Have you been injured in an accident while riding an electric scooter? If so, you may have a claim for financial compensation for your injuries. Scooter accidents represent a new area of personal injury law that has grown considerably over the last few years. Like other subsets of personal injury law, scooter accident cases draw on the same principles of negligence and liability that are used to litigate car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents.
The attorneys at the Dordulian Law Group are experienced, skilled, and compassionate advocates for injury victims in Los Angeles and throughout California. We have a 99% success rate representing injury victims like you, and have the experience and talent necessary to win your scooter accident case. We understand the dangers that electric scooter riders face while sharing the road with other vehicles. This understanding has allowed us to successfully litigate challenging and complex scooter accident cases, helping accident victims recover the financial damages they deserve.
Dockless, electric scooters like Bird, Lime, Lyft, and Uber Jump have exploded in popularity in the last few years. These stand-up E-scooters are a sort of middle ground between walking and riding a bicycle, and an affordable pay-as-you-go mode of transportation. Touted as a last-mile solution for the rail and bus networks, scooters offer a more economical and environmentally friendly form of transportation than taking an Uber or Lyft car ride (think $2-$4 for the cost of an E-scooter rental versus $10-15 for a rideshare). College students use scooters to get across campus, and save money by not having to buy a parking pass. Ostensibly it’s a win-win situation for many, except for the prevalence of rider injuries and dozens of scooters scattered throughout city sidewalks.
E-scooters are different from motor scooters, like Vespas and Hondas, which can go up to 50 miles per hour. Motor scooters more closely resemble motorcycles than electric scooters. Operating a motor scooter requires a M1 motorcycle license in California, whereas no license is required to operate an E-scooter. At DLG, we handle accident claims arising from E-scooter, motor scooter, and motorcycle accidents. For the purpose of this page, “scooters” refer to electric scooters.
Electric scooters fall in the micromobility sector, which also includes e-bikes, e-skateboards, e-rollerblades, and hoverboards. According to a Federal Highway Administration travel survey, over half of all E-scooter trips total three miles or less in total travel distance. Using a micro-mobility device like a scooter can reduce traffic congestion and parking issues for commuters, while providing a cheaper, faster, and convenient way to go from Point A to Point B. The cost of renting a scooter varies, but usually starts at $1, and then riders pay around $0.15 a minute. About 36,000 scooters were operated in Los Angeles as of 2019, including 8,500 scooters that operated in downtown L.A and Venice.
Scooters, both in active use zipping about, and in inactive use, left strewn about, have created disagreements among cities and college campuses as to whether they are a solution to gridlock or and safety hazard (a nuisance, and often an eyesore). When California-based Bird dispatched hundreds of scooters onto Santa Monica streets in September 2017, citizens and lawmakers were quick to react negatively. In the last few years, many cities have gone through growing pains and hiccups with scooter laws, having huge debates about how street and sidewalk space should be used and shared, how pedestrians can be protected from scooters, and how tracked information about trips should be shared. Pilot programs have been launched, laws have been passed, and discussions continue. Meanwhile, people are injured every day in scooter accidents across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a national study of E-scooter accidents in 2019, reviewing severe injuries that happened September 5 to November 30, 2018. The study interviewed 125 riders and analyzed medical charts for 65. The data found:
A UCLA study, which analyzed data from the university’s Santa Monica Medical Center and the Ronald Reagan Medical Center between September 2017 and August 2018, found that 249 people visited emergency rooms for E-scooter accident injuries in Los Angeles. Scooter accidents cause injuries similar to pedestrian accident and bicycle accident injuries, including:
- Facial fractures, including broken noses
- Facial lacerations
- Shoulder dislocations
- Broken wrists
- Broken legs
- Internal bleeding
- Other injuries to nerves, tendons, and ligaments.
Statistically, cyclists who do not wear helmets triple their risk of dying from a head injury. Scooter operators subject themselves to similar risk. Helmets are not required for riders over age 18, but are always good practice, and recommended by the CDC. Some scooter companies like Skip and Lime have offered free helmets to active riders.
You may have a personal injury case if you were hurt while riding a scooter and another motorist failed to follow traffic laws or exercise reasonable care. You may also have a case if a pothole or crack in the street contributed to your injuries. Additionally, if the scooter was not properly maintained by the issuing company, and a mechanical failure contributed to your accident, you may have grounds to pursue a negligence claim in a personal injury lawsuit. A judge or jury may decide liability in a trial. Or, responsibility for your scooter accident could be agreed upon in a personal injury settlement, where the liable party (or parties) agrees to pay an acceptable financial award commensurate to any damages you sustained (i.e. pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wage, etc.).
We see several types of scooter accidents leading to serious or fatal injuries:
Following an accident, a thorough investigation will be necessary to determine the liable party. Multiple parties may be liable, depending on the scenario:
It may be challenging, but not impossible, to sue a scooter company. The app-based services typically have extensive liability waivers, and forced arbitration agreements, which users quickly scroll through before clicking “I agree” on the user agreement. These “click-wrap contract” agreements and waivers have been successfully overcome in many instances, allowing personal injury victims to successfully sue for financial damages.
Scooter operators in Los Angeles are required to ride on the street, either in the bicycle lane, or in the standard car lane, if the speed limit is 25 mph or lower. Riders that operate on a sidewalk are subject to a $197 ticket. According to the Los Angeles Times, officers wrote 249 citations for scooter violations in June of last year. Scooters pose a huge threat to pedestrians on the sidewalk, particularly slower moving, or less aware young children and elderly adults. Scooters are also subject to a speed limit of 15 mph. Even if you were on a sidewalk when an accident occurred, you may still have a claim.
Financial Recovery: Types of Compensation Available in a California Personal Injury Scooter Accident Claim
If you are injured in California as a result of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic expenses are calculable damages, both past and future. Generally, they include:
There are many factors that go into calculating economic damages following a scooter accident, such as your age, your health before you were injured, when and if you can return to your regular job, what you earned in the past, your opportunities for advancement in your career, and your long term goals and interests. If a person is killed in a scooter accident, family members may pursue a wrongful death claim for these damages, along with non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of activities, and alteration of lifestyle that make enjoyment of life harder. The amount of non-economic damages may be determined by a jury, or negotiated between parties in a settlement.
One of the most frequently asked questions in an initial personal injury consultation is “How much is my case worth?” This is a pressing question, and we understand our clients are facing financial uncertainty, especially when mounting medical bills are involved. After an accident, it can be difficult to determine how much your personal injury claim may be worth. Various factors will have to be considered, including the severity of the accident and resulting injures, your prognosis for recovery and what sort of continued care will be required reach a maximum medical improvement.
When we file a lawsuit for a scooter accident, we will need all of the medical records and bills, as well as doctor reports. While we won’t be able to fully put a dollar figure on an amount in an initial consultation, we will be able to give you an indication of the potential value of your case, based on the type and severity of your injuries, potentially liable parties, insurance available, and other factors. Upon accepting your case, we will do everything possible to put together a very strong case in order to maximize the value of your claim. We are not afraid to take cases to trial, and insurance companies and their defense attorneys are aware of our reputation and history of aggressively fighting and winning for our clients.
Every personal injury lawsuit in California is subject to a statute of limitations which strictly limits the amount of time following an accident for you to file a claim. It is always advisable to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after any accident. In scooter accidents, it is even more imperative to act quickly. The scooter itself is valuable evidence and may be quickly confiscated, repaired, or destroyed by the scooter company. If a road hazard caused an accident, it may be quickly repaired. Evidence preservation is critical in scooter accident cases. Once you call us, our expert investigators, including a former LAPD Central Traffic Division Detective Supervisor with over 30 years of experience, will get to work to preserve any and all evidence that will help prove your case and ensure you receive the largest possible financial award for damages.
Every case is different in terms of establishing liability. Sometimes, liability is plain and obvious. More often, it is disputed, and the burden will be on DLG as your representatives to prove it convincingly. At Dordulian Law Group, we are familiar with insurance companies and their common deny, delay, and defend tactics. As soon as you hire us, we will thoroughly review the details related to your accident and begin gathering evidence – starting with the police report, witness statements, and photos and videos of the accident scene. Our investigators may also gather 911 calls or contact first responders and law enforcement officers for statements. In some cases, we will consult with accident reconstructionist specialists to ultimately demonstrate (via a courtroom presentation) how the crash occurred, and who was at fault. If the crash involved a roadway design issue or defective road condition, we may consult with an engineering expert familiar with city or state regulations.
“I spoke to Sam Dordulian personally and he was very helpful and down to earth, giving me candid advice in dealing with issues involving my auto accident case. Only facts, no water. I recommend Sam and his legal team to anyone who has tricky questions and wants to afford a professional answer.”
Monica R. Cresswell
DLG is a respected and experienced scooter accident firm that takes your case on a contingency basis. This means you pay no up-front fees, and no out-of-pocket fees, ever. You only pay us if we recover money for you. If you don’t win, you don’t pay. It’s that simple.
You have many choices in selecting a Los Angeles scooter accident lawyer to represent you, and we encourage all potential clients to carefully consider the important decision of hiring the attorney to take on their case. Our satisfied clients consistently report that other firms simply cannot compete with our level of service, courtroom experience, and most importantly, results. To date, our Glendale personal injury lawyers have recovered over $100 million for clients like you. Our success rate is more than 99%. This means that when we accept your case, it is because we are confident we can help you win and recover financial damages. We are proud to be the attorney of choice not just for clients who recommend us to their friends and family, but for attorneys who consistently refer cases to us, confident in our abilities and proven track record.
We are here seven days a week to discuss your potential case and answer any questions you may have – freely, discreetly, and with the respect and attention you deserve. In your consultation, you will have an opportunity to ask questions, and we will help you understand your legal rights and options, as well as the statutory time limits that may apply to your case. Call us at (855) 804-9636, email us at email@example.com, or contact us online for a free consultation today.
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