Scooter Rental Accidents and Compensation in California
What Are the Most Common Types of Scooter Rental Accidents in California? What Types of Compensation Are Given for Such an Accident?
For many reasons, including convenience, speed, eco-friendliness, and more, scooters are now a hugely popular choice of transportation for many California residents. A scooter rider has the option of quickly and affordably renting a scooter with their smartphone app for as little as a dollar a ride, plus mileage. Once a scooter rider reaches their destination, he or she can just leave that scooter anywhere on the street for someone else to use.
Below, we will discuss the most common types of scooter rental accidents as well as issues of liability. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a scooter accident, our skilled scooter accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are readily available to offer legal assistance. With our track record of winning more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your case.
Common Types of Scooter Accidents
Scooter accidents can be caused by a number of circumstances, yet most will fall under the following four categories.
Scooter and Car Accidents
These types of accidents are catastrophic. Accidents that occur between a vehicle and a scooter rider do not happen quite often, which is a blessing because the potential for severe injuries or losses is high. One common cause of these types of accidents is when a scooter rider is struck by a driver who is opening a car door.
Most cities have rules in place that require scooter riders to use the bike lane or stay to the far right of the street. Also, drivers are required to use their side mirrors and check for any pedestrians, vehicles, or scooter riders before opening their doors. A driver who opens their car door suddenly and hits an e-scooter rider can be held liable for that accident.
Single Scooter Rider Accidents
Single scooter rider accidents are very common. Most of these accidents happen because a rider lost control of his or her scooter. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the scooter rider is completely at-fault. Single scooter accidents still happen despite the rider abiding by all applicable safety regulations, such as when he or she rides over a bump in the street or a broken patch of asphalt that causes a loss of control.
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.
Pedestrian Tripping Over a Scooter
It has become increasingly common and problematic for scooter riders who have reached their destination to just 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 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, when the scooter was abandoned on private property.
- A city, when it has the responsibility of removing e-scooters.
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 the 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.
Liability and Available Damages After a Scooter Accident in California
Determining liability after a scooter accident is extremely complex. However, liability will generally be determined by negligence. Considering the above examples, the negligent party can be the scooter rider, a motorist, pedestrian, and even a combination of all three.
It is also important to understand the role of a 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.
Once liability has been determined, 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 was involved in a scooter accident, our qualified scooter accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers 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.
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