There has been a surge in electric scooter and electric bicycle usage. Many people have started to use these as a way of transportation to school or to work. But, because electric scooters and bicycles are still fairly new, not many laws and restrictions exist. This then leads the way to many accidents, such as scooter and car accidents, scooter and truck accidents, scooter and bicycle accidents, and scooter and pedestrian accidents.

California and Nevada are two very populated states. They also have highly concentrated populations in big cities, such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Electric scooters offer a great eco-friendly way to get around town without being worried about parking inconvenience. But, in the event that someone who is writing an electric scooter is injured because of a negligent party, California and Nevada law both allow the victim to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. A highly rated attorney is needed because it could get very complicated when trying to prove liability.

What is an electric scooter?

Under the California Vehicle Code, an electric scooter is defined as a means of transportation that has an electric motor, handlebars, and a floorboard for the rider to stand on top of.

California Electric Scooter Laws

  • Those who are under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when riding an electric scooter. The helmets must be suitable for riding.  Those above the age of 18 do not need to wear a helmet. 
  • Each county in California and Nevada have different speed limits on how fast an electric scooter could go depending on the road conditions. For example, at a majority of places in California, an electric scooter cannot go above 15 mph.
  • Electric scooters cannot just be parked anywhere. They should be parked at designated scooter and bicycle areas.
  • Electric scooters do not need to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • If you are riding a rideshare electric scooter, you must follow the rideshare company’s specific private rules, which may be more extensive than California vehicle codes.
  • Two riders cannot ride on the same electric scooter. This means no tandem writing.
  • E-scooters cannot be on sidewalks. However, there are rideshare electric scooter companies like Lime and Bird that have specific points of drop off. Some of these points may be at the corners of sidewalks.
  • Those with a driver’s license could ride an electric scooter.
  • Those with a learner’s permit issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles could ride an electric scooter.
  • Electric scooters cannot be on a crosswalk. Those riding an electric scooter are encouraged to hop off the scooter and walk their scooter across the crosswalk.
  • Electric scooters must follow all rules of the road similar to vehicles.
  • Electric scooter riders cannot be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They could be charged with DUI since an electric scooter is considered a motor vehicle.

Electric scooter laws vary by municipality, county, city, and even state. For more information, give us a call today. Our California and Nevada personal injury attorneys are well versed in electric scooter laws and vehicle codes to make sure our clients seek the Justice they need.

Who is responsible for an electric scooter accident in California?

Unfortunately, electric scooter accidents are common and could lead to severe injuries since those riding an electric scooter could get thrown off. it is very important that Riders follow all necessary traffic laws. There are several parties that could be held responsible, including:

  • Other vehicle drivers: usually, drivers are the ones at fault in an electric scooter accident since they may not see the electric scooter when making a turn, at a stop sign, at an intersection, etc.
  • Rideshare electric scooter company: if the electric scooter rider was injured because of the electric scooter, then the rideshare company, such as Bird or Lime could be held responsible. Rideshare companies have a duty to make sure that all their electric scooters are well maintained. This means that all wheels, motors, and handlebars should constantly be checked for safety.
  • Government entity: sometimes, road conditions could cause electric scooter accidents. Since scooters are a lot closer to the ground than bicycles, dips on the road could lead to severe accidents. In that event, the rider could hold the government entity responsible for road maintenance and repairs. 
  • Other pedestrians: pedestrians also have several rules they must follow. Although jaywalking is now considered legal in California, pedestrians must stay out of the way of oncoming vehicles. 

What should I do if I am involved in an electric scooter accident in California?

  1. First, you must make sure that you are safe. This means that if you need immediate medical assistance, call 911. If you are in the way of other oncoming vehicles, make sure that you move to the side to prevent any more accidents.
  2. Call the police for an incident report. When the police arrive on scene, they usually generate an incident or accident report. In this report, it could specify who the parties are and the party’s contact information.
  3. Take photos of where the electric scooter accident occurred. Take photos of any vehicle damage or electric scooter damage.
  4. Exchange contact information with the other parties involved. 
  5. During this time, you should make sure that you get the medical care you need. Usually, after victims are involved in an accident, whether it be a pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, car accident, etc., they are afraid of seeking the medical help they need because they may not be able to afford it. This is where our top-rated personal injury attorneys come in. Our attorneys hold negligent parties responsible so victims can get their damages reimbursed.

Legal Considerations for Electric Scooter Accidents

Navigating the legal landscape after an electric scooter accident requires understanding specific laws and regulations pertaining to scooter usage. Personal injury claims following scooter accidents involve determining negligence, which requires proving that the party at fault owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused the injuries due to their breach. Lawyers specializing in scooter accidents can aid in navigating these complex issues and exploring all avenues for compensation, including dealing with insurance companies and litigating against responsible parties. This process often involves a thorough investigation of the accident scene, police reports, witness statements, and expert testimony regarding road conditions or vehicle functionality.

Impact of Electric Scooter Accidents on Urban Traffic Law Enforcement

As electric scooters become more common in urban areas, their impact on traffic congestion, safety, and law enforcement practices have been significant. Municipalities have been tasked with adjusting regulations governing vehicle use on city streets to accommodate scooters, while ensuring safety for all road users. This includes updating traffic signals and signs, designating parking areas for scooters, and implementing public awareness campaigns about road safety concerning scooters. Law enforcement agencies must also adjust their strategies and training to address issues like scooter-related DUIs and traffic violations effectively, maintaining a delicate balance between fostering innovative transportation solutions and ensuring public safety.

Common Asked Questions

What are common causes of electric scooter accidents?

Electric scooter accidents are often caused by visibility issues, where drivers may fail to notice scooters due to their smaller size and speed. Poor road conditions such as potholes and uneven surfaces can also cause riders to lose control. Additionally, mechanical failures due to improper maintenance, and collisions with pedestrians or other vehicles are frequent causes.

How is liability determined in an electric scooter accident in California?

Liability in electric scooter accidents depends on the specific circumstances of the incident. If a driver or another rider caused the accident due to negligence, such as running a red light or improper lane changes, they could be held liable. If the scooter malfunctioned due to poor maintenance by a rental company, the company could be responsible. In cases where road conditions contributed to the accident, the city or local government could be liable.

Can a rider be at fault in an electric scooter accident?

Yes, a rider can be at fault in an electric scooter accident. If the rider was violating traffic laws, such as speeding, riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or riding recklessly, they could be held responsible for the accident. Riders need to adhere to all applicable road rules to avoid being liable in the event of an accident.

What types of compensation can be pursued in electric scooter accident claims?

Victims of electric scooter accidents can seek several types of compensation including medical expenses for injuries sustained, costs for scooter repair or replacement, lost wages if the injury affects their ability to work, and pain and suffering. In cases of severe negligence, punitive damages might also be awarded.

What should someone do immediately after being involved in an electric scooter accident?

After an electric scooter accident, it is crucial to first ensure your safety and that of others around you. Contact emergency services if there are any injuries. Document the scene by taking photographs of the area, your injuries, and damages to the scooter and other vehicles involved. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties, and report the accident to the police to obtain an official report.

Are there special laws pertaining to rideshare electric scooters?

Yes, in addition to general electric scooter laws, rideshare electric scooters often have additional regulations set by the rental companies and local jurisdictions. These can include specific areas for pickup and drop-off, maintenance standards, and usage tracking. Users must comply with both the state laws and the terms provided by the rental service.

What role does helmet use play in electric scooter safety and accident claims?

Helmet use is crucial in reducing the risk of head injuries in scooter accidents. California law requires riders under the age of 18 to wear helmets while riding electric scooters. While adults are not mandated to wear helmets, doing so can significantly lessen the severity of injuries in a crash and positively influence the outcome of personal injury claims.

How do bad road conditions affect liability in electric scooter accidents?

Bad road conditions can shift liability for an electric scooter accident towards the entity responsible for road maintenance, typically a government body. If it can be proven that the accident resulted directly from such conditions as large potholes or unmarked construction, and that these hazards were known yet not addressed, the government entity could be held liable.

What evidence is critical in proving fault in an electric scooter accident?

Important evidence in electric scooter accident claims includes photos or videos of the accident scene, eyewitness accounts, police accident reports, medical records detailing the injuries, and, if applicable, records of any previous complaints or problems with the scooter. In some cases, expert testimony by accident recreation specialists might be necessary.

Can weather conditions impact an electric scooter accident claim?

Yes, weather conditions like rain, fog, or ice can impact visibility and road grip, influencing scooter accidents. If an accident occurs due to weather conditions, the rider’s responsibility might be considered in terms of choosing to ride in unsafe weather, while other parties may still hold partial liability depending on the circumstances.

Could I receive compensation for my electric scooter accident?

If your electric scooter accident was caused by another negligent party, you could hold the negligent party responsible for a variety of damages. this could include:

  • Damage to your electric scooter: the negligent party may have to pay for repairs or replacement costs for the scooter.
  • Medical bills: the negligent party may have to pay for your medical bills and expenses associated with treating the accident injuries.
  • Wages: the negligent party may have to pay for your lost wages from work.
  • Emotional distress: the negligent party may have to pay for pain and suffering expenses you had to go through from the accident injuries. 

If you have experienced any other damages, feel free to tell our attorneys. Each electric scooter accident is different, and so we highly recommend that you set up a one-on-one case evaluation. 

Electric Scooter  Accident Attorney Near Me

Have you been injured on an electric scooter? Call us to see how we can help you! Electric scooter laws are still fairly new, and so not many accident attorneys have the experience necessary to defend such lawsuits. 

Give us a call today to see how we can hold the responsible parties liable for your injuries. We have extensive experience, along with relationships with medical experts and accident reconstruction experts to help you get the legal care you need.