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Pandemic Fuels Rise in E-Bikes… But Are They Dangerous?

Electric bicycles, also known as “E-bikes,” are among the fastest-growing category of two-wheeled transportation, beating pedal bikes and scooters. COVID-19 has given them an even greater boost in sales, with a 140% increase in e-bike purchases during the pandemic. The American market for E-bikes is expected to reach $23 billion by 2025.

Major auto manufacturers are eager to cash-in on this hot new trend, but consumer advocates are warning about potential risks.

E-Bike Sales Grow Around the Globe

Europe’s approach to pollution and overcrowding traffic management favors the use of e-bikes. Cities like Oslo, London, Madrid, and Paris restrict downtown roadways to automobiles, but allow scooters and e-bikes. America represents a largely untapped market, with cities like Boston, Minneapolis, and LA testing out slow street programs.

Auto Makers Enter the E-Bike Market

Electric bicycles look like typical pedal bikes, but use an electric motor to help push riders uphill or along particularly arduous, rocky terrain. This fun mode of travel generally has users moving at speeds of 20 miles per hour, but some e-bikes can get up to 60 miles per hour, comparable to that of an electric motorcycle.

With price-tags upwards of $1,500, automobile and motorcycle manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Ducati, Ford, Harley-Davidson, Jeep, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Yamaha have dabbled in E-bike offerings. Even so, leading sellers include direct-to-consumer brands like Rad Power Bikes and Lectric XP.  

Are E-Bikes Dangerous?

The increased use of E-bikes will inevitably lead to a rise in accidents – most famously, Simon Cowell in August 2020. He took a spill on his brand-new SWIND EB-01 in the courtyard of his Malibu home, which led to a broken back and six hours of surgery to place a metal stabilizing rod.

In fact, E-bike users are more likely to suffer internal injuries requiring hospitalization, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s analysis of emergency room data collected from 2000 to 2017.

According to their research, E-bike riders were 3x more likely to collide with pedestrians than scooter or pedal-powered cyclists.

At this point, “we don’t know a lot about the overall risks and benefits of electric-powered scooters and E-bikes,” lead author Charles DiMaggio concluded. The most commonly injured riders were between 18-44 or 45-64, with an average age of 31.9, with males accounting for 83.3% of E-bike injuries.

Previously, Swiss researchers found that 27.4% of injured E-bike riders sustained trauma to the head and neck. Other common injuries involved the upper extremities (22.6%) and face (19.3%).

Mild brain injuries, hemorrhage, lacerated wounds, fractures, and contusions were among the most common E-bike injuries. 

E-Bike Recalls

Over the years, manufacturers have issued a number of safety recalls. Pedego recalled 11,600 electric bikes after discovering that an improperly manufactured cable could cause the bikes to accelerate unexpectedly, causing a fall hazard. Superpedestrian recalled 230 E-bikes due to a rear axle failure in their Copenhagen conversion wheels. Clean Republic replaced 3,350 units that could accelerate unexpectedly when water enters the motor.

While a recall is not necessary to pursue a product liability claim, it can help in establishing the case that the manufacturer knew about a particular defect.

E-bikes can be fun – but, like scooters and motorcycles, this mode of transportation is not without risk. Many parties will be watching injury trends closely amid the rise of electric cycles — city transportation planners, treating ER physicians, and personal injury lawyers included.

Injured in an E-bike Accident?

If you suffered a serious injury in an e-bike accident, either as an e-bike rider who was hit by a motor vehicle or as a pedestrian hit by an e-bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.

Additionally, some e-bikes have had safety recalls in recent years, so riders who have injured themselves may consider contacting an attorney to see if there is sufficient cause for a product liability lawsuit.

Ellis Injury Law has the experience and resources to handle all types of e-bike claims, so do not hesitate to call for a free consultation.

How COVID-19 Has Affected the California Court System

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive backlogs and delays in the California legal system, civil courts are active and injury victims and their families are encouraged to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer to start moving their case forward. Remote hearings and electronic depositions can expedite the process. Working with an attorney is especially important right now, as insurance companies are exploiting those who are facing financial difficulties by trying to get them to accept blatantly lowball settlement offers. Protect your rights by reaching out to Ellis Injury Law. We can step in to negotiate with the insurer and fight for the full value of your claim.

When will all the courts in California reopen? The truth is that every courthouse has its own rules. You can check the reopening status of the court where you expect to, or have already, filed your claim here.

California Extends Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits

On May 29 of last year, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in California was extended by 178 days (the extension was made retroactive to April 6, 2020). For some cases, such as those injury claims made against a public entity such as the city of Los Angeles or one of its employees, the statute of limitations for filing a notice of claim was extended by 119 days.

Despite extensions to the statute of limitations, the clock is still ticking on your right to file a claim for compensation. There is much that can be done right now to prepare your case and put you in the best position to obtain full compensation for your injuries and losses. The sooner you reach out to Ellis Injury Law, the sooner we can start our investigation into your accident and gather the crucial evidence needed to recover maximum damages.

Civil Lawsuits Moving Forward in 2021

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Judicial Council of California approved emergency rules allowing remote hearings and electronic depositions. In October 2020, legislation was passed to automatically extend any future deadlines for discovery, settlement conferences, and summary judgment motions when a trial date has been postponed.

Due to the use of electronic resources and mounting public pressure, many civil lawsuits – including personal injury cases – are beginning to move forward at a swifter clip in 2021. Even so, case backlogs in California’s civil courts are considerable.

Case Backlogs in California’s Civil Courts Due to COVID-19

A mountain of cases has piled up in California state courts due to the pandemic slowdown. Courthouses in LA County put all civil jury trials on hold until 2021. In other counties, civil cases moved forward at a snail’s pace. Ventura County, for instance, had a backlog of 859 civil cases not yet entered into the court’s system and 83 civil cases waiting to be worked on by court staff as of November 2019, even before the pandemic slowed everything down. Orange County held about 150 civil trials from March through December 2020, compared to the 900 trials they hold in a typical year.

Plaintiffs may be worried about the impact these delays will have on their lives. A good attorney can help you connect with medical treatment options and financial resources while your case awaits resolution.

An attorney can also help ensure your physical safety, as domestic orders of protection and emergency custody orders can still be secured from judges during normal business hours.

Are Expedited Hearings to the Gravely Ill Being Denied?

State lawmakers are calling on courts to disclose whether they have broken the law by failing to grant priority to cases where the plaintiff is gravely ill. The California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 36, provides for people who are suffering terminal illness with medical doubt of survival beyond six months to file a petition with the court for an expedited hearing within 120 days. It is always within your right to opt for a settlement or waive your right to a juried trial when faced with unavoidable delays.

When you partner with Ellis Injury Law on your personal injury case, we communicate regularly to keep you informed every step of the way. Don’t wait until COVID-19 has subsided to reach out for your free consultation.

California Chief Justice Remarks on Coronavirus Pandemic, 1 Year Later

California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye gave extensive remarks recently at a recent Judicial Council meeting reflecting on the past year and the unprecedented changes and challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic. Ellis Injury law firmly supports the Chief Justice’s comments and is inspired by her positive outlook moving forward. We are encouraged by her vision of the court system being able to “innovate more to enhance services and support our local communities” in 2021 and into the future. Like the Chief Justice, we hope that all of us who are involved in the legal system can take the lessons learned over the past year and develop them into “smart practices, options, and opportunities.”

In March, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye indicated that it has been just over a year since California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency in an effort to protect public health and safety amid concerns of the novel coronavirus. One week later, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a ‘pandemic,’ as cases quickly spread through more than 114 countries.

Some of the substance of the Chief Justice’s remarks are repeated below.

COVID-19 Outbreak – 1 Year Later

On March 19, 2020, over 40 million California residents were issued stay-at-home orders, as the global death tolls from COVID surpassed 10,000. In April, students were advised not to return for in-person classes for the remainder of the school year, non-essential businesses were shuttered, and by July 2020, California had topped New York in confirmed coronavirus cases.

This past year has been one marked by “unprecedented” events, as virtually every aspect of our daily lives has been uprooted. Amid the struggles and tremendous hardships, there have also been some silver linings.

How the Pandemic Has Changed Lives

Communities have shown greater interest in helping one another out. Folks have gone shopping for the elderly, looked out for the disadvantaged, and made masks for those in need.

The shelter in place orders have had benefits and drawbacks. While parents have certainly struggled with remote learning for children, being cooped up in close quarters has also helped forge stronger relationships. According to a survey commissioned by the Cleveland Clinic, more than half of households with children reported feeling like they have better connections with their loved ones.

Since the coronavirus is typically more dangerous in those with pre-existing conditions, the pandemic has brought about an increased health awareness. People of all ages have made major lifestyle changes, incorporating more exercise and healthy eating with home-cooked meals into their normal routines.

Cause for Optimism

There is finally a sense of cautious optimism after a long and challenging year marked by fear, uncertainty, heartache, and isolation. Families, employees, and business owners everywhere have sought ways to navigate a new normal and adapt to the realities of a pandemic society and economy.

Today, close to 23 percent of Californians have received one vaccine dose, and the state expects to have the majority of the population fully vaccinated by summer of 2021. The COVID vaccine is free and distributed irrespective of immigration or residency status.

The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys here at Ellis Injury Law join millions of others who remain hopeful and see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. For expert legal guidance, please reach out to our El Segundo headquarters to arrange a free case review.

Multi-Vehicle Crash Leaves Woman Dead

emergency vehicles

The LAPD are currently investigating a car crash from Friday, March 5, 2021, that left one woman dead.

According to initial findings, a stopped vehicle that was waiting for a red light on South Broadway was rear-ended by a pickup truck heading north at around 12:50am. The two cars then spun into a group of parked cars near the intersection of South Broadway and West 43rd Street in Los Angeles. The initial report also stated that investigators don’t have any reason to think that drugs, alcohol, or street racing were involved in the crash.

Sadly, first responders pronounced the woman who was driving the stopped car dead at the scene. The woman, who has since been identified as Nicole Foster, was only 34 years old. The pickup truck driver was sent to the hospital and has since been reported to be in critical condition.

Know Your Rights

If you have been injured in a crash, a car accident attorney is here to help. Ellis Injury Law has over two decades of experience representing car accident victims and their families. We can fight to get the justice and compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a free consultation to learn more.

Woman Killed, Teen Hospitalized in Deadly West LA Crash

EMT paramedics in a rescue operation after a car crash

One driver is dead, and the other driver hospitalized after a February 17 rush-hour crash in West Los Angeles. The accident may have involved street drag racing.

The fatal collision occurred in the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Overland Avenue at 5:15 p.m. that Wednesday evening. The impact trapped the victim, later identified as Monique Munoz, 32, in her vehicle. She was deemed “beyond medical help” and pronounced dead at the scene by the LA Fire Department, which arrived at 5:48 p.m.

The teenage male driver was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries. He was later released after treatment for minor head injuries.

Vehicle Crushed

According to aerial footage captured by a local TV news station, both vehicles sustained damage, but one was crushed completely. Munoz was driving a Lexus, while the teenager was behind the wheel of a Lamborghini. She was on her way home from work at the time of the crash.

Remembered for Kindness       

At a candlelit vigil for Munoz, friends remembered the young woman as kind and committed to her family. She was working as a receptionist and dreamed of going to law school. A GoFundMe page had been set up to help her family with expenses.

No Charges Filed

To date, no charges have been filed against the teen driver. Munoz’s family says they want the driver to face criminal charges in the death of their loved one, described as the “heart and happiness” of her family.

Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

In an instant, a car crash changes your life. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, contact the experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law. Schedule a free, confidential consultation by texting or calling 24/7 or submitting our online form.

Over the past 25 years, our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $350 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. You pay no attorney fees unless you receive compensation.

Hit and Run on Highway 99 Kills Young Nurse

Juliana Ramos of Fresno County was killed on Thursday, February 11, 2021, in a tragic hit and run accident.

According to California Highway Patrol, the 26-year-old nurse and mother of three had been driving along Highway 99 when she stopped to help victims of a car crash that occurred near Manning Avenue. Investigators say that Ramos was hit by a red or burgundy SUV after she got out of her vehicle.

The driver of the SUV initially got out of the car, but then got right back in and drove away. He or she is still at large, and investigators are asking for anyone with information about the accident to call California Highway Patrol.

The Wonderful Life That Was Lost

The California Highway Patrol has announced that the driver Ramos was trying to help is currently being treated at Community Regional Medical Center.

Ramos, however, was not so lucky, and was killed in the accident. According to her sisters, Ramos was getting ready to celebrate her 27th birthday, but now they’re planning her funeral instead.

In addition to being a nurse, she was also a mother of three young children. Her youngest, a 4-month-old, was in the car at the time of the accident.

Though justice won’t bring Juliana back, the Ramos family is still planning on making sure the hit-and-run driver is held responsible. The family has also made a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the funeral.

Hurt in a Hit and Run? Ellis Injury Law Can Help

If you or someone you love was injured in a hit and run, you have the right to seek compensation for the losses, including pain and suffering, associated with the accident.

Ellis Injury Law has years of experience helping Los Angeles hit and run victims achieve justice. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

Police Chase Leads to Big Rig Crash

In the early evening on Sunday, February 7, 2021, the Los Angeles Police Department was in pursuit of a car that was reported stolen.

According to LAPD Sgt. Juan Acosta of Central Traffic Division and Officer Art Rodriguez of the department’s Operations Center, the LAPD was actively pursuing the vehicle when, at around 5:10pm, it collided with a big rig truck near 875 S. Alameda St in Los Angeles. The car got trapped underneath the truck.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said that there were two victims of the accident, one young man that was killed and another unidentified person who suffered minor injuries. The name of the deceased man was not released as the department needs to notify his family, and the other victim’s gender and name are yet unknown. However, the person is being treated at a hospital and is said to be in good condition. It is also unclear if the injured victim was arrested or detained by the LAPD in connection with the car theft or the accident.

What Can Ellis Injury Law Do?

The team of accomplished car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law is here to help when the catastrophic happens.

We have years of experience and an unyielding tenacity that make us an excellent voice for victims and their loved ones as they seek justice and compensation. Call today to schedule a free consultation to learn more.

Fullerton 4 Vehicle Crash Kills Young Woman

Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

A four-vehicle car crash on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, left one young woman dead and one man critically injured.

As reported by Fullerton police, a black Chevrolet Silverado was driving irregularly down Magnolia Avenue near Valencia Drive when, at around 10:00 am, it suddenly turned into oncoming traffic and smashed into a white Toyota Corolla.

The Silverado hit the Corolla with so much force that the smaller car flipped over and crashed into a nearby Ford Edge, which in turn spun out and hit a Nissan Altima. The Silverado ended its deadly run when it flipped upside down and came to a stop in the middle of the intersection.

The 50-year-old man that was driving the Silverado was brought to a local trauma center, where he remains in critical condition. There is no other information on the other victims at this time.

What About the Victim That Was Killed?

The woman who was killed in the accident was driving the white Toyota Corolla. She was trapped in the car for a time but was extracted from the wreckage and brought to a local trauma center.

Sadly, she was pronounced dead later on. Her identity has not been released.

Local police are still investigating the cause of the accident and are asking anyone with information to contact Accident Investigator H. Barclay at (714) 738-6815.

Ellis Injury Law Gives Voices to Car Accident Victims

Sadly, the young woman was taken all too soon from this world. But what about those she left behind? How will they get justice for this terrible tragedy?

Ellis Injury Law seeks to give voices to car accident victims and their families so they can get the justice and compensation they deserve. Call today to schedule a free consultation so you can learn more about what Ellis Injury Law can do for you.

Fatal DUI in Huntington Beach

A man from Sunset Beach was arrested Wednesday, January 20th on suspicion of DUI charges because of his connection to a multi-car crash that happened on Tuesday, January 19th, near Huntington Beach and left one injured and two people dead.

According to police reports, Eric Kinser, the alleged DUI driver, was going north on the Pacific Coast Highway in a white 2007 Dodge Ram truck when, at about 6:45pm, he crossed over the median into the southbound lanes near Warner Avenue and the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Kinser’s truck then hit a silver Toyota head-on and crashed into a white Lexus before coming to a stop.

Kinser was taken to UCI Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and was there arrested.

What Happened to the Victims?

All three vehicles involved in the accident had severe damage – and their drivers were just as bad. The Toyota’s driver, a 19-year-old from Newport Beach, was taken to the UCI Medical Center and pronounced dead later that evening. His name has not been released. The Lexus’s driver, a 71-year-old woman from Huntington Beach who was identified as Cindy Zervos, was pronounced dead at the scene. Zervos’s passenger, a 45-year-old woman whose name has not been released, suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Orange County Global Medical Center for treatment.

The Huntington Beach Police’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team is investigating the accident and is looking for witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call traffic investigator Doug Demetre at (714) 536-5670 or investigator Vishal Rattanchandani at (714) 536-5663.

Are You a DUI Victim?

You have rights if you or someone you love was injured or killed in a DUI. Ellis Injury Law is dedicated to helping such victims get the justice and compensation they deserve. Call or visit us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

More Research Needed to Determine How Traumatic Brain Injuries Affect Women

Traumatic Brain Injuries, or TBIs, are one of the most common forms of serious injury resulting from accidents due to negligence, including car accidents and slip and falls. The Centers for Disease Control defines a TBI as a “disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head.” Because most of the research done on TBIs up until now has focused on male patients, there is still much we do not know about how TBI uniquely impacts women.

A better understanding of how traumatic brain injury affects women differently will help scientists improve prevention and treatment strategies. This research will also help give a clearer idea of the medical challenges and loss of quality of life suffered by women seeking civil damages for head injuries caused by another party’s negligence or misconduct.

University of Illinois Researcher Eve Valera Researcher Eve Valera estimates that, in great part due to the prevalence of domestic violence, as many as 31 million women in the U.S. may have had at least one TBI, and that 21 million may have had multiple mild TBIs. She hopes that increased research in how TBIs affect women will encourage more women to seek care after sustaining a “seemingly minor” head injury.

TBIs Affect Women Differently

Scientists have observed sex-based differences in response to TBI:

  • In ages 0-4, boys are 2x more likely to have a TBI than girls.
  • In adolescence, female athletes are more likely to experience concussions.
  • Women 65+ are most likely to experience mild TBI from falls.
  • Head injury during the high progesterone luteal phase of menstruation is linked with a worse outcome.
  • Female military veterans may encounter different symptoms in functional connectivity following TBI.
  • Depression is one residual side effect of TBI that seems more pronounced in women than men. 

TBIs in Women Linked to Alzheimer’s

If you’ve heard of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), it’s probably in reference to retired wrestlers, pro football or soccer players, who have sustained multiple concussions. CTE can manifest in many ways – memory or thinking impairments, confusion, personality changes, aggression, depression, suicidal thoughts, lack of focus, or balance and motor skill deficits. CTE can be a precursor to the development of Alzheimer’s or Dementia later in life.

Two-thirds of those who end up with Alzheimer’s later in life are women, which implies there may be a difference in the progression of head trauma.

CTE is not just a neurodegenerative disorder affecting elite male athletes – but one that affects women as well – often with particularly devastating consequences. Some of the worst cases are evident in women who have endured years of domestic violence. Women suffer silently after many incidents, never seeking professional treatment.

Women and Men Recover Differently from Head Trauma

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says there are considerable gaps in our current knowledge, and more research is needed to determine the effects of reproductive hormones like estrogen or progesterone on the impact and recovery of brain injuries. Not only are the chemical compositions of male and female brains different, but the weight, fine structure, and functional brain anatomy also differ between men and women, though these factors have been poorly studied in post-injury research.

If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury after an accident, you may be eligible for money compensation to cover medical bills and more. Protect your rights under the law by contacting Ellis Injury Law Firm for free, 24/7, to discuss your case.