The popularity of electric scooters is on the rise. Three companies, Lime, Bird, and Skip, have aggressively expanded into cities across the U.S. These companies offer scooters for rent. Users can locate and unlock the devices with their smartphones. However, scooter companies require little training for first-time riders. One company offers an instructional video, but it does not require riders to watch it before using. Many riders are surprised by how fast they can go and how quickly they can accelerate.
Two deaths recently occurred involving electric scooters, and they are believed to be the first deaths in the U.S. in which rental electric scooters were involved. One man was riding on a Lime scooter and an SUV struck him in Washington, D.C. Another man was riding a Lime scooter in Dallas and fell off, suffering blunt force trauma injuries. Doctors in 12 cities recently reported an increase in injuries in emergency rooms caused by electric scooters.
Recently, Governor Brown signed into law a bill that allows users to ride electric scooters without helmets. The law also gives cities the authority to let scooters operate on streets with speed limits of up to 35 miles per hour, which is an increase of 10 miles per hour.
Many electric scooter riders are reporting accidents because of malfunctions. Some of the most common are the brakes not working and the accelerators sticking. Riders typically have to agree to release the company from liability for injuries in order to use the scooters. However, many say that the companies cannot absolve themselves from liability for gross negligence in maintaining their scooters.
If you have been injured in an accident with an electric scooter, including one from Lime, Bird, or Skip, you should speak with an attorney. If you are in Los Angeles, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles personal injury attorney, at 310-385-0567. I can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule your free consultation.