E-scooters are more common than ever, but so are accidents involving them.
If you've seen the streets of Los Angeles lately, you have most certainly noticed a massive influx of electric scooters (e-scooters) in the streets, parked by businesses, and strewn across the sidewalks. A recent study has found that there's another area though, in which the presence of these scooters can be felt, and that’s in doctor's offices and emergency rooms.
Recent studies found that in West Los Angeles, the number of e-scooter riders in the hospitals now outnumber either pedestrians or bicyclists. The reasons for their hospital stays are varied, but the two largest injuries were fractures (roughly 32%) and head injury (40%). Of those in the hospital for scooter related injuries, 11% were minors and only 4% were wearing a helmet. In fact, over 8% of those injured weren't even riding the scooters, but were instead pedestrians who had been run into by other people riding them.
Unlike when you drive a car, operation of these electric scooters won't trigger your normal protections of under/un-insured motorist coverage. Instead, if you are hit by a scooter you may have to try and rely on asserting a claim against the scooter driver's homeowner's/renter's insurance (assuming they have either of these) or go after them for their personal assets. Though insurance policies like these often have exclusions for "motor vehicles", a good attorney can argue that electric scooters are not "motor vehicles" and so still qualify for coverage.
Lime states that it has $1 million liability insurance on each ride, however both Lime (under Section 5 of their User Agreement) and Bird (under Section 15 of their Scooter Rental agreement) claim that they are not liable for any claim whatsoever -even when the claim is based on the driver of the scooter's negligence. In addition, when you use either app you are required to agree to liability waivers and indemnification agreements stating that you won't hold the scooter company responsible for any harm you incur and that if you hurt anyone else while driving you alone accept responsibility.
Whether you can use the insurance coverage that the scooter rental company has on the ride, how a problem with the scooter affects those two waivers, and what happens when a friend operates a scooter that you're logged in to are just a few of the questions that you'll definitely need an attorney to answer. This means that if you are hit by a scooter as you're walking down the street or if you accidentally run into someone while driving one, your first call should be to a skilled attorney who is knowledgeable about recent developments in personal injury law.
This is why it is so important to contact a skilled attorney if you are ever involved in an e-scooter accident. In a situation like this, we at Slatter Law Firm know the steps to take, and will fight to get you (or your loved ones) the compensation you deserve. As a boutique firm, when you call Slatter Law you can speak to real attorneys (not just their secretaries) and even a founding partner -giving you real access to real legal advice when you need it. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, please call us today for your free consultation at (310) 444-3010 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404.