Los Angeles E-scooter Accident Injury Lawyer
Protecting the rights of clients injured by e-scooters throughout California
Electric scooters have become a popular mode of transportation since they launched in the summer of 2017. There are a range of options, including Bird Rides, Lime Bike, JUMP, Spin and Lyft. According to KTLA, Los Angeles will soon be able to boast the largest fleet of electric scooters in the United States at about 26,500 scooters.
While Angelenos are having fun scooting around town, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports “from 2017 to 2021, injuries spiked 127 percent to 77,200 for micromobility devices, and the number of deaths rose from 5 to 48.* E-scooters had the highest percentage increase in injuries and accounted for 68 deaths in the same time period.”
If you have sustained a serious injury because of an electric scooter, the experienced Los Angeles e-scooter injury lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are ready to protect your rights and pursue compensation for you. We take injury cases on contingency so you will never have to worry about how you will be able to afford a lawyer to represent you. The firm advances the costs of pursuing your case, and you will not pay attorney fees until we have recovered compensation for you. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today.
What is an e-scooter?
E-scooters are electric scooters that can be rented by the minute and used to ride along city streets at speeds up to 15 mph. Several companies make scooters available to riders in major cities throughout the United States and worldwide. The scooters have GPS trackers and wireless connectivity which allows users to hire them using a smart phone and a credit card. The rental price varies from company to company, but many cost about $1 per minute, and their range is limited to between 15 and 35 miles.
Where are e-scooter riders allowed to travel?
California law does not allow e-scooter riding on sidewalks.
Are e-scooter riders required to wear helmets?
E-scooters are included in California's helmet law. Some of the scooter companies make helmets available for sale to riders, other companies offer helmets for free.
What types of injuries are people suffering while riding e-scooters?
Electronic scooters must travel on the roads with cars, trucks, buses and bicycles. Like motorcyclists, the scooter rider's only protection is his or her helmet as the rider zooms down the street at 15 miles per hour. Some of the e-scooter injuries that have been reported include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Eye injury
- Crush injuries
If you have sustained these injuries or a catastrophic injury because of a scooter accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, our Los Angeles e-scooter injury lawyers are here to fight for you.
E-scooters in Los Angeles are governed by CA Veh Code § 21235 (2022) which requires riders to:
- Obey the 15 mph speed limit
- Make sure the brakes work
- Wear a helmet
- Have a valid driver's license or learner's permit
- Not have any passengers on the scooter (one rider per vehicle)
- Not carry packages or bundles that prevent the operator from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars
- Not operate a scooter on a sidewalk or highway
- Not leave a motorized scooter lying on its side on a sidewalk or park a motorized scooter in a position that does not leave an adequate path for pedestrian traffic
- Not attach a motorized scooter to himself or herself, or to any other vehicle on the roadway
What are some of the causes of e-scooter crashes?
Scooter malfunctions such as faulty brakes, unexpected acceleration and unexpected shutdown of the motor can lead to a crash. Other possible causes can include:
- Riding on sidewalks and knocking down pedestrians
- Inexperienced riders
- Distracted scooter rider
- Failure to follow local traffic laws
- Weaving in and out of traffic on congested streets
- Defective road conditions
Who can be held liable for e-scooter accident injuries?
Depending on who or what caused the scooter accident, you may be able to hold the following parties liable for your injuries:
- Negligent drivers of cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles or bicycles
- Distracted pedestrians or bicyclists
- Scooter companies
- The City or County of Los Angeles for defective road conditions
- Operator of another e-scooter
A story in Insurance Journal warns e-scooter riders to beware of the potential "insurance pothole" regarding liability in e-scooter accidents. Every person who rents an e-scooter is supposed to read and then sign a waiver of liability. Most riders do not read the "fine print" which usually says that the rider assumes responsibility for his or her injuries in the case of an accident, unless the accident was caused by a defect in the machine itself. So, if a rider is injured because he or she took a tumble on a scooter, the rider’s health insurance would pay for his or her medical expenses. But what happens if an e-scooter rider crashes into a pedestrian, or causes a car accident where other people are injured and have property damage? Lucian McMahon, a research specialist at the Insurance Information Institute (III) was quoted in an Insurance Journal article, "Under the standard insurance policy, there's most likely a pretty significant gap in coverage." The article recommends that prospective e-scooter riders refer to their insurance policies to see if they are covered. Some insurance companies are rolling out plans for per-ride insurance policies for electric scooter riders.
What if the e-scooter crash was caused by a defect?
Some of the e-scooter companies claim liability for accidents that occur because the scooter is faulty or defective.
What damages might I be able to recover for an e-scooter injury?
As with any other type of personal injury claim, you as the plaintiff are required to prove that the defendant caused your injuries and other damages. Once the defendant is proven liable, you may be able to recover the following types of damages depending on the facts of your case:
- Medical expenses for past, present and future medical costs related to the accident
- Wage losses for time missed at work attending to the injury
- Disability for permanent injuries from the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (for spouses)
- Other losses
How can a Los Angeles e-scooter injury lawyer help me?
If you have sustained a serious injury in an e-scooter accident and you are seeking compensation for your injuries, you may benefit from consulting with an experienced Los Angeles e-scooter injury lawyer. Because e-scooter injury cases are so new, you need the services of a trusted injury firm to advocate for your interests.
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP offers a free consultation to assess the facts of your case and determine how we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries, whether you were the one riding the e-scooter or if you were injured by a person riding an electronic scooter in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California. We will answer your questions and review the legal options available to you.
Schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles e-scooter accident injury lawyer today
E-scooters are fun and convenient until someone gets hurt. If you were in a traffic crash while operating an e-scooter, or if you were injured in an accident that was caused by a negligent electronic scooter operator, the Los Angeles e-scooter accident lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are here to help you recover the compensation you need. You may call 310.474.1582 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options today.