. You should also ask if they are willing to provide statements about what happened. In many cases, a witness may allow you to record a video or audio statement while you are at the scene of the accident. If they are willing, this is the best time to get them on the record. Memories fade, and witnesses can be difficult to get a hold of later on, so get as much information from them as you can at the scene.

  •  Do Not Admit Fault for the Accident

At some point, you will need to exchange information with the truck driver and anyone else who may have been involved in the accident. When you speak with other involved parties, the police, or witnesses, be polite and courteous, but never apologize or admit fault for the accident. Leave it to the experts who investigate the crash to sort out who was at fault.

  •  Follow Doctor’s Orders

If you sustained injuries from the accident, get them treated right away, and do everything your doctor tells you to do. For example, if you are told not to go into work for a few weeks while you are healing, do not try to be brave and come back to work before you are ready. Doing something against doctor’s orders could aggravate your injury. This, in turn, could put you in a difficult legal position if you are filing a claim for your losses, because the other side might argue that you did not do everything possible to mitigate the effects of your injury.

  •  Be Careful What You Say about the Accident

We mentioned that you should never admit fault for a vehicle accident, and along these same lines, you should also limit what you say about the accident in general. In this day and age of social media, it is tempting to post a picture of the accident scene on Facebook, Instagram, or wherever with some comments about it. This could be a big mistake, because anything you say electronically is discoverable in a personal injury claim, and it could be used against you. This means don’t post anything about the accident, and really, you should not post anything at all for a while. Even a picture of you smiling and having a good time on vacation could be used by the other side to claim that your injuries are not as severe as you say they are.

  •  Contact a Reputable Truck Accident Lawyer

Commercial truck accidents are far more complex than standard auto accidents. There are numerous governing laws and regulations that apply to the trucking industry, and there are several parties that could potentially be held responsible for the accident. To help ensure that your legal rights are protected and you are in a position to obtain maximum compensation, it is best to get an experienced personal injury lawyer involved as soon as possible.

If the commercial vehicle accident occurred in San Diego, El Cajon, or anywhere in Southern California, Garmo and Garmo, LLP is here to help! Our lawyers have extensive experience with trucking accident cases, and we work closely with our clients, fighting hard to recover the full and fair compensation they need and deserve. Call our office today at 619-441-2500 or message us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.