If you were injured as the result of tripping on an electric scooter, whether you have a case depends on the facts of your accident. Proving liability and winning an e-scooter tripping case is difficult, but not impossible. The defendants will likely deny any liability and a lawsuit will have to be filed against them to further pursue compensation. For that reason, unless your injuries were serious (e.g., broken bones, surgery required, permanent injuries, brain injury, etc.), in all likelihood, a lawyer will not take the case.
Our e-scooter accident attorneys from McGee Lerer & Associates in Santa Monica want to make certain you know all your rights and options after you trip over an e-scooter, including when pursuing a case makes sense and when it does not. We will discuss these key points and more in this blog, such as how you can begin a claim.
Elderly Pedestrians are the Most Vulnerable
The majority of scooter trip calls we receive at our law firm are from senior citizens who tripped over a scooter. Seniors are the most vulnerable to trip accidents and the injuries they cause. Worsened eyesight, agility, and balance is a combination that makes stumbling over a misplaced e-scooter quite dangerous. Elderly injury victims are also slower to heal, which can mean they need much more medical care to recover from their injuries.
Potential Defendants in an E-Scooter Trip & Fall Case
If you tripped over a scooter, there are several potential defendants:
- Scooter company
- Last rider who rode or rented the scooter
- Real property owner (if prior to your fall, the owner knew that the scooter posed a danger to pedestrians but did nothing about it)
- City (for failure to impound an improperly parked scooter)
Information We’ll Need If You Tripped on a Scooter
In a scooter trip case, we need to determine who is at fault and why?
When you call our law firm after a scooter trip and fall accident, we will ask you:
- Where was scooter?
- Was the scooter upright or lying down?
- What time of day did it happen?
- If nighttime, how were the lighting conditions?
- Did you see the scooter before you fell over it?
- Did you get photos of the scooter?
- Do you know what company owns the scooter: Bird, Jump, Lime, Lyft, or Spin?
- What part of the scooter did you trip on?
- What kind of shoes were you wearing?
- Where were you looking when you fell?
- Did you get the contact information of any witnesses?
- Did any video surveillance cameras capture the accident?
- Do the ER or urgent care records accurately convey your description of how the accident happened?
- What injury did you suffer?
E-Scooters are Commonly Improperly Parked
Based on our observations, electric scooters are commonly parked in violation of municipal scooter parking rules. When you call our firm, one of the things we will need to determine is whether or not the scooter improperly parked or in violation of any electric scooter parking rules?
We represent pedestrians who tripped over scooters in the following situations:
- Tripped on an e-scooter that was illegally parked in a no-deployment zone.
- Tripped on an e-scooter at night that had no lights and was illegally parked within 15’ of a street corner pedestrian ramp.
- Tripped on an electric scooter that was illegally parked at a red curb.
City of Los Angeles E-Scooter Parking Rules
The City of Los Angeles’s scooter parking rules are found in the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) Dockless On-Demand Personal Mobility Conditional Permit.
Los Angeles’s electric scooter parking rules include:
- Scooters must be upright when parked.
- Scooters must have smart technology equipment to identify that it is upright and properly parked.
- Scooter companies must remove scooters from the public right-of-way on a daily basis.
- Scooter companies must ensure that their scooters are not parked in a way that impedes the regular flow of travel in the public way.
- Scooters can only be parked on hard surfaces within the landscape/furniture zone (e.g., concrete, asphalt). Thus, they cannot be parked on grass.
- Scooters must not be parked within 15’ of street corner pedestrian ramps (25’ if there is only a single pedestrian ramp).
- Scooters must not be parked in the landscape/furniture zone adjacent to or within:
- Bus stops, except at existing bicycle racks
- Loading zones
- Disabled parking zone
- Curb ramps
- Red curb zones
Santa Monica's e-scooter parking rules are located in the City of Santa Monica Shared Mobility Device Pilot Program Administrative Regulations.
Santa Monica’s scooter parking rules include:
- Scooters must be upright when deployed.
- Scooters must not be deployed on the sidewalk adjacent to passenger loading zones (white curb) or commercial loading zones (yellow curb).
- Scooters must not be deployed within: Ocean Front Walk, the beach or beach bike-path, beach parking lots, Third Street Promenade, The Pier or Pier Bridge, public parks and the waiting, loading and unloading areas of transit stops.
- Scooters must not be deployed with 48” of parking meters or 36” of fire hydrants.
- Scooters must not be deployed on sidewalks or streets with more than a 5% grade incline.
- Scooters must not be deployed in a manner that violates ADA accessibility requirements or impedes ADA access, including blocking crosswalks or crosswalk activation buttons.
- Scooters must not be deployed within 18” from the face of curb.
- Any incorrectly parked scooter shall be re-parked or removed by the scooter company within 1 hour of receiving notice between the hours of 7 am and 10 pm daily.
If you or a loved one fell over an electric scooter and suffered injuries, you should consult with an e-scooter injury attorney to find out if you have a case. Our lawyers at McGee, Lerer & Associates in Santa Monica, California can provide a free consultation and are available 24/7.