California’s Common Scooter and Pedestrian Accidents
Scooter Accidents, Product Liability, and Pedestrian Accidents
Below, our experienced scooter accident lawyers will discuss the most common types of e-scooter accidents in the city of Los Angeles. 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.
Types of Scooter Accidents
When a Scooter Malfunctions
One of the most common types of scooter accidents involves a scooter malfunction. Scooter companies are responsible for maintaining a safe product, yet given how many scooters there are out on the streets, it seems almost impossible for these companies to maintain every single scooter in good condition. Many even believe that scooter companies don’t really inspect and maintain all the scooters in the first place. Therefore, scooter malfunction is a very realistic possibility. Common examples of scooter malfunction include flat tires, handlebars collapsing, brake issues, and motor problems.
When a Scooter Rider Avoids a Road Hazard
Another common type of scooter accident typically involves a scooter rider who is avoiding a road hazard. Even something as seemingly harmless as a pothole can cause a scooter rider to lose control and become seriously injured. Debris, fallen branches, and construction material can all cause a scooter rider to become injured while attempting to avoid that very hazard.
In situations where a faulty road caused a scooter rider’s injuries, the municipality can be held liable for any injuries or losses caused by that road. 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.
Scooter and Pedestrian Accidents
An accident between an e-scooter rider and a pedestrian can be 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 on 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.
Pedestrian Tripping Over a Scooter Accident
It has become increasingly common and problematic for scooter riders who have reached their destination to abandon their scooters in unsafe places. This can cause a pedestrian to trip and suffer injuries.
Pedestrians who are injured after tripping over a scooter may be entitled to compensation for their losses, depending on the circumstances. Below are a few common scenarios that state who would be liable in these situations:
- 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, when the scooter was abandoned on private property.
- A city, when it has the responsibility of removing e-scooters.
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.