News & Insights

06 . 07 | Insights

Can I Sue If I Was Injured While Riding a Bird Scooter in Los Angeles Without a Helmet?

In only a matter of months, electric scooters from companies like Bird and Lime have flooded the streets and sidewalks of several Los Angeles neighborhoods, including Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, Koreatown, and elsewhere. The electric scooter phenomenon is the source of great public debate, with some praising the alternative to more cars filling the streets, and others bemoaning the seemingly lawless nature of riders zooming through the streets without helmets and on sidewalks.

While city officials debate on how to regulate the rise of the electric scooters, the fact is many thousands of scooters are on Los Angeles streets, sharing the road with cars, trucks, and pedestrians. Inevitably, accidents will occur. And when a car collides with an electric scooter, no doubt it will be the scooter rider who suffers the most physically, especially if they are not wearing a helmet.

Many Bird Scooter Riders Are Going Without Helmets

Bird tells users they must wear a helmet while riding, but one look around Los Angeles streets, and you will see that many riders are going without helmets. And if you are injured by a driver on a scooter, that driver, his lawyer, or an insurance company may try to argue that you are unable to recover for your injuries because you were not wearing a helmet.

But whether or not you were wearing a helmet – while an important point – does not by itself determine whether you can recover for your injuries in a personal injury lawsuit.

Recovering in Personal Injury for a Scooter Accident in Los Angeles

Under California law, bicyclists and those riding non-motorized scooters who are over the age of 18 are not required to wear helmets, although doing so is strongly recommended. Riders of mopeds, motorcycles, and motorized scooters are required to wear helmets. While “scooters” may have referred to the traditional type of seated, moped-like scooters popular in Europe as opposed to the standing scooters with small wheels, arguably such scooters are included in the helmet requirement.

Thus, failure to wear a helmet while riding a scooter may be a significant issue in bringing a personal injury lawsuit against a driver, but the key point to understand is that California law looks at both the negligence of the defendant and the plaintiff in personal injury cases. And, most importantly, even where the plaintiff scooter rider may have failed to take reasonable care by not wearing a helmet, this will not prevent the scooter rider from bringing a personal injury lawsuit if a driver acted carelessly in colliding with the scooter (although it may cause a reduction in damages in some situations).

When you speak to a personal injury attorney about your scooter accident, he or she will want to determine whether the driver acted carelessly in causing your accident. Was the driver speeding? Texting while driving? Driving in the bike lane? Running stop signs or red lights? Simply failing to notice you? All of these are important issues that will go into determining your financial recovery for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering related to your scooter accident.  

Contact a Los Angeles Scooter Accident Attorney Today

If you have been the victim of a scooter accident with a car, truck, motorcyclist, or bicyclist in California, the personal injury team at LawPLA who can help you assess your situation and understand what legal options are available to you for financial recovery. Contact LawPLA today to schedule a consultation to discuss your scooter accident, and what we may be able to do on your behalf.

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