With the constant gridlock of Los Angeles traffic, sometimes it pays to get creative with your choice of transportation. Some skip the rush hour and choose to ride in style on a skateboard.
Skateboards are at home on sidewalks but riders must still battle street traffic at times. These moments leave a skateboarder the most vulnerable. With little protection and distracted drivers failing to look out for anyone else of the street, collisions will unfortunately happen. A skateboarder can wind up in the hospital wondering how to make sure the at-fault driver pays the consequences for his or her mistake.
Contact an Attorney Who Protects Skateboarder Rights
If you were the victim of a careless driver while on a skateboard, please talk to a local attorney with Los Angeles Bicycle Law. We advocate for the skateboarding and cycling community and want safe rides for every rider. In the event of an accident, we want to support the victims and ensure they don’t face the aftermath of an accident alone. We’ll hold the driver at fault for your crash accountable and make sure they cover every part of your recovery as you work to get back on your board.
Skateboarding Accident Dangers in Los Angeles
CBS News reported on the dangers skateboarders face across the nation. They cited a study spanning two decades that found more than 64,500 U.S. children and teens were treated in hospital emergency rooms each year. That figured to around 176 incidents a day. The results also spotlighted that fractures and dislocations were among the most common injuries.
Unfortunately, when vehicles are involved the injuries can be even more severe and permanent damage is a real risk.
Los Angeles Skateboard Laws and Accidents
Skateboard enthusiasts know that determining when and where they can use their boards can be the hardest part of the ride. Confusion over these ordinances can at times lead boarders out into the unsafe streets to ride along with the notorious L.A. traffic.
Skateboarding rules can vary from street to street in Los Angeles County so it can be hard to figure out what’s legal.
A look at some of the more clear cut guidelines might help keep skateboarders out of dangerous situations:
- Helmets: If you are under 18-years-old you are required to wear a helmet. Of course, every rider is much safer when wearing a helmet. Stanford Children’s Health found that helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85% and brain injury by 88%.
- Sidewalk Usage: California state law doesn’t prohibit skateboards on sidewalks but many cities have local ordinances prohibiting that exact thing. The City of Los Angeles does allow skateboarding and biking on sidewalks as long as the riders yield to pedestrians. Some neighborhoods in Los Angeles County either ban sidewalk use or prohibit it in business districts.
- Street Use: The City of Los Angeles allows street use, so long as riders stay under 40 mph, stay to the right to face traffic, and stop at intersections. Los Angeles County streets may be off-limits in some places and may be under curfew. Where street use is legal, riders must stay under 10mph and stay off of streets with a steepness grade of over 3%.
Compensation in a Skateboarding Accident
Rules should be followed, but a skateboarder can still get compensation in a collision involving a driver even if they weren’t riding in the correct place at the right time. A driver must still follow the legal concept of “duty to care.” This means drivers must always look to protect pedestrians and other riders who are much more vulnerable on the road than an occupant in a car. This is a requirement even if a skateboarder is not following a local ordinance.
Skateboarders can also file a civil lawsuit and make a claim for damages even if they weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. A judge may assign partial blame to the rider for his or her injuries without a helmet, but the driver may also share blame and be forced to compensate the skateboarder for a substantial portion of the damages.
If a claim for damages is won, the victim will receive compensation for many of the hardships they’ve suffered since the accident. Money for hospital bills and any future rehabilitation can be part of any award. Lost time from work and missed paychecks can be compensated. Money for emotional and physical pain can be part of a settlement. The anguish of not being able to get back on a board can be compensated as well.
Contact a Los Angeles Longboard Accident Attorney
At Los Angeles Bicycle Law we stand behind skateboarders and anyone else who uses micromobility to travel Los Angeles. Skateboarders have as much right to ride as anyone else in Southern California. If you were injured by a careless driver, allow our attorneys to make sure your future is protected. We’ll win you the compensation you’ll need to pay for your complete recovery.
At Los Angeles Bicycle Law, we concentrate our practice solely on bicyclists and skateboarders who have been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of others. If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles or anywhere else in Southern California, contact us right away for a confidential free consultation and case review.