The San Diego area and the other metropolitan areas of southern California are bustling places, and these areas are typically packed with vehicle and pedestrian traffic most days. However, recently, a new personal transportation trend has developed across California in electric scooter rental services. These services operate uniquely, providing pedestrians with a quick and accessible option for getting where they need to go a little faster at a reasonable cost.
Bird, Lime, and many other electric scooter services are now available in San Diego.
Representing Electric Scooter Accident Claims in San Diego, CA
Unfortunately, these services have not only provided new transportation options for local residents and visitors but have also caused many problems. If you recently suffered an injury while using a Lime or Bird scooter, or if another motorized scooter operator injured you, it’s vital to consult a San Diego e-scooter accident attorney as soon as possible to determine your best options for recovery.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates is a team of experienced personal injury attorneys providing legal representation to injured clients in San Diego, CA. Our team provides a unique type of personal injury representation few other firms can match. Attorney Sigelman is a former physician with years of experience as a doctor and a personal injury attorney. This provides us with a unique ability to fully understand a client’s medical complications after an accident, ensuring they receive the full compensation they deserve. If you have recently sustained injuries in an electric scooter accident in the San Diego area, our team can provide the legal representation you need to recover your damages.
Why Do I Need a Scooter Accident Attorney?
If you have been injured by another person, you may wonder whether you need to hire a personal injury attorney to hold them accountable. While it is technically possible to handle a civil claim on your own, the actual process of filing a personal injury claim requires meeting stringent procedural requirements with the court. Attempting to meet these requirements, accurately calculate all of your claimable damages, and meet court filing deadlines while recovering from your injury can be incredibly difficult, even if liability for your damages seems clear.
Should you attempt to handle your case alone, you risk making procedural errors that jeopardize your case entirely. Additionally, suppose you manage to follow through with your claim and succeed in holding the defendant accountable for your damages. In that case, you could overlook some available channels of compensation and settle for much less than an attorney could have secured on your behalf. However, once you agree to a defendant’s settlement, you release them from any future liability for the claimed damages, so this is your one shot at securing total compensation for your losses.
How Do Electric Scooter Accidents Occur?
When you see how the electric scooter services such as Bird and Lime operate in California, it should be easy to recognize how accidents involving these devices can happen. When riders need to use an electric scooter, they find one parked and connect to it via their electric scooter app. Once they confirm payment, the scooter unlocks, and they can use it as needed for the time allotted by their payment. Once they finish using it, they should park it safely and use the app to finalize the rental. After that, the scooter remains where parked for someone else to use.
Unfortunately, not all riders take care of these scooters, and many people leave them unattended in dangerous areas. Many local businesses throughout the San Diego area have filed complaints with the electric scooter companies about scooters left piled up outside of their businesses, in parking spaces, or obstructing entrances.
Some riders do not operate electric scooters safely, either. Some people ride excessively close to pedestrians while others enter traffic and may startle drivers. Some of the most commonly cited e-scooter accidents in the San Diego area include:
- Scooter riders hitting pedestrians.
- Drivers hitting e-scooter riders.
- E-scooters causing traffic accidents.
- Slip and fall injuries from tripping over discarded scooters.
- Scooter riders sustaining injuries from poorly maintained or damaged scooters.
Suppose you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a scooter accident caused by any factors similar to these. In that case, you may have grounds for legal action against the party responsible for causing the accident.
Who Is Responsible for My E-Scooter Accident?
After sustaining injuries in a scooter accident, it’s vital to determine which party or parties bear liability for the incident. “Negligence” is the central legal concept of every personal injury claim. The plaintiff filing the claim must identify the party responsible for their damages, provide a complete and accurate list of those damages, and then prove the damages would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s negligence.
Suppose you were hit by a driver while riding an electric scooter. In that case, the driver is liable for your damages, and your personal injury case would play out along similar lines to a bicycle accident or pedestrian accident claim. First, however, it is important to understand California’s pure comparative negligence rule in a case like this. The pure comparative negligence rule allows a plaintiff to recover compensation even if they are partially responsible for causing their damages, but they lose a percentage of the case award to reflect their share of fault for the accident.
In the event you are found to be partially responsible for a scooter accident, the judge overseeing your case would assign you a fault percentage based on your actions, and you will lose this percentage of your case award. For example, if you were found 20% at fault in a $100,000 e-scooter accident claim, you would lose 20% of your case award, $20,000, resulting in a net award of $80,000 instead.
If your e-scooter accident occurred because your scooter malfunctioned, the scooter service company or the scooter manufacturer might be liable for your damages. Your San Diego electric scooter accident lawyer would review the details of your accident and help you determine how it occurred. If the manufacturer is liable, your case will fall under the purview of product liability law. All product manufacturers must ensure their products work as advertised and do not include any defects that pose risks to consumers. If the electric scooter company is at fault, your attorney will help you file your personal injury claim accordingly.
Possible Injuries From an Electric Scooter Accident
An electric scooter accident can potentially result in catastrophic injuries, some of which may lead to permanent disabilities:
- Traumatic brain injuries are likely when a scooter rider falls to the ground or when a rider hits a pedestrian and causes them to fall. A brain injury can potentially be life-threatening, and many brain injuries cause long-term or permanent medical complications for the victim.
- Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries that may result from any accident. This is because the spine cannot self-repair like the rest of the body, so all spinal injuries are permanent and likely to cause severe medical complications. For example, a spinal cord injury that completely severs the cord will result in permanent paralysis.
- Broken bones are possible in any vehicle accident. Some may heal with time and appropriate treatment, while others may require surgery and entail nerve damage, diminished functionality, and reduced range of motion.
- Facial injuries are possible if a scooter rider falls face-first or if a rider hits a pedestrian. Some of these injuries can require extensive surgical correction and often result in permanent disfigurement.
It’s common for scooter accidents to cause multiple injuries to the victim, resulting in expensive hospital bills and a long recovery time during which they cannot work. This quickly creates economic strain for the victim and their families. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can provide the legal guidance you need to approach your e-scooter accident claim with confidence and understanding in San Diego.
Personal Injury Damages and Compensation in San Diego, California
California personal injury laws allow plaintiffs to claim compensation for all damages a defendant’s negligence causes. Therefore, when you choose Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates to represent you as your San Diego electric scooter lawyers, we will help you calculate the full scope of your claimable economic damages, which may include:
- Property damage if your scooter accident caused any damage to your personal property.
- Medical expenses, including those incurred immediately after your accident, as well as long-term medical costs for ongoing treatments you require.
- Lost income, including lost wages during your initial recovery period, as well as lost earning capacity if you are unable to work in the future because of your injuries.
Your economic damages could be much more than you initially expected when you have an experienced San Diego e-scooter accident attorney working on your case. Additionally, you also have the right to claim compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
While it may seem challenging to determine a fair amount to claim for intangible damages like pain and suffering, your attorney can use different methods to calculate your non-economic damages. Many e-scooter accidents cause painful injuries, and you may be left partially disabled from your experience. The amount you receive in pain and suffering compensation hinges on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood you will experience long-term medical complications from your experience. Suppose you suffered any permanent injury from your e-scooter injury. In that case, the attorneys of Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates could provide the meticulous and compassionate legal counsel you need to maximize your compensation.
How Can a Scooter Accident Attorney Help Me Recover Costs?
Experiencing an e-scooter accident can have a devastating impact on your life. You could be confronted with astronomical medical costs from your injuries, and you might be unable to work for a long time due to the severity of those injuries. These factors combined easily create severe economic strain for you and your family, compounding your stress very quickly. Additionally, struggling with these financial issues while managing your pain during recovery can make everyday life very difficult. You might struggle to pay bills on time or handle other everyday obligations. Ultimately, an e-scooter accident can leave many victims feeling desperate.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies will use this desperation to their advantage, compelling claimants to accept lowball settlements so that they can get something for their damages as soon as possible. For example, if you were hit by a driver while riding an e-scooter, you have the right to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. However, there is no guarantee the insurance company will offer the full amount of coverage provided by the policy in question or even handle your claim in good faith at all.
Working with a San Diego e-scooter accident lawyer can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your claim. Instead of micromanaging the various procedural requirements of your case, you can leave your legal affairs in capable hands so you can focus on recovery with peace of mind. In addition, your legal team will help you gather the evidence and witness testimony you need to hold the defendant responsible for your e-scooter accident accountable for their actions, assist you in determining the entire scope of your claimable damages, and guide you through the settlement process.
The vast majority of personal injury claims filed in California settle outside of court. The settlement process allows the plaintiff and the defendant to move past the issue at hand more quickly and efficiently than a protracted court battle, and both sides typically save money on legal fees when they agree to settlement as well. However, if a defendant denies liability or disputes the damages the plaintiff seeks, the case may need to go to trial.
Talk to a San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Electric Scooter Accident
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates will do everything to secure the best settlement possible under California law, but if settlement is not an option, we are not afraid to take your case to trial to secure the compensation you deserve. We understand the uncertainty and distress that often follow e-scooter accident claims, especially when liability isn’t immediately apparent. Our goal is to help you understand your situation more clearly and guide you through your legal proceedings confidently. Contact us today if you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced San Diego e-scooter accident attorney.