You may have seen electric scooters around your city and wondered why these scooters are just lying around in random places throughout town. These rideshare scooters are becoming increasingly popular in cities throughout the United States, including California. Unfortunately, because injuries and deaths associated with these electric scooter accidents appear to be increasing, our California personal injury lawyer is looking closely at who is liable for a rideshare scooter injury.
What is a Rideshare Scooter?
Building on the trend of rideshare bicycles, companies like Bird and LimeBike have created rideshare scooters, which have become very popular among younger generations. The electric scooters are operated through an app on a cell phone. The app unlocks the scooter so that the user can ride the scooter throughout the city and pay for the use of the scooter through the app (much like an Uber rideshare app). When the user is finished with the scooter, he leaves his scooter on the ground for the next user.
The company monitors the location of the electronic scooters throughout the city and hires individuals to pick up and charge the electric scooters when the batteries are low.
Unfortunately, electric scooters are not slow vehicles. They can travel at speeds of up to 15 mph, which can increase the risk of severe injuries or death when the scooters are involved in an accident or crash.
Injuries and Deaths Involving Electronic Scooters Increase
As the popularity of e-scooters increased, so did the number of injuries and deaths attributable to accidents involving these vehicles. Medical facilities have reported a significant increase in the number of people requiring treatment because of an e-scooter accident. One source reported a 161 percent increase in emergency room visits related to scooter accidents in just one year. Another source reported there were over 1,500 injuries or deaths in 2018 that were related to e-scooters.
Injuries are not the only issue. Individuals are dying because of electronic scooter accidents, including riders and others. A 24-year old Dallas man died after being found unconscious next to a broken Lime scooter. An SUV hit another man and killed him in Washington, DC while he was riding a Lime scooter.
Investigating the Cause of a Rideshare Scooter Accident
As with other accidents involving vehicles and personal injury, an attorney must prove that another party caused the accident or circumstances that led to the victim’s injuries. Therefore, to recover compensation for a rideshare scooter accident, an attorney begins by investigating the cause of the accident.
There are many reasons why an e-scooter accident may occur. Examples of some of the causes of a rideshare scooter accident include:
- Driver error, such as driving too fast for conditions, distracted driving, and impaired driving
- Another driver or party crashed into the e-scooter
- Hazardous road conditions, such as steep, narrow, or broken road surfaces
- Someone left the scooter in a dangerous place, creating a tripping hazard
- Defective parts or machinery
- Improper or lack of vehicle maintenance
- Malfunction of a system or the machine
- A scooter driver ran into a pedestrian, motor vehicle, or bicyclist
Who is Liable for Damages Caused by a Rideshare Scooter Accident?
Once an attorney establishes cause for the crash, the attorney continues gathering evidence to identify the party or parties responsible for causing the crash. In some cases, one or more parties may be liable for the claim. Identifying the correct parties is crucial because you can only recover compensation for injuries from a party who is liable for causing the accident.
Because fault and liability can be challenging to prove, hiring a California personal injury lawyer to help you with your case can be very beneficial. Some of the things your attorney handles for you in a rideshare scooter accident claim include:
- Investigating the accident and gathering evidence
- Identifying all factors that contributed to the crash to identify the parties liable for damages
- Dealing with insurance companies who seek to pay very little to settle your claim
- Protect you from unfair and manipulative insurance tactics that could hurt your case
- Calculating the correct value of the rideshare scooter accident claim
- Fight allegations of contributory negligence, such as violating the regulations for riding motorized scooters in California
- Negotiate with the insurance provider for a fair settlement
- Filing a lawsuit, in necessary, seeking compensation for your damages
Depending on your case, an attorney may also retain expert witnesses to work on your case if fault is in question or you sustained permanent disabilities that result in ongoing medical treatment and lost wages.
Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer
You might assume that a scooter accident is your fault. However, until all the facts are reviewed, you cannot be absolutely sure. It is usually in a victim’s best interest to consult with a California personal injury lawyer before they speak with the insurance provider, sign any documents, or provide any statements. Contact us today for a free consultation.