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Los Angeles Scooter Attorney

Scooters have become a popular form of transportation. They are fun, inexpensive, and convenient. However, it is no secret that they can be very dangerous. A vast majority of all scooter accidents are caused by someone’s negligence. If you were injured while using a scooter, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the guilty party for your losses. 

Sadly, many scooter accidents are also the result of someone’s deliberate acts of malice. Whether your scooter accident was caused by negligence or a deliberate wrongful act, compensatory damages

1) Scooters And E-Scooters Defined

There is a difference between a scooter and an E-Scooter. A scooter is a device with two wheels and a flat platform between the wheels. An E-Scooter rider stands on this flat platform and propels themselves forward by kicking on the ground to gain momentum.

An E-scooter is not propelled forward by a rider’s momentum, but rather by an electric motor. The other primary difference is that an E-scooter travels at a speed of up to 15 miles per hour, which is much faster than a normal scooter. The potential for injuries or property damage only increases due to an E-Scooter moving at faster speeds. 

E-scooters, due to their speed and ease of use, have become the go-to choice for most scooter riders. An E-scooter rider can easily rent an E-scooter using a Smartphone app for as little as a dollar a ride, plus mileage. An E-scooter rider then simply drops off that scooter anywhere on the street once he or she arrives at their destination. 

Below are the most successful and popular E-Scooter companies in the Southern California area:

  • Bird
  • Lime
  • Skip
  • Lyft 

1.1 E-Scooter Regulations

It is perhaps more appropriate to say that there is a lack of codified E-scooter regulations in the state of California. In many cities, there simply are no traffic rules or regulations for E-Scooters. This means that for anyone who rents and uses an E-scooter, there simply are no rules that control where they can and cannot go. 

Traffic laws governing E-scooters are typically left to local governments to decide. This can become confusing, especially as it relates to issues of liability. One city may require their riders to remain strictly on the sidewalk, while a neighboring city may allow them to ride on the street, as well. 

Determining liability and available damages after an E-scooter accident can be best handled by an experienced Los Angeles scooter accident attorney.

1.2 E-Scooter User Agreement And Liability

An E-scooter user agreement is a crucial component that can be used to determine liability in an E-scooter accident. All E-scooter users are required to sign this agreement. These agreements are legally binding between an E-Scooter rider and the scooter company. 

Perhaps the most relevant component of an E-scooter agreement is how much it limits a company’s liability after an accident. For example, let’s consider Lime’s user agreement, which:

  1. Requires a scooter rider to follow traffic laws, but doesn’t actually specify which laws or how to follow them.
  2. Forces a scooter rider to claim that he or she is reasonably competent and physically fit enough to ride an E-scooter.
  3. Requires a scooter rider to perform extensive safety inspections before going for a ride, and worse, disclaims all liability for a defective E-scooter.

Many such user agreements are long and complex documents. However, despite their confusing nature, a rider who breaks a single provision in a signed user agreement can be blamed by the scooter company for any injuries sustained as a result of an accident.

2)Types Of Scooter Accidents

The more popular E-scooters become, the greater the number of accidents, as well.  Below are the most common E-scooter accidents.

2.1 Single Scooter Rider Accidents

A majority of all E-scooter accidents occur when a rider simply loses control of the scooter. However, even a single scooter rider accident is not always the rider’s fault. Single E-scooter crashes also occur when a rider is following all safety regulations, but then comes across a bump in the road or a cracked patch of asphalt that causes him or her lose control and fall.

In these cases, the municipality can be held liable for any injuries suffered by the E-scooter rider. There have also been instances where an E-scooter caused a crash. For example, a sudden outburst of scooter accidents was connected to defective Lime E-scooters. In that case, a rider may sue the company that provided the defective scooter.

2.2 Pedestrian Tripping Over A Scooter Accidents

Many E-scooter riders reach their destination and leave their E-scooter in an inconvenient place that can cause a pedestrian to trip over.

A pedestrian who was injured after tripping over an E-scooter may be entitled to compensation for their losses, depending on the specific circumstances. Below are a few common scenarios regarding liability:

  • An E-scooter rider, when he or she leaves a scooter on the street for a victim to trip over
  • An E-scooter company, when the scooter is left on the street for an unnecessarily long period of time
  • A premises owner owner, when the scooter was abandoned on private property
  • A city, when it has the responsibility of removing E-scooters

2.3 Scooter And Pedestrian Accidents

It goes without saying that an accident between an E-scooter rider and a pedestrian can be very serious, especially when a pedestrian is struck from behind. Let’s consider two examples.

Example 1: Mary is waiting to cross a street. She checks for oncoming cars, but doesn’t see a man riding an E-scooter in the bike lane where he is allowed to be. Mary steps out into the street and is hit by the man on the E-scooter. In this case, Mary may be held liable because she didn’t see the E-scooter rider.

Example 2: Sam is allowed to ride on the sidewalk. He is riding at 15 miles per hour, which is too fast for that crowded sidewalk. Jimmy then exits a local bar, steps into the sidewalk, and is hit by Sam, who is going too fast to stop. In this case, Sam is likely to be held liable for the accident.

2.4 Scooter And Car Accidents

Fortunately, accidents that involve an E-scooter rider and a car are rare, especially given how severe they can be. A very common scenario is when a driver opens a car door into the path of an oncoming E-scooter. 

A majority of all cities require that E-scooters need to be ridden in a bike lane or as far to the right side of the street as possible. All drivers must check their side mirrors before opening a car door. A driver who opens their car door suddenly and hits an E-scooter rider can be held liable for that accident.

3)Available Damages After An E-Scooter Accident in California

An E-scooter accident victim may be entitled to compensatory damages for:

  • Emotional Distress (doc) 
  • Lost Wages (doc)
  • Medical Bills (doc)
  • Loss Of Consortium (doc)
  • Reduced Earning Capacity
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Companionship or Support

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

A scooter accident attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more. 

Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team.

References

https://www.li.me/user-agreement

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-scooter-ban-20180815-story.html

https://westcoasttriallawyers.com/ca/los-angeles-scooter-accident-attorneys/

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/scooters



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