What are California Laws Regarding E-bikes?
Electric bikes – which are commonly known as E-bikes – have become increasingly popular in Santa Monica and other coastal regions around California. This is largely because of their easy availability, efficiency, and speed. However, these vehicles can also be dangerous under certain circumstances. This is especially true if operators do not drive in a safe and careful manner. In many instances, accidents happen when an E-bike strikes a pedestrian, causing the pedestrian to fall to the ground and sustain serious injuries, such as broken bones and traumatic head and brain injuries.
Fortunately, there are California laws in place that apply to E-bike operation. If you have suffered injuries as a pedestrian in an E-bike accident, you might be able to bring a claim against the operator. You could bring this claim through the operator’s homeowner insurance policy or through your own uninsured motorist carrier, depending upon the circumstances. An experienced OC E-bike attorney can discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident with you and determine your eligibility to file a claim. Your attorney could then pursue the monetary compensation that you deserve.
E-bike Classifications in California
There are several California laws that apply to the operation and use of electric bicycles. The applicable laws depend upon the E-bike’s classification. For example, a Class 1 E-bike is one that provides assistance when a rider is pedaling the bicycle. The assistance stops whenever the bicycle attains a speed of 20 mph or greater.
Class 2 electric bikes will provide power even when the bike rider is not forward pedaling. Finally, Class 3E bikes have a motor which only assists the rider when he/she is pedaling the bike. These bikes also have a speedometer attached to them.
California Laws that Apply to E-bikes
With respect to Class 1 and Class 2 electric bikes, no age restrictions apply. However, writers of Class 3 electric bikes need to be at least 16 years of age. In addition, writers of Class 1 and Class 2 E-bikes do not need to wear helmets unless they are under 18 years of age. However, Class 3 e-bike riders must wear their helmets when the bike is in operation.
Likewise, pursuant to Section 406(b) of the California Vehicle Code, riders of electric bikes do not need to comply with the State of California’s financial responsibility law. In addition, riders of these bikes do not need to carry any liability insurance.
Finally, California local governments have the discretion to set restrictions on where users can operate their E-bikes throughout the state.
If you have suffered injuries in an E-bike accident, a California E-bike attorney can assist you with every step of your claim. Your lawyer can determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim and determine which insurance company to pursue. Your lawyer can also file the claim, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and work to get you the monetary compensation that you deserve for all of your accident-related personal injuries.