Scooters are taking over the country. In fact, 30 major cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, now have mass scooter rentals services in place. However, many California cities are taking steps to ban scooter programs and use until companies do more to protect riders. Los Angeles ER doctors report seeing a rise in the number of scooter accident victims. Face injuries and head injuries are among the most frequently reported.
Why are scooter accidents happening so frequently in Los Angeles? There are two primary answers: negligence and defective products.
Negligence and Scooter Accidents in Los Angeles
When you share the road in Los Angeles you have an obligation to use caution and prevent harm. This is true whether you’re driving, walking, or even riding a bike. When you rent a scooter in Los Angeles, you also assume the duty to use care. Unfortunately, many scooter accidents happen because individuals sharing the road are being negligent.
Negligence occurs when someone has and breaches a duty of care that is owed to another person. Liability for negligence can attach when negligence causes an injury. Negligence that may contribute to scooter accidents in Los Angeles include:
- Drivers refusing to share the road with other vehicles
- Distracted drivers, riders, and/or pedestrians
- Intoxicated drivers, riders, and/or pedestrians
- Poorly maintained roads and sidewalks
- Scooter operators not obeying Los Angeles traffic laws and customs, or
- Scooter operators not understanding how to use the vehicle safely.
Shared Fault: Scooter victims may be entitled to recover compensation even if they share fault for their accident or injury. For example, scooter riders who do not wear protective gear may share some of the blame for the extent of their scooter accident injury. If someone else is also to blame they can recover some compensation. The amount of compensation that rider can recover will depend on how much of the accident was their fault. If they share 25 percent of the blame they will only be able to recover 75 percent of their damages. (Compensation reduced by own degree of fault.)
Defective Products and Los Angeles Scooter Accidents
At least one Los Angeles scooter victim is blaming the scooter company for his injuries. The man, who suffered a broken jaw, a fractured wrist, and permanent hearing damage in an accident, says that a “mechanical failure” with the scooter caused his accident. He has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the company and is demanding compensation from them.
In California, companies must do everything in their power to make sure that the products they put on the market are safe. If you are injured because of a defective product, you may be able to hold the company that designed, manufactured, or sold that product. In most cases, companies can be held strictly liable for your injuries. This means that you do not have to prove that the company was negligent or knew about a danger. There are three primary types of defective product claims: design, manufacture, and failure to warn.
Design: Defective design means that the product’s defect is inherent in its design. Examples could include calling for the wrong materials or miscalculating an important measurement.
Manufacture: Manufacturing defect mean that a product’s design is safe, but that the product became defective when it was actually created. Examples could include using the wrong materials or forgetting to install certain components of the item.
Failure to Warn: Companies have an obligation to warn consumers about known or reasonably anticipated product dangers. This is why so many products have warning labels and educational inserts.
Damages Available to Scooter Victims in Los Angeles
In California, accident victims are typically entitled to request both economic and non-economic damages. This is true regardless of whether your scooter accident claim is based on negligence or product liability. Economic damages deal with your financial losses, while non-economic damages deal with more personal injuries. Commonly awarded damages include those for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Temporary and/or permanent disability
- Embarrassment, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
The specific damages you will be able to receive will depend on the type and extent of your injuries.
Are you struggling with a painful injury? Do you want to learn more about your legal rights as an accident victim? Call our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.