Two Recent Fatal Accidents Show the Darker Side of the Electric Scooter Craze

May 13th, 2019

It Is Sweeping the Nation, Starting in Southern California

Electric scooters have taken the world by storm since they were first introduced in the past several years.  Many of the companies that have popularized this new mode of transportation are headquartered in Los Angeles, so the craze for both dockeless scooters and their cousins personal electric scooters has particularly been enthusiastically embraced in Southern California.  Although these vehicles are an excellent way to get around in large cities like Los Angeles where traffic is notoriously heavy, several recent incidents are emblematic of some of the problems that have occurred as a result of the lightning-quick spread of these e-scooters throughout Los Angeles and other major cities across the country since they first were introduced in the last few years. Two recent fatal incidents in Southern California have shed a less positive light on the now ubiquitous forms of transportation that now can be found throughout the country in nearly every major city.  Electric scooters, whether the dockless kind or their cousins personal electric scooters, can be extremely dangerous and the fact that riders rarely wear safety equipment like helmets or have any training before they operate these vehicles only increases the risks of serious injury or death.

The San Diego Fatality

The first incident involved what was believed to be the first fatality in San Diego involving dockless scooters.  The incident involved a tourist riding a Bird dockless scooter who was riding the scooter with a friend and missed a left turn as the road turned in that direction, driving straight into a tree.  He was visiting the San Diego area from Georgia and was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. This incident highlighted some of the major problems with these vehicles, in particular that they are often used by those who have no familiarity with how to operate them and how they often are operated without helmets.  Instead, they are simply available for anyone to use because they are sitting on the street corners of major cities throughout the country available for use with anyone who has installed the particular scooter sharing company’s app on their smartphone. No training is required nor are any helmets provided; indeed, the websites of several of the leading scooter sharing companies provide that riders should bring their own helmets, a strong indication that these companies are washing their hands of any attempt at ensuring the safety of their riders.

The Santa Monica Hit and Run Fatality

The second incident, which took place in Santa Monica, involved an electric scooter victim who had fallen off the scooter and then, shortly thereafter, was hit by a driver who then fled the scene of the accident.  Rather than a dockless motor scooter of the type involved in the San Diego incident, this involved a personal scooter that apparently was owned and being ridden by the victim at the time of the incident.  According to police investigating the accident, the incident occurred shortly after the victim had fallen from the scooter and was hit after having picked himself up off the ground by a car. The vehicle’s driver briefly got out of his vehicle before getting back into his car and fleeing the scene of the accident.  Police have yet to locate him. This incident was not particularly surprising given the death in San Diego that occurred the same week and research recently published by physicians from UCLA Medical Center which surveyed emergency rooms at two hospitals in the Los Angeles area (including UCLA Medical Center Santa Monica) and showed nearly 250 patients were treated for scooter-related injuries during a one-year period.  The majority of the were mild enough that patients were sent home after treatment, though two head injuries were severe enough that patients were taken to intensive care. Despite the fact that California law no longer requires electric scooter riders to wear a helmet, the study further determined that only 4 percent of electric scooter riders in Southern California were wearing scooters while operating the vehicles.  

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at JT Legal Group if You or a Loved One Were Injured or Killed in A Hit and Run Accident in Los Angeles or Elsewhere in Southern California

Was you, or someone you love, injured or killed by a hit and run driver in Los Angeles or elsewhere Southern California?  This is an extremely common occurrence in both Los Angeles as well as California more generally, so much so that California has the highest number of hit and run crashes in the country by far. If this impacted you or someone you know or love, contact us immediately at (888) 529-3111 or info@jtlegalgroup.com. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have successfully pursued personal injury claims against dozens of negligent drivers who have injured or killed pedestrians, bicyclists or innocent bystanders in Los Angeles in the past in hit and run accidents and we fight tooth and nail to recover every element of damage for our clients that they are entitled to under California law.  Without the help of a trusted personal injury law firm like JT Legal Group when you have been injured or killed in a hit and run incident in Los Angeles or some other part of Southern California, your claim may be subject to getting pushed to the side or completely rejected. For more information, including a no cost consultation regarding your particular situation, contact our firm immediately – we’re here to help you.

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Michael Avanesian, Esq.