The personal injury and wrongful death law practice of the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg includes representing plaintiffs in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California who are injured in accidents involving scooters, Segways, golf carts, and other motorized vehicles. As gas prices continue to rise, the popularity of motorized scooters has increased. It is easy to confuse a child’s toy with a fully-operational motor vehicle when dealing with motorized vehicles. Most Mopeds are street-legal everywhere; some have the power to be ridden on highways and even have top speeds of over 100 miles per hour. While pocket bikes such as mini-choppers and mini-ninjas may look like toys, only electric models are recommended for children. Gas-powered pocket bikes are miniature motorcycles that can easily achieve highway speeds and come with the same or greater risks as full-sized motorbikes.
BIKE AND E-BIKES IN LOS ANGELES
There are many types of electric bicycles in and around the Los Angeles area. In some cases, these are personally owned vehicles. However, there are also many rental and rideshare electronic bikes across the city. California officially adopted laws regarding eBikes in 2015, and the state breaks electric bicycles down into three categories: Classes 1, 2, and 3.
If you or somebody you love owns an eBike or is considering renting one, it is not likely that you need to know the classification. What you do need to know is that serious accidents can occur when using these vehicles. An eBike that is struck by a traditional passenger vehicle can lead to significant injuries for the electronic bike rider.
There are various types of electronic bikes throughout the Los Angeles area. There are many different stores that offer rentals and sales of electronic bikes in LA. Very notably, residents and visitors in the area can also use Metro Bike Share. This service lets a person buy a bike share pass that allows them to release and unlock electronic bicycles in various areas around the city, ride the bike to their destinations, and return them turn approved to drop off area near their destination.
Regardless of whether or not a person owns an electronic bike or is using a rideshare bike, there are extreme risks to being injured in a collision with a traditional passenger vehicle. In many cases, these accidents are caused by the careless or negligent operations of a vehicle driver. Unfortunately, vehicle drivers often fail to operate safely around electronic bikes, and these incidents can be devastating for the cyclist. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were approximately 12,000 bicycle accident injuries during the latest reporting year across the state. While this data does not breakdown how many of these involved electronic bikes, these collisions occur in much the same way that traditional bike crashes do.
Injured electronic bicyclists should be able to recover compensation from any negligent party that causes the crash.
ELECTRIC SCOOTERS ON THE STREETS OF LOS ANGELES
For years now, electric scooters have flooded the streets of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, this has also led to an uptick in emergency room visits. In Los Angeles, tens of thousands of scooters are allowed to operate legally within the city limits. Under California law, these vehicles are prohibited from operating on the sidewalk, but the reality is that many electric scooter riders operate these vehicles wherever they want. Electric scooter riders are allowed to operate these vehicles on the street if the posted speed limit is 25 mph or slower, and they are supposed to operate them as close to the right-and curb as possible.
There are various companies that operate electric scooters in Los Angeles, including:
- Jump (owned by Uber)
There are very few restrictions regarding who can operate an electric scooter in LA. In general, all a person has to do is download the app for the particular scooter they want to ride and use this app to unlock the scooter. There are no helmet requirements, and riders do not have to have any experience before they use them.
ARE GOLF CARTS LEGAL ON LOS ANGELES STREETS
Most people understand that golf carts are regularly operated outside of a “golf community” or golf course. California has strict requirements for low-speed vehicles (LSV) and classifies them as vehicles that can reach more than 20 mph but not more than 25 mph on a paved level surface. A golf cart is not allowed to operate on any street that has a speed limit above 35 mph, and they are only allowed to cross highways at controlled intersections.
In California, golf carts must be driven by a licensed driver, and they must be registered and insured. Every municipality is allowed to set requirements instructions for golf cart usage. Both Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles have requirements about where golf carts may and may not be driven.
Segways in Los Angeles, CA
The Segway Personal Transporter is a two-wheeled, self-stabilizing transportation device. Despite its novelty, the Segway is a motorized vehicle. The operation of a Segway, therefore, comes with all the risks associated with any other motorized vehicle. Falls from Segways or collisions with other motor vehicles can result in serious injuries, from open compound fractures to traumatic brain injury (TBI), or spinal cord injury causing partial to complete paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia.
Common uses of Segways include municipal law enforcement personnel and factory/warehouse employees in large commercial operations. Due to their cost and safety concerns (Segways was the subject of a recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2003, after several people were injured in falls from Segways, including one head wound requiring several stitches), Segways remain somewhat of a novelty among the general public. However, that novelty is wearing off as public awareness of Segways increases. For instance, guided tours using Segways are currently being operated in several cities around the world, including San Francisco, California.
INJURIES CAUSED BY ELECTRIC BIKES, GOLF CARTS, SCOOTERS, AND SEGWAYS
Unfortunately, any accident involving the vehicles discussed on this page could result in a severe injury for victims. Riders of electric scooters, golf carts, and Segways are much more likely to sustain a severe injury in the event they are involved in a collision with a traditional passenger vehicle.
However, low-speed vehicle riders are not the only ones who can sustain an injury in a crash. Also vulnerable are bystanders such as pedestrians and bicyclists that are involved in these collisions. Drivers and passengers inside of vehicles could also be injured, particularly if they crash while trying to avoid a collision with a low-speed vehicle.
At the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg, it is not uncommon for our attorneys to help clients who have sustained the following injuries in these incidents:
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Other neck and back injuries such as whiplash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations
- Crush or amputation injuries
Contact an Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
If you have been injured in a fall from a Segway or in a collision involving any type of scooter or motorized vehicle, call 310-997-0904 or contact the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg to speak to an attorney who will provide tough, vigorous representation to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries.