California’s roads are covered with scooters. Today’s fast and efficient e-scooters allow riders to zip through big, crowded cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.
In LA, scooter accident injury rates are now surpassing motorcycle injury rates. Scooter injuries can be just as severe as motorcycle injuries because the rider’s body takes a blow, then slams onto the pavement and skids across the rough surface.
Here’s what you need to know about determining fault as you pursue scooter accident compensation.
How Do I Prove Fault in a Car-Scooter Accident?
Showing fault in a scooter accident is similar to doing so after a car accident. Fault will be decided by looking at the circumstances of the accident and seeing who exhibited some type of negligence.
Negligence involves breaking the law or doing something unsafe to cause a scooter accident. Proving someone’s negligence calls for evidence like witness testimony, a police report, skid mark evidence, video footage, and more.
California uses a legal concept known as comparative negligence in personal injury cases. Each party’s share of the blame will be evaluated. Even if you hold partial blame for the scooter accident, you may still be able to claim partial injury compensation.
There are four main elements of negligence in a personal injury case.
Duty of Care
All motorists share a duty of care to drive safely and avoid hurting others on the road. The first step is establishing that the other person owes you a duty of care. Your lawyer can help you accomplish this by stating the language of the law.
Breach of Duty
If you can prove someone failed in providing their duty of care to you, you’ve shown they breached their duty of care. You might show evidence that someone was driving drunk, running a red light, or exceeding the speed limit when they hit you.
This step involves establishing that your losses were directly related to the other person causing the accident. You’ll need to provide strong evidence that your injuries and other damages arose from this and no other cause.
You must prove the value of your damages through documentation like medical bills, scooter repair estimates, and pay stubs showing your lost wages.
What are California’s Laws for Scooters?
Drivers are expected to share the road with scooters and watch out for them on the roads. Many scooter laws seem to fall into an area between vehicle laws and bicycle laws, so it’s a good idea to educate yourself about what’s legal and what’s not.
Here’s a brief overview of the rules of the road for scooters in California:
- Scooters should not ride on sidewalks unless entering/exiting a property.
- Scooters must operate in bike lanes when available unless something dangerous means they must leave the bike lane.
- When riding in traffic, they should ride to the right side of traffic lanes.
- Scooters must stay within posted and local speed limits and are prohibited in areas where the speed limit exceeds 25 mph.
- A scooter driver must have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit.
- It’s illegal to leave a scooter blocking a public right-of-way.
- Minors must wear helmets when riding scooters.
- Scooters do not require license plates, registration, or insurance, but it helps to have some type of insurance available like auto insurance, health insurance, or homeowner’s insurance.
Who Holds the Fault for a Scooter Accident Death?
It’s impossible to say who holds the fault for a scooter injury or death without knowing the circumstances. Each situation is unique and will be evaluated individually based on how the accident happened and the evidence available.
Broadly speaking, the courts do not look favorably upon vehicle drivers who blatantly break the law and hurt scooter riders. If someone exhibited gross negligence, they are likely to hold most or all of the blame for the accident. Examples of gross negligence might include speeding through a school zone at 100 mph or killing a scooter rider after previous instances of drunk driving.
To show fault, take advantage of any available dashcam videos or footage from nearby businesses. Witness testimony and the police report will also go a long way toward establishing what happened. If the police report doesn’t seem to support your side of the story, this doesn’t necessarily destroy your case.
Not all witnesses are located at the scene of an accident. An expert witness can be called to review the circumstances of your scooter accident and provide their specialized insight. This is sometimes even more powerful than a police report because an officer isn’t an expert in accident reconstruction or scooter accidents.
Contact the Scooter Accident Lawyers at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers
After your scooter accident, empower yourself to take action and learn more about your legal options. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have experience with California cases similar to yours and we know what it takes to prove fault in scooter accidents.
We’re here to help you. Call 877-380-8852 today to request a free case evaluation today.