Electric Scooter Injuries in Los Angeles are on the Rise
Electric Scooter Injuries in Los Angeles Now Outweigh Bicycle and Pedestrian Injuries
The Westside of Los Angeles is covered in electric scooters these days and the medical community is feeling the impact. A recent study found that more electric scooter riders ended up in two Westside L.A. hospitals than either bicyclists or pedestrians.
Are Electric Scooter Injuries Just a Cost of LA's "First Mile, Last Mile" Solution?
Scooters such as Bird, Lime, and Jump, are supposed to help with the quintessential Los Angeles commuter issue of the “first mile, last mile.” Here in Los Angeles, bus and metro or train often form the basis of a person’s commute using public transportation. However, users still usually complete the first and last portion on their own. The LA Metro websites explain that riders, “must first walk, bike, drive or roll themselves to and from the nearest station. This is referred to as the first and last mile of the user’s trip, or ‘first/last mile’ (FLM) for short.”
Electric scooters are supposed to solve this exact problem. But are these scooters worth the danger?
Head Injuries and Fractures Are Common Electric Scooter Injuries in Los Angeles
The study said that a whopping 40.2 percent of those electric scooter riders admitted to the hospital were suffering from a head injury. 31.7 percent were admitted for fractures. Only 4 percent of those injured were wearing a helmet. Roughly 11 percent of those injured riders were minors.
A Large Number of Electric Scooter Injuries in Los Angeles Aren't Even Suffered by Those Riding the Scooters
8.4 percent of those injured weren’t even riding the scooter. They were mostly pedestrians struck by scooters on streets or sidewalks. No matter what side of the scooter debate you are on, people have strong opinions about the scooters and whether they can safely operate on the Westside of Los Angeles.
Scooter Accident Client
"Sally just got me a ton of $$$$$ from a scooter accident. She is easy to relate with and is “good people.” Despite these complications, she kept us from going to trial as she negotiated with the insurance company like a pro (and got more than I expected). It has been quick and easy and I am so grateful."
Who is Financially Responsible for Electric Scooter Injuries?
Are you covered? What happens if you are injured by a person riding a scooter? It’s not totally clear.
Although Lime claims that it has $1 million in liability insurance on each ride, both Lime and Bird make it clear on their websites that they are not liable for any claim whatsoever. Check out the "Assumption of the Risk" section (Section 15) of Bird Scooter's Rental Agreement and Section 5 of Lime Scooter's User Agreement. Not even one that arises from negligence on the part of the rider. And, riders assume all risk. Bird users agree to a liability waiver on the app before being allowed to hop on the scooter. Further, Bird and Lime both require that riders agree to indemnify the company for claims. Geez!
What does this mean? If you get hurt while riding a scooter, you are liable.
If you hurt someone else while riding a scooter, you are liable.
Like any traffic accident, if you are the cause of injury to someone else, you are going to be held liable for that. Whether you can apply the insurance coverage provided by the scooter rental company or not is a question you'll likely need a scooter accident lawyer to answer.
Make sure you know what laws govern electric scooters in California before you start scootin' around with reckless abandon.
If you suffer injuries from an electric scooter that you are not even riding, getting paid may be difficult.
If you have nothing to do with scooters in any shape or form but you are injured by one flying down the sidewalk, you might also find yourself out of luck unless the person who hit you has an insurance policy that personally covers them in this situation.
Sadly, your best option would be to assert a claim against the scooter rider’s homeowner's or renter's insurance or pursue them for personal assets. That is, assuming they have any of these. Many of these scooter riders are tourists from other countries or people with no insurance or assets. Even if they do have a homeowner's or renter's policy, these types of policies typically have exclusions (meaning they won't cover policyholders) for accidents or injuries caused by "motorized vehicles." But, these little electric scooters are not considered “motor vehicles” by the Insurance Code (sections 11580.2, 11580.06), so they should be covered.
Also, if you have your own auto accident insurance, that won't even protect you if you are injured while riding a scooter or if you are hit by someone riding a scooter. Your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM insurance) would only come into play if the accident was caused by an actual "motorized vehicle" not one of these scooters.
Get Compensated for Your Electric Scooter Injuries
If you've suffered electric scooter injuries in Los Angeles, contact the Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers Los Angeles motorcycle accident team. We can offer sound legal advice you can rely on. We have over 20 years of experience in handling California traffic accidents, including serious injury scooter accidents. We are experts in helping clients navigate the complex scooter accident claims process.