Previous posts here have noted the safety issues surrounding the electric scooters that are now a frequent sight on the streets and sidewalks of Los Angeles and its southern suburbs and exurbs, including Costa Mesa and the rest of Orange County. A recent report in a major medical journal confirmed that, while this new mode of pedestrian transportation is spreading rapidly across the country, issues involving the safety of these scooters remain.
For instance, based on a survey of emergency room visits by people who were injured by these scooters, it seemed that the vast majority of them, over 90 percent, were actually riding the scooter at the time of the accident. Of these victims, fewer than 5 percent were wearing a helmet. This is unfortunate since, of those patients who had to go to the emergency room, 40 percent had some sort of injury to the head. These head injuries included traumatic brain injuries in some cases. In fact, of the handful of patients who had to remain in the hospital in intensive care, all had the symptoms of a severe brain injury.
While some might say that it is a rider's own fault for not wearing a helmet, it is important to remember exactly how these scooters work. For one, they are convenient and portable, but the tradeoff is that they are not always the most durable or resilient vehicles. Moreover, they are distributed so that people can pick them up off the street at any time, that is, on the spur of the moment. It is unlikely that every California resident out on the town is going to remember to pack a helmet.
While every case is different, someone who is the victim of an injury involving these electric scooters should remember that compensation may be available to them via a products liability or other personal injury action.