Electric scooters or e-scooters have become pervasive in Palo Alto and throughout the Bay Area. These scooters have been made available to the public by companies such as Lime, Bird, and Spin as a convenient method to quickly get around in urban areas. The companies offer scooters that can be rented, used and parked elsewhere in the city. While they are convenient as compared to other modes of transportation, people who use the scooters and others around them have a risk of suffering injuries in e-scooter accidents. If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident, talking to an experienced scooter accident lawyer Palo Alto might help you to learn about the rights that you might have.
Risks posed by e-scooters
E-scooter companies placed their e-scooters throughout California cities, presenting them as efficient, inexpensive, and fun ways for people to get where they want to go. However, e-scooters are often used by tourists and people who are inexperienced in how to ride them. Scooters come with many different risks of injury, including collisions with motor vehicles, collisions with bicycles or pedestrians, collisions with other scooter riders, and accidents in which the scooter riders fall.
Some cities have banned e-scooters because of the risks involved with them. However, the companies are working to have the city laws updated so that the scooters can be returned to the streets. The return or ongoing presence of e-scooters presents dangers to both the riders and others who use the roads in Palo Alto.
If you were injured due to an electric scooter accident in Northern California, our injury lawyers are ready to help you protect your rights. From investigating the cause of your scooter accident to helping you get the treatment you need, the team at Berg Injury Lawyers is here to assist you through every step of the claims process.
Common types of scooter accidents and injuries
E-scooters can travel up to 15 miles per hour, posing dangers to the riders and others around them. Some of the common scenarios in which scooter accidents occur include the following:
- Getting hit by an inattentive or distracted driver
- Falls from scooters because of debris in the road, inadequate repairs to the roads, or road construction
- Colliding with bicycles or pedestrians on sidewalks or bicycle paths
- Accidents caused by defective components on the scooters
Some of the common types of injuries that can occur in scooter accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractures of the arms and legs
- Facial, neck, and head injuries
- Thoracic injuries
- Internal injuries
A new industry brings new legal issues
Scooters from companies like Lime and Bird are fairly new. These e-scooters have been popping up throughout California and will likely eventually appear in nearly every large city in the state. Young people enjoy riding e-scooters and might rent them even though they are underage. Tourists rent e-scooters to get around because of the novelty, and they might not have any experience on how to use them. E-scooter companies do not provide safety gear for riders and expect riders to supply their helmets and protective gear. However, most people do not carry these items with them, meaning that few e-scooter riders have any protection in an accident. Riders simply have to reserve an e-scooter using an app, pick them up, and ride to where they want to go. They then lock the scooters where they leave them through the app.
The e-scooter companies have faced controversy. For example, Bird settled a legal dispute with Santa Monica because it failed to obtain business licenses and permits before its 2017 launch. Many residents of cities where e-scooters are located view them as a nuisance. Since the companies allow riders to lock and leave the scooters wherever they want, the e-scooters can clutter already crowded sidewalks.
Since e-scooters are largely unregulated, they are more dangerous. The ability to travel 15 miles per hour on a scooter might be beyond the capabilities of inexperienced riders. E-scooter riders may pose dangers to pedestrians and cyclists, and motorists may fail to see e-scooter riders who are darting through traffic.
Pedestrians can trip over e-scooters that have been parked on sidewalks and sustain injuries in falls. Defective e-scooters can malfunction and cause riders to be involved in collisions or to fall from the scooters.
What to do after an e-scooter accident
If you were injured by an e-scooter rider or were injured while using an e-scooter, you may have legal rights to recover damages. The availability of damages will depend on the facts and circumstances of what occurred. To learn whether you might have grounds to sue, you should contact an experienced scooter accident lawyer Palo Alto at the San Jose Personal Injury Attorneys. We can analyze the facts and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim’s merits. Contact us today by calling 408.217.1778 to schedule a consultation.