You’re walking down a city sidewalk when you come across some electric scooters for rent. You decide on a whim to go for a quick trip, and in a matter of minutes, you’re whizzing down the street, feeling carefree. Suddenly, you lose control and fall. You land headfirst on the road. Dazed and in pain, you’re wondering if your spontaneous scooter spin was worth it. As you struggle to stand, you know you need help with your scooter accident. What should you do next?
Your accident is unfortunate, and your wellbeing is the top priority. You should get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you need it. After, you can consider your options for legal action, and Accident.com is here to help you.
Electric Scooters and Their Risks
Faster than walking but not as fast as driving, riding a scooter can be dangerous on a sidewalk with pedestrians and on a road with cars. Plus, there aren’t always bike/scooter lanes to ride in. Scooters also have small wheels, which can make it harder to go over bumps, holes or cracks in the road.
To add to the danger, many people rent scooters impulsively, so they're usually riding without helmets. These factors increase the chance of injury.
Also, scooters can be dangerous because riders have to balance themselves on them. For newer riders, balancing can be hard. In fact, studies show that one in three scooter-related injuries happened to first-time users. A full 63% of scooter accidents happened during the first nine rides.
So, if your scooter accident injured you, don't worry. You're not alone, and there are many possible causes of the accident that may help you get compensation.
What to Do if You're Injured in a Scooter Accident
Even with the risks, scooters are a great mode of transportation. Hopefully, you've had good experiences riding them. However, if you were in a scooter accident, you need to take action. Here are some steps to follow:
- Call the police. If your accident involved another pedestrian or car, call the police. Also, try to swap information with the other party. If you can't get the other person's details (maybe the other party isn't cooperative), the police can take a report. The record will document the accident, which will be helpful to you later.
- Get medical attention. Hopefully, you aren’t hurt. Even if you feel fine though, it’s a good idea to get medical help right after the accident. Sometimes the adrenaline and shock you feel right after a crash can dull your pain until a day or so later.
- Gather your information. Try to get as much documentation for your records as possible. This information will support your case if you decide to take any legal action. Get the police report and any medical records for treatment. If your accident involved a car and the other person filed an auto insurance claim, get the claim handler’s name and contact details. Don't contact the insurance company until you speak with an attorney.
Ride Share Companies May Try to Blame You, But You Have Options
U.S. emergency rooms treated over 29,600 scooter-related injuries in 2019, up from 15,500 scooter injury treatments in 2018. In response to the rising number of scooter accidents, the main scooter companies, like Lime, Revel and Bird, try to shift the blame to riders to avoid liability.
To make matters worse, the growing scooter industry is not yet strictly regulated. The law does not consider safety suggestions (like helmets) as requirements. Plus, e-scooter renters use a smartphone app to electronically sign an agreement that withholds rental companies from liability. So, injured scooter riders may find it hard to pursue legal action against these companies when loopholes are built into the process.
However, people filed mass tort lawsuits in 2020 against Lime and Bird, saying that the companies’ failure to maintain the scooters lead to injuries for 88 riders (46 Lime, 42 Bird). The cases are still pending at this time. These lawsuits are only the latest, but with the increase of scooter injuries, they're not likely to be the last lawsuits.
Because of the changing regulations and new lawsuits, attorneys are closely watching the scooter industry. Lawyers are preparing to take action for injured clients seeking a settlement. If you've been injured in a scooter accident, you don’t need to go through this alone.
Accident.com can help you find an attorney and get the compensation you deserve. We will refer you to a personal injury attorney for a free consultation. If the lawyer takes your case, the attorney will determine the best course of action to solve the matter.
Electric scooters have become popular modes of transportation. However, the number of scooter accidents has increased too.
If you're considering taking legal action, Accident.com is a good place to learn all of your options. Get started now. There are time limits to filing any claim.