Over the past several years, electric scooters (e-scooter) have surged in popularity both in California and throughout the United States. According to an analysis from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the number of dockless e-scooter systems in the country has increased dramatically since 2015. Unfortunately, there are serious concerns about the safety of electric scooters.
Earlier this year, an alarming new study on electric scooter safety was published by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). E-scooter may be as dangerous as motorcycles. In this article, our San Fernando Valley personal injury lawyers explain why electric scooter lawsuits are on the rise in California and what you need to know if you were hurt in an e-scooter accident.
Electric Scooter Accidents are Rising Rapidly in California
Dockless electric scooter rentals are a popular form of transportation in Southern California. With companies like Bird and Lime dominating the local market. However, a recent peer-reviewed academic study of electric scooter safety in Los Angeles from researchers at UCLA raises some very alarming questions (E-scooter related injuries: Using natural language processing to rapidly search 36 million medical notes).
In a section of Los Angeles that was reviewed by researchers from the School of Medicine at UCLA, they found electric scooter accident injury rates that were significantly higher than the national injury rate for both motorcycles and bicycles. Researchers reviewed six years of medical records at 180 health clinics and two hospitals in a section of Los Angeles. In total, 36 million medical records were assessed as part of the study. The results: An injury rate of 115 injuries per 1 million e-scooter trips.
For reference, that is far higher than the national injury rate for bicycles, passenger cars, and even motorcycles. It is a serious safety concern. As electric scooters are becoming more popular in California, including in the San Fernando Valley, accidents are rising. There were far more electric scooter accidents reported in the later years in the study than in the earlier years of the study.
Why are Electric Scooters So Dangerous?
While they can be operated safely, electric scooters have the potential to be dangerous for a wide variety of different reasons. To start, electric scooters are somewhat difficult to operate. It is not always intuitive, especially for relatively inexperienced riders. As e-scooters are often picked up as dockless rentals, it can take some time to get used to each individual scooter.
Another key issue is that our infrastructure is not well-developed to promote the safe usage of electric scooters. In some cases, e-scooters are operated over bumpy sidewalks or damaged roads which can result in serious fall accidents. In other cases, electric scooters may need to cross through multiple lanes of traffic.
A final safety concern related to electric scooters is that too many drivers simply do not do a good job at sharing the road. Many serious electric scooter accidents happen because of driver negligence. Common safety lapses like speeding, following too closely, and distracted driving can pose a serious risk to e-scooter riders.
Understanding Electric Scooter Accident Liability in California
California is a pure comparative fault jurisdiction. Every electric scooter accident should be carefully investigated to determine how and why it occurred. Any party that contributed to the e-scooter accident through negligence can be held liable for the victim’s economic and non-economic damages. Parties that may be liable for an e-scooter accident in Southern California include:
- Motorists: Many e-scooter accidents are caused by careless, reckless, or otherwise unsafe drivers.
- E-Scooter Rental Companies: An electric scooter company may be liable for an accident if the accident occurred because the scooter malfunctioned or was otherwise unsafe.
- Property Owner: In certain cases, a business or property owner may be held legally liable for an e-scooter accident through a premises liability claim.
Injured Victims Deserve Full and Fair Financial Compensation
Were you hurt in an electric scooter accident in Glendale, Los Angeles County, or elsewhere in Southern California? If so, it is crucial that you have access to the full financial support needed to pay bills. Most electric scooter accident claims are handled by insurance companies. Insurers are aggressive—they want to resolve personal injury claims for less. Our San Fernando Valley electric scooter accident attorneys work tirelessly to help victims maximize their settlement or verdict. Compensation may be granted for:
- Property damage
- Emergency medical care
- Hospital bills and other health expenses
- Physical therapy
- Loss of current and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disfigurement
- Long-term disability
- Wrongful death damages
How Our San Fernando Valley Electric Scooter Accident Lawyers Can Help
E-scooter accident claims are complicated. There are a number of different parties that could potentially bear liability for the accident. At Ourfalian & Ourfalian, we are seasoned litigators focused on protecting the rights and interests of victims and families. When you call our Glendale law office, you will be able to connect with a San Fernando Valley personal injury lawyer who can:
- Review your case, answer questions, and explain your rights under California’s e-scooter accident lawyers.
- Conduct a comprehensive investigation of the electric scooter accident—gathering all of the evidence that you will need to prove liability.
- Complete the legal paperwork and advocate for the best outcome in settlement negotiations with the defendant/insurance company.
- Devise a personalized legal strategy to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation for your electric scooter accident.
Contact Our Glendale Scooter Accident Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
At Ourfalian & Ourfalian, our Glendale personal injury lawyers have the skills and experience to handle all types of electric scooter accident claims. If you or your family member was hurt in an electric scooter accident, we are here to help. Give us a phone call now at 818-550-7777 or connect with us here to set up a free review of your case. Our firm provides personal injury representation throughout the San Fernando Valley, including in Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, North Hollywood, and Encino.