Electric scooters have taken Los Angeles by storm. An astounding number of people across the city have ditched other modes of transportation in favor of these easy-to-maneuver devices. While electric scooters may be fun to ride and a good alternative for the environment, they can also be quite dangerous.
Until recently, electric scooters weren’t regulated in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Even under current regulations, electric scooter accidents happen quite frequently. Accidents involving a scooter can have devastating consequences for those involved.
If you’ve been involved in a Los Angeles electric scooter accident it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. You may have the right to demand compensation if someone else is responsible for your injuries.
At Citywide Law Group, our Los Angeles electric scooter accident lawyers are prepared to help you maximize the financial award you receive. We’ll aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf from anyone who caused you harm. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
- 1 Electric Scooter Accidents on the Rise
- 2 Common Electric Scooter Accident Injuries
- 3 Electric Scooter Laws in Los Angeles
- 4 Causes of Los Angeles Electric Scooter Accidents
- 5 Liability for Los Angeles Electric Scooter Accidents
- 6 Damages Available to Los Angeles Electric Scooter Accident Victims
- 7 Los Angeles Electric Scooter Accident Lawyers
Electric Scooter Accidents on the Rise
It’s hard to travel around Los Angeles without seeing an electric scooter or two on the road. This is thanks, in part, to efforts by electric scooter companies like Bird, Lime, Jump, and Spin. Manufacturers have flooded the city with scooters and launched campaigns highlighting various benefits. However, when scooters first hit the streets a few years ago there were few safety regulations in place.
A lack of safety laws, combined with inexperienced users, resulted in a flood of scooter accidents. Before rental scooters were introduced in major cities like Los Angeles, emergency rooms saw an average of 0 to 1 scooter-related accident victims every week. After Bird and Lime launched their scooter-sharing apps and placed the vehicles in cities, hospitals began to see between 5 and 10 scooter accident victims every week.
Common Electric Scooter Accident Injuries
Electric scooters can be operated on the road alongside other larger vehicles. While helmets are required by law, riders really have very little to protect themselves in the event of an accident. As a result, the injuries that can stem from an electric scooter accident can be catastrophic. According to emergency room and hospital reports, some of the most common scooter accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Brain injury
- Spine injury
- Eye injury
- Degloving injury
- Crushing injury
- Back injury
- Paralysis, and
- Wrongful death.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you have suffered an injury in a Los Angeles scooter accident. We’ll help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Electric Scooter Laws in Los Angeles
Until recently, electric scooters weren’t really regulated in Los Angeles. However, thanks to the recent spike in scooter-related accidents and injuries, lawmakers have begun to roll out new safety laws. In California, electric scooters are governed by Vehicle Code 21235 CVC. If you ride a scooter in Los Angeles you must:
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Ride on the road alongside other vehicles
- Stay off of sidewalks
- Wear a properly fitting helmet at all times*
- Not exceed 15 MPH, and
- Park scooters in an upright position on the outer edge of a sidewalk.
In order to operate in Los Angeles, scooter rental companies like Bird and Lime must secure a permit and pay licensing fees for all scooters. Under the new regulations, companies are limited to providing 3,000-5,500 scooters within the city limits, depending on the specific location.
*In 2019, the obligation to wear a safety helmet becomes optional for adults over the age of 18.
Causes of Los Angeles Electric Scooter Accidents
Why are accidents involving electric scooters happening so frequently in Los Angeles? There are many factors that can contribute to or cause these serious accidents.
Scooters are the hot new trend. However, many users are unfamiliar with how these vehicles are operated. Since California doesn’t require a special license to operate a scooter there’s no special training or instruction. Riders can cause accidents if they do not know how to control the scooter safely. Many accidents involve scooters veering into traffic or failing to stop at intersections.
Los Angeles has some of the most congested roads in the country. Adding thousands of scooters into the mix makes navigating around the city much more difficult. Scooters are required to share the road with other vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Drivers of other vehicles may be aggressive and/or fail to see scooters on the road. This can result in dangerous scooter accidents.
Riding on Sidewalks
State law requires electric scooters to ride on the road. However, many scooter operators feel safer on the sidewalk. Scooters can operate at a top speed of 15 MPH. Pedestrians, on the other hand, tend to walk at a pace of no more than 5 MPH. This puts pedestrians and scooter operators at a significant risk of injury. Scooters can crash into pedestrians and cause serious harm.
Violating Local Laws
Everyone on the road has an obligation to understand and follow local traffic laws and customs. This includes drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and electric scooter operators. Not knowing who has the right of way or providing proper signals when turning can create incredibly hazardous conditions.
Distracted Scooter Operation
Scooters are often seen as a fun alternative to traditional modes of transportation. Unfortunately, some riders don’t take the fact that they’re sharing the road with other vehicles seriously. Many riders wear headphones that prevent them from hearing important sounds around them. Others have their eyes trained on their cell phones while navigating around the city. A distracted scooter operator will experience decreased reaction times and is more likely to veer into traffic.
Sometimes scooter operators and/or other drivers aren’t to blame for an accident. There are times when defects inherent in the scooters themselves will contribute to a crash. Companies like Bird and Lime can be held strictly liable for injuries that are caused by defects in their products.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Scooters are relatively light vehicles that should be operated on flat surfaces. However, roads and bike lanes in Los Angeles aren’t always in the best condition. Accidents often happen when scooters hit uneven surfaces, raised manholes, or cracks in the pavement. It may be possible to hold the city or county responsible if a dangerous road condition has caused an accident.
Liability for Los Angeles Electric Scooter Accidents
Scooter accidents aren’t always caused by scooter operators. In fact, almost anyone can contribute to or cause an electronic scooter accident in Los Angeles. If you’ve been injured in a scooter crash and someone else is to blame, you may be able to recover compensation from:
- Another scooter operator
- Drivers of other vehicles, including cars, trucks, and buses
- Negligent pedestrians or bicyclists
- Scooter companies, including Bird, Lime, Jump, and Spin
- Los Angeles County
- The City of Los Angeles, or
- Anyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries.
Shared Fault for Electric Scooter Accidents
It’s possible for more than one factor to contribute to an electric scooter accident. In California, anyone who contributes to an accident can be responsible for damages. The more someone contributes to an accident, the more they’ll be on the hook for any injuries that occur.
There may be times when you contribute to your own electric scooter accident. This doesn’t mean that you can’t recover compensation. Under California’s comparative fault rules, you can still get money as long as someone else is also to blame. However, your ability to recover compensation will be reduced by your own degree of fault. So, if you were 25 percent responsible for your accident, your recovery will be reduced by 25 percent.
It’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer if there is more than one cause of your scooter accident. Our attorneys will identify all potential defendants and pursue compensation from each one of them. We’ll also help to protect you if you share some of the blame for your accident. A careful investigation into the crash will help us uncover evidence that shifts blame to others. The less fault you share, the more money you can get.
Damages Available to Los Angeles Electric Scooter Accident Victims
The consequences of your scooter accident can be incredibly expensive. A serious injury can keep you out of work and generate tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Fortunately, you have the right to recover compensation when you’re injured in a scooter accident and someone else is to blame.
At Citywide Law Group, our attorneys will aggressively pursue monetary damages on your behalf. We’ll demand compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
- Embarrassment, and more.
Contact our Los Angeles office today to schedule a free case assessment. We’re here to help you get the money you deserve in your time of need.
Los Angeles Electric Scooter Accident Lawyers
Have you or someone you love been injured in a Los Angeles electric scooter accident? Contact our experienced lawyers to learn about the benefits of filing a personal injury claim. We understand that an unexpected accident can change your life in the blink of an eye. We also know that a strong financial settlement or award can help to minimize the stress you face during your recovery.
Call today to schedule a free consultation with our electric scooter accident lawyers. We’ll review your case, explain your options, and answer the questions you have. You only have a limited amount of time to act, so call for help today.