As long as you don’t need any type of cargo space, scooters offer a relatively inexpensive way to move around a city — and in Los Angeles, scooter use is on the rise. Unfortunately, the increased scooter usage has coincided with a rise in scooter accidents.
You probably know what steps to take if you are injured in a car accident, but that knowledge doesn’t entirely translate to scooter accidents. Hopefully, you never get into an accident while on a scooter. However, if you do, the following information will serve you well.
Scooter riders are not required to carry insurance under California law. However, if you do have car insurance, it should cover any scooter you ride as well — even rentals. If you get into an accident on a rental scooter, you should report it to your insurance company, especially if a car was also involved in the accident.
Liability in a Scooter Accident
Determining liability after an accident is roughly as difficult as determining liability in a car accident. Whether the other party in the accident was a pedestrian, car driver, or even another scooter rider, what will matter most is who was following the laws that regulate their form of travel.
For example, if a pedestrian was jaywalking and you were following all scooter laws, the other party is liable for the accident. Alternatively, if you failed to signal before turning and were clipped by a car, you are liable for the accident.
Finally, even in accidents that don’t involve another party directly, you may not be liable. For example, if the scooter was defective or the roads were unsafe due to the city’s negligence, the manufacturer or city government, respectively, might be responsible.
The best way to determine who is at fault for an accident is to hire a scooter attorney. They have the experience to investigate cases quickly and help you get whatever compensation you deserve for the accident.
Dealing with the Rental Company
Typically, the rental company agreement insulates it from liability. Most contracts require you to follow all relevant traffic laws and to only use a scooter if you are physically and mentally competent to do so. Furthermore, they expected you to inspect a scooter before riding on it.
Even if the scooter is defective, the rental company is protected from liability unless it was previously notified the product was defective and took no action to remove it from use. This is an unlikely scenario that is very hard to prove.
However, if the scooter was damaged in your accident, the rental company might try to get compensation from you. Before contacting them, you should consult with a scooter attorney to protect yourself from any unfair consequences.
Contact an Attorney Immediately After a Scooter Accident
Scooter crashes are similar to car accidents in that you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after getting into one. This is the best way to protect your rights and obtain maximum compensation. If you were hurt on a rental scooter, contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers right away for a free consultation.