An electric bicycle is a bicycle with an electric motor that assists the rider. A throttle can activate the motor on the handlebars or pedals. They can go up to 20 miles per hour faster than most people can pedal. This makes them perfect for getting around town quickly. A low-speed electric bicycle is a great way to get around town without having to worry about traffic or parking.
Even though electric bicycles are low-speed, e-bike riders are still at risk for accidents, especially those involving motor vehicles. To avoid an e-bike accident, it is important to be aware of the bike laws in Washington.
If you are injured in an e-bike accident and have questions about what laws apply to your case, contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. We have years of experience getting cyclists the compensation they deserve. We understand the complex laws that apply to bicycle accidents, and we are here to help you get the justice you deserve.
Electric Bicycle Laws in Washington D.C.
In Washington D.C., low-speed electric bicycles are considered “motorized bicycles” that have operable pedals, can be operated under combined human and motor power, and have a maximum speed of 20mph. A motorized bicycle is subject to the same rules and regulations as regular bicycles. Here are some laws you should be aware of:
- You must be at least 16 years old to operate an electric bike.
- You are required to yield to pedestrians crossing the street in a crosswalk, regardless of whether or not the crosswalk is marked.
- You are allowed to ride between lanes in Washington D.C., as long as they are not impeding traffic.
- All three classes of electric bikes are legal on bike lanes and roads.
- Class three bikes are not allowed on bicycle paths or sidewalks unless there is no other safe alternative.
Classifications of Electric Bikes
There are three classifications of electric bikes.
- Class 1: A motor vehicle that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and doesn’t provide assistance above 20 mph.
- Class 2: A bicycle equipped with a motor exclusively used to propel the bike without a pedal and does not assist when the bike reaches 20 mph.
- Class 3: Motor-driven cycles equipped with a speedometer assist when e-bike riders pedal and do not provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 28 mph.
E-Bike Law for Trails in Washington D.C.
In 2019, Secretarial Order #3376 mandated the National Park System (NPS) to include e-bike policies into each Superindentent’s Park Compendium. Class one and three e-bikes are permitted wherever traditional bikes are allowed at Rock Creek Park and the National Mall near D.C. However, always check with your local park before choosing to ride.
Common Causes of E-Bike Accidents
Although motorized vehicles are a great way to get around, they can be dangerous if not used properly. Here are some of the most common causes of e-bike accidents:
- Speeding: Riding an electric bike too fast is one of the most common causes of accidents. Remember, the motor on an electric bike is only supposed to propel the bike up to 20 miles per hour.
- Not Wearing a Helmet: Always wear a helmet when riding an electric bike. This will help protect your head in the event of an accident.
- Riding on the Sidewalk: Class 3 electric bikes are not allowed on sidewalks in Washington D.C. Be sure to ride in the street instead.
- Running a Red Light: Running a red light is dangerous no matter what type of vehicle you operate. Be sure to follow all traffic laws when riding an electric bike.
File a Personal Injury Claim for Injuries After an E-Bike Accident
If you are a bicycle accident victim, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover damages. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Filing a personal injury claim can be complex, so it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our team of experienced personal injury lawyers can help you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What We Can Do For You
The Washington, D.C. bicycle accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a bicycle accident, gathering the evidence needed to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
We Get You Results
For more than 50 years, the Washington DC lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones due to someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
- $3.5 million for a man who suffered a brain injury when a District of Columbia police officer opened his door into traffic and “doored” him.
- $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury due to a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury due to a doctor’s inappropriate chemical product use.
- $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
- $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.
See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your bicycle accident claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.