Electric scooters have fast become a popular eco-friendly transport option across Orange County. But accidents can result in serious injuries to scooter riders. When that happens, you need a top-rated Orange County electric scooter accident lawyer on your side.
Scooter crashes can be caused by all kinds of issues, from collisions with other vehicles to dangerous road conditions. Riders are vulnerable and can sustain severe injuries in scooter accidents. But these cases are not always straightforward.
To maximize your compensation, you need the right law firm behind you. Bisnar Chase has an outstanding track record with personal injury claims throughout Orange County and is here to handle your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation with no obligations. We only get paid if we win for you.
Scooter Accident and Injury Resources
What is an Electric Scooter?
An electric scooter – also known as an e-scooter – is a micro-mobility device designed to help people travel relatively short distances at greater speeds.
Traditional kick or push scooters have been around since around the 1920s. They usually feature two wheels separated by a deck for riders to stand on and a handlebar that the rider holds onto and turns to steer.
Until recently, scooters have been self-propelled by the rider. But now, many are fitted with electric motors that provide power without the rider having to push.
For some people, the word scooter also refers to mobility scooters for those with mobility issues and mopeds with combustion engines. But on this page, we focus on electric-powered push scooters as a fast-growing form of urban transportation.
How Fast Can Electric Scooters Go?
The top speed will depend on the type of e-scooter. As with cars, scooters are not all the same. Some are more expensive, using higher-powered motors or parts of varying quality.
Most community-use scooters have a top speed of 15-20 mph, with an average use speed of about 16 mph.
However, the higher-end electric scooters on the marker can hit speeds of about 60 mph. As you would expect, these vehicles are designed for serious riders and cost thousands of dollars.
Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents
Whether you are using a rental device or your own electric scooter, accidents can happen. The most common causes of accidents involving electric scooters include the following:
- Collisions with vehicles: A crash involving a scooter and any larger vehicle, such as a car, truck, or bus, is likely to have a catastrophic result for the rider.
- Road hazards: Scooters usually have small wheels and are vulnerable to poor road conditions. Cracks, potholes, and loose debris can all cause riders to fall.
- Pedestrian accident: A crash involving a scooter and a pedestrian can injure both parties. The impact could harm the pedestrian, while the rider could be thrown from their scooter.
- Scooter defect: A manufacturing defect could cause an issue during a ride. Accidents can be caused by improperly fitted wheels, a faulty electric motor, or problems with the brakes and steering.
- Abandoned scooter hazard: Dockless scooters are sometimes left strewn across roads or sidewalks by careless riders when they finish a trip and no longer need the device. But this can cause a trip hazard and potentially lead to injuries.
- Rider error: Some accidents are caused by operator error. Many scooter riders, especially those who occasionally rent a scooter, are inexperienced and may be more likely to ignore rules, ride erratically, and fall.
If you suffer an injury due to the careless or negligent actions of another party, you could file a scooter accident lawsuit. Contact our Orange County personal injury attorneys to find out if you have a case.
Typical Scooter Accident Injuries
There is no standard injury for an electric scooter accident. The physical damage and bodily harm to the victim will depend on various factors. They include:
- The speed at which the rider is traveling.
- What they come into contact with.
- Whether they are thrown from the scooter and impact with the ground.
Common injuries from a scooter accident in Orange County include:
- Broken bones.
- Bruising, cuts, and scrapes.
- Road rash.
- Facial and dental injuries.
- Head and neck injuries.
- Spinal cord damage.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Our law firm handles claims involving significant physical injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a scooter accident in or around Orange County or elsewhere in California, our dedicated team is here to help.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
You need an attorney for an electric scooter accident case in Orange County to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
Every claim is different. Some cases are resolved in the pre-litigation phase through a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Others require a lawsuit, potentially leading to a jury trial.
No matter which path your case takes, you need skilled and experienced professionals working toward your best interests. A successful injury claim can be life-changing, ensuring you get the help you need and making you whole financially. But the road can be long and challenging.
Bisnar Chase has the track record and resources to win for you. We take care of every aspect of your claim, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
- We handle all necessary paperwork according to filing deadlines.
- Our team will investigate your accident and build a winning case.
- Depending on the case, we can help arrange and coordinate medical treatment.
- We organize and conduct depositions.
- Our team will conduct negotiations with defense teams and insurance companies.
- We provide superior representation in the courtroom if your case goes to trial.
- Bisnar Chase will advance the money required to win your case.
Injury cases can take months or even years to resolve, depending on the circumstances. When it comes to scooter accidents specifically, the law can be complex. Trust our team to secure the best possible outcome for you.
Contact the Best E-Scooter Accident Lawyer Near Me
Bisnar Chase is a top-rated law firm in Orange County. Our team has been based in Newport Beach for more than 45 years.
Not all law firms are the same. We provide superior representation and believe that our skill, experience, and dedication sets us apart.
- We have a 99% success rate.
- More than $800 million won for our clients since launching in 1978.
- Thousands of clients helped – please check out our reviews and awards for reference.
- A free consultation and a no win, no fee promise.
- Serving clients across Orange County, CA, including Orange, Irvine, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Mission Viejo, Tustin, Garden Grove, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Buena Park, Westminster, Brea, Fountain Valley, and more.
Trust our team with your case. We have seen and handled electric scooter accidents across the area and will work tirelessly to secure the best possible result for you.
Contact our Orange County electric scooter accident attorneys today. Call (949) 203-3814, send us an email, or use our website live chat. We look forward to hearing from you.
You do not necessarily have to own a scooter to ride one. Some cities in Orange County now have scooter-sharing systems as a form of public transport.
Several prominent companies, including Bird and Lime, offer short-term scooter rentals. This has become an extremely popular form of travel in busy areas, allowing people to beat the traffic on short trips. Riders can reach decent speeds without worrying about storing the scooter when they reach their destination.
There are two main systems used.
You can use an app to locate your nearest scooter and pay to activate and use it. Dockless scooters can be left anywhere when a rider has reached their destination.
Some cities and electric scooter companies install scooter docking stations. The scooter is charged while it is parked in the dock. Riders can release it using an app or by scanning a card for payment. Docks have the added benefit of keeping scooters upright and tidy and safe from vandals when not in use.
There are pros and cons to both methods. Dockless scooters are more flexible. But there has been some controversy over scooters left lying across sidewalks after use, posing a hazard to pedestrians. The companies also have to arrange for them to be collected and charged overnight, while some scooters are targeted by vandals and dropped in rivers and other hard-to-reach locations.
The use of docked scooters is more rigid. However, it eliminates many of the issues with dockless scooters. Trials in some cities have placed the docks in high-traffic areas such as outside train stations, and reports have indicated increased use.
Driver Error Causes Severe Scooter Crashes
Scooters are often used on roads and in pedestrianized areas. For those using a scooter on or near a highway, driver negligence is the most common cause of accidents in and around Orange County.
Driver negligence comes in many forms, such as:
- Distracted driving.
- Running red lights.
- Ignoring road signs.
- Failing to yield.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If someone has caused a car accident involving a scooter due to careless or reckless driving, they could be held liable for your injuries.
Who is Liable for a Scooter Accident?
When we talk about liability, we refer to who is to blame for an accident and who can be held legally responsible.
Any compensatory payout will likely come from the liable party or their insurance policy. It is also possible for multiple parties to share liability. In that case, multiple parties can be named defendants in a lawsuit.
The most common liable parties in a scooter accident include:
- The driver of another vehicle involved in the collision, such as a car, truck, or bus.
- A city authority, if the accident was caused by poor infrastructure or sub-par maintenance.
- Anyone involved in the scooter’s distribution chain, such as the manufacturer or retailer, when a scooter defect causes the accident.
- The scooter rider themselves, if their actions caused the accident.
- A scooter rental company.
- Anyone else whose negligence played a role in the crash.
Our team at Bisnar Chase will hold the liable parties responsible and ensure that you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
What is Comparative Negligence in a Scooter Accident Case?
Comparative negligence is a legal term that is applied when more than one party shares fault in an accident.
For example, an accident may occur in which a scooter rider ignores a stop sign at an intersection. In this scenario, they are hit by a driver who was on their phone and failed to yield or pay attention to their mirrors as they made a right turn.
In this situation, both parties may be found to share some portion of the blame. But even if you were partly to blame, you can still take legal action against the other party.
When this happens, the comparative negligence law in California means that your compensation will be reduced in line with your level of fault. So, if a court rules in your favor but finds you to be 10% at fault, your financial recovery will also be reduced by 10%.
Electric Scooters in Orange County
Electric scooters are a common sight across Orange County. Some cities have scooter-sharing transportation systems in place. For example, Santa Ana introduced Bird scooters in 2018.
But the rentable scooters did not prove as popular in other areas. Bird also brought shareable e-scooters to Newport Beach. But the plan was quickly scrapped just a few days after launch after proving unpopular with vocal residents.
Even if a city does not have a scooter-sharing setup, e-scooters are still commonplace. Many stores rent e-scooters to the public, including shops in coastal cities like Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Long Beach, and Laguna Beach.
Lime scooters have also been placed in more than 80 communities in Southern California, while many people also own electric scooters.
No matter the source, you will see electric scooters all over Orange County. And with greater numbers come more accidents.
Proving Fault in a Scooter Crash Case
To recover compensation in a personal injury case, you must prove that someone else was at fault and caused the accident.
Proving fault after an e-scooter crash will depend on how the accident happened. We will assemble evidence, including pictures, video, witness reports, expert testimonies, medical reports, and more. We need to show:
- The defendant was negligent.
- Their negligence was at least partly responsible for causing the accident.
- You suffered legitimate physical injuries.
- The accident caused your injuries.
Our team excels in proving negligence and holding wrongdoers accountable, whether that is a driver, a city authority, a rental company, or a scooter manufacturer.
How Much is Your E-Scooter Injury Case Worth?
The amount of money you could recover in an injury claim will depend on your injuries and their impact on you. E-scooter accident claims are no exception.
Typically, your compensation will cover:
- Medical expenses: This should cover any transportation, treatment, surgery, or care caused by the accident.
- Lost income: If you have to miss work due to your injuries or treatment, any wages you lose out on should be covered.
- Ongoing care: Some injuries are so severe that they require ongoing care or rehab. Future medical expenses will be accounted for.
- Pain and suffering: While putting a dollar amount on pain and suffering is hard, it is only fair that the harm an accident has caused is factored in.
- Punitive damages: In some cases, you may be awarded punitive damages. This is an amount that the at-fault party must pay you as a punishment for its actions.
- Quality of life: If an accident has left you with lasting injuries that compromise your quality of life, you deserve compensation.
Electric scooters are not universally accepted. In some areas, they are seen as nuisances or considered to be dangerous.
There have been countless controversies in Orange County, elsewhere in California, and across the world.
In many cases, it appears that scooter-sharing companies like Bird and Lime tried to move into cities by stealth. They simply showed up one day without requesting permission from city authorities. This did not go over well with many authorities, and temporary bans were issued.
- Bird Scooters were placed in Newport Beach in 2018. But, after only a few days, the city asked for the scooter-sharing operation to be removed.
- Beverly Hills and West Hollywood voted to ban electric scooters over concerns including safety, clutter, and a lack of regulation and enforcement.
- As with Newport Beach, Palm Springs had rental e-scooters turn up overnight in its downtown area with no permits. A cease and desist order was issued, and the scooters were swiftly removed.
Some cities have continued those bans, while others have eased restrictions. It is also worth noting that some bans were specific to e-scooter sharing operations, while others extended to privately-owned devices.
Electric Scooters Banned
Perhaps the most famous recent example of e-scooters being banned is in Paris. A vote was held in 2023, with 90% voting for the ban (albeit with a low voter turnout).
It came after a sharp rise in accidents involving micro-mobility devices such as e-scooters. In 2022, more than 500 accidents in Paris resulted in three deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Officials called e-scooters a public health problem and praised the ban, while critics said rental electric scooters in Paris had 400,000 monthly users and the loss would put extra strain on public transport. The Paris ban only involves rental scooters.
In contrast, London has banned privately-owned e-scooters on public roads but is trialing a rental operation. Every area is different, and Orange County is no exception.
Electric Scooter Laws in Orange County
E-scooter laws can vary by city and county. But the following are some California laws that apply to electric scooter usage across the state.
- DUI laws still apply to e-scooter riders.
- Lights and reflectors must be used if you are riding on a road at night.
- You must ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Stay in the bike lane if there is one unless you are avoiding a blockage or overtaking.
- If there is no bike lane, stay as far right as possible. Riders should also stop, dismount, and make a turn on foot when they reach an intersection.
- The legal maximum speed for a motorized scooter in many areas is 15 mph.
- Riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.
- You are only meant to operate an electric scooter if you have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit, but you do not need liability insurance.
- There should only be one rider on a scooter at a time.
- Riders must always have at least one hand on the handlebar.
- You should never leave a scooter lying across a path in a manner that presents a hazard.
- You can ride electric scooters on paths unless local laws specifically ban this.
These state laws, mapped out in California Vehicle Code 21220-21235, may be trumped by other localized laws in some areas. But they provide a basis to keep scooter riders and other road and path users safe.
E-Scooter Lawsuits: Case Studies
There have been plenty of examples of electric scooter accident claims and lawsuits nationwide in recent years.
For example, a woman in Indianapolis filed a lawsuit against Lime after suffering an accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury.
The lawsuit alleged that the scooter accelerated out of control. The victim was thrown to the ground while trying to stop it. Court filings blame sudden rapid acceleration, small and unstable wheels, and a lack of proper warnings on the device.
There have been other lawsuits filed closer to home too.
Terms and Conditions
All scooter-sharing companies have riders tick boxes on the app when signing up. This is a user agreement and protects the companies from liability in the event of no-fault crashes.
The scope of the user agreement was limited in the Indianapolis case above because the victim did not tick the user agreement. A friend had rented it for her.
In another case in Los Angeles, a man fell from a rental scooter due to a damaged sidewalk. He suffered catastrophic injuries and filed a lawsuit against the city for improper maintenance.
But the victim, who was told by doctors he may never walk again, was hit with a bill of $322,000 by Bird, the scooter rental company. They said he became liable for the company’s legal fees by ticking the user agreement.
As part of its licensing agreement, Bird has to protect the city from e-scooter-related lawsuits. In many cases, it does so by scaring injury victims into dropping their cases by threatening them with massive fees.
When challenged, Bird said it would not make the victim pay. But sending the bill shows the tactics they use and the lengths they will go to in order to avoid lawsuits.
In another case, the city of San Diego launched its own legal action. The city sued scooter-sharing companies to get them to pay legislation costs in the event of personal injury lawsuits.
It can all get a bit messy. But at Bisnar Chase, we are here to simplify things and help scooter accident victims to the best of our abilities.
As always, an electric scooter accident settlement or jury verdict will depend on the details of your crash and injuries, and we are here to win maximum compensation for you.
Scooter Accident Statistics
Electric scooters can be dangerous, particularly for inexperienced riders. Even those who know what they are doing are vulnerable to massive impacts and serious injuries when accidents occur.
Several studies have shown the risks to riders, including one that examined scooter accident victims from two Los Angeles-area emergency rooms. The numbers show:
- Most injury victims were scooter riders. Only a few were pedestrians.
- Those injured had an average age of 34.
- Less than 5% of the injured riders had been wearing helmets.
- About 32% of victims suffered broken bones, and 40% suffered head injuries.
- Roughly 80% of riders fell off the scooter, pointing to rider error or scooter malfunctions. Over 11% were involved in collisions.
- Figures show that, as of the end of 2018, over 85,000 shared e-scooters are available for public rental across more than 100 U.S. cities. It has only grown since then.
- More than 5.5 million electric scooters were sold in 2018.
- The e-scooter market is still growing and is expected to become a $15.41 billion business by 2029.
- The graph below shows the rise in revenue from e-scooter-sharing operations, including projected future growth.
These stats show how dangerous electric scooters can be. It also demonstrates that it is still a growing industry, and many more people will likely suffer injuries on electric scooters in Orange County in the coming years.
Electric Scooter Accident FAQs
Our team at Bisnar Chase is here to answer any questions you have about e-scooter accidents. Contact us now if you have any questions that we have not answered on this page.
Electric scooters are not necessarily safer than e-bikes. Electric bikes are most commonly ridden at higher speeds alongside traffic, making accidents more likely. However, e-scooters are less stable, and the riders may be more vulnerable to serious injury.
Different laws for electric scooters are in place for different cities and areas. E-scooters are banned in some areas of the U.S., including some cities in California, but are allowed in others. It is also important to note that some bans might apply to scooter-sharing operations rather than personal-use scooters.
Every injury claim is different. Sometimes, it takes a few months to negotiate a fair settlement. In other instances, it might take two years to file a lawsuit and complete the legal process. It all depends on the case. At Bisnar Chase, our team balances speed and efficiency with securing the maximum possible compensation for you.
Bisnar Chase offers a no win, no fee guarantee. We advance the expenses required to win your claim. We only get paid if we win for you. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. We take pride in making the process risk-free for our clients.
As with any motor-powered device, electric scooters have the potential to carry faults or defects that can be dangerous to riders.
Some scooter defects might include:
- Uncontrolled acceleration.
- Brake failure.
- Steering issues.
- Unsuitable wheels.
- Standing deck defects.
One known issue with early models put on the streets by scooter company Lime was a tendency for the standing deck to crack.
Another problem commonly associated with battery-powered micro-mobility devices like e-scooters is the possibility of the battery spontaneously igniting.
Anyone who suffers injuries due to a manufacturing issue or a product defect like these should contact a product liability attorney at Bisnar Chase immediately.
No Win No Fee Scooter Injury Lawyers
If you have suffered an injury involving an electric-powered scooter and believe that someone else was at fault for the accident, you may have a legal claim.
Contact Bisnar Chase for superior representation from one of the top personal injury law firms in Orange County. Our team of passionate professionals provides a free consultation and works on contingency to save you from out-of-pocket costs. Call or email now for a risk-free case review.
Call (949) 203-3814, send us an email, or use the 24/7 live chat feature on our website to tell us about your case today. A top-rated Orange County electric scooter accident attorney is ready to help.