ELECTRIC SCOOTER ACCIDENTS: WHO IS LIABLE?
Accident injuries can be difficult enough when they involve vehicles that are registered for highway use, but what happens when a scooter operator injures you on the sidewalk or in any other area where motorized vehicles are not supposed to go?
Determining who may be pursued for damages can be complicated unless there is substantial evidence of the identity of the operator. And even then, it can be frustrating because scooter operators are typically not required to carry liability insurance. The state of California is addressing this problem, not to mention the cities like Beverly Hills that have outlawed them altogether. As for now, this a bit of a grey area in the law, and it always takes an experienced accident attorney to receive equitable compensation.
All accident claims are centered around liability and negligence. Electric scooter accidents are no different, and many times both the company that owns the scooter and the operator can be held liable unless the rider owns the vehicle. California has been virtually invaded by the app-driven electric scooters from Bird and Lime since early 2018, and now the state is trying to catch up with pertinent legislation regarding liability and even illegal use, such as operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This means claims can still be complicated until the law is implemented.
The fact that the vehicle being used is a scooter does not mean that serious injuries cannot be the result of a crash with a pedestrian or even cause an auto accident. This is currently a definite possibility because there are few uniform restrictions regarding where the scooters can be operated. Just as in other injury claims, the victim can usually file for coverage of medical bills and lost wages when they apply along with potential general damages for ongoing problems. Punitive damages could be problematic at this point, but could also apply when the operator is intoxicated at the time of the mishap. This is part of the issue that the new operational law should clear up, but for now, this is a complicated question.
Never attempt handling a personal injury claim associated with an electric scooter without first consulting with an established California, personal injury attorney. Electric scooter accidents can be unique cases, and professional help is often necessary for proper financial recovery.