What to Do After an Electric Scooter Accident in San Jose
Electric scooters offered by rideshare companies like Bird, Lime, and Skip are all the rage these days because they’re convenient and have a small carbon footprint. However, not everyone shares the enthusiasm for this new phenomenon. In fact, scooters have become controversial because so many life-changing accidents involving scooters are occurring. Calls have been flooding into personal injury law firms since their introduction a few years ago.
Riders should do their best to become familiar with California laws that govern the use of electric scooters. Your number one goal is to keep yourself and others on the roadway safe. If you do get into a scooter accident, knowing how to handle the events afterward can reduce anxiety and maximize insurance claims.Legal Issues Related to Rideshare Scooters
Rideshare scooter companies look toward providing a fun experience for commuters, tourists, and families alike. While organizations, like Lime or Bird, are accomplishing their goals, electric scooter accident lawyers in California know that it's not always picture-perfect. The most prominent issue riders face is negligence by a motorist, local municipality, or scooter company. The negligent party is the one you take to court when you file a lawsuit.Drivers on Public Roadways
One of the most common types of electric scooter accidents involves motorists on public roadways. Since scooters aren't allowed on sidewalks, this type of accident is inevitable. If a motorist was acting negligently, you could hold him or her accountable in court.City or County Not Maintaining Public Roadways
Accidents can also be triggered if roadways are not adequately maintained by the city, county, or state in which you were operating the scooter. Potholes, construction debris, and large cracks in the roadway may be severe enough to create a dangerous riding situation that caused injury. In this case, you could sue the municipality.Electric Scooter Companies At-fault
Bay Area emergency rooms are seeing an influx of injuries that arise from malfunctioning electric scooters. You could go after the company in court if your injuries arose from a preventable flaw that caused the scooter to operate unsafely. Make sure you speak with a personal injury attorney to find out who you may be able to hold liable.California Laws that Apply to Using an Electric Scooter
A significant component in any lawsuit involving injury hinges upon how each party behaved at the time. The behavior of the injured person is taken into consideration as well. Following local laws can speak to the diligence of the rider and his or her role in the accident. In California, the following rules apply to all electric scooters, rideshare or otherwise:
- Youths under 18 years old are required to wear helmets
- You must have a driver's license to rent a scooter
- Only one person may ride at a time
- One hand must always be on the handlebars
- No "scooter-hitching" (i.e., holding on to another vehicle while in use)
Even if you were breaking the rules, you could still be entitled to compensation for qualifying injuries. Only an accident attorney can speak to your specific situation.Steps to Take After an Electric Scooter Accident in California
One of the first things to do after a scooter accident is to move to safety. Staying on the roadway only increases the chances of being injured in or causing a second accident. Move yourself to a danger-free zone that is away from heavy motor or foot traffic.
1. Call 9-1-1 or Local Police Dispatch
Report the electric scooter accident to the police. When they arrive, make sure to offer factual details about what happened and request a copy of the officer's report. If you don't call the police, you must file a police report within 10 days of the accident.
2. Gather Evidence If Possible
Waiting for the police to arrive is a good time to collect information about how the accident occurred. While caring for the injured and staying clear of the roadway is a top priority gathering evidence can be helpful for insurance claims and potential lawsuits. Try to assemble the following information:
- Name, and contact and insurance information of the other parties involved
- License plates and driver's license numbers of others involved
- Names and contact information of witnesses
- Photographs of the scene of the accident, injuries, and damage
It can also be helpful to make a few notes on a piece of paper or in your phone to help you recall details in the future.
3. Seek Medical Attention
Head to the emergency room immediately after an accident that causes serious injury. At a minimum, you must see a physician within 24 hours. Even if you don't feel like you are injured, having the documentation that shows you were diligent can help you make a future claim because internal injuries are not always readily apparent.
4. Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer in San Jose
Hiring a local personal injury lawyer can make a significant difference in managing your claim. They have the capital, experience, and human resources to compete with large corporations and insurance companies. Knowing that you won't have to settle for a fraction of what your case is worth can be very comforting as well.
The majority of law firms take on personal injury cases through a contingency fee pricing model. Contingency fee pricing means the law firm will take a percentage of any amounts recovered. In short, they don't get paid unless you win.
Many legal issues are involved in filing an electric scooter personal injury lawsuit. From insurance companies to negligent parties, you don't have to fight your claim alone. Our team at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. will vigorously defend your case in and out of the courtroom. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys by calling 408-289-1417 or filling out our online form.