LONG BEACH, Calif., October 26, 2018 (Newswire.com) – Throughout coastal communities in Southern California, electric scooters have lined bike paths and sidewalks of many of the region’s popular beaches. This has come with the advent of Lime and Bird, the two popular ride-share scooter rental apps that have become commonplace in tourist hotspots. Personal injury attorney Belal Hamideh’s office in Long Beach is not too far off the waterfront in downtown Long Beach. It was only a matter of time, but cases of serious injuries are beginning to pop up throughout the region.
Hamideh said they’ve quickly become a trend immediately outside his office, a few blocks from the boardwalk. The glaring issue is that many riders are young, do not wear helmets and don’t abide by the rules preset by the service before the scooter is activated.
Legally, it’s an interesting topic because of untried questions of who is liable in accidents resulting in injuries on these scooters. Both Bird and Lime have their users electronically sign a waiver of liability before riding, thus leaving any accidents in the hands of the individuals or their insurance companies.
The LA Times began covering accidents in the region in the July 2018 piece “Bird Scooters — so much fun, so damn dangerous.” According to the story, most car insurance companies have refused to cover scooter accidents. Many injury cases so far have health and car insurance companies passing medical bills between one another.
Hamideh says that those who strike someone while riding could see the injured party make a claim against the rider’s homeowner insurance.
The Los Angeles Times story described a March 2018 accident in which a 36-year-old woman named Sharona Kaplan swerved to avoid hitting a toddler who ran in front of a bike path near the pier in Santa Monica. She lost control and fell forward, resulting in breaking two bones in her right arm. She was required to undergo extensive physical therapy, but both her car insurance and health insurance refuse to cover the expenses.
“They could make a claim against the parents for the negligent care of a child that may be paid by the parents’ homeowner insurance,” said Hamideh.
Another important consideration is that of “comparative negligence.” For example, a moving car that strikes a scooter is not assumed to be at fault. The following will always be considered — was the scooter-riding against traffic? Was it making sudden or erratic swerves? Was it riding faster than the speed limit or faster than what was safe in those conditions? In electric scooter accidents, it is a common occurrence that the injured person behaved negligently.
Still, the seemingly endless scenarios for potential pedestrian accidents and car accidents have yet to fully reveal itself. Such accidents that result in injury and loss of work time should be taken up with an experienced car accident attorney or personal injury attorney.
For consultation on a similar case or to make a media inquiry, please contact Belal Hamideh Law at (562) 226-1224.
Source: Belal Hamideh Law