Electric bicycles are becoming a popular form of transportation in Florida. These e-bikes help people save on gasoline costs that come with a motor vehicle. In Florida, e-bike laws require riders to follow the same rules as traditional bikes. Since you can ride an e-bike on the same paths and roads as bicycles, you may be wondering what to do after an electric bike accident in Florida.
If you are involved in an electric bike accident, the first thing to do is stay calm and assess the situation. If you are injured, seek medical treatment immediately. Once you have taken care of yourself and any injured parties, there are a few things you need to do in order to protect yourself legally and financially. To ensure your protection, get in touch with the reputable law firm of Jared Spingarn, P.A. Accident Attorneys.
What are E-bikes?
In 2020, the Statutes of Florida Law were amended to update the definition of an electric bicycle. Previously, the definition of e-bikes included electric scooters or mopeds. These scooters function similarly to automatic motorcycles, with a throttle that you can simply twist to accelerate.
The accepted definition today is that an e-bike is any bicycle or tricycle that is built with fully operable pedals. The e-bike should have a seat for the rider. An electric motor is used to power an e-bike and the motor wattage should be less than 750 watts.
In simple terms, e-bikes are similar to traditional bicycles. E-bicycles can provide you with much-needed exercise while helping you reach your destination faster compared to regular bikes.
The difference is that an e-bike has a built-in electric motor that provides pedal assistance to the rider. This means that an e-bike is capable of running at a higher speed than a traditional bike. Depending on the design of the electric bike, bike riders can pedal without assistance, pedal with assistance, or operate the e-bike without pedaling.
The motor of an e-bike will usually stop providing assistance when it reaches a certain speed. With some e-bike models, the motor can be used to operate the e-bike once the rider stops pedaling.
Under this same Florida law, e-bikes are further divided into three classes. Below are the definitions of each e-bike class.
Class 1 E-Bikes
Class 1 E-bikes are defined as electric bikes that have a pedal assistance feature when the rider is pedaling. This pedal assistance feature will stop once the e-bike reaches a speed of 20mph.
Class 2 E-Bikes
Class 2 E-bikes are defined as electric bikes that can be operated solely by using the motor. The motor will stop when the e-bike reaches a speed of 20mph.
Class 3 E-Bikes
Class 3 E-bikes are defined as electric bikes that have a pedal assistance feature when the rider is pedaling. This pedal assistance feature will stop once the e-bike reaches a speed of 28mph.
Can you get into an e-bike accident?
E-bikes don’t run as fast as motor vehicles. However, electric bike accidents can still happen as local ordinances allow e-bike riders to use the same bike paths, lanes, and roads as bicycle riders. An e-bike accident can happen at any time while out riding.
An electric bike accident is often caused by the negligence of the at-fault party. Failure to abide by road rules and distracted driving can also cause an electric bike accident.
Most e-bike accidents happen when e-bike riders are hit by other vehicles. Similar to traditional bikes, an electric bike accident can be caused by a rear-end collision, failure to yield at a stop sign or intersection, drunk driving, and drivers swerving into bike lanes. In these cases, you should seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney from the law firm of Jared Spingarn so you know your options after the accident.
How common are e-bike accidents?
An electric bike accident is quite common as more people are choosing to ride an e-bike. In Florida, electric bike accidents happen more often in the bigger counties.
Miami-Dade County, where the famous Miami Beach is located, recorded 757 bike crashes in 2020 alone. This number represents both traditional bikes and e-bikes.
Broward County, home to Fort Lauderdale, also recorded a high number of accidents at 602. While another county famous for its beaches, Palm Beach County, recorded 373 bicycle and electric bicycle accidents.
What to do after a car accident with a bicycle or e-bike?
An e-bike accident can lead to several e-bike injuries ranging from mild to severe. Mild injuries include scratches and bruises; more serious injuries include bone fractures, loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis.
The first thing to do if you are involved in an electric bike accident is to check your injuries. Injury victims involved in an e-bike accident may need to be brought to an emergency room for medical treatment if they sustained severe injuries.
The next thing you should do, if you are capable, is to report the accident. Then, be sure to call Jared Spingarn, P.A., a bicycle accident attorney with tons of experience in handling bike accident cases. This will allow you to file a claim with your insurance company depending on the insurance policy that you have.
How to Report a Bike Accident
There are several steps to take when reporting a bike accident. If you find yourself involved in an e-bike accident while out for a ride, be sure to make a correct report. This will help you in a personal injury claim after the accident. Follow these steps on what to do after an electric bike accident in Florida.
1. Check your injuries.
Again, the first thing you must do is check for injuries. Don’t try to stand up immediately or move around because you may have a fracture or torn ligaments from the accident.
2. Call 911 or local emergency services.
After checking your injuries, immediately call 911. If you can’t find your phone you can ask the other driver or bystanders who witnessed the accident to call for you.
In some cases, drivers will try to convince the accident victim not to call. They may even offer money for your injuries instead. Don’t accept their offer. It is important to call emergency services so you can get the proper treatment for your injuries and file a report with the authorities.
3. Don’t be too quick to say who or what caused the accident.
When the authorities arrive, they will likely ask you for a statement about the accident. When giving your statement, make it brief and straightforward. There is no need to add your assumptions about what caused the accident because doing so might lead you to admit fault, even if you didn’t cause the accident.
4. Get treatment for your injuries.
Going on a bike ride can lead to severe injuries, so it is best to get the treatment that you need. Even for a mild personal injury, you should consult with a healthcare professional just to be sure that you don’t have any internal injuries.
Aside from seeking treatment for your personal injury, medical records can help your case when you file a personal injury claim with your insurance company. These records will also help if you decide to file a lawsuit against the driver at fault.
5. Collect evidence of the accident.
One of the most important things in a bike accident report is the evidence. Take complete photographs and videos of your e-bike, the vehicle that hit you, your injuries, and any damage to your protective gear and equipment. Talk to the driver who hit you and any bystanders who may have witnessed the accident.
Collecting your own evidence is important so that you have a personal record of what happened. Sometimes, police reports may fail to cover all the evidence, so having another copy to verify everything will help you get an accurate report.
6. Get the contact information of the driver of the vehicle that hit you.
When you obtain contact information, you are assuring yourself that you will be able to take legal action in the future. This will also help you keep in touch with the driver for insurance claims or settlements that you will pursue.
7. Call your insurance agent.
In Florida, drivers are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. After getting treatment for your injuries and collecting all the evidence, make sure to call your insurance agent to let them know what happened. This will help speed up the process of filing a claim based on your insurance policy. PIP coverage can help pay for medical bills and other costs related to the accident. Some policies even cover lost wages due to the accident.
8. Contact a personal injury attorney from the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, P.A. to assist you with the legal process.
Florida residents must seek legal assistance from a reputable personal injury lawyer, which Jared Spingarn’s firm provides. They will provide you with a free consultation about your case and help you file a claim or lawsuit to help you obtain fair compensation after the accident.
You can seek immediate help from Jared Spingarn’s law firm after an e-bike accident.
An e-bike accident can cause serious injury, lost wages, and non-economic suffering. If you’ve been in an accident, you can seek help from an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you with the legal process.
The law offices of Jared Spingarn will offer a free consultation before taking your case. They can give you the best advice on how to go about filing a claim. If you intend to sue the other driver, a personal injury lawyer will establish the grounds to give you a good shot at winning the case.
In fatal accidents, the surviving family of the deceased can file wrongful death claims to obtain fair compensation after the accident. In Florida, only the personal representative of the deceased is allowed to file this claim, but the surviving families are entitled to receive the compensation.
What to do after an electric bike accident in Florida? After an accident, immediately seek medical attention for your injuries. Once you are treated by a medical professional, proceed with filing a report and collecting evidence from all the people involved.
Consult with Jared Spingarn so you can hire a personal injury attorney to help you in filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the party at fault. An experienced bike accident lawyer from Jared’s firm can help you with all the legal proceedings so you can get the fair compensation you deserve after the accident.
>> If you’re involved in a bike accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on our Contact Us page.