Transportation can be a problem in California when you rely on busy freeways and boulevards to get around. Even walking from one place to another can be a hassle and dangerous when pedestrians must cross fast-moving intersections. For a more enjoyable and economical solution, some travelers are turning to e-bikes.
Electric bikes are in stores and available to rent in many California cities. Riders can travel on most streets and enjoy the same rights as a vehicle while in the lanes. But just like bicyclists, e-Bike riders will also find themselves at risk of frightening accidents when careless drivers are nearby.
The injuries e-bike riders suffer in accidents can be much more severe too. A vulnerable rider will need the best medical care available and the money to pay for that care. Car insurance companies must be held fully accountable for every hardship California e-bike accident victims endure.
Contact an E-Bike Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
After getting struck by a reckless driver, California e-bike accident victims will wonder if they can ask for help during recovery. The answer is yes. When you have questions about your e-bike accident case, schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with a real California e-Bike Accident Lawyer.
An at-fault driver may owe you far more than just the cost of a new electric bike. Your injuries could require weeks of care and physical therapy, as well as additional surgeries in the years to come. It’s crucial to make sure these costs and others are included in any settlement you sign off on.
Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, is an advocate for safe rides for all cyclists and e-bike riders. He’s dedicated to seeing that cyclists get the care they need to return to their e-bikes as soon as possible.
E-Bike Accident Dangers in California
E-bikes are bikes with pedals and an engine that assists riders up to a certain point. California laws don’t treat them as mopeds or motorcycles though.
They are generally treated as bicycles by California law. Riders can use bike lanes as long as local ordinances permit it. At times, riders will have to get out among the cars, SUVs, trucks, and motorcycles when bike lanes aren’t present.
E-bike riders enjoy the same rights as cyclists and can enter a lane of traffic and should be treated like any vehicle. Unfortunately, not all drivers are aware of these laws. Through ignorance or recklessness, motorists can knock a rider from an e-bike and cause devastating injuries.
E-bike riders in California must wear helmets, but not even this accident safety precaution can protect them from an impact with a car and with the pavement.
A cyclist might suffer fractured bones, a traumatic brain injury, road rash, or internal organ damage. It’s likely that after a tumble, riders will be off their bikes for quite a while.
Car insurance companies will attempt to blame an e-bike rider for any accident no matter if a police collision report says otherwise. It’s a smart idea to have a California e-bike accident lawyer protecting your interests after you’ve been injured to get the maximum out of your injury claim.
The Classes of E-Bikes in California and E-Bike Laws
California’s DMV’s Motorcycle handbook goes over the three classes of electrical bikes and some of the rules for each kind. The different classes are determined by how fast an e-bike goes and how much assistance the motor provides.
These are the three classes of electric bicycles allowed in California:
- Class 1: A low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when a speed of 20 mph is reached.
- Class 2: A low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle equipped with a motor used exclusively to propel the bicycle and NOT capable of providing assistance when a speed of 20 mph is reached.
- Class 3: A low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle equipped with a speedometer, and a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when a speed of 28 mph is reached.
The operator of Class 3 electric bicycle:
- Must be 16 years old or older.
- Must wear a bicycle safety helmet.
- Must not transport passengers.
- May ride an electric bicycle in a bicycle lane if authorized by local authority or ordinance.
All electric bicycle classes are exempt from the motor vehicle financial responsibility, Driver’s License, and license plate requirements. You can find more about the vehicle codes that govern e-bike usage in California at CVC 24016.
What Should I Do Immediately After an E-Bike Accident in California?
In the moments after your crash, there’s powerful evidence available that can help you build a strong case against an at-fault driver. Try to gather these details and more:
- Call 911. Give a full report to the police about what happened. If paramedics think you should go to the hospital, allow them to take you. If you must leave, ask someone with you or a witness to help you gather evidence.
- Grab photos. Document the entire scene, your e-bike damage, the damage on the car that hit you, and traffic signs. Take photos of any injuries that are visible and any damage to clothing. Show the helmet you were wearing. If you weren’t wearing one, don’t give up on earning compensation. You don’t have to have been wearing a helmet to ask a driver for support after a California e-bike accident.
- Note any nearby locations that might have security cameras that recorded your accident. Jot down their addresses.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information.
- Exchange information with the driver but don’t make any statements about the fault in the accident or how badly you are hurt. Insurance companies can use these statements against you later.
- Make an appointment with your physician. Go see any specialists your doctor recommends. Save your medical invoices.
- Keep any damaged clothing and personal items, including your damaged bike. Don’t wash those clothes or shoes. Don’t throw evidence out.
- Schedule a free consultation with a skilled California bicycle accident lawyer. It’s a no-risk way to find out what your case is worth before you have an insurance adjuster tell you that you have no claim to any accident support.
What Can I Receive Compensation for After an E-Bike Accident?
Car insurance companies for at-fault drivers won’t make it easy for you to earn the support you need to make a full physical and financial recovery. A bad e-bike collision could leave you in need of medical support over months or years of recovery. You might also be unable to work during this time.
To avoid a financial crisis, it’s important to demand compensation for every hardship you face in an e-bike accident insurance claim.
These are just a few of the economic and non-economic damages you may secure in an injury settlement:
- Past and future medical invoices.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Long-term costs associated with permanent disfigurement and permanent disability.
- Support for the physical pain you endure in a California e-bike crash.
- Support for the emotional trauma you’ve suffered during your e-bike accident recovery. The anxiety and depression that can follow an accident. The PTSD Symptoms that might arise after a scary collision.
- Support for the wages and benefits lost while missing work.
- Repairs to e-bicycle or Replacement.
Contact a California E-Bicycle Accident Lawyer
California e-bike riders must often suffer through a difficult physical recovery after a crash, while also worrying about the ever-mounting hospital bills they’re receiving. Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, wants to make sure victims simply trying to earn what’s fair from a car insurance company never face these battles alone.
Mr. Gasparian works to remove the stress and worry insurance claims can bring while giving victims the peace and quiet they need. He handles all communications with insurance adjusters and allows cyclists time to focus on healing.
Contact Maison Law for a free Bicycle Accident Case Consultation. Let our California Bicycle Accident Lawyers determine what your injury should be worth and talk over your best path to receiving the support you need to rebuild your life and get back on your bike. If you do feel we can help you get the most out of your e-bike accident settlement, you don’t need to worry about paying us now. We don’t get paid unless we win your case.