Some people have hailed dockless electric scooters as an affordable and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation. Cities around the country, including several in California, have seen an explosion in easy-to-rent scooters from companies like Bird, Lime, Spin, Skip, and others.
While dockless scooters have not yet arrived on Sacramento streets due to a city law requiring scooter companies to install parking racks, they are popular in many nearby California cities. Many believe that the law will change soon in 2019, giving scooter companies the right to deploy these vehicles on Sacramento streets.
While e-scooters may be convenient, inexpensive, and fun to ride, they can also pose a serious risk to the safety of riders, motorists, and pedestrians. Electric scooters travel at speeds as high as 15 mph and very few riders wear helmets. In fact, Assembly Bill 2989 permits adults to ride scooters on city streets without a helmet, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Because it appears that electric scooters will arrive on Sacramento streets soon, it is critical to be aware of your rights if you are hurt in an accident. Whether you suffered injury due to a negligent rider or motorist, or if the scooter company or manufacturer caused you harm, you could be owed significant compensation.
When you are hurt in a dockless scooter accident, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands this new technology and how to determine which parties are liable for the crash.
The lawyers at the Demas Law Group are ready to put our extensive legal experience to work for you. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling us, by filling out a contact form, or by chatting with us live today.
Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents in California
Though they have been in most cities for less than a year, electric scooters have already been cited as the cause of serious injury accidents and fatalities. Though accidents can happen in a variety of scenarios, the following are the most common causes of electric scooter accidents:
- Defective scooters – Electric scooter companies often rely on riders to perform a safety check and report defective scooters. This is rarely an effective or safe way to keep scooters in good working condition. If the scooter was defective or vandalized, the rider may not know until it is too late.
- Poor Road Conditions – Potholes and damaged roads can pose a serious threat to scooter operators. Because scooters are low to the ground and unstable, they are more susceptible to being launched or crashing when they strike a pothole or debris in the road.
- Pedestrian Collisions – A collision with a pedestrian can cause serious bodily harm to both the pedestrian and scooter operator. For this reason, scooter operators are encouraged to stay off of sidewalk.
- Motor Vehicle Collisions – When a bike path is available, scooters are encouraged to travel in the bike lane. However, when a bike lane is not an option, scooter operators are directed to travel in the road alongside other vehicles. If a car driver or a scooter operator isn’t paying attention or makes a mistake, life-threatening injuries can affect all parties involved.
Though these are common causes of electric scooter accidents, if you have been involved in an accident that didn’t fit these specific scenarios, you should still reach out to a lawyer for help.
Common Types of Electric Scooter Accident Injuries in Sacramento
Electric scooters are often operated on roads alongside other motor vehicles. Riders have been involved in collisions with cars, trucks, other scooters, cyclists, and pedestrians. Unfortunately, even when wearing helmets, electric scooter operators are mostly unprotected in crashes and can be thrown from their scooters or crushed into the ground. The following injuries have been reported from victims of electric scooter accidents:
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck injury
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Head Injuries
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
- Damage to knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders and other joints
- Road rash
- Pulled muscles
- Electrical burns
Whatever type of injuries you have suffered, you could benefit from the skilled representation of a lawyer if you have been seriously harmed while riding an electric scooter. Additionally, if a loved one sustained fatal injuries while riding on a scooter, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
Sacramento Electric Scooter Injury Lawyer: Who is Liable?
In the aftermath of an electric scooter accident, figuring out responsibility can be complicated. Liability depends entirely on the type of accident you were involved in. Electric scooter collisions with vehicles, if caused by the negligence of the driver of the car, are often the responsibility of the driver. In these cases, the driver and their insurance company may be liable for covering accident-related damages.
If a scooter collided with a pedestrian who jaywalked or made an unexpected move, the pedestrian may be liable. If the scooter malfunctioned, the scooter company may be to blame. If your crash was caused by a defect in the road, a government entity may be responsible.
In the event that you are partially responsible for your accident, California has a pure comparative negligence standard. This law allows parties that are even partially responsible for accidents to collect damages. Your damages will be reduced by whatever percentage you are found to be at fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but are found to have been 20% at fault, you will receive $80,000.
What to Do If I Am in an Electric Scooter Accident in Sacramento
Even if a scooter accident seemingly left you with seemingly minor injuries, you should seek a thorough medical evaluation. The accident may have caused serious injuries that aren’t yet apparent, so having a doctor evaluate your condition is the best way to make sure you don’t face complications later. It will also help to have an official medical record in case you need to file an injury claim at a later date.
Make sure to contact the police to file a report. A proper record of the accident could be important to your case if you choose to file a claim. Exchange insurance information with other people involved if they were operating a vehicle at the time of the accident.
Taking pictures can be extremely valuable. If the situation permits, snap pictures from different angles to capture a fuller picture of the accident. If at the time of your accident there were people around you who witnessed your accident, collect their contact information if possible. They may be able to provide a witness statement on your behalf if necessary.
Consult with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case. Not only will this help you pursue compensation from the responsible party, but it could potentially protect you from facing blame from another party involved in the accident.
Get Help from our Sacramento Electric Scooter Accident Attorney
The team at Demas Law has more than two decades of experience fighting for accident victims in Sacramento. Serious injuries can have lasting effects on your life, but with the help of a skilled lawyer, you can pursue the resources that you need to heal and move forward with your life.
Our team is focused on client satisfaction. We want to make sure that working with a lawyer is a positive experience for you, especially in the aftermath of a serious accident. Don’t compromise on your legal representation when you need a talented injury lawyer. Contact us today for a free consultation and claim review.