E-scooters are growing in popularity, especially in major metropolitan areas like New York City and Jersey City, NJ as well as seaside communities such as Point Pleasant. Thanks to their eco-friendly nature and affordability, e-scooters offer a seemingly easy way to get around. But the popularity in use has also driven a rise in the number of scooter accidents. According to an investigation by ABC7, NYC alone saw more than 550 e-scooter accidents last year. If you’ve been injured or involved in a scooter accident, you may have questions about liability and what to do next.
Liability in an E-Scooter Accident
E-scooter riders, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on the road are all at risk for a scooter accident. Scooter drivers put themselves and others at risk when they illegally ride on sidewalks, in bike lanes or on roads that do not allow scooters. A negligent e-scooter driver may weave in and out traffic and not follow traffic laws and obey signals. In these cases, the e-scooter driver could be liable for an accident. However, many scooter rental services do not offer liability protection to drivers which makes seeking compensation for your injuries more complex.
E-scooter drivers are at risk of injury from negligent drivers or cyclists who may not see them on the road or give them the proper right of way. In the case of an accident caused by a negligent driver, that driver could be liable for any injuries and other damages. In other cases, the rental company or the scooter manufacturer may also hold some liability for accidents involving their employees or defective parts.
Types of E-Scooter Accidents
Injuries from e-scooter accidents can be serious, including traumatic brain injuries, fractures, spine injuries and even death. Some of the most common types of scooter accidents include:
Pedestrian accidents. The recent incident of an actress losing her life in a hit-and-run scooter accident in New York City illustrates the dangers pedestrians face. From negligent riders to abandoned scooters left on the sidewalk, scooter and pedestrian accidents can occur in a number of ways.
Bicycle accidents. Bicyclists are at risk for an e-scooter accident from riders who are driving in bike lanes forcing cyclists into oncoming traffic or into parked cars. E-scooters can hit bicyclists causing serious injuries.
Car and Truck Accidents. Erratic scooter drivers attempting to beat the light or get through traffic faster can cause or contribute to an accident. Or, a driver may not see a scooter in a crosswalk or on the side of the road. Scooter riders can suffer catastrophic injuries when hit by a car or truck. The sheer size and weight of a car or truck is no match for an unprotected rider on an e-scooter.
Manufacturer defects. Many e-scooter models are new to the market. It may not be known yet if they have design or manufacturing flaws that could take them off the road. If a defectively designed, manufactured or marketed scooter causes injury to others, or a scooter is in a state of disrepair, then malfunction while users are operating them, accidents and injuries can result. Consequently, the manufacturer of the scooter or part could be held liability in a third-party claim.
What To Do if You’ve Been in an E-Scooter Accident
E-scooters are relatively new to the roads, so many cities and municipalities have not yet adopted laws that regulate e-scooter liability. Keep in mind that car insurance PIP protection does not typically cover 2-wheeled forms of transportation. Given these uncertainties, determining who is liable and and proving it can be complex. Contact a personal injury lawyer to review your case and next steps.
Brandon J. Broderick Can Help With Your E-Scooter Accident
A vehicle accident of any kind can leave you in pain and feeling frustrated and hopeless. When the accident is due to someone else's lack of care, you may need legal representation to ensure your rights and best interests are protected—in these situations, having someone who is on your side to back you up can be a huge relief.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in compassionate client care and honest, straight-forward approach. When you hire a our team at Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. That means if we don’t win, you don’t pay. Contact us today and let us turn your setback into a comeback.