Santa Barbara E-Bike Accident Lawyers
Electric bikes are here to stay in California. A new bike share pilot program will provide residents and visitors with affordable e-bike rides with easy access to key destinations, as stated by the City of Santa Barbara. Demand for e-bikes has skyrocketed, as more people discover their convenience, economy, fitness, and eco-friendliness. As e-bike traffic increases, so does the number of e-bike accidents.
E-bike riders in Santa Barbara are subject to the same rules and regulations as other cyclists concerning riding with the flow of traffic, speed limits, yielding to pedestrians, helmet requirements for minors, etc. The following state laws apply to e-bikes specifically:
- E-bike riders must be 16 years of age or older.
- Helmets are required for all e-bike riders of any age.
- E-biking is prohibited on multi-use bicycle trails or paths, equestrian trails, bikeways, and hiking or recreational trails.
- In Santa Barbara, e-biking is prohibited on city sidewalks, except on designated bikeways or at driveways.
- E-biking is prohibited on certain mountain biking trails, such as the Romero Canyon trail.
- All classes of e-bikes are allowed on designated bike lanes on public roadways.
With more e-bikes on the roads, accidents are bound to occur. Many collisions between automobiles and e-bikes are caused by driver negligence. Types of accidents in which e-bikers can be injured include:
- Drivers turning right hitting e-bike riders on their right side
- Drivers executing left-hand turns into the path of oncoming e-bike riders
- Drivers backing into riders when pulling out from driveways or parking lots
In addition to injuries caused to riders by negligent drivers, e-bikes can also be hazardous to pedestrians. This can be a problem in heavily congested areas where pedestrians and e-bikes mix. Unlike motorcycles, e-bikes are quiet, and pedestrians may fail to hear them approaching. Because e-bikes travel much faster than traditional bicycles, pedestrians may misjudge the speed of an oncoming bike and may cross in its path. Pedestrians may also trip over e-bikes parked on sidewalks.
An e-bike rider hit by a moving motor vehicle could sustain any number of injuries, ranging from minor to fatal. Common e-bike accident injuries include:
- Head injuries (traumatic brain injury)
- Fractured bones
- Back injuries and spine injuries
- Contusions and lacerations
If you were hurt in an e-bike crash caused by another driver, you may be able to hold that driver liable. To prevail in a claim for compensation, you must show that the at-fault driver’s negligence was the main factor that caused the crash. Examples of driver negligence include speeding, driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, failing to yield the right-of-way, or disregarding traffic signals or signs. You will need evidence to support your claim, such as eyewitness testimony, camera footage of the crash, photos of the accident scene, the at-fault party’s driving record, and your wrecked e-bike and helmet preserved for inspection.
Your best chance of recovering full compensation for an e-bike accident is to have experienced Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys by your side. At NordstrandBlack PC, we have more than 30 years of experience. We can investigate your e-bike crash to determine fault and liability, secure evidence to support your claim, negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf for a fair settlement, and fight for your rights in court if necessary.
We have the resources and the experience necessary to fight well-funded insurance companies and win at trial. If you have been seriously injured in an e-bike accident, call us at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free consultation.