Scooter Accidents Are Dangerous
More than 60 cities nationwide are host to their own fleet of electric scooters like those distributed by Bird and Lime. While these vehicles have been cheered as an innovation by some, many concerned citizens have spoken up about the dangers they bring. At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, we’ve seen just how harmful scooter accidents can be. After a scooter injury, you need a caring and persistent lawyer to help you recover compensation. Our team is waiting to help.
Types of Scooter Accidents
Though Florida law prohibits the riders of motorized scooters from using the street, Bird, Lime, and other scooter rental companies instruct customers to stay off sidewalks. This contradictory messaging may confuse riders and put them in danger. Just how much danger is hard to say. Because scooters are relatively new to the transportation scene, few studies have probed their safety. However, accident data have shown:
- Scooters get into more accidents than cars or motorbikes, averaging 2.2 per 10,000 miles driven.
- Scooter riders are injured, on average, 1.4 times per 10,000 trips.
- 1 in 3 scooter accident victims needs emergency care for their injuries.
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Scooter Riders Hit by Cars
Whether on the sidewalk or the street, scooter riders are at risk of being struck by cars entering the roadway from driveways, making turns, or navigating intersections. Accidents between cars and scooters may result in death or serious injury. Drivers who are distracted, who don’t see scooters, or who misjudge their speed can cause these serious accidents with just one abrupt mistake.
Other Car-Caused Scooter Accidents
Drivers don’t have to collide with scooter riders to cause damage. Maneuvers that threaten to hit or cut off a scooter can cause riders to swerve or try to make a sudden stop. Riders who change course at the last minute to avoid hitting a car could instead collide with a different vehicle, a fellow rider, or even a stationary obstacle. Those who slam on the brakes risk the scooter’s wheels locking up.
Scooter Accidents Due to Unsafe Conditions
With smaller wheels and less traction than cars, scooters can be thrown off course by small road or sidewalk imperfections, including unmarked bumps and potholes. Without proper maintenance, city paths can develop hazards—sometimes in hard-to-see places—that can buck scooter riders off.
Poorly Maintained or Sabotaged Scooters
Lime and Bird contract out scooter charging and maintenance, paying locals to keep their fleets on the road. Their system relies on user reports to identify damaged or run-down scooters that need repairs. Without routine maintenance, any rider can become the unlucky person who discovers a problem with a scooter’s traction, brakes, or other parts. One Fort Lauderdale man took it upon himself to disable scooters by cutting their brake lines. If you’re the next rider to find one of these damaged units, you may not know about the problem before it’s too late.
Scooter Accident Injuries
Studies of injured scooter riders have identified the following common reasons for hospital visits:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury
- Fractures, including open fractures
- Joint dislocations
- Nerve, tendon, or ligament damage
For those who do suffer broken bones, they are most commonly in the arm (upper and forearm), wrist, or hand—so riders may have to miss work or school to heal.
About Scooter Company Liability
Scooter rental companies have done their best to release themselves from liability for any accidents, requiring riders to agree not to sue as part of their terms of service. However, this contract may not hold up in court. The companies seem to know it, too, as they carry liability insurance. If you’re injured by a defective or broken scooter, you may be able to bring a case against them and win.
Whether the liability lies with an unsafe driver or a neglectful scooter company, an experienced lawyer can help you sort out the particulars of your case and negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance. Our team has more than 200 years of combined experience working with personal injury victims, and we are ready to take on this newest threat to your safety.