On January 13th, a 69 year old woman on an e-scooter tragically suffered life-threatening injuries when she collided with a cement mixer in San Francisco. 
This tragedy follows a trend of increasing amounts of e-scooter accidents as the popularity of this new cheap and fun transportation has spiked in recent years.
30,000 e-scooters are permitted to operate in Los Angeles, and other large cities such as San Francisco and Oakland have each issued over 3,000 e-scooter licenses alone.  The Los Angeles Department of Transportation estimates that over 1 million rides were taken on e-scooters and e-bikes in the first month of their permitted operation. 
However, safety hazards and the need for increased regulation have grown apparent in the face of e-scooters disrupting the alternative transportation industry. Los Angeles's 311 system received over 1,200 complaints about e-scooters in just nine days. 
E-scooters are a fun way to travel, but they are deceptively dangerous. They can achieve speeds over 15 mph -- a deceivingly high speed that can easily result in grievous injury if collisions with pedestrians or other vehicles happen. Riders unprepared or simply unable to balance the platform at that speed can be seriously injured if they fall from the e-scooter. E-scooters placed in the middle of a sidewalk also present a hazard, especially to the disabled.
E-scooter accidents surge amidst rising e-scooter popularity
Accidents related to e-scooters have skyrocketed, with hospital admissions related to e-scooter accidents quadrupling in four years.  Since 2014, there have been over 39,000 e-scooter related injuries.
A UCSF study found that of those 39,000 e-scooter related injuries, over two-thirds were injuries to the head. The preeminence of head injuries has prompted some e-scooter operators to issue free helmets. 
The study found that better safety regulations are needed in the industry to protect riders.
Unfortunately, instead of tightening regulations, California recently signed a law removing the helmet requirement for e-scooter riders.
E-scooters also have many points of potential failure. Lime, a popular operator of alternative transportation, have identified several areas to increase safety, including brakes, wheels, and balance. 
Unfortunately, because regulations tend to lag behind developing industries, negligent riders contribute to e-scooter accidents as well. Speeding e-scooters or riders illegally operating on the sidewalk cause injury. Rider negligence has caused cities such as San Diego to develop strict e-scooter laws, and some e-scooter companies have withdrawn their operations due to difficulty operating.  However, more action is needed to protect the public.
Involved in an e-scooter accident? Protect your rights.
Those involved in e-scooter accidents need to act quickly protect their rights. Evidence needs to be preserved, and there are important deadlines that, if missed, will result in the forfeiture of your legal rights. Additionally, liability may fall onto several different parties such as any other drivers involved in the crash, the e-scooter company, or those contracted to manufacture specific parts for the e-scooter. An experienced attorney can identify key first steps and navigate you through the process. Click here to read more about some of the potential legal issues in an e-scooter accident.
RLS's leading Personal Injury Trial Attorney Eustace de Saint Phalle and Associate Attorney Olivia Leary are available to answer your questions. Contact us for a free consultation today using the below form.
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