Are Injuries Common?
Injuries on electric scooters can happen. In 2018, 14,641 people were injured while riding an electric scooter. Of those who were injured, one-third of them sustained head injuries. While these might seem like low numbers, they do show that there is a potential for someone to be injured while riding an electric scooter. It’s also important to remember that injuries may not always be reported, so the actual number could be higher. Those who suffer minor injuries, for instance, may not seek medical care or report the incident. Any time someone rides an e-scooter, there is a potential for them to be injured through their misuse or because of another driver.
How Injuries Can Happen
There are two main ways injuries can happen: misuse or negligent drivers. Misuse can include not paying attention while riding, texting or talking on the phone, failing to slow down when needed, being unaware of how to use the e-scooter, or failing to follow safety precautions during use. Negligent drivers can include those who are distracted, are driving under the influence, or aren’t following driving laws. Drivers who run through a stop sign or red light may end up causing an accident, as can those who are speeding and may not see the person on the scooter with enough time to slow down or stop.
When someone does fall off the scooter, their injuries can depend on how they fall and how fast they were doing when the accident occurs. Someone who falls off at a low speed while learning to use the e-scooter may only suffer minor injuries. Someone who is hit by a car may end up with severe injuries, depending on the speed of the car and the way the rider was hit. Any fall can cause more serious injuries such as head injuries, so taking the right precautions to prevent potential accidents as much as possible is always recommended.
Who is Liable for Injuries?
It can be difficult to determine who is liable for any injuries sustained while riding an e-scooter. It will depend on how the accident occurred and who caused the accident. Some of the potential situations to consider include the following.
• Single Rider – If the rider ends up crashing on the scooter or falling off of it, they could be liable for their own injuries. However, there are situations where someone else might be liable. If the rider falls because they hit a damaged part of the road, for instance, it may be the city that is liable due to not keeping the road in good shape.
• Tripping – Some riders will drop their e-scooter wherever they stop, which can include in walkways. When this happens, if someone is walking by, they can end up tripping over the e-scooter. The liable party would be whoever is responsible for moving the e-scooter at the time, which can include the rider, the company, the owner of the property, or the city.
• Scooter and Pedestrian – Since scooters can be used on sidewalks, an accident can occur. Depending on how the accident occurred, the liability could fall on the rider or the pedestrian. If the rider is negligent, for instance, they would be held liable if they ran into a pedestrian.
• Scooter and Car – The e-scooters can be ridden in bike lanes, so they are on the road close to cars. This can lead to riders being hit by a car while they’re going down the road. It could also mean the scooter ends up hitting a door when a driver opens it to get out without looking. In these scenarios, the likely liable party would be the car driver.
• Defective Scooter – Scooters can be rented by anyone, so they’re not always cared for properly. The company that rents the e-scooters is supposed to take proper care of them and do any repairs that may be needed. Still, someone can end up renting a defective scooter. If they end up injured due to the defect, the liable party is likely the company that owns the scooter.
Tackling Insurance Companies
In most cases, the liable party will have an insurance company to handle any damages or injuries sustained. Insurance companies are there to cover the expenses from accidents, but they will try to minimize their losses. This means they’ll look for ways to deny a claim outright or try to minimize the amount of money they pay out in a settlement. It’s all too common for a rider to say something when talking to the insurance company that can cause a shift in liability, meaning the rider doesn’t get a settlement, or end up accepting a settlement that’s not going to cover all medical bills or other expenses from the accident.
Compensation for Injuries
There are many different types of compensation that can be obtained after an e-scooter accident. Riders may be able to gain compensation for any accident-related medical bills now and in the future, property damages, lost wages during recovery, or other expenses that happen as a result of the accident. It’s also possible to obtain compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, reduced earning capacity, and more. Riders may be able to obtain more money than they initially know, which is why accepting the first settlement offer is not a good idea. The initial offer generally doesn’t include everything the rider may be owed from the accident.
Hiring a Lawyer to Help
After an e-scooter accident, it’s always a good idea to seek legal assistance. A lawyer can review the case to help determine who is liable for the accident. Even if the rider believes it may be their fault, it’s worth having a lawyer take a look at what happened. Then, the lawyer can help the rider with any contact with the insurance company to prevent saying something that could lead to the claim being denied. When the insurance company does offer a settlement, the lawyer can review any offers and make sure it is sufficient before the rider accepts it. The lawyer will negotiate for a better settlement for their client and can take the case to court if necessary to receive the right amount of compensation.
Lawyers can also help if there is no insurance company involved. If the accident is caused by a pedestrian, for instance, there may not be an insurance company to contact. It may be necessary to sue the pedestrian to cover the cost of any injuries or damages, which can be difficult to do. In this case, the lawyer can provide the rider with advice on how to handle the situation and work with the rider to make sure they obtain sufficient compensation to cover any accident-related expenses.
Riding an e-scooter can be convenient and a lot of fun, but there is the potential for injuries and they can be severe. If you’ve been injured while riding one of the electronic scooters rentable throughout the city, take the time to speak with a lawyer now. We can review your case with you and let you know what the potential is for obtaining compensation. Call us today to set up a consultation and learn more about your specific situation and what we can do to help.
FAQs About Electronic Scooter Accidents
Before taking a ride on an electric scooter around town, check out the following FAQs to know how to ride safely and what you should do if you’re in an accident.
Are Scooters Legal to Rent in the City?
Yes. It is legal to rent scooters and they can be found throughout the city. They can be used throughout the city and left wherever the ride ends. It is recommended to make sure the e-scooter is placed in a safe location when the ride is over to prevent it from being a tripping hazard.
Who Can Ride a Scooter in the City?
Anyone who has a learner’s permit or a valid driver’s license can rent an e-scooter. They are not intended to be rented by small children who do not yet know how to use them or have knowledge of driving laws that may be applicable when riding a scooter.
Is a Helmet Required When Riding an E-Scooter?
Yes. Helmets are required when riding an electric scooter. Make sure the helmet fits properly using adjustments if needed. If the rider is ever in an accident, they will want to replace the helmet before riding an e-scooter again even if it doesn’t look damaged. If it has hit something, it should be replaced.
What are Safety Tips for Riding a Scooter?
When riding a scooter, always pay attention to the surroundings and use a helmet to protect against injuries. Do an equipment check before getting on the e-scooter and go slow to make sure it’s possible to see and stop for any potential hazards. Avoid riding in poor weather or under the influence as these can both make accidents more likely to occur.
Is it Legal to Ride a Scooter in the Rain?
There are no laws against riding an electric scooter in the rain. However, these e-scooters were not built with rain in mind, so they can be slippery and it could be easier to get in an accident when it’s raining or the roads are wet. It’s recommended to wait until the weather improves to ride.
Is it Legal to Share an E-Scooter?
There are not any laws against sharing an e-scooter, but it is never recommended. Each person should have their own scooter, as two people riding on one may lead to an accident. Plus, it can cause damage to the scooter that could cause an accident due to two people being over the intended weight limit.
Is Riding a Scooter Downtown Safe?
Downtown, it’s only legal to ride scooters in the bike lane or the road. Since there aren’t many bike lanes, this puts riders in the road with drivers. With many drivers failing to follow laws or driving while distracted, this can be incredibly dangerous. Those who do ride downtown will want to be aware of their surroundings at all times and take care to ride properly to help prevent an accident.
What Should be Done Immediately After an Accident?
Immediately after an accident, if possible, get out of the road and away from other vehicles. Check on anyone else involved in the crash and call the police to report the accident. Gather as much evidence as possible, including photos of the accident scene and the damages or injuries from the accident. Then, seek medical care for any injuries and contact a lawyer for help obtaining compensation.
What Happens if an E-Scooter is Defective?
If an e-scooter is defective, the company renting it may be liable for any injuries sustained. It is crucial to perform an equipment check before riding and avoid any scooter with obvious issues. If nothing appears wrong but something happens during the ride, it is important to speak with a lawyer as the rental company will try to avoid liability for any accidents that occur due to defects.
What Types of Defects are Common?
Several different parts could be damaged or fail to work properly on an electric scooter, including the following.
• Handles – The handles could fail to respond to the rider or can come off if they aren’t properly attached, leading to an accident.
• Kickstands – If the kickstand is not working, the e-scooter could fall and create a hazard for pedestrians.
• Brakes – Brakes that fail can lead to incredibly serious injuries, as riders will not be able to slow down to avoid hazards. If the brakes do work, but immediately stop the scooter instead of slowing it down, the rider could be thrown from the scooter due to the sudden stop.
• Wheels – Wheels can come off the scooter, causing the e-scooter to flip. This can lead to serious injuries for the rider and anyone nearby if they are hit when this happens.
• Batteries – If the battery suddenly dies, it could cause the scooter to stop without warning. Batteries should not cause sudden stops, but can if they do not work properly or aren’t properly connected.
Do E-Scooter Companies Offer Insurance?
Some e-scooter companies will offer insurance. It is up to the rider to check on whether insurance is available and, if so, to purchase the right type of insurance for their needs. Companies that do offer insurance will typically offer personal accident coverage or liability coverage, both of which can help helpful if a rider is in an accident, especially if it was their fault.
Is a Lawyer Necessary for an E-Scooter Accident?
It is always a good idea to hire a lawyer after being in an e-scooter accident. The lawyer will work hard to help their client get as much compensation as possible from the liable party, which can reduce the chance for the rider to be required to pay any of their expenses from their own money.
If you are in an accident while riding an electric scooter, get legal help soon to gain the compensation you need to financially recover from the accident. Contact us today to set up a consultation or to learn more about your options.