In cities across the country, people are relying on electric bicycles to get around. Fresno is no exception. With an average annual temperature of 64.1 degrees Fahrenheit, Fresno has the perfect climate for riding a bike. Many residents rely on electric bicycles for year-round transportation.
Although electric bicycles are convenient, they can also be dangerous. There are several types of accidents that may happen with electric bikes, and all of them could result in serious injuries. If you become a victim of an accident, you can work with an electric bicycle accident lawyer in Fresno to seek compensation.
What Should You Know About Electric Bicycle Law in California?
California has certain laws that pertain directly to electric bicycles. Bicycles are classified by speed. First, there’s the category of bikes that operate at speeds of up to 20 mph. Then, there’s the category of bikes that go up to 28 mph. Those bikes are not allowed in the bike lane.
If you have an electric bike that has a low speed, you can ride in the bike lane. Regardless of the speed of your bike, you do not need to have a license. You do need to be at least 12 years or older to use the mode of transportation.
While you don’t need a license to ride, you do need to comply with other laws. For instance, you must do all of the following:
- Stay off the freeway
- Wear a helmet if you are under the age of 18
- Abstain from riding if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
The Dangers of Electric Bikes
If you ride an electric bike, danger is around every corner. While car drivers and pedestrians could cause an accident, there’s another hazard of which you should be aware. E-bikes have been known to have issues with their lithium batteries. In 2017, one couple watched their bikes become engulfed in flames. The incident has made many question whether or not electric bikes are safe to ride.
Currently, there is no definite answer to that question. Other vehicles that rely on lithium-ion batteries, like hoverboards, have also been known to explode. The problem is associated with overheating. When the small batteries get too hot, they have no way to dissipate the heat and must explode. Although there are safety precautions in place to prevent combustion, they don’t always work. Some manufacturers use cheap materials to protect their batteries. Over time, the materials degrade and stop working.
As of today, new models of electric bikes need to have a UL certification. This certification means that the product has been tested and is safe for consumers. However, older models do not have such testing or certification.
Of course, there are other dangers facing those who ride electric bikes. Whether you’re on an electric bike or a regular bike, a car accident is a real threat. All too often, car drivers don’t look out for cyclists.
Because of their high speeds, electric bicycles are even more dangerous. A distracted driver is unlikely to spot a fast bike in the adjacent lane. Furthermore, an impact at a higher speed increases your chance of serious injury. This is particularly true for those who ride without a helmet.
It’s no secret that Fresno is a growing city. With that growth comes road construction, which could cause your electric bike accident. There are two main ways in which construction could contribute to your crash
First, it could cause confusion. A lack of appropriate signage may place you on a busy road with drivers who are staring at their GPS directions. Secondly, there’s the chance of coming across road debris. If a negligent crew leaves debris in the road, your bike might get stuck on the debris. You could end up being thrown from your bike.
Injuries Experienced by Electric Bike Riders
No matter how your accident happens, you can be injured. Whether you suffer a minor or major injury, your life will be put on hold until you recover. All of the following are common injuries suffered by electric bicycle riders:
If you don’t wear a helmet while you ride, you may suffer a serious head injury. You might experience memory loss, chronic headaches, and loss of cognitive functions. In some cases, the victim needs a permanent caregiver.
Whether you hit the ground or another object, you could be left with a broken bone. Certain bones, like the collarbone and ribs, are easier to break than others. Therefore, those injuries are more frequent. But the nature of a bike accident also makes it probable that you will have a broken arm or leg.
The knee is a highly complex joint that experiences trauma in the mildest of circumstances. In a bike accident, you might suffer from damage to your knee joint. You may need surgery to repair the joint, and it’s possible that you’ll never regain full mobility.
When people fall down, their natural reaction is to brace their fall with their hands. While this could prevent a head injury, it might cause a wrist injury. The injury is likely to prevent you from working, driving, or doing other simple tasks. Additionally, it may take surgery and months of time to recover.
Seeking Compensation with an Electric Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Fresno
Your injuries come at a cost. In addition to having high medical bills, you may also have lost your income. Regardless of how long you’re away from work, your lost wages have the potential to place you in debt.
Fortunately, you don’t need to struggle with your bills. By working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can seek compensation for your accident. You could get money for all of your medical bills and missed wages. If you had serious injuries, you may be able to recover money for your pain and suffering.
Here at Grossman Law Offices, we don’t want you to suffer in silence. We want to take on your case and fight for compensation. Although we can’t undo the accident, we can hold the other party accountable for their actions. If you’re ready to take action, call us today.