Defective Scooter Accident Compensation
How a Scooter Manufacturer Could be Liable for Your Injuries After an Accident
Scooters have become a popular form of transportation in the city of Los Angeles. 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. However, many scooter accidents are actually caused by defective or broken scooters.
Below, our experienced scooter accident lawyers will discuss scooter accidents that are caused by defective or broken scooters. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a scooter accident, West Coast Trial Lawyers is always here to answer any questions you may have about claims and damages available to you.
Defective Electric Scooters, Nothing New
The existence of defective scooters is more common than most people know. Lime, in particular, has already issued at least three recalls in recent times for various types of scooter malfunctions. It goes without saying that such safety issues can play a huge role in causing a scooter accident.
For example, in November of last year, Lime recalled several scooters with batteries that were very likely to explode in flames without any warning. It was determined that this hazard was most likely the result of a manufacturing flaw. That was just the beginning. Soon after, Lime scooters also recalled several of their scooters because of defective baseboards, which had the potential of shattering in half while a rider was on board. The most recent recall occurred this year as a result of a scooter software malfunction that was known to cause sudden braking.
Common Types of Scooter Defects
A few of the most common scooter defects include:
- Handles. Scooters are allowed to travel up to 15 mph. Imagine what could happen if a scooter’s handles come off or are no longer responsive. A rider could be thrown off and become hurt in a number of ways, which can result in suffering various types of injuries. Losing control of a scooter could also cause a scooter rider to hurt others in the process.
- Kickstands. This issue will typically affect pedestrians more than an actual rider. Defective kickstands may cause an idle scooter to fall over, which could create a hazard for any pedestrians who are walking by. A scooter that suddenly impedes a pedestrian’s path could cause a serious fall, which could lead to broken bones and other severe injuries.
- Brakes. This type of defect can cause horrific injuries. Functional brakes are crucial for any safe scooter experience. Brakes that do not react or stop all of a sudden can make it impossible for a rider to avoid obstacles or hazards on the road. Worse, a rider may be thrown from their scooter in the event of an abrupt stop. There is also the potential of being unable to stop for traffic lights or signals, which could then involve other vehicles.
- Wheels. Much like defective brakes, defective wheels can also cause very serious injuries. If a wheel falls off a scooter, the entire scooter itself can flip over, causing the rider to careen into traffic and experience severe injuries.
- Batteries. Sudden stops can cause severe damage. A defective battery that unexpectedly gives out could easily cause a scooter to stop without warning, which is a huge hazard on busy roadways and bicycle lanes.
Can I File a Claim if a Defective Scooter Injured Me?
A scooter rider has a reasonable expectation for a safe product. He or she has no control whatsoever over the safety of the scooter they are riding on, and they are placing their well being in the hands of a scooter company. If a scooter company does not maintain their scooters or releases a defective product for the public to use, they may be subject to liability for any injuries or losses caused.
Therefore, an aggrieved individual is entitled to bring a personal injury claim against a scooter company if he or she was injured by a damaged or defective scooter. However, it is very important to understand that it must have been the defective scooter that caused your injuries, and not your own behavior.
In other words, if you were hurt because of your own negligence, you will not likely be entitled to filing a claim against the scooter company. An example of negligence on a rider’s behalf would be riding while intoxicated, not riding safely, and not wearing a helmet. If you can prove that it was indeed the defective scooter that caused your injuries, you should be entitled to receive compensation for your losses.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Limitations for Damages in California
For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.
However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses is $250,000.
If you or a loved one was involved in a scooter accident, West Coast Trial Lawyers has skilled scooter accident attorneys that have extensive experience in handling personal injury cases. Our attorneys will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There are no financial risks involved when using our services.