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The beach-side cities of Los Angeles County in Southern California are hubs for ‘bird’ electric scooters. Santa Monica, Orange County, and Newport Beach are all well-known for their large communities of e-scooter riders, but none quite as much as Long Beach.
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Hundreds of people suffer injuries in accidents involving electric scooters in LA annually, with numbers increasing year on year. Some incidents have even resulted in fatalities. Scooter riders, other drivers, and pedestrians are all at risk, so it is essential to know the law and where to turn for assistance in e-scooter accident claims.
Ehline Law is the first choice for this type of personal injury claim, with a winning legal team ready to help victims get the compensation they deserve. If you have an e-scooter accident claim, speak with our experts today.
There are more people injured in e-scooter accidents than motorbike accidents in LA.
The number of people injured in LA alone jumped from 595 in 2018 to 672 in 2019.
18 to 34-year-olds are most likely to be injured in an e-scooter accident.
More than 40,000 people in the US were treated for an e-scooter injury in emergency rooms in a one-year period- mainly for bone fractures or dislocations, lacerations, or soft tissue damage.
Long Beach is a hotspot for young motorized scooter riders but is also home to a busy road system. Like much of Los Angeles, it has many pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorized vehicles on the roads.
Add the increasing number of Bird scooters into the mix: it is no surprise to see injuries increasing.
Los Angeles continues to attract more and more e-scooters and riders: great for the environment, but not so great for the people ending up with serious injuries.
What is it about these scooters that makes them so dangerous?
Many factors may be involved- relating to scooter operator behavior, reactions from others, and general conditions of usage. Here are a few things that make e-scooters dangerous for their riders and others around them.
Bird scooters are compact by design and tend to move quickly and quietly. It is easy to miss one coming as a pedestrian or driver.
Even with all the required safety gear, there is very little to protect a scooter rider from injury. Without any barrier between them and the road (or a moving vehicle), the chances of a nasty injury are higher.
Sometimes, even a minor imperfection on the road can throw a scooter rider off balance. The small wheels and lightweight frames are more susceptible to potholes, bumps, debris, and cracks.
A scooter accident because of general road hazards becomes even more likely in poor weather conditions.
No special license is required for riding e-scooters on public roads, meaning that inexperienced riders are free to ride alongside motor vehicles on busy road systems.
Inexperience can often lead to irresponsibility. Although Los Angeles and most of California have restrictions on who can use e-scooters, there are plenty of people who ignore the rules. Riding a scooter without proper care and consideration for other road users is a good way to cause an accident.
Scooter wars are an issue for Los Angeles e-scooter riders. Even as far as San Diego, people are actively trying to stop motorized scooters from taking over, even going so far as to purposely damage the vehicles.
Unfortunately, this can cause an e-scooter accident if the rider does not realize something is wrong. Sometimes breaks are cut or bolts loosened, which can easily cause an accident and injuries to multiple parties.
These are some potential dangers, but what actually causes most e-scooter accidents and injuries in Long Beach and Los Angeles?
Some of the people most at risk of injury by e-scooters are pedestrians. Although it is illegal to ride a motorized scooter on a sidewalk, many people do. Scooters can move at up to 30 MPH or more, which is more than enough speed to cause significant injury to a pedestrian.
Another common cause of pedestrian injuries is scooters left lying around or sticking out too far. Riders may leave their scooter lying on the ground or leaning against something while they talk to a friend or run into a store rather than park it safely. Pedestrians can trip and fall in these instances.
Most e-scooter accident cases are solo rider injuries. It happens often that a person is hurt trying to swerve to avoid a pedestrian, obstacle, or other road users. They can end up driving into something else or falling off their scooter in the attempt.
In some cases, scooters can cause a car accident, which can lead to severe injuries for other drivers. If an e-scooter driver is using the road irresponsibly or a car driver is not paying attention and doesn’t notice them, it can mean a last-minute swerve to avoid a collision.
Unfortunately, it can end up worse for the car driver, who may drive into another car or obstacle, or even cause a pile-up.
Faulty scooters can malfunction and lead to accidents. Whether the fault is down to the manufacturing or some other form of damage, it can cause harm. Luckily, this type of scooter injury is usually minor.
An accident can also be caused by uneven roads, poor weather conditions, roadway debris, or potholes. A small, lightweight scooter can be difficult to control and counter against bumps, dips, and obstacles.
The most common cause of electric scooter personal injury cases is a car and scooter collision. Many riders are hit by cars or car doors. Many drivers are not yet used to the increasingly high numbers of e-scooters in areas like Long Beach and Santa Monica, so they may not be fully vigilant and aware of the dangers.
Because of the limited protection afforded to e-scooter riders and the difference in power between a car and a scooter, these accidents can cause potentially catastrophic injuries.
As you can see, a scooter accident is far from one-size-fits-all, and knowing who is at fault is not always black and white. Speaking with a professional e-scooter accident lawyer at Ehline Law is the best way to establish who is at fault in your individual case.
The party at fault and ultimately liable for damages is the one that can be shown to have failed in their duty of care and directly caused the incident as a result.
Depending on the circumstances of the incidents, the responsible party to pay could be:
In each individual case, all angles must be explored to ensure victims can claim against the right party for the right damages. The at-fault insurance company may try to claim against the victim, so it is essential to have all the facts and a lawyer who can passionately protect your rights.
Police reports and other evidence collected from the accident scene can help determine who is liable and what can be claimed. The more evidence provided, the more detailed a claim can be.
Anyone injured or otherwise impacted by an e-scooter accident (the rider, a pedestrian, another driver, etc.) can claim damages if they believe there is clear fault and negligence by another party.
Here are some of the damages that may be included in an e-scooter accident claim in Long Beach. Remember, each case is unique, and specifics should be discussed with a dedicated lawyer.
A serious injury or minor injury both incur costs. The at-fault party’s insurance should cover medical bills relating to the accident. If the scooter company is deemed responsible, they are liable for all medical costs, including paramedics, ambulance, hospital treatment, prescriptions, and follow-up medical checks.
It is not only the medical treatment that comes at a cost to the victim. Lost wages, parking expenses, additional support and care for dependents, and other funds lost due to injury can be included in a claim.
E-scooters and cars are often damaged in collisions. Just like when two cars are involved in an accident, information should be exchanged, and the person deemed responsible should pay for the repairs or replacements.
Other property that can be claimed for damage includes phones, protective gear, public property (lamp posts, walls, etc.), or other personal belongings. If an accident happens on your property that wasn’t your fault, you can also claim for private property damage (garden fence, post box, etc.).
Sometimes, the injuries sustained in an e-scooter accident can leave lasting troubles and disability. Pain and suffering covers the other side of an injury that you can’t see, including time lost, reduced quality of life, mental and emotional impact, and more.
Putting a figure on pain and suffering is difficult, which is where an experienced attorney can make a difference. Many people feel pressured to settle for far less than their pain and suffering are worth, but at Ehline Law, the team makes sure that doesn’t happen.
Luckily, e-scooter accident fatalities in Long Beach are very rare, but they are not unheard of. In the unlikely event a person is killed because of an incident involving an e-scooter, their family can claim wrongful death compensation against the negligent party.
In California, there are rules and regulations in place to help limit the risks of e-scooter riding and attempt to combat the rising number of incidents. All motorized scooters (including bird scooters) require the rider to be at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license or at least a learner’s permit. Unfortunately, some people ignore this rule.
All riders must wear helmets and stay off of the sidewalk. They should exceed a maximum speed of 15 MPH. The only exceptions are bike lanes, where they can travel at 25 MPH. There are also rules about where scooters can park and how much space must be left clear for pedestrians.
California Vehicle Code section 21235 applies these rules to any scooter with an electric motor, handlebars, and a floorboard. Many of these laws are still fairly new, but the State of California is determined to press them for the safety of all road users- especially in areas such as Long Beach, where e-scooters are so popular.
Any accident involving a motorized scooter likely has an at-fault party and a victim. An e-scooter accident lawyer can help determine who is who and protect the rights of the injured party.
A free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles who understands scooter accident laws and liabilities is the best first step to take toward recovery. With all the privileges of an attorney-client relationship, everyone involved in a scooter accident can get the advice and assistance they need.
Other ways an e-scooter accident lawyer can help include:
If someone else’s negligence caused an electric scooter accident that led to your pain and suffering, Ehline Law Firm and it’s award-winning attorneys can help. As experienced scooter injury lawyers working in Long Beach and across Los Angeles, the Ehline Law legal team is the best choice to support your claim.
We work to the highest standard to uphold the stellar reputation built in Long Beach, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and across Los Angeles as one of the most reliable and talented legal teams available.
Reach out today for a no-obligation consultation with skilled attorneys who care about helping victims get what they deserve. More than other law firms in the LA area, our team at Ehline’s Law offices understands that personal injury cases are more than facts and figures: we see you and are ready to fight in your corner for lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages from Long Beach to San Diego, CA.
Arrange a free consultation or free case evaluation now with Ehline Law at the Los Angeles office: led by the best personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, Los Angeles County.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements, has received awards from authorities like Newsweek Magazine and SuperLawyers, and has been interviewed by CBS News and CNN, to name jus a few news outlets seeking his expertise, authority, and trust.
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