Electric bikes have become very popular here in California, especially in tourist areas like Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc.
With the nice weather and large amounts of people now riding electric bikes we are starting to see more and more accidents that are injuring the riders.
We put together this article in hopes of educating our readers about the fun and Danger that comes along with renting (or buying) an electric bike.
If you were injured while riding an electric bike, then feel free to contact our injury law firm today for a FREE consultation regarding your accident.
Why Contact Law Offices of Daniel Kim
There are many reasons why you’ll want to contact our law firm if you’ve been injured in an electric bike accident.
Daniel Kim is a very aggressive attorney that is not afraid of the insurance companies and if you were injured then Daniel will go to bat for you and your family.
Once you suffer an injury at the hands of a negligent driver, life can get complicated very quickly when you start having to deal with medical bills (should you take an ambulance rides), insurance companies putting you at fault, and just trying to recover from any physical injuries.
It is very important to remember that the insurance companies are not in business to pay out big claims to everybody who gets injured, and many times the insurance company will try to deny the claim completely.
Don’t be intimidated by the insurance adjuster or company, instead contact us today for help.
Daniel and his staff truly care about all of our clients and our online reputation says it all.
With over 1,000 reviews on Yelp and Google, it goes to show how important our clients are.
How Much is My Electric Bike Accident Settlement Worth
We hear this question every time a new client contacts us about a recent accident they were injured in.
Our law firm will fight tooth and nail to make sure our clients get maximum compensation for their electric bike accident, but we can’t just give you a $$ amount the first time you call us.
The final settlement amount will be dependent on a ton of factors including:
- Costs of medical treatment (and future bills)
- Lost wages from missed work
- Physical and emotional suffering
- Severity of your injuries
There isn’t a magic calculator that allows you to just punch in numbers and come up with an automatic settlement amount, but of course a brain injury is going to pay a lot more than a broken arm.
This is another reason why it’s so important to contact an experienced E-bike accident lawyer like Daniel Kim, so we can help you navigate the long legal process and court system for injury cases.
Remember also that your injury settlement might be taxable so you’ll want to know all these laws ahead of time.
Dealing With The Insurance Companies After an Accident
Our law firm has years and years of experience dealing with insurance companies to make sure accident victims are treated fairly and get maximum compensation for their injuries.
Normally within a few days after an accident you’ll start getting phone calls from the insurance company that represents the driver who hit you.
Many times the insurance adjuster will come across as your best friend and make it out to be that they can settle your case easily and get you a check.
Don’t fall for it.
Insurance adjusters are usually very skilled at negotiations and their goal is to settle your case quickly and for as little as possible.
Just remember that whatever you say will most likely be used against you when it comes to settling your case, so be careful of what you say.
Your best bet is to contact Law Offices of Daniel Kim today and let us help guide you with this process.
What Is An E-Bike
You have most likely seen an electric bike by now (unless you live on a farm in Kansas) riding around your local streets.
Basically, an electric bike is just a regular bicycle that has several added components.
So an electric bike will have a motor (there are different options), a battery, and a controller that are all part of the basic design of any electric bike.
The electric bike has many of the same parts that a regular bike would have like pedals, hand brakes, tires, etc.
The real main difference is that an electric bike has a battery and motor which allows the rider to go faster and travel further than if they were on a standard pedal operated bike.
Common Injuries From Electric Bike Accident
Getting injured on an electric bicycle is very similar to getting hurt on a normal bicycle.
Of course an E-bike goes a little faster and people tend to drive a little crazier than they would on an old school bike, but in the end we still see some pretty bad injuries from these accidents.
Wearing a helmet is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself in case of an accident, but even wearing long sleeve shirts and pants can help reduce the chances for other injuries like road rash or cuts and bruises.
If you do find yourself in an accident while riding an electric bike you want to be sure to take the necessary steps and contact our law firm today for FREE legal consultation.
Below is a list of very common injuries we see from E-Bike accidents:
- Brain injury
- Nerve damages
- Broken bones
- Wrongful death
- Neck and back
- Facial injuries
Common Causes For Electric Bike Accidents
Riding an electric bike is very similar to riding a pedal bicycle when it comes to injuries and getting into an accident.
Teenage drivers are known to be at high risk for car accidents so you definitely want to watch out for young drivers on the road.
Riding an electric bike can be very dangerous in California because the roads are so crowded with cars, pedestrians, scooters, and other bicyclists.
Although every electric bike accident is different, there are things that the rider can do to help lower the odds of getting hit while riding.
Just following traffic laws and being courteous can go a long way when It comes to safety, but a driver who is texting while driving could pose a huge threat.
Also riders should wear bright clothing and a helmet whenever they get on an electric bike.
There can be a million reasons that cause an electric bike accident, but below we listed some of the more common situations we see.
- Distracted drivers (cars and bicyclists)
- Drugs and alcohol
- Road rage (cars get frustrated with electric bikes on the roads)
- Weather – rain in California makes roads very dangerous
- Backing out of a driveway – cars don’t see you on the electric bike
Do You Need a License To Ride an Electric Bike
You don’t have to have a license to operate an e-bike.
A rider though needs to be at least 16 years of age to operate an E-bicycle.
Electric bikes are relatively new here in the US and there is still a lot of confusion about the laws surrounding them.
In short, federal law considers electric bikes in the class as regular bicycles if they meet 2 important criteria.
The top speed in “electric only” mode is 20 MPH and (2) the engine power can’t be more than 750w.
So electric bikes do not need a special registration, insurance or a license to operate one.
In addition these bikes are treated like normal bicycles when it comes to things like riding in any available bike lane.
Electric Bike Laws in California
In California electric bikes are basically treated as regular bicycles under the California vehicle code.
Electric bike riders are exempt from many of the normal laws that apply to cars and motorcycles.
Do E-Bike riders Need to Have Insurance
Under California Vehicle Code Section 406(b), electric bike riders aren’t required to comply with California’s financial responsibility law.
Electric bike riders do not have to have liability insurance.
Do electric bike riders need to wear a helmet in California
Under California Vehicle Code Section 406(b), electric bike riders are required to wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
Definition Of an E-Bike in California
The California Vehicle code Section 406(a) simply defines a moped or motorized bicycle (electric bike) as not capable of going over 30 mph on level ground using-
- Fully operative pedals for human propulsion
- An electric motor that is with or without pedals
- A motor that produces less than 2 gross brake horsepower and an automatic transmission
How To Ride An Electric Bike Safely and Avoid Injuries
To start with we always recommend that you wear a helmet, wear bright reflective clothing, and make sure your bike has some type of lights on it to make yourself more visible to traffic and pedestrians.
Another major factor is riding an electric bike that fits you, so don’t buy or rent an electric bike that is too big or powerful for what you need.
Also electric bike riders need to remember to follow the laws that normal bike riders have to obey, as this plays a huge factor in riding safe.
That might include riding in the assigned bike lanes, not drinking alcohol and operating an electric bike, and not doing stuff like putting your friend on the handlebars, etc.
You would be surprised what type of accidents we’ve seen and many times it is the electric bicyclists poor judgement that is a direct cause of the bike accident.
Lastly it is wise to wear protective clothing if you are traveling at near 20mph, so wear shoes not flip flops, and wear a shirt, etc.