You may have noticed lately that Los Angeles is awash in electric scooters. Companies like Bird, Lime, Jump, and Spin have made their way into our area with dockless e-scooters, a transit alternative that lets people use a phone app to find, unlock, and use scooters, then drop them off wherever they’re allowed – no docking station or kiosk required.
They can be an innovative and “green” way to move around the city, but they’re already controversial after only a few months. People are complaining of reckless operators, injuries, and the fact that many e-scooter drivers aren’t aware of the inherent dangers and risks that come with operating these electric vehicles.
Definition of “electric scooter”
E-scooters don’t have their own classification in Los Angeles. They fall under the category of motorized scooters. You must have a valid driver’s license to use a motorized scooter.
To be classified as an electric or motorized scooter, the vehicle must have:
- Two wheels
- A motor
- A floorboard for the rider to stand on while operating the scooter
Common reasons scooter accidents occur
Even though e-scooter claims are still relatively new, we are already seeing common factors regarding accidents and injuries, including:
- Riders too young to operate a scooter
- Failure to use the proper safety gear
- Using scooters in crowded public spaces or sidewalks
- Leaving scooters on sidewalks or streets, causing tripping hazards
- Riding more than one person on a scooter
- Road hazards, like potholes, gravel, or debris
- Lack of visibility because of the scooter’s small size
- Driving a scooter while intoxicated
California Vehicle Code Section 21235 states that all motorized scooter operators must:
- Wear a helmet
- Have a valid driver’s license or instruction permit
- Only operate the scooter without any passengers
- Not abandon scooters on sidewalks or areas with pedestrian traffic
California Vehicle Code Section 21223 states that a motorized scooter must have a front light and rear reflectors if it will be used at night.
Who is liable for my electric scooter accident?
As with any personal injury case, liability for an e-scooter accident, depends on who was at fault. But generally, any of the following parties could be liable if they’re found to be responsible:
- E-scooter riders
- Car or truck drivers
- Businesses or cities (premises liability)
- Electric scooter companies (product liability)
If you were involved in an accident with an electric or motorized scooter, contact the experienced Los Angeles attorneys at Taylor Ring. We will protect your rights to compensation and help ensure the responsible party is held accountable for your injuries and losses. Call us today at 310.776.6390 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.