Are Electric Scooters Fun? or Deadly?
Electric scooters have been flooding city streets in recent months, thanks to their introduction by rideshare companies such as Bird, Uber, Lime, and Lyft. Some people use them for transport, while others for enjoyment. But are electric scooters as safe as they are fun?
Injury PotentialA wave of injuries and deaths has swept cities across the country as rideshare companies have aggressively expanded their reach. Wearing helmets when riding can increase safety, but California removed a law requiring electric scooter riders to wear helmets. Some cities still require them, but without protection, riders are more at risk of bruises, concussions, bone fractures, face and head lacerations, and brain and other internal bleeding.
The lack of uniform laws has led to an uncontrolled launch of scooters without a universal legal approach to dealing with them. For example, riding scooters on a sidewalk is illegal in California. However, in Denver, they must be ridden on sidewalks, as an electric scooter there is classified as a toy vehicle.
Legal systems have yet to catch up with an aggressive and successful business model.
Recent Electric Scooter InjuriesDeaths have occurred when people have fallen off scooters. In September 2018, a man was pinned under an SUV and dragged down the street, and died from his injuries. Around the world, there have been reports of severe injuries including broken skulls, and a London teen being dragged under a bus causing facial lacerations and fatal trauma throughout his body. Other incidents involving electric scooter injuries include:
August 2018, San Diego, CA: A brake defect caused a 32-year-old man to fall and the scooter ran over his ankle. Several bones were broken requiring two plates and 21 screws to treat.
July 2018, Los Angeles, CA: After being thrown from a scooter due to a sidewalk offset, a woman collided with a brick wall. She briefly lost consciousness and suffered a concussion, laceration, and thumb sprain.
June 2018, San Diego, CA: An electric scooter rider drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Wearing no helmet, he suffered several broken bones and a collapsed lung.
May 2018, Santa Monica, CA: Not only riders are at risk. While fixing a defective scooter, a mechanic was injured while testing the scooter when the brakes failed. She required staples in her scalp and suffered a fractured clavicle.
Emergency room visits due to skin injuries and broken bones are prevalent in cities across California and areas where electric scooters have become popular.
Can Electric Scooter Riders Take Legal Action?You can pursue legal action if injured in a scooter accident. In many cases, scooter crashes are not the rider*s fault. Defective brakes and stuck throttles are becoming common causes of such incidents. The legal challenge*riders are often required to sign a terms of service agreement, which releases companies from legal liability for injuries sustained while using their scooters.
User agreements can contain tricky language. Lime has required scooter users to acknowledge that scooters may malfunction even with proper maintenance, potentially causing injury. Legal experts have claimed that, while scooter companies claim to maintain their products, they*re not doing enough, and gross negligence may make user agreements unenforceable.
The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani can evaluate your case if you were in a scooter accident, injured, and were riding safely, with a helmet, and obeyed all applicable laws. If a product defect or another party*s actions/negligence led to the accident, you can seek legal action.