You may collect compensation for an accident caused by an e-bike fire if the incident was due to another individual’s negligence. In such instances, you will need the necessary evidence to establish the wrongdoing that caused the e-bike fire.
In this article, you will learn how to claim restitution from an e-bike accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
Are E-Bikes Dangerous?
Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are bicycles with electric motors that aid in pedaling. The engine is powered by a rechargeable battery installed on the bike. In Southern California, several automobile users switched to electric bikes to support their practical needs. According to recent statistics, the growing sales of e-bikes were valued at $27.22 billion in 2021 worldwide.
With the rising popularity of e-bikes, most drivers deciding to transition from ordinary bicycles wonder, “Are e-bikes dangerous?” One of the most alarming concerns about electric bikes that most users notice is the defect of the battery. From 2021 to 2022, 200 e-bike fire incidents and 19 deaths were accounted for.
Other e-bike defects users must be aware of are the following:
- tire blowouts,
- locking up of bearings,
- failures of the front-wheel hub forks,
- controller defects,
- malfunctioning batteries, and
- stickiness of the throttle.
Why Do E-Bikes Catch Fire?
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which power the battery-operated vehicle, caused most of the reported e-bike fires.
The top reasons why an e-bike catches fire are the following:
Batteries contain lithium, which generates the power of the vehicle. However, because lithium remains extremely reactive, any damage might cause it to short-circuit and overheat, resulting in a thermal runaway. When it happens, the battery will explode and catch fire.
Additionally, putting out an e-bike fire may also be challenging. Because lithium reacts with water, dousing a burning lithium battery will cause it to burn more vigorously rather than extinguish it.
Despite having a functioning battery, it might ignite a fire if it is counterfeit. This is because fake batteries are usually not subjected to strict regulations. They may also be incompatible with your e-bike charger.
Although most reputable companies ensure that their products come with good batteries, occasionally faulty batteries are released. In this case, you may file a complaint against the manufacturer and collect compensation for the damages of the e-bike fire accident.
Can I File a Claim for My E-Bike Accident?
Yes, you may file a claim for your e-bike accident if it was due to someone else’s negligence. Depending on the circumstances, the following may be held liable for an e-bike accident:
Liability in an E-Bike Accident
Another E-Bike Rider Caused A Fire
If another e-bike rider’s vehicle explodes nearby and the fire catches you, you may collect compensation from the other rider’s insurance provider. However, you will need to prove that the fire initially ignited from the other e-bike rider’s vehicle.
In such cases, having the necessary evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence is essential. These proofs may include the following:
- The e-bike rider’s contact information, such as:
- their name,
- home address, and
- insurance provider.
- Photos of the e-bike fire accident.
- Contact details and testimonies of witnesses.
A Driver Caused Your E-Bike Accident
In some cases, other auto drivers may hit e-bike users while sharing the same road or passing an intersection. When this happens, you may receive a settlement by filing a bike accident claim against the other driver. To be able to win your case, you must establish the following elements of negligence:
- The driver had the duty to ensure everyone’s safety on the road.
- They neglected this duty.
- The breach of duty caused the e-bike accident.
- The e-bike accident resulted in injuries and other damages.
The Manufacturer or E-Bike Company Caused Your E-Bike Fire
If your e-bike batteries exploded due to the manufacturer’s faulty production, you might receive restitution from the company. You will file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer in such circumstances.
When filing for a product liability claim, you will need to justify the following elements:
- The product was defective.
- You utilized the product correctly, adhering to the product’s guidelines and instructions.
- The product defect caused you harm.
- The manufacturer or company can compensate for the damages.
An E-Bike Product Seller Provided A Fake Battery
Sometimes, a product seller advertises counterfeit products to consumers without disclosing that the device is fake. If an imitation battery causes your e-bike to catch fire, you may pursue a claim against the product seller who intentionally sold a counterfeit.
What Happens If I’m At-Fault for the E-Bike Fire?
In most states, an electric bike is classified as a regular bike. So, similar to a bicycle crash, the damages may be covered by your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy if the e-bike accident was entirely your fault.
A renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers the losses and damages to your residence and personal assets within your home. This includes your e-bike. Some home insurance policies have liability coverage, which pays for damages to your home or property in the event of an accident.
What Damages Can I Include in My E-Bike Accident Settlement?
You could include several damages in your settlement if someone else’s negligence caused the e-bike accident. You may consider the following damages when computing your total compensation value:
Economic damages (Monetary losses)
Non-economic damages (Non-monetary losses)
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While monetary losses are easy to compute, how will you quantify non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering? A personal injury lawyer has the expertise and knowledge in computing e-bike settlements, including economic and non-economic damages.
What To Do When Your E-Bike Catches Fire
If you are involved in an e-bike fire accident, these steps will help you secure your safety and respond to the accident appropriately:
- Evacuate the area immediately.
- Avoid putting water on the bike. This may worsen the fire.
- Call 911 swiftly.
- Gather the other e-bike or driver’s contact information, including their name, residential address, and insurance provider.
- Capture the accident scene.
- Collect the contact details and statements of witnesses.
- Cooperate with the authorities.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer.
Dealing with an e-bike accident may be challenging, especially if you incur severe injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help sort out your case while you focus on recovering your health.
How Can I Maximize My Compensation?
While it is true that you are entitled to compensation if someone else’s negligence caused the e-bike fire accident, there are instances where victims receive a reduced settlement value.
Several circumstances may hinder you from getting the total compensation you deserve. One crucial instance that may dismiss your case is when you file a personal injury claim beyond the allowed timeframe.
In California, you have two years to file a case from the date of the accident. This means that you need clear legal directions and actions and should avoid doing trial-and-error that may prolong your case.
Other reasons why insurance companies deny personal injury claims or reduce compensation are the following:
- Lack of evidence.
- Limited knowledge of personal injury claims.
- Lack of evidence to prove your injuries.
- Difficulty in computing the total damages.
- Insurance companies are taking advantage of your injured state.
Hiring an accident attorney will help speed the legal process and obtain the restitution you deserve. They can do the following tasks to help you win your case:
- Gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.
- Prove liability.
- Calculate the total damages.
- Communicate with the insurance company.
- Defend your case in a trial if necessary.
Jacoby & Meyers have competent personal injury lawyers with expertise in e-bike fire accident claims. We have the passion, knowledge, and experience to protect the rights of e-bike accident victims in California. Contact us at 800-992-2222 for a free consultation and learn about your legal options today!