LOS ANGELES, California. According to the Hollywood Reporter, as electric scooters become more popular in Los Angeles, the backlash against them grows. Critics say the scooters are unsafe because users ride them on sidewalks, putting pedestrians at risk. Others claim that there aren’t sufficient regulations in place to protect pedestrians, scooter users, and drivers. Supporters claim that the scooters offer a low-cost, low-emissions alternative to travel, but others claim that their introduce serious dangers to cities.
Scooter companies are highly profitable, with one company having achieved a billion dollar valuation. Yet, with the high profitability, comes greater scrutiny and criticism. There is a concern that scooters will clutter sidewalks, putting pedestrians at risk of collisions. Bird is one company that rents the scooters. Users find them convenient because they can rent them from stalls, and leave them on the sidewalk when they are done. However, this has also raised critiques that the scooters clutter downtown sidewalks. This can create a trip hazard for people walking and accessibility issues for the disabled.
The risk of electric scooter riders using the scooters while intoxicated is another problem.
One writer for the Los Angeles Times told about how she stopped riding the scooters after she was involved in an accident in which she hit her head. While some supporters of electric scooters claim they are safe as bikes, critics say otherwise. The fact that the scooters are electric allows them to accelerate much faster than a person could accelerate on their own. This can lead to accidents involving speed. The writer for the Los Angeles Times sought out people who had been injured in scooter accidents and found that some suffered serious injuries. One rider broke both arms and had to have pins and plates put in her arms. Her health insurance company passed the bill onto her car insurance company, but the car insurance company wouldn’t cover the accident because she was riding on a “two wheeled” vehicle.
While scooter users are required to wear helmets, it isn’t clear how this requirement can be enforced by the company, especially when people rent the scooters with their cell phones. The company requires users to be 18 and doesn’t permit riders to share a scooter, but these rules are broken all the time. After all, who is going to enforce them?
Some injured pedestrians and riders have considered suing the scooter company. Yet, some riders are concerned that they may have given up their right to sue the company by signing the user agreement. Others who were not riding the scooters but who were injured by riders may face challenges. The company might claim that the rider is to blame, while the rider might blame the company. The legal issues can get quite tangled.
Have you been injured while riding an electric scooter in Los Angeles? Have you been hurt by an electric scooter rider? What can you do to protect yourself? First of all, if you are hit by another person, get their name, contact information, and if you can, the scooter’s ID number.
Victims should consider reaching out to a personal injury lawyer, especially if they find themselves in a situation where their health insurance companies are passing the buck onto their car insurance, or vice versa. The Ledger Law Firm are car accident lawyers in Los Angeles, California who are watching how this new scooter trend might impact personal injury law and insurance claims. If you’ve been hurt in a traffic or pedestrian accident in Los Angeles, reach out to the Ledger Law Firm today.
 

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