Electric Scooter Accident

Electric Scooter Accident

If you or your loved one was injured or you lost someone dear to you in an electric scooter accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our electric scooter accident lawyers in Manhattan Beach are well-versed in obtaining compensation for injured victims in accidents like this. Please call 310-870-0369 today to set up a free initial consultation.

What is an Electric Scooter?

An electric scooter is a two-wheeled device powered by an electric motor. It has handlebars, a narrow floorboard on which to stand, and can travel up to 45 miles per hour. Electric scooters are placed around busy areas of many major cities to provide quick and easy transportation.

Since companies like Bird, Lime, and others began operating scooter sharing programs, electric scooters have become a common sight in California. As a result, many people find it easier to take advantage of its convenience. But unfortunately, electric scooters' design and rising popularity make them a high-risk option for riders, pedestrians, and motorists.

Indeed, statistics show an alarming number of electric scooter accidents since 2014. For example, a UC San Francisco study reported the number of scooter-related injuries and admissions between 2014 and 2018. Injuries grew by 222% to more than 39,000 injuries, and hospital admissions increased by 365% to nearly 3,300. 

Another study by the Center for Disease Control calculated that for 100,000 e-scooter trips taken, 20 individuals would end up injured in one way or the other. 

Electric Scooter Laws in California

California laws require the following from electric scooter riders:

  • A person must have a driver’s license or learner's permit to drive an electric scooter
  • A person may operate an electric scooter without insurance, registration or license plates
  • An electric scooter driver must wear a bicycle helmet
  • An electric scooter driver must not move at speeds more than 15mph. 
  • An electric scooter driver must operate on the right side of the roadway, next to the curb, when feasible. If they intend to move left at an intersection, they must walk their scooter in a crosswalk when crossing the roadway
  • When there is a designated bike lane available, drivers must operate their electric scooters in the bike lane
  • Drivers must not ride on any sidewalk except to leave or enter the adjacent property
  • Drivers must not leave scooters on paths or sidewalks
  • Drivers must not hitch scooters onto another vehicle in motion
  • Drivers must not have passengers
  • Drivers may ride on bike paths or trails, provided local ordinance allows it
  • Drivers must have at least one hand on handlebars always
  • For driving during hours of darkness, drivers must observe the following:
  • They must have white headlights visible from 300 feet both in front and at the sides
  • They must have a red reflector on the rear of the scooter, visible from 500 feet
  • They must have a white or yellow reflector on each side visible from the front and rear of the scooter from 200 feet
  • A white lamp or white lamp combination must be attached to the scooter’s operator. It must be visible from 300 feet in front and at the sides.
  • The scooter’s handlebars must not exceed the rider’s shoulders
  • Scooters must have a working brake, and they must have an engine/motor kill switch that activates when released or when the rider applies the brakes

Unfortunately, electric scooter accidents still happen, and because of the devices’ design, scooter riders are more prone to severe injuries, especially when they crash with other vehicles. While a vehicle’s participants are protected with an exterior casing, scooters offer their riders no such protection. 

Causes of Scooter Accidents and Injuries

Scooter accidents resulting in significant injuries can be caused by a myriad of reasons. Some examples include:

  • Road design and traffic
  • Negligence on the part of scooter riders or other drivers 
  • Falling off due to inexperience
  • Poor road conditions, such as potholes or debris on the road
  • Poor visibility conditions
  • Intersection accidents
  • Product defects, such as malfunctioning steering or brakes, bad tires, etc

Determining Liability in Electric Scooter Accidents

Correctly determining liability in electric scooter accidents depends on the accident's cause(s). For example, if a scooter rider hits and severely injures a pedestrian, the rider is legally liable for the pedestrian’s injuries – unless there were extenuating circumstances. These circumstances may not be apparent to an average person. However, an experienced and expert electric scooter accident lawyer, such as our team at Sullivan & Sullivan, will be able to successfully provide you with strong advocacy.

Conversely, a scooter rider hit by a motor vehicle may be coaxed into admitting the accident was their fault unless they had an expert attorney in their corner. Determining liability in electric scooter accidents is not as straightforward as it sounds, and you need an attorney that is well-versed in these types of cases to represent you.

Our electric scooter accident lawyers at Sullivan & Sullivan excel at representing clients in the South Bay area in cases like this. We will ensure that you get what is due to you. Please call 310-870-0369 today to set up a free initial consultation.

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