A huge problem exists with the increase of bird and lime scooters covering the streets and sidewalks. Besides very few safety recommendations within the app, there is nothing preventing anyone from negligently and carelessly using a bird or lime scooter. There is also nothing enforcing the helmet and/or pads restrictions. Because of all of these violations, incidents have been increasing as this behavior has been exceedingly dangerous.
Severe Injuries As A Result Of Dangerous Use Of Electric Scooters
Common electric scooter incidents include:
- A scooter strikes a pedestrian as they cross at an intersection;
- A scooter crashes into a vehicle;
- A pedestrian falls over an abandoned scooter on the sidewalk;
- A scooter hits debris in the road and loses control; and
- A vehicle hits a scooter deliberately out of frustration.
Thousands of car accidents occur every day that occur at a relatively low speed of 10mph or less. This is enough speed to cause whiplash when there’s a sudden stopping motion or an impact from behind which causes a person’s neck to snap forward and backwards quickly. The symptoms may not appear right away and take a few weeks to appear. It also does not take much force at all to cause a brain to rock against the inside of a skull. This can lead to bruising or bleeding of the brain. A low impact car accident can easily cause back or spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord can be tweaked from low impact, and the smallest tweak the wrong way could cause long term pain.
Risks Involved In Using An Electric Scooter
There’s no barrier between a rider or other vehicles. Some scooters are also vandalized and could have missing or loose parts. Some drivers also ride while intoxicated or under the influence. Often, the riders absorb most of the shock from hitting a rock or a small bump, causing them to lose control and fall off. Scooters also don’t have sufficient stability. And most notably, most riders are inexperienced. Others carry groceries, heavy items, are distracted with head phones, or are illegally carrying a second passenger.
If You Are An Injured Rider, Seek Medical Attention
The first thing everyone should do when they are involved in a collision is to seek medical attention. Call 9-1-1 and wait for ambulance and emergency personnel to arrive at the scene to assess and address any injuries. No one should take any risks with their health. Many injuries such as spinal cord injuries, concussion symptoms, and other internal injuries can arise a few days following the collision. Those involved in an auto collision should always seek medical attention to make sure there are no potential injuries. Following up with a primary doctor just after a few days can do no harm.
Defects and Liable Parties
In some cases, the bird or lime riders may be injured as a result of a mechanical defect to the scooter itself. Often times, the underlying problem may occur with a motor malfunction, loser parts, or other mechanical problems. As a result, liable parties can include:
- The manufacturer;
- The distributers;
- The sellers; and/or
- The retailers.
Unfortunately, in some instances, rider negligence occurs in a variety of different ways. This includes failure to adhere to the rules of the sidewalk, wearing a helmet in certain restricted cities, or riding the scooter at an unsafe speed. In some situations, the rental agency may be held responsible for their negligence in distributing the rentals.
Rental Agency Negligence
In certain situations, the rental agency can be liable if there was a malfunction in the scooter itself.
A Lawsuit Can Be Filed To Recover Medical Expenses, Time Lost From Work, Pain & Suffering, And Other Damages For An Injured Rider
California Civil Code § 3281 states in pertinent part, “every person who suffers detriment from Personal Injury, the unlawful act or omission of another, may recover from the person in fault a compensation in money, which is called damages.” California law limits recovery to actual harm caused to the victim. Those damages are divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include “objectively verifiable monetary losses” which includes past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and loss of use of real property. California Civil Code § 1431(b)(1). The amount recoverable for medical care and services must be reasonably and attributable to the injuries suffered from the incident. However, when determining future medical costs, the calculation can get difficult, since the medical treatment has not yet occurred. Typically, an attorney will consult with an expert in the field to evaluate your injuries to determine any future medical care and assign a reasonable value to the care.
Contrary to economic damages, non-economic damages include “subjective non-monetary losses” which includes pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, injury to reputation, and humiliation. California Civil Code § 1431(b)(2). Emotional injuries include mental injuries such as fear, insomnia, grief, worry, inconvenience and the loss of enjoyment of life.
California Civil Procedure Code § 335 states that all claims for personal injuries must be brought within two years of the incident.
Consult with an attorney
Lawyers are not experts in math, but they are experts in the law. Dealing with insurance companies and reporting a claim can be tricky and hard. Big insurance companies are not scared of individuals. Make sure to have a strong advocate on your side. An attorney should be consulted before pursuing a claim.
Do not wait, never hesitate, and reach out to a professional attorney who is ready to work for you.
Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403
Consultation: Free - 60 minutes
Tel: (310) 363-0551
Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com
Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.
is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.
In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.
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