E-Scooter Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Given the constant traffic headaches in southern California, it's little wonder that e-scooters have become a trendy way to get around town. Across the Los Angeles area, in particular, shared scooter companies like Bird and Superpedestrian are doing big business these days.
However, recent research shows these vehicles may also come with risks. UCLA recently released a troubling study suggesting that the e-scooter injury rate in LA alone may surpass the national injury rate for motorcycles.
If you're injured in an e-scooter accident caused by someone else's negligence, you can recover damages to compensate for your losses. However, proving liability can be complicated because there are so many variables at play, so you need a skilled personal injury attorney to help you determine the best way to recover damages.
Filing an e-scooter accident claim and going up against a California insurance company can be challenging. You not only have to deal with pain, medical treatment, and loss of wages, but you must also retain a California scooter accident lawyer who knows your rights and can get you the maximum settlement you deserve.
Our legal team at Injury Justice Law Firm can handle the intricate details and work on your behalf to prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you during settlement negotiations. Let's discuss the various parties that may be held liable in an e-scooter injury accident and some of the possible mitigating factors.
What are the Common Causes of Scooter Accidents in California?
There are over 100 California cities with a substantial amount of e-scooters, especially throughout the warm weather cities in Orange County and Los Angeles County. E-scooters are now widespread, and legal injury claims are on the rise. Some of the most common causes of e-scooter accidents include the following:
- Unsafe road conditions, such as damaged pavement;
- Scooter operators who are under the influence;
- Negligent vehicle drivers and pedestrians;
- Car drivers opening doors;
- Other scooter operators who are negligent or intoxicated;
- Mechanical malfunction;
- Defective scooter;
- Faulty handlebars and wheels;
- Acceleration issues;
- Poor maintenance;
- Construction area and failure to post warning signs;
- Inexperienced scooter operators.
Some e-scooter manufacturing companies, Lime and Bird, and other brands are responsible for their repair and maintenance. Suppose they fail to ensure safe operating conditions of their scooters. In that case, a scooter accident could cause serious injury or death.
Regardless of the specific cause of your e-scooter accident injury, having a personal injury attorney from our law firm will give you the best chance of recovering the financial compensation you deserve.
We can help you understand your rights and ensure you are not manipulated into accepting a lesser amount of settlement than you are entitled to by an insurance company.
Other Drivers and Scooter Accidents
Drivers of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles are legally required to share the road with e-scooters like bicycles. If a driver hits you while riding an e-scooter, they may be liable for your injuries.
The same goes if a driver opens their door into your path and causes you to crash or if they make a turn without yielding the right of way and collide with you.
Accidents involving other vehicles are among the easiest e-scooter injury lawsuits to pursue because they follow the basic tort laws of the state, and the process of proving who is at fault is similar to that of any other car crash.
However, as with any other car accident, remember that California is a comparative fault state. This means that even if the other driver was clearly at fault, you might still be partially liable if the court determines you were also negligent.
For example, suppose you were riding without a helmet or in an area where e-scooters are not allowed. In that case, you may be found partially at fault for your injuries, and any damages you recover could be reduced proportionately. The most common injuries experienced by scooter riders were the following:
- head trauma,
- lower extremity injuries,
- abrasions, and
How Can You Determine E-Scooter Liability?
For victims of an e-scooter accident to file a claim and get a fair settlement, you must prove fault and to what extent, known as the percentage of fault. Our e-scooter accident lawyers will closely examine all the details.
Determining who was at fault in an e-scooter accident can be challenging. Our injury lawyers have years of experience protecting victims' rights in personal injury cases.
In most cases, you can hold negligent scooter drivers liable in court. Further, unsafe road conditions might be the fault of the city. Suppose the scooter's brakes malfunction. In that case, the manufacturer might be liable.
Our scooter accident lawyers can help you prove that someone else's negligence caused or led to the accident. You will need a lawyer to establish the defendant's:
- duty of care,
- breach of duty,
- causation for the accident, and
- related damages.
We can work with legal experts to establish the burden of proof and build a strong case. Our legal team can prove where the fault resides and help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Shared Scooter Companies
Under California law, companies that rent or lease e-scooters must maintain them in a safe and operational condition. If a company fails to maintain their scooters properly, or if the scooter has a defective part, you may be able to hold them liable if you are injured due to these issues.
For example, if you suffer a serious fall because the brakes on your rented scooter failed, you could sue the company for negligence.
That said, when you rent an e-scooter from a company like Lime or Bird, you also agree to a lengthy user agreement with that company whose terms and conditions serve as a liability waiver limiting your ability to recover damages from them. Some things to watch for in these contracts:
- Rules of appropriate use and conduct. The scooter company may limit or exempt themselves from liability if you are not using the scooter as intended, such as riding on the sidewalk instead of the street, taking on a passenger, or riding without a helmet.
- Assumption of risk. The contract may also include language whereby you accept the risks inherent in riding an e-scooter and agree not to hold the company liable for any injuries resulting from these risks.
- Mandatory arbitration clauses. Often, these companies require that any disputes between you and the company be resolved through arbitration instead of court. This means you may have difficulty suing the company if you're injured while riding their scooter.
It's essential to read any user agreement before renting an e-scooter to understand your rights and what you agree to.
If you're injured on a public road due to poor road conditions, such as a pothole or loose gravel, you may be able to sue the local government or agency responsible for maintaining the road.
Proving liability against a government agency can be complex, however. There are often special rules and procedures that must be followed, and the deadlines for filing a claim are often much shorter than for private individuals or companies.
In some cases, the company that manufactured the e-scooter itself may be liable for injuries riders suffer. This is known as product liability, which applies when a product is defective or unreasonably dangerous.
To prove that an e-scooter is defective, you must show that there was a problem with the design or manufacturing that made the scooter unsafe.
If you've been involved in a scooter accident due to negligence, you must contact an experienced attorney. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies, collect evidence, and facilitate communication with the court.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning there are no upfront costs for representation. You will only pay once you receive a settlement for your accident. We offer a free case evaluation by phone or the contact form. Injury Justice Law Firm is based in Los Angeles, CA.