Electric bikes, or “eBikes,” have become incredibly popular in Nevada and throughout the United States. If you or a loved one uses these devices, it is vital to understand your rights and responsibilities under state law. For most legal purposes, eBikes are considered equivalent to standard bicycles. However, there are specific definitions of three distinct classes of eBikes, and you must know which class of eBike you own. It’s also vital to know which roads are acceptable for you to take your eBike on and what to do after an accident.
Classes of eBikes
State law recognizes three classes of eBikes based on their engine power, top speed, and whether they have throttle assist:
A Class 1 eBike has a top speed of 20 mph, and the motor will not engage unless the user pedals the bike.
A Class 2 eBike also has a top speed of 20 mph but has throttle assist, meaning the motor will engage even if the user stops pedaling.
Class 3 eBikes do not have throttle assist, so the motor will only engage when the user pedals. However, Class 3 eBikes have top speeds of 28 mph.
Nevada law applies the same rules to eBikes as for standard bicycles as long as the eBike has an engine with a power rating of no more than 750 watts and a top speed of 20 mph. Therefore, there are almost no Class 3 eBikes in the state, and these devices would fall under a different classification, such as a moped or motorbike, as would any electric bike with throttle assist and a top speed of more than 20 mph. Before purchasing any electric bike, it is important to know for sure which class it is.
What to Do After an eBike Accident
If you are hurt in an electric bike accident due to the actions of another driver, proving fault will be an essential first step in your recovery efforts. Nevada’s fault rule applies to all vehicle accidents, including bicycle and eBike accidents. You must identify the party responsible for causing the accident and then show the full extent of the damages you suffered. Similar to a car accident, you would have the right to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy first, and if their insurance cannot fully cover your damages, you can proceed with filing a personal injury claim against them.
Easton & Easton has a team of seasoned attorneys with years of professional experience handling a wide range of civil cases for our clients. When you are struggling with the damaging effects of an electric bike accident, we can help prove fault for the incident and secure compensation from the party responsible for causing it. You have a limited time in which to pursue your recovery, and the sooner you connect with an experienced attorney, the more likely you are to maximize your compensation in an efficient manner.
Q: Do I Need a License to Ride an eBike?
A: Currently, the state does not enforce any licensing or registration requirements for eBikes. As long as your eBike qualifies as a Class 1 or Class 2 eBike, you are allowed to ride it just like a normal bicycle. Class 3 eBikes exceed the allowed top speed of 20 mph, so there are virtually no Class 3 eBikes in the state. It is important to know the specifications for the different classes of eBikes. If yours exceeds these criteria, it may qualify as a scooter or motorbike, in which case other licensing and registration rules may apply.
Q: Are Electric Bikes Street Legal?
A: Nevada law allows the use of eBikes and other motorized bikes on most roads. However, the rider must be able to move with the flow of traffic. A Class 1 or Class 2 eBike can reach a top speed of 20 mph, so a rider may only take a Class 1 or Class 2 eBike on roads with posted speed limits of 20 mph or less. Class 3 eBikes can reach 28 mph, and the state prohibits the use of electric bikes with top speeds over 20 mph.
Q: Do You Need to Wear a Helmet on an Electric Bike?
A: Nevada does not enforce a statewide helmet requirement for electric bikes. However, wearing an appropriate helmet can significantly reduce the severity of a head injury should an accident happen. Studies show that appropriately fitted helmets can reduce the risk of a fatal head injury significantly. However, helmets cannot prevent head and brain injuries entirely.
Q: What Are the Laws for Electric Bikes in the State?
A: For most legal purposes, the rider of a bicycle or an eBike has the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle driver under state law. This means an eBike rider can occupy space in a lane of traffic as long as they can move with the flow of traffic, and motor vehicle drivers around them must yield the right-of-way when appropriate. eBikes are only allowed to have a top speed of 20 mph in the state.
Q: Can I Sue for an eBike Accident?
A: If someone else causes an accident with you while you are riding your eBike, you have the same right to file a civil claim against them as you would after any other vehicle accident. If you are unsure whether you have grounds for a claim after an eBike accident, an experienced attorney can help determine your most viable options for legal recourse. Hiring the right attorney can help you secure a settlement faster than you could manage alone.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton are ready to provide the legal guidance you need in the aftermath of an eBike accident that someone else caused. If you believe another party is responsible for the eBike accident you recently experienced, our team can help hold them accountable for your damages. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about your options for legal recourse.