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Who Is Liable for Injuries Caused by Electric Bird Scooters?

Posted in Pedestrian Accidents,Personal Injury on August 1, 2018

A recent phenomenon to hit the Los Angeles area is the proliferation of rideshare scooters. Apps like “Bird” allow a user to pay per minute to rent a Bird scooter, and once he or she arrives at the destination, the user simply leaves the Bird scooter on the ground for another user. After a ride, the Bird scooter locks until another Bird app user pays for a ride and unlocks it. While this sounds like an environmentally friendly and progressive answer to public transportation and traffic congestion, in practice these Bird scooters are causing many people problems.

How Do Bird Scooter Accidents Happen?

Both Bird app users and other pedestrians in Los Angeles face several risks due to negligent Bird scooter practices. Some people have suffered tripping and falling injuries from Bird scooters left on walking paths. Bird scooter users have suffered severe injuries from colliding with passing cars. Although the app tells users to wear a safety helmet, and California law requires helmets on motorized scooters, many Bird users neglect to wear helmets. Some of the most common types of Bird scooter accidents include:

  • Accidents involving scooter riders hitting pedestrians
  • Accidents involving cars hitting scooter riders
  • Pedestrian injuries from tripping and falling over inactive scooters left on sidewalks
  • Scooter rider injuries from riding on sidewalks or too close to traffic
  • Scooter rider injuries from road debris, potholes, and other road hazards
  • Accidents resulting from drivers swerving to avoid scooter riders and hitting other drivers
  • Some Los Angeles area residents have taken to vandalizing unattended Bird scooters, including cutting brake lines. The next unwary Bird app user may attempt to ride the scooter without functional brakes and suffer severe injuries.

Bird scooters are small, maneuverable, and about as easy for a driver to miss as any other pedestrian. California law requires motorized scooter riders to follow all applicable traffic laws and regulations for such devices. Riders must possess a valid driver’s license, cannot ride with passengers, cannot ride at night, and must not leave scooters on pedestrian walking paths. However, violations of these laws occur frequently. Additionally, many drivers do not use appropriate caution around scooter riders. When Bird scooter accidents happen, injured parties need reliable legal representation to determine their options for recovery.

Filing a Lawsuit for a Bird Scooter Injury

If you suffered an injury while riding a Bird scooter due to another party’s negligence, an attorney can help you discover the at-fault party and pursue a personal injury claim. If a Bird scooter rider caused an injury, or you suffered an injury due to an unattended Bird scooter, an attorney can advise you of your options for recovery. Ultimately, any personal injury claim for a Bird scooter injury will hinge on proving the at-fault party’s negligence. This may include:

  • A driver making a threatening swerve toward a Bird scooter rider.
  • Someone intentionally damaging a Bird scooter to make it dangerous for the next rider.
  • A Bird scooter user leaving a scooter in a foot traffic path.
  • A driver running a red light or stop sign and hitting a Bird scooter rider.

A personal injury attorney may use various methods for determining an at-fault party and grounds for a lawsuit. For example, an injury lawyer may subpoena traffic camera data or security camera footage from a local business that may have caught the incident. GPS tracking and other vehicle data may also help determine how a Bird scooter accident occurred. Eyewitness statements are especially valuable, so if you experience any kind of Bird scooter accident and are able to do so, try to gather contact information from witnesses nearby who may be willing to testify on your behalf later.

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