E-Scooters: Who Is Responsible When There’s an Accident?
Allocating Liability for E-Scooter Injuries
E-scooter and dockless scooters are rapidly becoming a common site on the roadways across California, after some initial concerns by a number of municipalities. Earlier this year, Los Angeles County dropped its order to remove from public streets, and other local governments have started to follow suit. Unanswered, though, is the key question—who pays when someone is injured in an e-scooter/dockless scooter accident?
If you’ve rented one of the scooters using your phone, you know that there’s a lengthy waiver that you are supposed to read before getting on the motorized bikes. That would seem to imply that most, if not all, of the responsibility falls on the rider. While digitally signing the waiver may impose some responsibility on the rider, there are always exceptions to the rule:
- The negligence of others — Simply signing a waiver does not make you absolutely liable for any injury you suffer. If, for example, you can prove that your injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, that person can be held accountable. For example, if the scooter was not properly maintained, you can still bring a lawsuit against the company that provided the scooter, regardless of a waiver. In addition, if a homeowner or business owner leaves debris in the road, causing an accident, you may be able to recover damages from that party.
- Poorly maintained roadways — What if you hit a patch of loose gravel or lose control of the scooter after hitting a pothole? The rules vary from municipality to municipality, but you may be able to bring legal action against the local government for negligence.
Concerns about liability for injuries have led to a new and burgeoning market for trip insurance, where scooter renters can opt to pay an additional fee for coverage for losses.
Contact Weber & Nierenberg
At Weber & Nierenberg, we offer over 30 years of combined legal experience to people who have been hurt in e-scooter/dockless scooter accidents in California. We will take the time to learn the details of your accident, as well as your needs, so that we can tailor our counsel to get the outcome you seek. Contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 1-866-288-6010 to talk with an experienced California motorcycle/scooter accident lawyer. Your first meeting is without cost.