Who Is Considered Liable for an E-Scooter Accident?
July 18th, 2022|
Electric scooters or e-scooters offer an environmentally friendly option for traveling in congested urban areas. With a 48% increase in electric scooter traffic in one year in San Francisco, people should know what to expect if they get in an accident while on their electric scooter.
Determining liability in an e-scooter accident can be complicated because there may be several at-fault parties. If a scooter collision caused your injuries, having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side can improve the outcome of your case.
The car accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can evaluate your case during a free case review and advise you of your next steps.
How Common Are E-Scooter Accident Injuries?
San Francisco saw a 58% increase in scooter collisions from 2020 to 2021. E-scooters represent 6% of crashes in the city. Most crashes occur when a vehicle hits the scooter broadside at an intersection. Doctors see most injuries to the head and face because most riders don’t use protective gear.
Crashes with motor vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, damage to internal organs, and broken bones.
A University of California San Francisco study found a 365% increase in hospital admissions from scooter-related injuries between 2014 and 2018. Almost one-third of these patients experienced head trauma, more than double the rate for bicycle accidents, and researchers believe these figures under-report the true scope of the issue.
Determining Liability in an E-Scooter Accident
Several parties can potentially be liable for an e-scooter accident and the resulting injuries and damages. These include:
Motor vehicle drivers
Drivers can cause motor vehicle accidents by using smartphone devices, talking with passengers, or adjusting the radio or climate control. Fatigued drivers might struggle to stay awake, limiting their ability to concentrate on the road and decreasing their reaction times.
In traffic, aggressive drivers often overlook smaller vehicles like e-scooters. Drugs and alcohol impair a driver’s vision, decision-making skills, and reaction time, increasing the risk of a car accident.
E-scooter manufacturer or rental company
The scooter manufacturer might be held responsible for the accident if one of their scooter parts or software caused it. If the rental company knew about these defects and failed to correct them, they can be held liable for injuries caused by the defects.
If injuries are caused by faulty equipment and loose handlebars, the e-scooter rental company can be held liable. If there was a mechanical failure with the scooter, the manufacturer may be liable in a product liability case due to defective equipment.
Commercial property owner
It is the responsibility of the commercial property owner to maintain their properties and keep them safe. If an accident occurs because of debris and hazards, the property owner may be held liable for the injuries.
What to Do if Injured in an E-Scooter Accident
If you have been injured while you were on your e-scooter, follow these steps to protect your rights to compensation.
1. Get medical attention
If you and the other driver suffered injuries, call 911 to ask for emergency services. Immediate medical attention is not only for your well-being, but you will need your medical records to connect your injuries to the accident and the liable party.
2. Report the accident to the police
Tell the responding police officer the details of the e-scooter accident, including how and when it started. Do not speculate about who is liable for the accident or give incriminating statements. The officer can write a police report for you to use as evidence for your insurance claim.
3. Gather evidence
If possible, take photos and videos of any damage caused by the accident. Find out the other driver’s insurance information and their vehicle’s license plate number. Gather contact information from any witnesses who were present at the scene.
4. Contact a personal injury lawyer
Getting the help of experienced California car accident lawyers from Berg Injury Lawyers will ensure you have the best chance of winning your case. Your lawyer can investigate the crash, review your medical records, and interview witnesses to determine liability. They can then calculate a fair settlement and negotiate with the insurance company.
Get Compensated for Your Injuries
If you suffer injuries in an accident while on your e-scooter, the car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Our legal team can work with you to achieve the best possible financial outcome with the insurance company. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.