November 19, 2019

Lawsuits for Electric Scooter Accidents

If you live in or have visited a major city in the U.S. recently, chances are good you have seen the use of electric scooters. Often referred to as dockless scooters or rideshare scooters, electric scooters have become a popular option for the eco-friendly. Popular types include brands like Bird, Lyft, Lime, and Ojo. Most scooter companies function through applications on the user’s cell phone. Each app comes with its own set of guidelines and agreements that the user must accept before operating the scooter. However, the company is not there to enforce the rules as the scooter is being used. This leaves a lot of room for error and we are seeing an influx in electric scooter accidents across the nation. 

Common Concerns

  • The laws for scooter use vary. Some cities and communities have very specific rules when it comes to scooters. For example, you may only be allowed a certain speed limit or you may have to stay off of all sidewalks.
  • Riders don’t know the rules. Many tourists use these vehicles as a transportation option in big cities, but they don’t look into the rules first. For major cities like Los Angeles or New York City, this can amount to dozens of uneducated scooter riders on the road at any given time. 
  • Car drivers are unaware. Those driving cars are doing so with enough on their minds as it is. Keeping an eye out for scooter riders is not going to be their main focus while driving. Don’t assume a driver is aware of the scooter laws for your town. Unless they sometimes ride scooters, it is very unlikely that a car driver would take the initiative to educate himself or herself on the guidelines and rights of scooter drivers. 

Top Causes for Accidents

  • Speed: Check the rules in your community to see what the speed limits are on scooters. Most scooters cannot exceed a certain limit, and some even slow down naturally when a battery charge is needed. 
  • Multiple Riders: Most companies have outlawed having more than one person on a scooter at a time. Avoid the temptation to hop on with a friend because scooters are not meant to support more than one person.
  • Bad Brakes: Faulty brakes and damaged portions of a scooter can lead to injuries. Do a spot check before renting one.
  • First-Time Riders: If you’re a first-time rider, do not test this option out on a main road or a busy area of town. You will only put yourself and others around you in danger.
  • Poor Location: Check to see where in your community scooters are allowed before you ride. Some areas only allow them on bike lanes. Riding on a sidewalk is rarely allowed. With pedestrians, trees, fire hydrants, and pets, there are many opportunities for a collision.
  • Damaged Roads: Do not ignore poorly maintained streets. If there is a pothole or construction nearby, don’t place yourself in harm’s way.
  • Nighttime Visibility: Don’t forget that car riders may not be able to see you at night. Be cautious as you turn onto roads and make turns.
  • Improperly Parked Scooters: Try to park your scooter where you see other scooters or a charging area. Leaving a scooter in the middle of a sidewalk could cause harm to another rider or a pedestrian who isn’t paying attention. Avoid blocking a sidewalk or a doorway when parking your scooter.
  • Minors: Do not let minors hop onto the scooters for fun. Unlike children’s scooters, this is a mode of transportation that will go faster than what kids are used to.

Your Next Steps

The types of accidents and degrees of injuries can vary when it comes to electric scooters. It is suggested that riders wear protective gear and helmets while riding, but most people do not have that type of protection on them when they decide at the last moment to catch a ride. If you find yourself in an accident, document every aspect of the injury and file a personal injury claim as soon as possible. From minor to major injuries, do not waste time in contacting the right legal representation for you. At Amicus Legal Group, we have nearly 20 years of experience representing injured victims and their families recover the damages after being involved in an accident.  For more information or to see how we can help, give us a call today.