Los Angeles Scooter Riding Safety
How Safe is it to Ride a Scooter In Los Angeles?
Below, our experienced scooter accident lawyers will discuss safety as it relates to e-scooters 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.
Scooter Rider Safety in Los Angeles
The city of Los Angeles is known for its chaos and excitement. Documented issues with pedestrian safety, however, have been common for years now. And with the sudden advent of e-scooters, you may be wondering about safety as it relates to scooter riders.
For example, many e-scooter riders ride on sidewalks, which is illegal in the city of Los Angeles. This makes riding on a scooter through downtown Los Angeles that much more dangerous, especially given the high concentration of pedestrians in the area. Downtown Los Angeles is not known for its proliferation of bicycle-friendly lanes either, despite the fact that many e-scooters are required to use bike lanes.
Another common risk factor for scooter riders is that so few of them choose to wear helmets. Helmets are required for e-scooter riders, yet Bird and Lime do not actually provide helmets for use. Many riders argue that having to wear a helmet detracts from the convenience factor that an e-scooter represents, as quick, easy, and cheap transportation alternatives.
Given the above-mentioned risk factors, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that downtown intersections are particularly dangerous for e-scooter riders. This is because many drivers are driving at high speeds, are distracted, or don’t focus on the road.
Scooter accidents seem to be especially common at turn signals, as many drivers are not looking out for oncoming riders or motorcyclists. Worse, is the reality that e-scooter riders sometimes dart out of nowhere. This isn’t entirely a scooter rider’s fault, as regulations that determine where a rider can and cannot ride are murky and not consistently enforced. We strongly recommend using extra caution as an e-scooter rider while riding through the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
Open Car Door Accident
Another common issue for e-scooter riders, in dense urban areas, is being hit by drivers who suddenly open their car doors. Even though the law states that a driver must always look before opening his or her door, it’s a good idea for e-scooter riders to make sure that the driver sees them.
West Los Angeles has seen a steady spike in e-scooter-related accidents. The e-scooter phenomenon actually began in the West Los Angeles neighborhood of Santa Monica and then spread throughout most of the city. A study, which compiled data from September 2017 to August 2018, determined that nearly 250 individuals visited Westside emergency rooms with injuries caused by scooter accidents throughout that time period, which is very high.
It was also determined that 92 percent of these individuals were scooter riders, while the remaining 8 percent were passengers. It should be noted that scooter riders are not allowed to carry extra passengers on board a scooter.
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 financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury. There are no financial risks involved when using our services.