Many of us have seen and probably even used a Bird or Electric scooter. These are becoming an extremely popular form of quick, easy, and affordable transportation while also being an enjoyable recreational activity for many young people. While the popularity of these devices is growing, especially in beach cities such as San Diego, the reality is that accidents are not uncommon for people either riding these devices or people injured due to these devices.
Electric scooters, in general, don't offer much in terms of protecting the rider from harm in the event of an accident or injury. If you are in an electric scooter accident or are injured riding on one of these scooters, you may be entitled to some compensation for your injuries. Here are a few common situations that may occur and who could be held liable in each scenario.
Like many other electric devices, electric scooters may have a manufactural defect or some kind of issue which causes a problem. In these situations, however, the stakes can be much higher if these devices malfunction. If something goes wrong with the scooter and causes an accident, or causes the rider to fall and get injured, there are a few things that need to be clarified before liability can be determined. If the issue was a factory defect, such as a defect in the brakes or steering, Bird or Lime could be held liable for having a malfunctioning product.
If you're in an auto accident while riding a scooter, the driver of the car may be liable for some of your injuries, depending on the circumstances. In most cases, cyclists and non-automobile vehicles are treated similar to pedestrians when it comes to vehicle and traffic law. If the vehicle in question was in motion and struck you, your medical bills may be partially covered by their insurance.
If the vehicle was stopped and you struck it, or you ran into a parked vehicle, you may be held liable for your own injuries and possibly liable for the damages to their vehicle. The only exception to this is if someone opens a door into your scooter. In most instances, it is the responsibility of the person exiting the vehicle to ensure it is safe to open their door, so if they hit you as you are passing by, they would be at least partially liable.
Hitting A Pedestrian
If you strike a pedestrian while on a scooter, more than likely you will be liable, as traffic law almost always favors the pedestrian, even if the vehicle has the right of way. The only way you can be absolved from liability in these cases is if the person intentionally put themselves in the path of your vehicle with the intention of being hit, Since scooters are usually not insured, contact a personal injury attorney right away to help with the case, as the pedestrian may try to pursue you personally for their damages.
If your accident is caused by improperly maintained roads like potholes or other road issues, you may also be able to get some form of compensation for your injuries. The first step is to determine if the road or area where you fell is privately or publicly owned. If it is publicly owned, then the city may be liable as it is their responsibility to make sure all public or town property is properly maintained. If the accident occurred in a parking lot or private roadway, then the company who owns the property may be liable, as it is their responsibility to ensure that their roads and lots are properly maintained.
If you are in any kind of accident while on a scooter causing personal injury, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There may be some subtleties and nuances about the circumstances of the accident which can affect who to pursue for damages, and an attorney will be able to best advise how to build your case, and what you would need to do to start the process.
Make sure your rights are protected. Contact our Oceanside personal injury attorney at Kohn Law Office by calling (760) 710-0190 for a free case evaluation.