Determining Liability for Bike & E-Scooter Accidents - AA Law

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Who Can You Sue for Pedestrian Accidents Involving Bikes and Electric Scooters?

May 29, 2024 Alan Ahdoot
Home » Blog » Who Can You Sue for Pedestrian Accidents Involving Bikes and Electric Scooters?

Electric scooters and bicycles have become popular in California thanks to their accessibility and inexpensive cost. Unlike traditional cars, these devices are easy to operate and mobile. Almost anyone with a driver’s license in the state can use them. But what happens if a scooter or bike hits a pedestrian?

Unfortunately, e-scooters can also be involved in pedestrian accidents. When these catastrophic incidents happen, determining liability becomes crucial. It significantly impacts a victim’s ability to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages they’ve suffered. 

In the following sections, we’ll explore who should be responsible for pedestrian accidents that involve e-scooters. 

Who Can I Sue For Pedestrian Accidents Involving Bikes & E-Scooters?

Determining liability for accidents involving a bike or e-scooter that hits a pedestrian can be challenging.

Unlike straightforward car collisions, where the fault lies with one of the two drivers, several parties can be responsible for a pedestrian incident. These include the rider, the pedestrian, the e-scooter or bike manufacturer, and even the municipality. 

But typically, liability is determined by negligence. The party who acted negligently will likely be held responsible for your injuries. Here’s how each potential party we’ve mentioned earlier can be negligent in a pedestrian accident:

  • Rider: Riders who engage in reckless driving behaviors like speeding and disregarding traffic signals will be held liable for any accident or injury they cause. 
  • Pedestrians: Although pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, they’re still expected to follow traffic rules. If a person was jaywalking or distracted by their phone when the bike hits a pedestrian, they could be held liable for a percentage of the accident.
  • Manufacturer: If a malfunctioning e-scooter caused the incident, the e-scooter manufacturer could be held responsible for the damages under product liability. 
  • Municipality: If poorly maintained roadways or inadequate signages primarily caused the accident, the injured victim can hold their local government liable for their damages. 

In addition to negligence, the courts will investigate the events that led to the incident, what caused it, and the injuries both parties sustained. These aspects will help them determine who should be at fault for the accident. 

Understanding Pure Comparative Negligence

California is one of the states that implement the pure comparative negligence law. This law will significantly affect the amount of compensation you can claim. 

In pure comparative negligence states, the amount of compensation an injured plaintiff can claim is determined by their percentage of fault. For instance, if the pedestrian was found 20% at fault for the incident, the damages awarded to them will be reduced by 20%. 

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

When a bike hits a pedestrian, there are several factors that can contribute to the accident.

Driver Error

Like any driver, scooter drivers are expected to operate their devices safely. States like California have set several laws and guidelines for riding e-scooters to ensure the safety of both riders and other motorists. 

Despite this, some scooter drivers still engage in reckless behaviors such as speeding, riding with a passenger, and dismounting on their scooters without warning. 

Manufacturer Defects

E-scooters and bikes can also have manufacturing defects. Examples include defective electrical components, faulty brakes, and worn wheels. 

These defects can cause accidents in several ways. For example, faulty brakes could cause the scooter rider to lose control and collide with a passenger. 

The same scenario can happen with worn wheels. Defective wheels increase the risk of a tire blowout, which could cause the rider to lose control of the device. 

Hazardous Road Conditions

Poorly maintained roadways can also cause e-scooters to collide with pedestrians. For instance, uneven pavements can cause riders to lose their balance and swerve into oncoming pedestrians. 

Debris, like tree branches and trash bags, can cause scooters to slip or become unstable. 

When these incidents happen, the injured party has the right to file a claim against the local government agency in charge of maintaining the roadways. 

Common Injuries You Can Sustain in Pedestrian Accidents

There are dangers to using e-scooters, even if they can only run at 25 miles per hour. Riders and pedestrians can still sustain the following injuries in an accident:

  • Road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Loss of limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Nerve damage

These injuries can significantly change a person’s life. It can leave victims with a large financial burden and emotional distress. 

E-scooter and bike group lined up share sidewalk with pedestrian.
Although most e-scooters can only run 25 miles per hour, they can still cause severe injuries to pedestrians and riders.

Damages You Can Claim For Pedestrian Accidents Involving 

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to claim compensation for the following damages in an e-scooter accident:

  • Medical expenses such as doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, and rehabilitation. 
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

It’s worth noting that no pedestrian accident lawsuit is the same. The exact amount of damages you can receive depends on your claim. 

We recommend you speak to an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to know the true value of your lawsuit. 

Do I Need to Hire A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?

Although you can file a lawsuit without a pedestrian accident lawyer, they can be invaluable assets to your claim. Here’s how they can help:

Determine Liability

A pedestrian lawyer will help you determine which parties will be responsible for your injuries. They will thoroughly investigate the incident to identify what caused the incident. 

Was the rider negligent? Was the bike or e-scooter defective? Did the pedestrian follow traffic regulations? What were the road conditions like? These are some of the questions they’ll ask to determine who is at fault. 

Give Legal Advice

A pedestrian injury lawyer will give sound legal advice on what steps to take after the incident.

It’s very common for injured victims to feel confused and disoriented after a catastrophic event. Fortunately, some pedestrian accident attorneys can guide you through the legal process. 

They will evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a solid claim against the other party. Your pedestrian accident lawyer will also explain how to pursue legal action against them. 

Build A Strong Case

A strong case is the cornerstone of a successful pedestrian accident claim. A pedestrian lawyer will help you build a strong case. They will assist you in gathering solid evidence and obtaining testimonies from any witnesses. 

Get Legal Advice From An Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in California

Pedestrian accidents can be extremely traumatizing. But the good news is that you don’t have to go through them alone. Adamson Ahdoot’s pedestrian injury lawyers are here to provide compassionate support and sound legal advice. 

Adamson Ahdoot’s pedestrian lawyers have a proven track record of successfully securing maximum compensation for injured pedestrians. Their extensive experience handling various personal injury claims, including pedestrian accidents, gives them the knowledge and tenacity to handle complicated cases. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Adamson Adhoot for a free consultation. Talk to one of your pedestrian accident lawyers today and contact us at (800) 310-1606. 

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