Last spring, electronic scooters, commonly referred to as e-scooters, began popping up for rental in cities across the nation, and with their popularity, injuries from electronic scooter accidents rose. Currently the two largest manufacturers of e-scooters are Lime and Bird.
Accidents can happen when e-scooters collide with cars, pedestrians or stationary objects; hit uneven payment and riders are thrown; or the e-scooter itself malfunctions.
E-scooters are inexpensive and convenient. They allow users to zip to work or navigate a city and can be picked up and dropped off almost anywhere in a city offering them for rental through smartphone apps. Riders don’t have to worry about parking a car – or paying for parking.
Despite their convenience, riding e-scooters can be dangerous. They are less stable than bicycles. With smaller wheels and a shorter wheel base, they easily can be affected by pavement defects. Riding e-scooters is less safe than riding in a car. If you ride one, be sure to wear a helmet to protect your brain in the event of an accident. Operating e-scooters on the road is against the law in Florida: a city can pass an ordinance allowing e-scooters to be ridden on sidewalks.
According to CNN, two people have died in electronic scooter accidents and hospital emergency rooms are treating patients with concussions, lacerations, and broken bones. Some injuries are life-threatening; others have left people permanently disabled. In December, an e-scooter accident left a 28 year-old woman in a vegetative state.
A Consumer Reports investigation found 1,500 e-scooter injuries across the United States despite many hospitals not tracking them.
After an Accident
Like any type of accident, move to a safer area out of the way of oncoming pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Make sure everyone in the accident is safe and call 911 if there are injuries. Get checked out at the scene by responding Emergency Medical Treaters (EMT) and follow up with your own doctor if the injuries don’t warrant a trip to the emergency room. Remember, if you delay seeking medical treatment and later have health problems, it will be tougher to convince an insurance company that the accident caused your injuries.
Get a police report. If possible, get as much information at the scene such as photos or video of the crash scene and vehicles, any witnesses’ names and contact information, and if there was another driver at fault, their name, contact information, and their insurance details. Other things that may factor into the issue of accident liability include weather, road conditions, traffic patterns and lighting, to name a few.
Remember, anything you say could be used against you if a claim is filed, so limit your conversation with the parties involved to exchanging contact and insurance information.
After leaving the scene, you may wish to consider contacting an e-scooter accident attorney who can determine whether you have a claim and who may be held liable. Contact attorney Leslie A. Goller at (904) 722-2228.