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Bird Scooter Accidents: Risks, Injuries & Victims' Rights

bird scooter

Bird scooters have gained popularity in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles. Touted as an environmentally friendly form of transportation akin to ride share and bike share programs, these electric-powered scooters can be used for a nominal fee by residents and tourists who seek a fun and convenient way to get around town. However, these scooters are not without their risks.

When it comes to Bird scooters, the potential for accidents and injuries is very real. At Biren Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers have heard from individuals who have been injured while using these scooters, as well as from others who have been involved in accidents and injured by riders, and are well aware of the unique dangers and risks they pose. Examples may include:

  • Single-Scooter Crashes – It is not uncommon for riders to suffer injuries in single-scooter accidents, as they require some skill and familiarity in order to ride safely. Additionally, defects or part malfunction can also lead to accidents that cause injuries, especially if they affect a rider’s ability to control the scooter using handlebars and throttles, maintain balance, or stop and maneuver with brakes, tires, and other essential components. The potential for wear and tear and consumer abuse also makes it vital that they are regularly inspected and maintained for the benefit of public safety.
  • Roadway Defects – Defects and hazards on roadways and other areas where Bird scooters may be used can also lead to accidents. These include dangers posed by debris, fallen cargo, improperly maintained premises, potholes, and more.
  • Pedestrian / Bicycle Accidents – Because riders share walkways, intersections, and other areas with others on foot, there is great potential for pedestrian and bicycle accidents. This is a particular concern in areas of Los Angeles and surrounding communities with a lot of foot traffic and cycling activity. Our firm recently received a call from a woman who was rear-ended and injured by a Bird scooter while riding on her bike.
  • Abandoned Scooters – Riders who rent Bird scooters are expected to return them properly to a designated kiosk, but that is not always what happens. In fact, Bird scooters are notorious for being left abandoned around walkways and other areas where they can create tripping hazards.
  • Helmets – Bird riders may be required to wear helmets by the company that owns and rents these scooters, but many riders do not. With a lack of head protection, Bird riders face risks of serious injuries, including brain injuries, when they are involved in accidents.
  • Riding on Sidewalks – Bird scooters are motorized scooters, which means riders are not supposed to use them on sidewalks. In areas like Los Angeles, though, many riders use them inappropriately on sidewalks, creasing dangers of not only hitting pedestrians, but also being involved in motor vehicle accidents, especially when vehicles are exiting driveways or parking lots.
  • Car Accidents – Motor vehicles are the most dangerous hazard Bird riders face when using these scooters in public and on or near roadways. Car accidents may occur when riders are struck in intersections, run into open car doors, or collide with vehicles while they back up, swerve, or make turns. Because Bird scooter riders have virtually no protection, they face elevated risks of serious injuries in car accidents.

Who is Liable for a Bird Scooter Accident?

As with any personal injury case, determining who is at fault for causing an accident and injuries is dependent on the unique facts involved. These claims center on negligence, which means liability will depend on who was negligent in causing the wreck. Common examples may include:

  • Scooter Riders – Bird riders may themselves be liable for causing accidents that injure others. This is especially true if riders violate traffic laws or are negligent in any way, such as when they collide into pedestrians or bicyclists. They may also speed into areas filled with pedestrians, or leave scooters littered in public roadways or walkways so as to create hazards. In these situations, a rider may be held liable for the injuries and damages suffered by victims, and compensation may be provided through their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
  • Bird Scooter Company – The company responsible for producing and making Bird scooters available to the public may be liable for accidents and injuries that stem from problems with their scooters. This may be the case when Bird scooters are defective or have parts that fail or malfunction and cause riders to crash. The Bird company may also be liable in cases where abandoned scooters result in trip and fall accidents.
  • Drivers – Drivers of motor vehicles can be held liable for Bird scooter accidents just as they can be held accountable in car accidents. Riders injured by drivers who fail to yield, run red lights or stop signs, or are otherwise negligent in being aware of their surroundings can be held at fault in personal injury cases.
  • Pedestrians / Bicyclists – Bicyclists and pedestrians who cause riders to crash may be held liable under certain circumstances, and their renter’s or homeowner’s insurance may provide the coverage from which victims can recover financial compensation.
  • Other Partiers – Liability in Bird scooter accidents may also involve companies, homeowners, businesses, or premises owners that create or fail to address hazards that lead to injuries and accidents. For example, a premises owner or construction company that knew about a potential danger, such as debris, may be held accountable for victims’ damages when they fail to remedy the danger.

Bird scooters are considered motorized scooters in California, and they have many of the same rights and responsibilities when it comes to safety. When riders fail to uphold their legal obligations, or when they are injured by others who fail to uphold their legal duties, injured victims may have grounds for pursuing a personal injury claim. At Biren Law Group, our award-winning Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help you assess your Bird scooter accident to determine whether you have a case, who can potentially held liable for your damages, and how we can fight for the compensation you deserve.