Since scooter companies the likes of Lime, Skip, and Bird have made their way into Southern California, local residents and tourists have increasingly turned to electronic sharable scooters as the latest favored transportation alternative. Fun, affordable, and convenient, these rental scooters allow riders to find and use available scooters simply by using an app. However, the rise in scooter popularity has also come with some drawbacks, including increases in scooter accidents.
Over the past several months, hospitals and ER departments across Los Angeles, California, and the nation have reported prominent increases in the numbers of scooter-related accidents. While this of course signifies the growing popularity of scooters and how these tech companies are continually expanding their fleets into new areas, it also speaks to the unique types of risks they create for all those who use public roads. These include:
- Roadway hazards, including trip and fall hazards or hazards to motor vehicles, caused by dockless scooters that can be left anywhere by previous riders or even people who move them without accessing them through an app.
- Increased risks of accidents on walkways, sidewalks, and in intersections or parking lots, which can elevate the risks of pedestrian accidents.
- Bicycle accidents involving cyclists who are injured by negligent scooter riders traveling in bike lanes.
- Car accidents involving negligent scooter riders or abandoned scooters, including accidents where motorists attempt to swerve or avoid collisions with riders, causing them to be involved in accidents themselves.
- Accidents involving defective products, inadequately maintained scooters, and other fault parts or products.
- Scooter accidents in which riders themselves suffer injuries, either due to improper use or operator error, or the negligence of others on the road, including negligent drivers who may strike scooters due in drunk driving accidents, or as a result of driving distracted, failing to yield, or violating traffic laws.
Victims & The Right to Compensation
Personal injury law allows victims of preventable accidents to seek accountability and compensation for the harms they suffered. In terms of scooter accidents, any victim who suffered injuries due to the negligence or the wrongful acts of others may have the right to seek compensation. Determining whether you have this right depends on a few legal elements, including:
- The defendant owed the victim a “duty of care,” such as a motorist’s obligation to safely operate their vehicle so as to prevent avoidable accidents.
- The defendant breached their duty of care, meaning they failed to act in a way that upholds their obligations (i.e. driving while texting).
- The breach of duty more likely than not resulted in the victims’ damages, which requires supporting evidence, often obtained through investigation.
- The victim suffered damages as a result.
When these elements are met, victims have an opportunity to recover financial compensation for their damages, including:
- Costs of medical treatment and needed future medical care
- Lost income caused by missing work
- Lost future earnings / reduced earning capability
- Pain and suffering
- Disability, permanent impairment, or disfigurement
- Emotional injuries, including anguish and loss of quality of life
- Property damage
Protecting your right to compensation is no easy feat, especially as the insurance companies which represent at-fault parties and any corporations which are alleged to have been liable for accidents are often very aggressive in protecting their own financial interests. Simply put, they want to pay victims as little as possible, and have few qualms about offering settlements that don’t meet victims full needs, or disputing fault and denying liability altogether. Leveling the playing field in such a situation becomes critical, and it can be done with the assistance of proven personal injury lawyers.
At Lessem, Newstat, & Tooson, LLP, our attorneys have cultivated a reputation for zealously protecting the rights of our clients, and have earned numerous awards and accolades which speak to their skills, ability, and commitment to client satisfaction. If you or someone you love has been injured in a scooter-related accident, we’re here to help. Contact us to discuss your case and rights during a free case evaluation.