Ride-sharing electric scooter companies like Bird and Lime have become very popular in California due to their convenience and low rental costs. However, a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle reveals that these vehicles can be dangerous. A two-year-old boy was severely injured and his mother was left in shock as the operator of the scooter drove away.
Our personal injury attorneys at Wakeford Gelini stay on top of current developments in the law, and scooter accidents are just starting to become a trend. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with an electric scooter accident lawyer, and read on for more information about these incidents.
Electric Scooters are More Dangerous than You Think
When you look at someone else operating a scooter, it is not immediately obvious that these vehicles can be dangerous. However, there are a number of factors that make them extremely hazardous for the rider and others in close proximity. For instance:
- Almost anyone can rent an electric scooter, even those with no experience handling one.
- Because of their cost, many scooter operators are teens. Younger drivers tend to take more risks;
- Scooters are lower in profile and often blend in to sidewalk crowds. This lack of visibility makes accidents with motor vehicle more likely.
- Rain, uneven pavement, and potholes have a more significant effect on electric scooters than larger motor vehicles.
- There are laws against Bird and Lime scooters on sidewalks, but many operators do not know the rules or disobey them. This presents a hazard to pedestrians.
- Lime and Bird companies require operators to wear a helmet, but enforcement is a challenge. Riders are prone to more severe head injuries as a result of violating this rule.
What To Do if You are Injured in an Electric Scooter Accident
Immediate action is necessary if you are the victim of a scooter collision, both for health reasons and to protect your right to compensation. Therefore, you should:
- Write down identifying information regarding the scooter;
- Get the operator’s name and address;
- Use your phone to take pictures of the vehicle, your own injuries, and physical conditions around the scene of the accident; and,
- Identify and obtain contact information for potential witnesses.
Of course, seeking appropriate medical care is a priority as well. Keep in mind that some injuries, including whiplash, concussion, and soft tissue injuries, may not develop right away. You may feel the effects hours or days later. Even if you think your injuries are minor, visit a physician within two days at minimum.
Once you have taken care of these tasks in the immediate aftermath, you should contact an electric scooter accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can tell you more about the next steps.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Scooter Accident
The above information should be useful, but you may have additional questions about Bird or Lime scooter accidents.
Who Is Liable in an Electric Scooter Accident with a Pedestrian? Negligence is the key, so the person on foot may have a claim against a rider who was careless or reckless in operating the scooter. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that there is any insurance to cover the scooter operator’s actions. The pedestrian may not be able to recover compensation.
Who is Responsible for an Accident with a Motor Vehicle? If the driver of the car was negligent, you could seek compensation through that person’s auto insurance. When the scooter driver is at fault, there may be no right to compensation.
What if a Bicyclist is at Fault in an Electric Scooter Crash? This situation is similar to an accident involving a pedestrian, so the victim may not be able to obtain monetary damages. Homeowner’s, auto, or renter’s insurance generally do not cover these incidents.
Do I Have Rights if the Scooter is Defective? There are many components in an electric scooter, and a flaw in any one of them can lead to serious accidents. Manufacturers are liable for defective products, so you may be able to file a claim for compensation. You will need an attorney’s help with pinpointing the defect and showing how it caused your injuries.
Contact an Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer Right Away
If you were injured in a Lime or Bird scooter accident, you may be able to recover compensation from the responsible party. The key is retaining experienced personal injury attorneys to determine who that would be. Because scooter injuries are an emerging area of law in California, there are some complicated issues at stake. For more information, please contact the San Francisco and Marin County lawyers at Wakeford Gelini. You can reach us by calling 415-578-3510 or going online. We are happy to set up a free consultation to review your case.