E-scooters are an incredibly convenient way to reach your destination, especially in high-traffic areas. While these scooters offer great benefits, their popularity has resulted in a higher number of electric scooter injuries. The problem with e-scooters is that many drivers don’t know how to operate their vehicles safely around them. Plus, e-scooters are much harder to spot than standard-sized vehicles, further increasing the likelihood of a crash.
If you were involved in an e-scooter accident, you may have suffered serious and debilitating injuries that will impact your life. In addition to facing pricey medical bills, you may be unable to work while in recovery. Fortunately, you can file an insurance claim against the responsible party to recover compensation for your losses.
That said, not every victim can recover the money they deserve for electric scooter injuries. Proving fault can be challenging, and the insurance company representing the liable party will do everything they can to devalue or reject your claim. For that reason, it’s critical to hire an e-scooter accident attorney to help you with your case.
In this blog, you’ll learn why you need to hire an e-scooter accident attorney and about electric scooter laws and accident statistics.
Electric Scooter Accident Statistics
Electric scooter accidents and injuries have steadily risen in recent years. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries involving e-scooters skyrocketed between 2017 and 2019. In 2017, 7,700 victims with electric scooter injuries were rushed to medical emergency rooms. Only two years later, that number jumped to 27,700.
Some common types of e-scooter accidents include:
- E-scooter malfunctioning: Issues with the e-scooter’s brakes, throttle, or another mechanical component caused the rider to crash.
- Accidents involving defective roadways and sidewalks: Due to their smaller size, e-scooters are more likely to crash after hitting potholes and cracks than larger and more stable vehicles.
- E-scooter and vehicle collisions: An e-scooter rider is no match for a full-sized vehicle, and car accidents involving e-scooters are common.
California Electric Scooter Laws 2023
If you intend to continue using e-scooters going forward, it’s critical to be aware of California’s laws governing the usage of these vehicles. California Assembly Bill No. 2989 amended section 21235 of the Vehicle Code. The code now states that someone driving a motorized scooter may NOT:
(a) Operate a motorized scooter unless it is equipped with a brake that will enable the operator to make a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
(b) Operate a motorized scooter on a highway with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour unless the motorized scooter is operated within a Class II or Class IV bikeway, except that a local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, authorize the operation of a motorized scooter outside of a Class II or Class IV bikeway on a highway with a speed limit of up to 35 miles per hour. The 15-mile-per-hour maximum speed limit for the operation of a motorized scooter specified in Section 22411 applies to the operation of a motorized scooter on all highways, including bikeways, regardless of a higher speed limit applicable to the highway.
(c) Operate a motorized scooter without wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212, if the operator is under 18 years of age.
(d) Operate a motorized scooter without a valid driver’s license or instruction permit.
(e) Operate a motorized scooter with any passengers in addition to the operator.
(f) Operate a motorized scooter carrying any package, bundle, or article that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
(g) Operate a motorized scooter upon a sidewalk, except as may be necessary to enter or leave adjacent property.
(h) Operate a motorized scooter on the highway with the handlebars raised so that the operator must elevate his or her hands above the level of his or her shoulders to grasp the normal steering grip area.
(i) Leave a motorized scooter lying on its side on any sidewalk, or park a motorized scooter on a sidewalk in any other position, so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic.
(j) Attach the motorized scooter or himself or herself while on the roadway, by any means, to any other vehicle on the roadway.
Something you may have noticed in Section C is that the requirement to wear a helmet only applies to those under the age of 18. While adults are not obligated to wear a helmet while operating e-scooters, you should consider equipping this invaluable protection. It can mean the world of difference if you suffer from an e-scooter accident and can protect against traumatic brain injuries.
Hiring an E-Scooter Accident Attorney
There are several reasons why you should hire an attorney after suffering from an e-scooter accident, but every reason relates to your ability to recover fair compensation.
While you have every right to file a claim without a lawyer, statistics indicate that the average personal injury settlement is far greater for those who choose to hire attorneys. According to a Nolo survey, those who filed a personal injury claim without legal representation recovered an average of $17,600 while those who hired attorneys recovered an average of $77,600.
The reason why an attorney can help you secure more compensation is because they can help you prove liability and negotiate your settlement.
To recover damages, you need to be able to prove that the party you file against is partially or wholly responsible for the accident in question. Sometimes, there may be more than one partially responsible party. For instance, consider that a driver crashed into you because they failed to notice a traffic sign that was obscured by overgrown bushes. Both the driver and the government body responsible for that sign and the surrounding area may be partially responsible.
An experienced attorney can help you identify all responsible parties so that you can recover full damages for your injuries.
How Much Money Can I Recover for My Electric Scooter Injuries?
The amount of money you can recover after your accident will depend on the damages you suffered as well as whether you’re considered partially responsible for the accident.
California uses a pure comparative negligence system, meaning that you can still recover compensation even if you were primarily at fault for an accident. That said, your percentage of blame will directly impact how much you can potentially recover. For example, if you’re found 75% at fault for a collision, that will reduce the amount you can recover from the other party by 75%.
If you file a claim against a driver or another party, their e-scooter insurance company will likely argue that you were partially or wholly responsible for the accident. They do this to reduce or deny your accident settlement. A personal injury lawyer can help you by proving that another party was at fault for your crash and that you weren’t responsible. Of course, this will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case and whether you violated any traffic laws at the time of the collision.
Even if you weren’t at fault for the accident, the responsible party’s insurance company will still try to lower your electric scooter settlement amount. An experienced electric scooter accident lawyer can help you maximize your compensation by negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.
Contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers Today
It’s critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident so that you can begin the process of recovering full compensation. For experienced e-scooter accident attorneys in California, contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. Our legal team will work to secure the money you deserve for your injuries. Call us anytime 24/7 at 877-380-8852, or schedule a free case evaluation online here.