Electric scooters have taken American cities by storm -- but America may not exactly be ready for them. The exact count is hard to get, but anecdotal evidence indicates that users are getting injured or killed while riding e-scooters at an alarming rate.
Why Are E-Scooters So Dangerous?
A large part of the problem is that there are no industry regulations on how they can be used. It takes no training or license to rent one, and injuries can happen quickly. All it takes is a small flaw in the sidewalk or bike lane to send a rider flying.
Many riders don't use helmets and alcohol and drugs may be involved in many accidents. In addition, they're still unexpected in traffic and riders aren't always that visible to the drivers of passenger cars and sports utility vehicles in heavy traffic. Add into all this that e-scooter riders tend to be younger and more adventurous, and you can easily see how accidents can happen.
Why Is This A Big Problem For Everyone (Even Non-Riders)?
Even if you don't ride an e-scooter yourself, you could be in danger from one. Because of the number of inebriated drivers or aggressive drivers, it's quite possible that you could be run over by someone using an e-scooter when you're simply walking down the street or waiting on a bus.
Imagine this scenario: You're an older person who is walking home from the nearest coffee shop. As you turn a corner, someone driving an e-scooter rams into you. You end up with a broken hip -- and the e-scooter's rider ends up with a traumatic brain injury from flying headfirst onto the concrete without a helmet.
Maybe, however, you're a responsible rider when you use an electronic scooter. You wear a helmet. You watch out for cars and pedestrians. You stay in the bike lane. That doesn't mean you can't get clipped by a car that takes a turn too sharply. The next thing you know, you have multiple broken bones and internal injuries that will lay you up for months!
Is There Anyone To Sue When An E-Scooter Causes An Accident?
Generally speaking, riders sign a liability waiver automatically in order to use the e-scooter. However, you may still have a claim if the scooter was somehow defective (like the brakes or navigation system fail to work). If you're hit by a car while riding, you may have a lawsuit against the driver of the car that hit you. If you're a pedestrian hit by a reckless driver of an e-scooter, you may have a claim against the driver -- or possibly the scooter company, especially if the equipment is faulty.
Each situation is unique, so it's important to talk your case over with a personal injury attorney, like Borbi Clancy Patrizi, LLC.