Mark Roman | November 10, 2022 | Bicycle Accidents
According to Florida Statute §316.20655, an electric bicycle or the rider of an electric bicycle has all the rights and privileges of a bicycle or bicyclist. The statute allows an electric bicycle to be operated anywhere bicycles can ride, including but not limited to:
- Bicycle and multi-use paths
- Bicycle lanes
Therefore, if a bicyclist can ride on the sidewalk, the operator of an electric bicycle can as well. However, the statute specifically states that local governments can adopt ordinances that govern the operation of electric bicycles, including prohibiting the use of electric bicycles on sidewalks within the local government’s jurisdiction.
To understand if you can ride your e-bike or electric bicycle on a sidewalk, you must understand the laws governing bicycles on sidewalks.
What Does Florida Law Say About Riding Bicycles on Sidewalks?
Bicycles are considered “vehicles” under Florida laws. That means you can ride your bicycle on roadways and streets. Therefore, the same applies to electric bicycles.
However, bicyclists must obey the same traffic laws as motorists, except when there is a contradicting bicycle law. An exception is riding on a sidewalk.
Unless a local ordinance prohibits it, bicyclists can ride on sidewalks. Therefore, so can electric bicycles. Before you ride an electronic bicycle or e-bike on sidewalks in Clearwater or other cities in Florida, check your local ordinances for laws prohibiting riding on sidewalks.
Are There Special Rules for Riding an Electric Bicycle on a Sidewalk?
A rider should ride in a bicycle lane if one is available. If a bicycle lane is unavailable, riding on the road is the next safe option. However, riders can choose to use an electric bicycle on the sidewalk if there is no local ordinance prohibiting it.
Electric bicyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians when riding on the sidewalk. The rider must also give an audible warning to alert pedestrians they are approaching from behind them.
Electric bicycle riders should watch out for children, skateboarders, pets, and roller skaters. They must use caution when approaching a driveway, side road, or parking lot entrance. Riders should maintain a safe speed that allows them to stop if a person or animal suddenly enters the sidewalk.
Who Is Responsible for an Electronic Bicycle Accident on a Sidewalk?
Because pedestrians have the right of way on a sidewalk, an electronic bicyclist is likely at fault if they hit a pedestrian. As with other accidents, if the pedestrian is partially to blame, it could affect the amount of compensation they receive for damages caused by a bicycle accident.
Causation, fault, and liability could be more challenging to determine if the accident involves an electronic bicycle and an automobile. For example, an e-bike and a car collide as the car is backing out of the driveway or pulling out of a parking lot. A Clearwater accident lawyer would need to investigate the accident and analyze the evidence to determine fault.
If the e-bike accident occurs in a roadway, the party who caused the crash would be liable for damages. Again, an experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer would need to examine the evidence to determine fault.
A motorist could be at fault if they drove in the bicycle lane and hit an electronic bicycle. However, the rider of an e-bike could be liable if they failed to obey traffic laws and that failure caused the collision.
What Damages Could I Receive for an Electronic Bicycle Accident?
Once you prove the other party caused the electronic bicycle accident, you can recover compensation for your economic damages. These damages include:
- Assistance with household chores and personal care
- The cost of medical treatment and care
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Nursing care
- Loss of income, including wages, future earning potential, and benefits
Accident victims can also recover compensation for their non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. You can recover compensation for emotional distress, impairments, and a decreased quality of life.
However, allegations of comparative negligence could reduce the amount of money you receive for an e-bike accident. If you were partially to blame for the cause of your injuries, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of your fault. In other words, if a jury decides you were 50% to blame for the accident, you only receive an amount equal to one-half of the value of your damages.
Before you accept a settlement offer or talk with an insurance adjuster, ensure you understand your legal rights by talking with a personal injury lawyer in Florida.
Contact the Clearwater Bicycle Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655