The city of San Diego is cracking down on Segway companies after a $1.7 million payout last year to a rider injured in La Jolla and a separate wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a crash in Old Town. According to a news report, the city plans to require local Segway tour companies to follow new safety procedures, obtain comprehensive liability insurance and indemnify the city against any potential lawsuits.
Segways are two-wheeled motorized vehicles that carry a person who is standing upright while riding. Segway tour company owners say the new laws will put them out of business because that would mean they might have to raise tour prices in a highly competitive market. But city officials say this is a move they have to make to protect the city and taxpayer dollars. In the case that led to the $1.7-million payout, the tour company that rented out the Segway did not pay because it did not have liability insurance and the company’s owner had limited assets.
Injury, Death and Liability
The $1.7-million payout went to Regina Capobianco who suffered a shattered pelvis in a Segway crash in July 2015. She reportedly needed extensive physical therapy and still relies on a wheelchair to get around. Last, year, the family of Jeff Hassett filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city claiming he was critically injured after striking a concrete stub in the sidewalk while riding a Segway in March 2016. Hassett sustained several injuries including broken ribs, a toe injury that needed amputation and damage to an internal heart defibrillator that led to a deadly infection.
The new law aims to reduce the number of crashes and reduce the city’s exposure to personal injury payouts, officials said. The new safety laws essentially prohibit Segway use by those under the influence. An adult should accompany segway users under 18, and tour guides should have a driver’s license. The rules also limit the number of riders per Segway to one and require that they move in single file. Regarding liability insurance, companies will be required to get commercial liability insurance of at least $1 million per case and $2 million per year.
If You Have Been Injured
In addition to Segways, electric scooters are also causing serious injuries for not just riders, but also pedestrians who suffer major injuries after being struck by negligent riders. Accidents involving Segways or scooters could result in injuries, including head trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones and internal organ damage. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Segway crash or e-scooter accident, please contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer who can provide you with more information about protecting your legal rights.