- The Scooter-Share Industry
- Statistics on Scooter Accidents
- Common Scooter-Related Injuries
- The Most Common Types of Scooter Accidents
- Scooter Accidents Due to Pot-Holes and Poor Road Conditions
- Scooter Accidents Due to Poor Scooter Maintenance
- Safety Information
- Who is Liable for Lime and Bird Scooter Injuries?
- The Right to File a Claim after an Accident Caused by a Pothole
- Understanding Insurance Coverage
- What is the Value of Your Claim?
- What Should You Do?
- Contact Our Law Firm Today
The Scooter-Share IndustryThe scooter-share industry has only been around for a few years – but it has already proved to be successful. The scooter-share industry is primarily focused on last-mile transportation. Over the short time that electric scooters have been available to riders in popular cities. Lime was founded in San Francisco, California in January 2017 as a bicycle-share company; eventually, Lime introduced their scooters. Lime is available in major cities in many states throughout the U.S. In California, specifically, Lime is available in all of the following cities: Culver City, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Monica, and South Lake Tahoe. Bird was founded in Santa Monica, California in April 2017- a scooter-share company from the start. In the U.S., Bird is available to riders in over 80 cities, some of which include coastal Californian cities. These scooter companies have been proven popular among people of all ages – as they are affordable to rent, easy to ride, and fun to use. At times, however, the industry’s success has been overshadowed by the overwhelming number of accidents involving electric scooters.
Statistics on Scooter AccidentsStatistics show that there have been more than 1,500 scooter-related accidents in the past year throughout the United States. Shortly after electric scooters emerged, a study began in Southern California (information about the study is available through JAMA Network). The study focused on two hospitals near these scooter “hot-spots” and evaluated information made available through these hospitals during a one-year timeframe. During this time, there were almost 250 patients admitted to these hospitals after scooter-related accidents. The majority of these patients, approximately 80%, suffered injuries after falling from their scooters. Approximately 11% of these patients were involved in accidents after colliding with another object. Because scooter accidents are relatively new types of accidents, it is possible that the numbers available are inaccurate; after all, many hospitals still don’t collect information on these types of accidents. If you would like to further review data on scooter accidents, do not hesitate to seek the assistance of an expert on scooter accidents.
Common Scooter-Related InjuriesAlthough scooter accidents are very specific types of accidents, the types of injuries that victims could suffer are similar to other types of personal injury accidents. Some of the most common types of injuries possible after scooter accidents might include hand and wrist injuries as well as foot and ankle injuries. Other common injuries might include head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (especially considering that most people that ride scooters do not wear helmets). Other injuries that the parties involved in scooter accidents might suffer include but are not limited to the following: broken bones, neck injuries, back injuries, shoulder injuries, hip injuries, pelvic injuries, knee injuries, bruises, and lacerations, for example. These injuries vary significantly on severity of the accident.
The Most Common Types of Scooter AccidentsThere are a variety of reasons that could lead to scooter accident. In most cases, the causes behind accidents are directly related to the action or lack of action of a particular party. The majority of scooter accidents are usually associated with at least one of the following: (1) drivers exercising recklessness and failing to exercise caution when driving near scooter riders; (2) scooter riders recklessly putting themselves at risk. Whether drivers are not giving scooter riders enough space when passing or scooter riders are weaving in and out of traffic, these actions could lead to accidents. Likewise, if either drivers or riders are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their actions could cause accidents.
Scooter Accidents Due to Pot-Holes and Poor Road ConditionsAs mentioned above, scooter accidents can happen for a number of reasons. In most cases, accidents occur because a party does something reckless, in turn failing to use reasonable caution. Although we might expect normal people to have lapses in judgment, we never expect formal entities, like counties, cities, and transportation agencies to be contribute to the causes of scooter accidents. How can these entities be negligent and contribute to scooter accidents? Counties, cities, and transportation agencies are usually liable for keeping up with certain road conditions. They must ensure that the roads are safe for the use of drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians – and now scooter riders. Overall, these entities must ensure that all roads are properly maintained to prevent any sort of personal injury accident. Scooters are two-wheel vehicles; therefore, they can be easily thrown off balance. Potholes, in specific, have proven to be dangerous for scooter riders. When hitting a pothole, scooters and their riders could fall or lose control – leading to an even more dangerous collision. Potholes appear in road surfaces usually to normal wear; in many cases, potholes appear after heavy rain, as water can severely affect road surfaces.
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.Without a doubt, potholes are not directly caused by the reckless actions of specific parties. However, the specific parties mentioned above are responsible for filling potholes as soon as possible to ensure that the potholes do not represent a hazard for any parties on the road. The parties liable for addressing potholes are often slow to act, however. Even if they receive multiple reports on the same pothole, it might take a few days for it to be filled. If it can take a dangerous length of time for potholes to be filled when they directly affect drivers, it makes sense that potholes closer to the curb (that don’t’ really affect drivers) are often ignored for long periods of time. Electric scooters available through Bird and Lime are supposed to be ridden on the road, as close to the curb as possible. When riding scooters in this way, riders are vulnerable to potholes near the curb. Because they are often invisible from a distance and because riders have very little to no space to avoid potholes, they are likely to ride right into them. This can cause them to suddenly fall or even to lose control of the scooter, creating a dangerous situation for all parties involved.
Scooter Accidents Due to Poor Scooter MaintenanceFor many people riding Lime or Bird scooters, a pothole might just be a minor inconvenience. It might cause the scooter to lose balance, or it might cause them to lose control of the scooter for a moment. Some riders are able to bring the scooter to a stop after hitting a pothole. To effectively bring a scooter to a stop before a collision after hitting a pothole, the brakes have to work effectively. Both Lime and Bird recommend that riders perform quick safety checks prior to starting a ride. This safety check includes a check of the brakes, ensuring that they are functional. As consumers, however, we trust that the products that we are going to use are functional – why else would they be available for us to use? This is a mistake that many scooter riders have made in the past. They do not check their brakes because they assume that they are functional; when they have to make a sudden stop, however, they realize that the brakes are faulty and end up suffering an accident. If riders that hit potholes do not have functioning brakes, they can be in serious danger. Why would a scooter have faulty brakes? According to Lime and Bird, their scooters can only be maintained/repaired by so-called qualified scooter technicians. This might seem like these scooter-share companies have a team of trained professionals ready to tackle all mechanical problems that their scooters might have; however, this is far from the truth. In this specific hypothetical scenario, the events that led to the accident started with the scooter mechanic creating and failing to address a dangerous hazard. Then, the rider hit a pothole – another hazard that was not addressed and corrected. The rider was then unable to avoid a collision due to the defective brakes. In this case, both the pothole and the faulty brakes led to the accident.
Safety InformationBoth Lime and Bird encourage rider safety in many ways. Although they have no way to enforce their safety guidelines, they have made safety recommendations available through their apps and on their websites. Some of these safety recommendations include the following: follow all helmet laws; park scooters appropriately; conduct safety checks before riding; use brakes appropriately; remain cautious of obstructions on roads; use hand signals when appropriate; follow all traffic signals and laws. Although Bird and Lime can encourage safety, they cannot do anything to enforce their recommendations. Some of these recommendations are reinforced by state laws. In addition to the safety recommendations available through Bird and Scooter, there are a number of laws that are designed to keep riders safe. Consider some of the following rules established by Californian law:
- Riders must wear helmets.
- Scooters must not be ridden on sidewalks.
- Scooters cannot surpass speeds of 15 miles per hour.
- On roads with speed limits higher than 25 mph, scooters must be ridden in bike lanes.
- On roads with speed limits less than 25 mph, scooters can be ridden on the street.
- Riders must always keep as close as possible to the right curb when riding the scooter on the street (there are exceptions).
- Riders must possess a valid license.
Who is Liable for Lime and Bird Scooter Injuries?In general, liability for these types of accident falls back on the party that directly caused the accident. If the accident was caused by the reckless actions of a driver, the driver would likely be liable, for example. If the accident was caused by the reckless actions of the scooter rider, the rider would likely be liable for the accident and for the injuries that he or she suffered, for example. In these cases, liability is usually straightforward.
Find out more about how we can help you. CHAT LIVE with a representative now.Who is responsible for Lime and Bird scooter injuries if the accident was caused by a pothole? Depending on the specific situation, potholes must be addressed by the county, the city, or by transportation agencies. If you hit a pothole and suffered an accident in the city of Los Angeles, for example, the city of Los Angeles might be liable for the harm suffered. This is specifically due to the fact that the city is responsible for maintaining roads. If they fail to address the hazard posed by a pothole, they could be held accountable for failing to take action to fill the pothole. You hit a pothole, but you find that the brakes are not working when you try to come to a stop to avoid a collision. You cannot avoid a collision because of the faulty brakes. In this case, who is liable? Without a doubt, the city or other responsible party could be partially liable for the accident. Would the scooter-share company also be liable due to the faulty brakes that contributed to the accident and the harm suffered? Without a doubt, both Bird and Lime could face liability under these circumstances. If you are unsure about liability in terms of your scooter accident, it is important that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible – as the liable party might affect the length of time that you have to take action after your scooter accident. For more information surrounding liability for scooter accidents, do not hesitate to contact our law firm at your earliest convenience.
Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.
The Right to File a Claim after an Accident Caused by a PotholeDo you have the right to file a claim after you were involved in a scooter accident? If your scooter accident was caused by a pothole, you will definitely have the right to pursue a claim – against both the city/county and Lime/Bird. Undoubtedly, you will have grounds to pursue a claim against the city or county due to the fact that they negligently failed to address the hazard that the pothole represented. Although your right to file a claim against the city or county for a pothole-related accident might be clear, it could be more difficult to establish your right to pursue a claim against a scooter-share company (since they have to connection to the pothole that caused your accident). Based on Lime and Bird’s policy, however, accidents that are in no way caused by the rider might be covered (under very certain circumstances). If your accident was caused by a pothole and faulty brakes, you could pursue claims against both entities. If you would like to learn more about your right to file a claim after a scooter accident, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
Understanding Insurance CoverageAre Bird and Lime insured? Although there is a lack of information readily available online regarding the insurance coverage for these scooter-share companies, insurance coverage is available. Lime and Bird are self-insured; this means that they are accept all financial responsibility for injury claims that are filed against their companies. Lime and Bird are insured; however, that does not mean that they are ready and willing to pay injured victims for their damages. Bird and Lime will only cover injuries that were not directly caused by the negligent actions of the riders. In other words, injuries caused by reckless and negligent actions on the riders’ part will not be covered under the scooter-share insurance. Were you completely blameless for the accident that you suffered? Whether you accident was caused by a pothole and made worse by faulty brakes, you will likely be covered under Bird or Lime’s insurance coverage. Although you might be covered under Lime or Bird’s insurance company, the payout you receive will primarily come from the liable government agency. If you would like to learn more about the insurance that might cover the damages suffered in your scooter accident, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
What is the Value of Your Claim?Without a doubt, you have the right to pursue a claim after suffering a personal injury accident surrounding a Bird or Lime scooter and a pothole. Depending on the specific details of your claim, you might also be eligible to recover compensation for the damages that you suffered. What type of compensation could you receive? How much compensation are you entitled to recover? Depending on the specific details surrounding the claim, you and your family might be eligible to recover compensation for all or some of the following: medical expenses; lost wages; pain and suffering; property damage; punitive damages. If the accident resulted in a fatality, surviving family members might be compensated for funeral and burial expenses as well as the loss of consortium. The specific type and amount of compensation that you are eligible to receive depends on the specific details of your claim; because of that, it is essential that your claim is thoroughly evaluated by expert attorneys. In general, the more severe the effect of the scooter accident had on you and the way you live your life results in a higher case value. If you would like to learn about the potential value of your claim and the type/amount of compensation that you might be eligible to receive, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. You deserve to receive the maximum amount of compensation available for your claim.
What Should You Do?What should you after suffering a scooter accident surrounding either a Bird scooter or a Lime scooter? There are quite a number of things that you should do to ensure that you can eventually pursue a claim. Without a doubt, victims do not immediately think of filing a claim after being involved in an accident. Some immediate thoughts might be to seek medical attention, to report the accident, or to inform family members, for example. Pursuing a claim might not be the first thing or your mind, but the actions that you take immediately after your accident should keep in mind the possibility of eventually pursuing a claim. Because of that, we recommend that the victims of personal injury accidents keep the following steps in mind immediately after their accidents:
- Seek medical attention as soon as you can. Depending on the severity of the injuries suffered, you might need emergency care or might be able to postpone treatment for a few hours. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, it is important that you seek medical care. Seeking medical care ensures that your injuries are recorded and connected to your accident.
- Take photos of your injuries. If your injuries are visible, you should photograph your injuries. This will be solid evidence of the injuries that you suffered due to the accident. You should also photograph your injuries after receiving treatment as well as after your injuries have healed.
- Photograph the scene of the accident. You should photograph the entire scene of the accident. You should photograph the damage sustained by the vehicles involved (including the scooters). You should take these photographs before the scene of the accident is altered in any way. If your scooter accident was caused by a pothole, you will need to take photos of the pothole (preferably immediately after the accident before the pothole is filled).
- Gather information of all the parties involved in the accident. If any other parties were involved in your accident, you will need to gather their information. If your accident was caused by a pothole, you will need to determine the entity liable for maintaining the roads free of potholes. Usually such entities might be counties, cities, or transportation agencies.
- Gather witness information. If there were any witnesses to your accident, you should collect their information, including their names and phone numbers. In most cases, witness testimonies are what drive accident cases to successful outcomes.
- File an accident report. You should contact the local authorities to file an accident report. The police report will be an essential piece of evidence for your claim.
- Contact the scooter company to report the accident. You will need to contact either Lime or Bird to report the accident. Although you must report the accident, you must be cautious with the information that you make available. Anything you reveal to the scooter-share companies could be used against you.
- Contact a scooter accident attorney. Before you choose an attorney, you might have to contact multiple law firms to ensure that you choose the right attorney to handle your claim. When choosing an attorney, do not be afraid to ask questions to verify that your attorney has the experience necessary to handle your claim effectively.
Filing a Scooter Accident Claim within the Statute of LimitationsAlthough you have the right to pursue a Lime or Bird scooter accident claim, you could lose this right if you fail to take action within the appropriate length of time. All claims are subject to a statute of limitations – a deadline that establishes the time that victims have to file their claims. In general, personal injury claims are subject to a strict two-year statute of limitations. For example, when the accident suffered was caused by the negligent actions of a scooter mechanic who failed to properly address a hazard (and subsequently the negligent actions of Lime/Bird for failing to properly train their mechanics), the victims of scooter accidents will have two years to pursue their claims. Is this 2-year statute of limitations applicable when the accident was caused by a pothole? When scooter accidents are caused by potholes, the statute of limitations is different, however. In cases in which the scooter accidents were caused by the failure to address potholes, injured victims could pursue claims against the city, the county or specific agencies, for instance. These claims are considered government claims – and they are subject to very strict timelines.
Top-Rated Santa Monica Scooter Lawyers – (213) 389-3765Government claims must be filed within 6 months of suffering the injury. After filing the government claim, the government will have a total of 45 days to respond to your claim. If the government agency responds with a denial of your claim within the 45 days, you will have a short 6-month-period to file a lawsuit. If you do not receive a rejection notice for your claim, you will have 2 years to file a lawsuit. Although it is possible to have 2-years to file your claim, you should never make any assumptions about the time you have to pursue your claim. Because of that, it is essential that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible.