Article Updated: August 4, 2021
We are intimately familiar with e-scooters, and personally know people in Silicon Valley who were involved with e-scooters when they were in the startup and investor phases.
Unfortunately, e-scooter companies followed an act now and ask later philosophy. Their plan, which has gone mostly unabated, was to flood the market with scooters and deal with issues of liability down the road. Thus far, those liability issues have not caught up with them.
Very few e-scooter accidents provide an opportunity for the injured claimant to achieve a successful compensation claim. That said, each accident is unique. Based on how the collision happened, where it happened, and why it happened, it is worth having a skilled injury lawyer review the case in search of potential sources of recovery.
If you were injured in an e-scooter accident, call the Injury Advocates Group and ask what our legal team can do to help advocate for your claim. Read below to understand the full scope of liability, insurance, and potential claims related to e-scooter accidents.
Table of Contents
- Who Has to Pay for an E-Scooter Accident?
- Can I Sue an E-Scooter Company?
- How Soon Can I Get Money from an E-Scooter Case?
Are E-Scooter’s Dangerous?
According to research published by the Insurance Journal, e-scooters can reach 15 mph, but less than 5 percent of riders wear helmets. This presents a substantial danger to anyone riding an e-scooter. This also explains why approximately 40% of drivers of e-scooters who were injured suffered head injuries, and approximately 32% suffered broken bones.
The e-scooter drivers are not the only people injured. Pedestrians are common victims of e-scooter accidents. One e-scooter lawsuit concerned a 7 year old boy who had an e-scooter ram into him from behind. That e-scooter accident damaged the 7 year old pedestrian’s 8 front teeth and he had to get his lip stitched back together.
In 2019 alone, there were over 27,000 emergency department visits involving e-scooters. As e-scooter related death tolls and injuries mount up, pressure from cities and local governments is growing to ensure victims of e-scooter accidents can be compensated for their injuries. In the interim, some cities, such as Washington, D.C., have limited the number of e-scooters that are allowed in the city.
Who Has to Pay for an E-Scooter Accident?
Do E-Scooters Provide Insurance for Their Riders?
No, e-scooters do not provide insurance for their drivers the way that rental cars do. This means that there is no guaranteed minimum insurance coverage available if an e-scooter causes an accident.
Can I Make a Claim Against the Insurance of an E-Scooter Rider?
No, most likely not. In many situations, a person’s vehicle insurance will provide liability protection in they cause an accident, even if they are not driving one of their insured vehicles. That liability protection rarely extends to e-scooters.
Can I Sue an E-Scooter Rider Who Caused an Accident?
Yes, you can sue an e-scooter driver who caused an accident. In a traditional vehicle lawsuit, you sue the driver who caused the accident but you recover the money from that person’s insurance company.
However, because e-scooters do not provide insurance for their drivers, and the e-scooter driver’s personal vehicle insurance does provide liability protection, you could win your lawsuit but not have anywhere to enforce that judgment and recover any money.
In rare circumstances, you could recover money in an e-scooter accident case if the e-scooter driver purchased separate liability coverage for operation of the e-scooter, or if the e-scooter operator is personally wealthy or has assets that would compel a voluntary settlement.
If you believe a person who injured you in an e-scooter accident could have money from which a settlement or judgment can be recovered, call or write us for a free case evaluation.
Can I Sue an E-Scooter Company?
Can I Sue the E-Scooter Company if I was Driving an E-Scooter?
Maybe, it depends on the accident. If you were driving the e-scooter, then by using it you agreed to an arbitration clause that prevents you from suing the e-scooter company.
Can I Sue the E-Scooter Company if I was Hit by an E-Scooter?
If you were a passenger on the e-scooter, a pedestrian struck by the e-scooter, or another motorist hit by an e-scooter, you may have a viable case against the e-scooter company if the e-scooter malfunctioned and that’s what caused the accident. Because you did not sign any arbitration clause, your claim is not limited by any agreement that the e-scooter driver signed before being allowed to rent or use it.
These cases do happen, and they cause very serious injuries. In an official report published in August of 2020, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Division of Hazard Analysis discovered 16 incidents where brake problems lead to e-scooter accidents. If an e-scooter hurt you in an accident and you were not the e-scooter driver, call us to evaluate your case.
Can I sue the E-Scooter Manufacturer?
Yes, although a product liability lawsuit against an e-scooter manufacturer would have similar hurdles as suing an e-scooter company. The most well known manufacturers are Segway, Inc., who manufacturers Lime e-scooters, and Xiaomi USA Inc., who manufactures Bird e-scooters.
What 3 Things Should I Do if I Want to Sue an E-Scooter Company?
If there is an indication that the accident happened because the e-scooter malfunctioned, you should these three things immediately:
- call 911, report the incident to the police, and ask if the police would maintain custody of the e-scooter
- call a lawyer and report the incident, you may have a product liability case
- maintain possession of the e-scooter while you contact the e-scooter company to report the defective product
You cannot skip step two, because a lawyer needs to work with the e-scooter company to ensure the e-scooter that caused your accident is preserved for inspection and not altered or modified in any way.
How Soon Can I Get Money from an E-Scooter Case?
How Fast Can I Settle E-Scooter Case Against E-Scooter Company?
If you pursue an e-scooter case against Lime, Bird, Bolt, Razor, Spin, or any other e-scooter company, your case will take several years to complete. These are product liability cases. They will be aggressively fought by the e-scooter companies, the e-scooter manufacturers, and any device component manufacturers whose parts were made to develop the e-scooter.
How Fast Can I Settle E-Scooter Case Against an E-Scooter Driver?
A lawsuit against an e-scooter driver is a standard vehicle accident case. Depending on the jurisdiction and how much money you are making a claim for, the case could take six months to resolve from the date of the accident or three or more years.
E-Scooter Accident Q&A
Are E-scooters dangerous?
Yes, E-scooters can be dangerous for many reasons including the potential of being involved in an accident on the scooter as well as the potential of a vehicular accident. Additionally, there can also be an accident with the scooter itself malfunctioning.
What kinds of accidents can an E-scooter cause?
Common accidents include the E-scooter malfunctioning, breaking down or even catching fire. There are also accidents in which a person falls or crashes while using an E-scooter. There can also be an accident with another scooter or a vehicle.
Are E-scooter injuries dangerous?
They can range from mild to serious and lifelong depending on the specifics of the accident itself. These scooters can lead to broken bones or brain injuries or back and neck injuries as well.
Who do I sue in the case of an E-scooter accident?
In the case of an accident involving an E-scooter, the party that you sue will depend on the specifics of an accident and can include the manufacturer of the E-scooter or the vehicles that you are involved in the accident with.
Should I contact an attorney?
Yes, navigating who to sue and whether that claim is viable is confusing in these cases and the best way to maximize your settlement, or find out if you can even recover anything, will be to have the help of an attorney.
Los Angeles Lawyers to Help with Your E-Scooter Accident
Depending on why the e-scooter accident happened, you may have a claim. Class action lawsuits against e-scooter companies and manufacturers are one of several avenues that can be pursued, and are cases for which you must have a lawyer.
Because of arbitration clauses and insurance limitations related to e-scooter claims, you will need a lawyer to help with these claims.
Call, email, or message us using the contact form below, 24/7, for your free consultation with our Los Angeles lawyers. Even if you are outside of L.A., you could benefit from calling our experienced legal team.
About the Author
Article Author: This law article was written by attorney Ray Benyamin, Esquire. Mr. Benyamin received his Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and his license to practice law from the State Bar of California. His law license number is 277263. He has been practicing law for 10 years. Mr. Benyamin is a registered member of the following legal organizations: Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Mr. Benyamin has personally helped his clients recover over $10,000,000 in vehicle accident insurance claims in the State of California.
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