California Electric Scooter Law and Regulations
How Electric Scooter Laws Can Affect Liability in Your Scooter Accident Case
If it seems like there are more scooters than ever in the city of Los Angeles, it’s not just your imagination. Scooters are easy, cheap, and convenient. However, the sudden spread of scooters throughout the streets of Los Angeles has also raised concerns about safety. For example, both Bird and Lime advise their users to wear safety helmets while using their scooters, yet neither company provides helmets. Also, what happens when someone using a scooter is involved in an accident?
Below, our expert personal injury attorneys will discuss several basic considerations involved in scooter rental accidents. 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.
Scooter Rental Regulations
It is 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.
As it stands, there are very few rules that control where scooters can and cannot go and these decisions are mostly 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.
Determining liability and available damages after an e-scooter accident can be best handled by an experienced Los Angeles scooter accident attorney.
California Scooter Laws
Scooters have been blowing up all over California, and especially Los Angeles. Riding a scooter has become very popular throughout downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica for people who see them as a fun and environmentally safe option to get around town.
However, what does the law have to say? The California state assembly passed a 2018 bill to add clarification regarding the legality of scooter usage. It also offers individual cities the opportunity to pass laws that make sense for their communities. According to California law, scooters are legal. There are, however, a few restrictions:
- Scooter riders are required to have a learner’s permit or a valid driver’s license.
- Scooter riders are required to wear a helmet.
- Scooter riders are not allowed to ride at speeds over 15 mph.
- Scooter riders are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk.
- Scooter riders cannot exceed 25 mph unless they are in a bike lane.
As mentioned, individual cities are allowed to set their own regulations. It is best to consult with an experienced scooter accident attorney if you are unsure.
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:
- Requires a scooter rider to follow traffic laws, but doesn’t actually specify which laws or how to follow them.
- Forces a scooter rider to claim that he or she is reasonably competent and physically fit enough to ride an e-scooter.
- 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.
Available Damages After a Scooter Accident in California
An e-scooter accident victim may be entitled to compensatory damages for:
- Emotional Distress
- Lost Wages
- Property Loss
- Medical Bills
- Loss of Consortium
- Reduced Earning Capacity
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Companionship or Support
If you or a loved one were 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.