Glendale Electric Bike Accident Lawyers
Electric bikes have overtaken Los Angeles in the past few years. Similar to electric scooters, these vehicles can be purchased individually by riders or rented through a variety of dock services spread throughout the county. Public services like the LA Metro have launched electric bikes throughout Downtown to make the city more accessible. As common as these devices are now, safety is still a major issue. Drivers around Los Angeles are dismissive of cyclists and prone to ignoring their right-of-way. Given that electric bikes travel at higher speeds than classic bikes, riders can suffer more catastrophic injuries during collisions.
If you were injured by a negligent driver while riding an electric bike, reach out to the team at Aghabegian & Associates, PC. No matter what vehicle you were driving, you deserve fair treatment on LA County’s roads and compensation for your trauma. Our Glendale electric bike accident attorneys can review the details of your case and advocate for your best interests in a bike accident claim. To get started, call our office at (818) 507-4311 and receive a free case evaluation.
Electric bikes entered California’s legal code with AB 1096, which defined them as a bike with fully operable pedals that has an electric motor that produces less than 750 watts. E-bikes are categorized in three classes, which include:
- Class 1: These are low-speed electric bikes that only use electric motors to assist riders while they are pedaling. The motor will stop when running when the bike reaches 20 mph.
- Class 2: These are throttle-assisted electric bikes that allow riders to use the motor without pedaling, but the motor will stop running at 20 mph.
- Class 3: These electric bikes only use the motor to assist with pedaling, stop at 28 mph, and have a speedometer. Riders must be at least 16 to ride these bikes, and all riders must wear helmets.
Electric bikes are available in three ways in Los Angeles. First, riders can purchase their e-bikes individually from bike shops found across the county. Second, riders can rent bikes at local shops. Lastly, LA has several bike-share companies that operate throughout the county that allow riders to rent vehicles at low costs by the minute or hour.
All electric bike-share companies must be approved by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). One of the largest services is the public Electric Metro Bike, which operates directly under the supervision of the city. Major corporations have also joined on the trend in Los Angeles, including Lyft, Spin, Lime, and Breeze.
Electric-bike riders are expected to follow the same laws as any other cyclist on the road, including not riding on sidewalks or highways, obeying speed limits, wearing helmets if the rider is under 17, wearing reflective clothing, and using hand signals. But riders also have certain protections under the law, and other motorists must respect their right-of-way. If you were injured by a negligent driver, then you are well within your rights to pursue a personal injury claim.
E-bike accidents are often the fault of negligent drivers who injure or put riders in unsafe situations. However, because of the ways these vehicles are designed, the bike may have a defective part or component that contributes to an accident. In general, if you were injured in a biking accident that was not your fault, you can file a claim against:
Drivers: In most bike accident cases, a car driver is the main liable party. Drivers around LA rarely give bike riders the right-of-way, either tailgating them, forcing them out of lanes, or blocking them from maneuvering safely. If a driver struck you, then you are well within your rights to file an auto accident claim against their insurance policy.
Vehicle Occupants: Drivers are not the only danger to riders, as other vehicle occupants can be just as dismissive. When a vehicle is parked on the side of the road, drivers and passengers should check their blind spots before opening a door, otherwise they may cause a dooring accident. Both state and city laws make it illegal to recklessly open a car door in front of oncoming traffic, and injured bike riders can file claims against negligent drivers if they cause a dooring accident.
Bike Manufacturers: Like auto manufacturers, bike manufacturers are responsible for making their products as safe as possible. Selling or leasing an e-bike that has defective brakes or motors can make a manufacturer liable in a product liability claim if those defects contributed to a bike accident. E-bike companies in California are also responsible for classifying their vehicles according to California law. If a company did not label a bike properly and a rider was injured as a result, it could also be found liable.
Rental Companies: Rental companies, like manufacturers, have a duty to ensure their e-bikes are safe to ride, maintained, and free of defects. If they allowed a rider to use a bike with a defect, then the company can be found liable in an accident, whether it was aware of the defect or not.
It is important to note that California is a pure comparative negligence state: multiple parties can be found liable in an accident claim, including bike riders. These laws only apply to personal injury trials before juries, but they may impact settlement negotiations if the at-fault party’s insurance company tries to blame you for the accident. The amount of fault assigned to you can reduce the total value of your case. Because California follows pure comparative negligence laws, you can still receive compensation even if you are 99% at fault.
For example, if an e-bicyclist was riding over the speed limit and was struck by a negligent driver, then the cyclist may be found partially at fault for the severity of his injuries. While the driver may be assigned the majority of the fault, the rider might be found 10% at fault. If he was awarded $100,000 by a jury, then he would only receive $90,000.
However, with a strong attorney at your side, you may be able to receive the full value of your claim through an insurance settlement or jury trial. At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, we are well-versed in dealing with dismissive insurance companies and know how to present a case in front of a jury. If you bring your e-bike accident case to us, you can trust that we will build a strong case for full compensation.
Dealing with an insurance claim on your own is extremely difficult. Insurance companies rarely provide fair deals when a bike accident victim comes to them without an attorney. They may try to make you make a recorded statement, push blame on you, delay in responding to calls or emails, and dismiss your injuries as minor, even if your medical records say otherwise. While you may want to settle your case as quickly as possible, it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled attorney about your case.
We at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, have more than 40 years of combined experience. We have handled numerous injury claims and heard every excuse from insurance companies. Despite their manipulative tactics, we have recovered more than $125 million for our clients. Let us handle the legal legwork of getting you compensation for your injuries.
Our Glendale bike accident attorneys can:
- Sit down with you in a free consultation to review your claim.
- Explain your options under California law.
- Review all insurance policies that may apply to your case, including your own.
- Get you in contact with skilled and reputable medical professionals.
- Speak to e-bike experts and accident analysts.
- Collect evidence of negligence, including surveillance footage, witness statements, and police reports.
- Deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
- Calculate the full value of your case.
If you have been injured by a negligent driver, reach out to our Glendale bike accident attorneys. We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay us unless we win your claim. To speak to our team at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, call (818) 507-4311 today.
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Call (818) 507-4311 to learn more.