Even though electric scooters (e-scooters), such as Bird, Lime, Jump, and Spin are still relatively new to urban streets, there have already been thousands of e-scooter accidents all across the country. You should always abide by California laws and practice safety while on the road, but sometimes accidents are unavoidable. If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident, whether as the rider or as a pedestrian, you may be wondering who is responsible for your injuries. That depends on who was at fault in the accident. The scenarios below outline some of the most common forms of e-scooter accidents and who is at fault and responsible in each scenario.
Who is Responsible in an Electric Scooter Accident?
If you are hit as a pedestrian by a scooter rider, the rider is at fault and responsible for your injuries. This happens most often when the rider is going too fast and is unable to stop for you in time, or if the rider swerves to avoid another scooter or obstacle and hits you in the process.
If the scooter malfunctions as you are riding it and causes your accident, the scooter company is theoretically at fault and responsible for your injuries. However, most scooter share companies like Bird and Lime require their users to sign a user agreement containing a clause releasing the company for any damage or injuries incurred while using their scooter, so it is extremely difficult to succeed in a case against them.
If a car hits you while you are riding a scooter, the driver of the car is most likely at fault. In most cases, you will be able to recover compensation from the driver through his car insurance company.
When a pedestrian and scooter rider collide, the at-fault party is not always the scooter rider. If you are riding a scooter, and a pedestrian stops right in front of you or negligently steps in front of you just as you are passing by, then the pedestrian is at fault. In such instances, you will most likely be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the pedestrian through his or her homeowner’s insurance.
Business or Construction Company
One common cause of scooter accidents is debris and other obstructions on the road that were negligently left over from construction work or by neighboring businesses. If you are involved in a scooter accident caused by debris or obstructions, the construction company or business that left those behind may be responsible for your injuries.
Along the same lines as debris and obstructions, potholes are also extremely dangerous for scooter riders. Because the wheels on scooters are so much smaller than the wheels on a car, for instance, potholes are much more dangerous for scooters than for larger vehicles. If you are injured in a scooter accident because your scooter went over a pothole in the road, the city may be responsible for your injuries. The problem with this is that some cities across California, like Santa Monica, are starting to require scooter companies to include language in their user agreements releasing the city from all liability.
Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a scooter accident, whether as a rider or a pedestrian, and believe someone else is at fault, contact the attorneys at Willoughby Brod to get an expert opinion on your case and learn about your options. Contact us today at (800) 427-7020 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation.
(image courtesy of Sam Poullain)