What to do After an Electric Scooter Accident
By Lynn Fugaro, Staff Writer
If you live in or near a city, there’s a good chance you’ve seen electric scooters (known as e-scooters) parked on street corners or zooming along with city traffic. The popularity of e-scooters is huge, and many people are choosing this fairly inexpensive mode of transportation to get to and from work, and to maneuver through crowded city streets during lunch breaks and for errands.
You can simply choose a scooter from one location, use an app and credit/debit card to rent it, ride it to another location, and then park it. There are no designated drop-off points for the scooters, and that you can pick them up and drop them off virtually anywhere in the city is one of the most appealing aspects of e-scooters. Not having to worry about parking a car (finding a space and paying for it) is another big incentive to choose this fun mode of transportation, but they are proving to be dangerous as much as they are convenient.
E-Scooter Accidents Already Too Common
As the scooters become more ubiquitous in American cities, the number of accidents and injuries involving the scooters is also increasing. Sadly, there have been several fatalities involving e-scooter collisions with cars and a number of e-scooter accidents that involve hitting pedestrians and stationary objects. If you’ve been involved in an accident while riding an e-scooter, or if you’ve been injured by someone driving an e-scooter, you will most likely need legal representation as these cases sometimes involve multiple parties, and determining liability is not as easy as it may be in a simple car collision between two drivers.
While e-scooter accident statistics for 2018 are scarce, there have been reports indicating that city hospital emergency rooms are seeing more and more e-scooter accident-related injuries every day. People are suffering scrapes, bruises, and cuts; head injuries (helmets are required by law in most cities allowing e-scooters); broken bones; and other serious injuries that occur when an unprotected e-scooter driver collides with a car or hits the road beneath him.
After An E-Scooter Accident…
Just as with other types of vehicle accidents, there are certain steps you should take to ensure you’re safe after an e-scooter accident. There are also steps you need to take to ensure your legal protection following the accident. Due to the fact that e-scooters are a fairly new craze, most people are not quite sure what their rights are or who is liable for a crash. A personal injury attorney in your area can advise you on what needs to happen after your accident involving an e-scooter.
First, right after the accident, move yourself to a safer area off the roadway and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe, and call 911. You will need to be checked out by EMT’s at the scene, and if you are not examined right after the accident, you should still see your own medical doctor within 24 hours of the accident. If you don’t seek medical treatment (or if you delay medical treatment) and then start having health issues at a later time, it will be more difficult to convince an insurance company that your medical problems resulted from the accident. Seeing a doctor and keeping records of any medical treatments is imperative to an accident case.
You will file a police report and collect as much information at the scene as possible. If you are able to, you should take photos and videos of the vehicles and people involved and also the surrounding area. Weather and road conditions, lighting, traffic patterns and congestion, and anything else that would affect one’s ability to drive will all be crucial to your case. Make sure the insurance information of all parties is collected, and limit your talking about the accident to the law enforcement officers on the scene. Keep in mind that other people involved in the accident will be recording you, possibly, so anything you say or do at the scene of the accident can hurt you later.
After you’re cleared to leave the scene of the accident, please contact an e-scooter accident attorney in your area to schedule a no-cost consultation. Your lawyer will need to know which scooter you were on (Lime and Bird are two of the biggest e-scooter manufacturers at this time), and he will collect information regarding the accident from you and the police. Lime and Bird are currently both dealing with lawsuits following serious accidents involving the e-scooters they produce.
At the consultation, the lawyer will advise you regarding whether or not you have a valid legal claim and who may be held liable for your injuries. You can then decide how to proceed, but without a lawyer, it will be extremely difficult to collect the monetary compensation you will need to cover your medical bills and any other losses incurred due to the accident. Insurance companies will do everything in their power to pay out as little money as possible, and if you were injured through no fault of your own, the negligent parties should be made to pay damages.