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Sacramento Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer


Electric scooters (e-scooters) are gaining popularity in almost every major city in the United States and worldwide. Many people use e-scooters to take short trips in urban areas as an alternative to bikes, cars, and buses. They are popular among the younger crowd because of their affordability and convenience.

As electric scooters become more mainstream, the number of scooter-related accidents is expected to increase. If you or a family member has been injured in an electric scooter-related accident, you may want to consult an injury attorney to learn about your legal options. Call our Sacramento electric scooter accident lawyers today at (916) 921-6400 for a free consultation.

What are Electric Scooters?

Electric scooters, resembling enlarged kick scooters, are equipped with an electric motor and handbrakes. These battery-powered vehicles typically weigh around 40 pounds and can achieve up to 15 miles per hour.

Like bike-sharing programs, scooter-sharing services are primarily intended for short-distance commuting. They are tailored for short distances, such as commuting from a bus stop to an office or covering a journey of approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

The Start of Rentable Electric Scooters

Taking inspiration from Uber and Lyft, companies like Bird, Lime, Scoot, Skip, and Spin began deploying rentable electric scooters on city sidewalks across the United States in 2017, marking the next phase of the transportation revolution.

Among the early adopters in California, cities such as San Francisco, Santa Monica, Oakland, and San Jose eagerly embraced the e-scooter trend. However, it wasn’t until February 2019 that ridesharing electric scooters debuted in the Sacramento market. Jump, the company that had previously introduced electric bikes to Sacramento the year before, introduced its first fleet of 100 electric scooters at that time.

Renting Electric Scooters

Riders can easily access any scooter using the company app on their smartphone. Through the app, riders can locate the nearest scooter and reserve it. Riders will use the app to digitally unlock the scooter and ride to their destination. When they are done with the scooter, they park it at a designated scooter or bike rack and digitally lock it. For cities without designated racks, riders can drop them off at any location to create a risk for pedestrians or vehicles. The scooter companies keep track of the e-scooters through GPS.

Compared to other ridesharing services, e-scooters are cheap to rent. It’s free to unlock through Jump, which costs 15 cents a minute afterward. Other scooter companies charge $1 to unlock and 15 cents a minute. For instance, a two-mile ride that takes about 10 minutes will cost $2.50.

Benefits of Riding Electric Scooters

E-scooters are a great, sustainable way to get around the city. Not only are they fun, affordable, and convenient, but they also promote a healthy and active lifestyle. They can also help reduce traffic congestion, emissions, and parking issues.

The Dangers of Electric Scooters

Conversely, e-scooters also pose a risk when being ridden carelessly. Accidents involving e-scooters can be deadly if the rider falls off or malfunctions. The potential for severe injuries is remarkably high if scooter operators:

  • Ride recklessly at high speeds in pedestrian areas.
  • Park the scooters improperly on sidewalks and pedestrian routes.
  • Run into an object or get hit by a car.
  • Don’t wear a helmet or other protective gear.
  • Break the e-scooter laws.
California Electric Scooter Laws

Like all other personal transportation, e-scooter operators must obey traffic laws and the general rules of the road. The e-scooter laws in California state that riders:

  • Must have a valid driver’s license or permit.
  • They are not allowed in the street with a speed limit above 25 unless they ride in a bike lane.
  • You must be on the right side of the street next to the curb and ride in a designated bike lane if available.
  • Must walk their scooter in a crosswalk when crossing the road.
  • Must not ride on the sidewalk.
  • Can’t have passengers.
  • Can’t hitch scooters onto a vehicle in motion.
  • Must have one hand on the handlebar.
  • Must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

California could cap the number of scooters rented in the cities and apply harsher penalties for anyone breaking the law.

Age Requirement to Ride Electric Scooters

Although California requires riders to be at least 16 years old, some cities like Sacramento and Los Angeles require 18 years or older drivers to operate the e-scooters. Also, California recently passed a law that allows adults to ride without a helmet. Those under 18 must wear a helmet.

Electric Scooter Injuries

Accidents involving e-scooters have resulted in individuals suffering significant injuries and, tragically, in some cases, even fatalities. Emergency rooms throughout the nation are witnessing patients presenting injuries typically associated with automobile accidents:

While most of the injuries were caused by the riders, pedestrians were also injured when they tripped over scooters left on sidewalks or when the riders crashed into them.

A Rise in Injuries and Fatalities Linked to Electric Scooters

Researchers attribute these injuries or fatalities to two primary factors:

  1. Lack of Rider Experience – Many individuals who use electric scooters are inexperienced riders, and casual users often lack a comprehensive understanding of how to operate them safely. Electric scooters can reach up to 15 miles per hour, a velocity level many riders may not be adept at managing.

  2. Rider Impairment – A significant number of riders choose to operate e-scooters while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While impaired riders pose a greater danger to themselves and become a risk to pedestrians.

It’s important to note that the rider may not be at fault for these accidents in some instances. Some incidents can be attributed to scooter malfunctions, such as brake failures or throttle issues.

The video below highlights the rising number of injuries from electric scooters, as observed by emergency room doctors.

What To Do After an Electric Scooter Accident

If you’ve sustained severe injuries in an accident involving a motorized scooter, there are a few steps you need to take immediately:

  • Seek Medical Care – The sooner you get treatment for your injuries, the more likely you will recover fully.
  • Take Photos – Take pictures of your injuries, the scooter, and the area where the accident happened.
  • Report the Accident – Call the scooter company and report the accident.
  • Get Witnesses Information – If your accident happened in a public place, chances are someone saw it. Be sure to talk to the witnesses and get their contact information.
  • Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer – Contact a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento for a free consultation about your legal rights.
Who Is Responsible for an Electric Scooter Accident?

The scooter companies may be liable if they fail to comply with city laws, such as not providing designated parking racks. However, the scooter rider will likely be held responsible for failing to park or operate properly.

If the rider sustained injuries in an accident due to a scooter malfunction, the rider could hold the company responsible for any resulting damages. The rider would likely hold the driver liable if it was due to a traffic accident.

E-Scooter vs. Car Accidents

Like in any other traffic accident case, the legal concept of negligence usually applies when building a case to hold another driver liable for the accident. The injured party must establish these four components:

  • Duty – the injured person must determine that the other party is responsible for driving their car safely.
  • Breach – the injured person must prove that the other party breached this duty.
  • Causation – the injured person must show that the breach caused the accident.
  • Damage – the injured person must confirm that the accident resulted in injury.

If successfully proven that the scooter accident led to injuries that required medical treatment, the injured party could receive financial compensation to help pay for any costs that result from the accident. This may include past and future medical bills and past and future loss of income. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento for more information.

Electronic Scooters FAQ

Are electric scooters legal?

According to the current California state law, electric scooters are legal but with a few restrictions:

  • Riders must have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit.
  • Riders under 18 years old must wear a helmet.
  • Riders can’t ride on the sidewalk.
  • Riders can’t ride on the street with a posted speed limit over 25 mph unless in a bike lane.
  • Riders must stay on the right side of the road and closer to the curb if a bike lane is unavailable.

Can you ride electric scooters on the sidewalk?

The law varies from state to state. However, electric scooters are not permitted on sidewalks unless riders leave or enter a property in California.

Where can I find electric scooters?

You can find them in the same racks designated for electric bikes in downtown Sacramento and West Sacramento. The only difference between renting the scooters in Sacramento and other cities in California is that you can’t leave the scooters on the sidewalks. They must be put back on the racks.

How do I rent an electric scooter?

You can rent a Jump electric scooter using the Uber app. You can locate and reserve the closest scooter in your area through the app. When you reach your scooter, use the app to digitally unlock it and ride to your destination. Once you are done riding, simply put the scooter back on the rack and digitally lock it with the app.

Contact a Sacramento Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer 

If you have been involved in an electric scooter accident and suffered severe injuries – whether caused by a scooter malfunction or by another driver – you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. You will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you achieve the best outcome. Call our Sacramento electric scooter accident attorneys at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

Our legal team has helped residents in the Sacramento region and throughout northern California with cases involving traumatic injuries from car accidents and other injury-related accidents since 1982

Editor’s Note: updated 11.13.23 Photo by Denniz Futalan from Pexels cha [cs 1725]