home personal injury motorcycle accidents moped accident

Santa Barbara Moped Injury Lawyers

We Get Justice for Santa Barbara Moped, E-Bike, and E-Scooter Accident Victims

Santa Barbara is the perfect place for riding an electric bike or scooter thanks to our scenic views; they are, however, not only human-propelled and need to be ridden with caution to avoid serious injuries. Other motorists on the road, especially those in larger vehicles, need to share the road with people on mopeds, e-bikes, and e-scooters to avoid collisions.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a moped, e-bike, or e-scooter and another person was at fault, you can hold them accountable for their actions. It is important to act promptly, however, and not talk to or agree to anything with an insurance company until you speak with a Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer. Reach out to NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 to discuss your legal options with a free consultation.

Rules for Riders

People who operate mopeds, e-bicycles, and e-scooters in Southern California must ride responsibly. Riders have to obey traffic laws and follow all signs and other traffic directions while riding around.

Moped, bicycle, and e-scooter riders in Santa Barbara cannot go onto sidewalks because that would be a serious danger to pedestrians. They should yield to pedestrians and follow directions from police officers directing traffic. Finally, no one should operate a moped while intoxicated. When they do, they can be held liable for the injuries they cause, including punitive damages.

A peace officer operating a bicycle during the course of their duties is exempt from certain requirements when responding to an emergency call, while engaged in a rescue operation, or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law. However, peace officers have a duty to operate a bicycle with due regard for the safety of all persons who may be impacted by their behavior.

What Are Mopeds and E-Bikes?

In California, it is illegal to ride a moped or an e-bike on a bicycle path or trail, an equestrian trail, a hiking trail, or a recreational trail unless that path or trail is on or next to a road or when permission is granted by local law.

A moped is defined as a two- or three-wheeled motorized bicycle. Although mopeds that aren’t solely powered by electrical energy have fully operative pedals for human propulsion, a moped looks more like a Vespa than a bicycle.

A moped must have a motor of less than four gross brake horsepower, and it cannot be capable of traveling more than 30 mph on level ground. Mopeds are permitted to ride in a bicycle lane if authorized by local authority.

An electric bicycle (e-bike) is a bicycle that’s equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. An e-bike is legally classified as a bicycle.

There are three classes of e-bikes. The motor on a Class 1 or a Class 2 e-bike will not continue to provide assistance after a speed of 20 mph has been reached. A Class 3 e-bike is equipped with a speedometer, and the motor will cease to provide assistance when it reaches a speed of 28 mph.

The rider of a Class 3 e-bike must:

  • Wear a bicycle safety helmet
  • Be at least 16
  • Not transport passengers
  • Ride in a bicycle lane unless otherwise authorized by local law.

What Is a Motorized Scooter?

A motorized scooter is a two-wheeled device with a motor, handlebars, and a floorboard for standing on when riding that can be powered by human propulsion. It may be driven by someone who has any class of driver’s license.

A motorized scooter must be equipped with brakes that enable the operator to make a braked wheel skid on dry, level, and clean pavement. A motorized scooter has a speed limit of 15 mph. It cannot be operated on a highway with a speed limit in excess of 25 mph unless it is operated on a Class 2 or Class 4 bikeway or when permitted by local authority.

When making a left turn, the rider of a motorized scooter is required to dismount to the right-hand curb or right edge of the roadway and complete the turn by crossing the roadway on foot, following the same rules as a pedestrian.

Rules for Drivers

When a person is using a moped responsibly, it is important for other drivers to share the road and recognize the moped is a vehicle. Drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs can sometimes be aggressive around mopeds, which is negligent behavior. While on a moped or motor scooter, riders are exposed, and any collision with a vehicle can result in catastrophic injuries.

Determining Liability After Santa Barbara Moped, E-Bike, and E-Scooter Accidents

After a collision or a fall onto the asphalt, it is important to determine who is responsible or negligent. In legal terms, negligence refers to an action or inaction that is not what a reasonable person would do in the same situation. Both the operation of a moped while intoxicated, driving at excessively high speeds, and a driver who does not yield to an electric bicycle with the right-of-way should be considered negligent.

To determine liability, NordstrandBlack PC will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident by collecting and examining the following types of information:

  • Witness interviews
  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Expert testimony
  • Accident scene photos
  • Surveillance camera and dashcam video

Holding Negligent Parties Liable for Your Injuries

There are complex factors involved when someone is injured while riding a moped, e-scooter, or e-bike. It’s possible for multiple parties to share liability for your injuries. For example, the driver who crashed into your e-bike may have been cut off by another driver. Things can get even more complicated when there are additional factors involved, such as the driver’s or rider’s blood alcohol content (BAC) being beyond the legal limit.

In addition to negligent drivers, other parties may share liability, such as trucking and delivery companies that commit negligent hiring by handing the keys to large vans and semi-trucks over to people with unsafe driving records.

When our investigation is complete, NordstrandBlack PC will file a claim or lawsuit against anyone whose negligent behavior contributed to your injuries. This may include:

  • Careless drivers
  • Manufacturers of defective mopeds, e-scooters, and e-bikes
  • Businesses that fail to adequately inspect and service their vehicles
  • Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to underage drivers or drunk patrons
  • Contractors responsible for unsafe road conditions

How Negligent Drivers Cause Moped, E-Scooter, and E-Bike Accidents

When it comes to determining liability in moped, e-scooter, and e-bike accidents, California is an at-fault state. This means that anyone who commits a negligent act that contributed to your injuries may be held liable.

Moped, e-scooter, and e-bike accidents are often caused by unsafe drivers. For example, exceeding the posted speed limit is never acceptable. When a speeding driver crashes into someone who is traveling on a moped, e-scooter, or e-bike, it causes severe injuries. Illegal street racing is a major cause of speeding-related crashes.

Another major threat to moped, e-scooter, and e-bike riders is intoxicated drivers. People who are impaired by alcohol, marijuana, illicit drugs, prescription medication, or over-the-counter medications should never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. These substances impair critical functions that are required for safe driving, including vision, judgment, coordination, reflexes, and reaction time.

It only takes a moment of inattention to cause tragic consequences for a moped, e-scooter, or e-bike rider, and distracted driving is a growing problem. That’s why California has strict laws that prohibit drivers from using a handheld device for texting, talking, checking social media, or any other purpose.

Injuries Caused by Moped, E-Bike, and E-Scooter Accidents

Unlike drivers and passengers traveling inside cars who have airbags, seat belts, and other safety features for protection, moped, e-scooter, and e-bike riders are completely vulnerable to injuries that result from collisions caused by negligent drivers.

Brain injuries are common in moped, e-scooter, and e-bike accidents, even when helmets are worn. It is often difficult to identify a brain injury, which may result in subtle changes, such as emotional lability, memory problems, and difficulty multi-tasking, among other issues. Long-term consequences include anxiety, depression, loss of motor control, incontinence, paralysis, language difficulties, and reduced intellectual function.

Physical injuries caused by moped, e-scooter, and e-bike accidents include:

How Your Santa Barbara Moped, E-Bike, and E-Scooter Accident Lawyer Can Help

You will want to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. There are filing deadlines and statutes of limitations that may apply, and it is also important to begin the investigation while people’s memories of the event are still fresh. If the other side is not willing to make a reasonable settlement offer, the experienced litigators at NordstrandBlack PC are always prepared to take your case to trial.

When NordstrandBlack PC files a claim or lawsuit for an accident involving a moped, e-scooter, or e-bike, we seek the following types of damages:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Medical devices
  • Occupational therapy
  • Time missed from work
  • Reduced quality of life
  • In-home nursing care
  • Wheelchair ramps for your home
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Wrongful death

When Parents Are Liable for Injuries Caused by Their Children

If you or your child was severely injured in an accident caused by the actions of a minor, you have the right to seek compensation from the child’s parents or legal guardian. Recently, a California judge approved a $1.5 million legal settlement between the parents of a 12-year-old girl who died as a result of an e-bike accident and the parents of an 11-year-old girl who was operating the e-bike.

Speak with a Santa Barbara Moped, E-Scooter, and E-Bike Accident Attorney Today

Any auto accident can be serious, but since moped drivers lack the protection of a larger vehicle, serious injuries are common in such cases. It is important to hold responsible drivers accountable for their actions. At NordstrandBlack PC, we’re here to help you seek compensation to cover medical bills, make up for missed time at work, and help account for the loss of a loved one.

Call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free consultation with a Santa Barbara moped injury lawyer today.

Additional Information