E-scooters have been introduced to Los angles in the wake of Uber and Lyft vehicles populating the roads. Alternative methods of transportation have begun to get utilized due to climate and environment factors. Scooters are low power vehicles that do not produce any emissions, and the companies have developed thousands of the small vehicles across the country. The trouble is that there is little to no regulation that is enforced – the riders are essentially abandoned while using the platform and they do not know where to turn in the event of injuries. It is hard to familiarize yourself with the number of regulations and rules that apply to e-scooters, as well. We have collected these rules below for you to consider. Bear in mind that if you have been hurt in any kind of accident with an Electric scooter, you should contact our offices at once. Our law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, will pursue the highest compensation for you to so that you are fully covered for the injuries you suffered in an incident.
What are electric scooters?
Electric scooters are two-wheeled vehicles with a stand for riders. Some models have seats as well. They may have various features, such as pockets for smart phones, baskets for backpacks and book bags, large tires for easier accessibility, bright headlamps, and more. Most of the scooters travel between 15 and 18 mph and have ample batteries that are recharged either by the company’s own workers or by independent contractors who charge the scooters at their own homes.
In Los Angeles, there are currently 8 distinct companies that are licensed to provide scooters. Each company is allowed to provide 3,000 scooters to the streets, with 2,500 more in disadvantaged communities, and 5,000 more in the San Fernando Valley region. These companies are:
These companies all utilize different brands of scooters, from GOTRAX models to Xiaomi models. Each one has its own unique qualities, such as better battery life and higher speeds. They must all adhere to the standards put forth by the City of Los Angeles, though.
What are the regulations for electric scooters in Los Angeles?
As of 2019, various regulations have come into existence and laws have been specifically updated to incorporate motorized and electric scooters. These laws outline various parts of scooter riding, from parking to transportation. The companies also have various rules that they require the users to follow. It is notable that the scooters have been banned in some areas – most famously, in Beverly Hills.
The regulations for electric or motorized scooters can be found below:
- A driver’s license or learner’s permit is required in order to use an electric scooter
- Helmets are required only for individuals under the age of 18 years old (although they are strongly recommended by the law)
- Individuals can be as young as 16 years old to ride scooters
- Scooters are not required to have insurance, registration, or license plates
- Scooters should not be driven in excess of 15 mph
- Scooters should not be driven on roads where the posted speed limit exceeds 25 mph unless there is a bike lane in which the scooters can travel
- Driver must stay as close to the right side of the roadway near the curb as is practical
- Scooters must be walked across crosswalks and not ridden
- Riding on sidewalks is strictly prohibited
- Scooters must not be parked on pathways, near ADA ramps, in front of driveways and crosswalks, at transit stops, along color-coded curbs, on landscaped areas, on sidewalks less than 3 feet in width, and more; further, there are specific parking zones for scooters in some sections of the city, namely in Venice Beach and Downtown
- All riders must ride solo on their scooters, and tandem riding or riding with passengers is not allowed
- Drivers must keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times to ensure safety and control
- Scooters must have white headlights on the front of the vehicle, red reflectors on the rear of the vehicle, and white or yellow reflectors on the sides of the vehicle (these requirements can be forgone if the reflectors and lights are on the rider, such as with vests or jackets)
- Handlebars must not go past the rider’s shoulders
- Scooters need kill switches that turn the motor off when the brakes are applied
- Riders must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Riders must not attach the scooter to other vehicles and be towed
As you can imagine, many of these regulations are outright ignored by riders. It is not uncommon to see young children riding the scooters with no helmets and for many people to travel on the sidewalk, often at excessive speeds. There are many opportunities for these individuals to be ticketed or fined, though, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation encourages others to report these riders for unsafe driving.
What kind of injuries can happen in scooter accidents?
Scooter accidents can happen in a number of ways. For one, they can occur when a rider is zooming somewhere on the sidewalk and hits a pedestrian, leading to serious injuries for the person not on the vehicle. Accidents can also occur when a rider is not visible to motor vehicles and cars on streets and he ends up being hit. Additionally, some scooters may be parked or lying on their sides on sidewalks and in driveways, which can cause people to trip and fall on them.
Some of the injuries that can occur include:
- Broken bones
- Muscle strains
- Nerve damage
- Facial injuries
- Closed head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Severed digits
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Herniated discs
These injuries can be caused by getting hit by a car, crashing into an open car door, getting hit by a scooter, falling from a scooter, driving a scooter over a crack or pothole, and more. If you have been hurt due to a negligent scooter rider, contact our law firm for more assistance.
What can I win in a scooter accident lawsuit?
If you have been hurt in a scooter accident, you could sue for compensation. You may be able to file a claim against the rider, the automobile driver, or even the scooter company. For instance, if the scooter was defective in some way, such as when the brakes fail to work or the lights break without warning, you could sue the manufacturer or the business. Our goal is to ensure that you are given the maximum compensation available for your lawsuit. We will strive to win you the following:
- Medical expenses from the past and future for surgery, hospitalization stay, ambulance transportation, medication and prescription drugs, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and more
- Property damage for your belongings that were lost or needed to be repaired or replaced
- Lost income from the time you could not return to your job, as well as future missed income if you could not work due to injury, recovery, treatment, and more
- Pain and suffering damages to cover mental trauma, anxiety, emotional distress, PTSD, and more
- Wrongful death damages in the event a loved one or family member dies in the incident, which can include funeral and burial fees, pre-death medical bills and pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of expected inheritance and savings, and more.
What is the deadline to file a scooter accident lawsuit?
In California, you have a 2 year statute of limitations to take legal action against a scooter rider or company if you were hurt in an accident. All personal injury claims must be filed within this deadline or you won’t be able to receive any coverage for your injuries. You could potentially have the statute of limitations extended, though. This is most common when victims are left incapacitate, and the statute will resume when they return to full health, or when victims are under 18 years old, and the state will begin when the victim turns legal age.
The Best Firm in Town
The Downtown LA Law Group has been handling scooter accidents from the time the scooters hit the streets of Los Angeles. We are always keenly aware and up to date regarding E-scooter regulations, and we pay careful attention to the different laws that are passed that affect riders. Our aggressive lawyers will fight tooth and nail for your rightful compensation if you hire us to help you with your accident claim.
For a free legal consultation, contact our law offices today. All consultations are confidential and we will answer any and all questions you may have. We will also give you more insight about our zero fee guarantee, which says that you won’t have to pay us any money yourself if you hire us. We will cover the costs of the case, and if we win, our fees come from the settlement we bring you from the scooter company. If we lose, we take no payment, and either way, your personal finances are never touched.
To learn more about current E-scooter regulations or electric scooter laws, get in touch with the Downtown LA Law Group. We can help you file a lawsuit if you were injured in a scooter accident.