Like Chicago’s popular Divvy bicycle-rental program, shared electric scooters, also known as e-scooters, are scooters you can rent through an app on your smartphone. Recently, Lime and Bird just got the green light from Chicago City Hall to expand their e-scooter program, and these companies will soon be deploying up to 6,000 electric scooters for riders throughout Chicago.
However, as the popularity of electric scooters has increased, so have the number of accidents. According to one study by the University of North Carolina, 80% of all electric scooter riders’ fatalities were caused by collisions with automobiles. Other causes are oftentimes related to faulty maintenance or wiring. If you were injured while taking a ride on an electric scooter, contact your attorney immediately as e-scooter lawsuits can be complex and time-consuming.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Help
Cases where e-scooter riders are injured can be more complicated than you think. Like any personal injury case there are many moving parts to a lawsuit and a scooter sharing case is no exception.
It is a good idea to consult with an experienced lawyer to find out what sort of damages you may be able to recover from a successful case but to learn about the legal process that comes with filing a claim.
Knowing all the details about the legal process including what the steps are, what filings you are responsible for, and all the deadlines you need to be aware of can help increase the chances of your case being a success and your winning the recovery you need.
The skilled Chicago e-scooter attorneys at The Kryder Law Group, LLC are ready to help you in your time of need. Injuries among electric scooter accidents can vary from minor to severe. When you’re recovering from any injury your focus should be on your recovery and not the legal proceedings of your case. Let us take care of the legal aspects of your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Have you been injured in an accident? Get help from the experienced lawyers at The Kryder Law Group.
During the 2020 pilot, 171 electric scooter accidents resulted in a visit to the emergency room, and 93% of the victims were the e-scooter riders.
Illinois and Chicago have not passed any special rules of the road for e-scooters, so riders should follow all automobile traffic laws to help keep fellow riders of scooters safe. Though it might sound dangerous, e-scooters have the same right to be on the road as automobile drivers. When riding any motorized vehicle, you must keep the safety of pedestrians in mind. In fact, it is illegal to ride an electric scooter on sidewalks or biking trails such as the 606 or the Lake Shore Path.
And just like riding a bicycle it is always recommended to wear a helmet while you ride. Although Illinois does not have motorcycle helmet laws, wearing a helmet could make a difference in preventing your accident from being a fatality. Scooter sharing can be an incredible convenience but should also be given the same safety consideration as any transportation vehicle on the road. From your first ride safety should always be your #1 priority.
Common Electric Scooter Accidents
The vast majority of serious electric scooter injuries occur when an operator is struck by a car. Oftentimes inattentive drivers will not see an e-scooter at an intersection and collide with the operator with tragic results. In other instances, automobile drivers will strike operators from behind even though e-scooters are required by law to drive on the road.
Parked automobile drivers can also present dangers to electric scooter operators. A driver may open their door, step out from between cars, or pull out of the parking space without checking their mirrors or for incoming traffic.
If you were injured by a malfunctioning e-scooter or by an automobile while operating an e-scooter, contact your attorney to evaluate your options as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Common Injuries From e-Scooters
Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to one university study, head injuries are the most common type of injury associated with operating an e-scooter. Of all emergency department visits involving e-scooter accidents, 40.2% were due to head injuries. Even moderate head injuries can require extensive treatment and rehabilitation.
Signs of a head injury after an accident include headaches, nausea, confusion, blurred vision, and behavioral or mood changes. Helmets save lives and are essential when discussing the safety of riders of not just electric scooters. Riding with out a helmet can lead to serious or fatal injuries.
Fractures and Sprains
Fractures (31.7%) and sprains (27.7%) are the second and third most common forms of e-scooter injuries. These injuries are often painful and debilitating. They may also force you to miss work during your recovery since they can have significant recovery times.
Fortunately, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages and medical bills in addition to your pain and suffering if your e-scooter accident was caused by a product failure or the negligence of a driver on the road.
Safety Tips to Avoid Accidents While Operating Electric Scooters
E-scooters are smaller than vehicles, so an inattentive driver will be less likely to see you. Slow down when you approach an intersection or emerge from a side street, and do not simply assume that a driver will see you. If your scooter has lights, keep them activated so you are easier to see. Since e-scooters do not have turn signals, use arm signals when you are turning.
Keep Your Distance
The best protection you can have against dangerous drivers is to maintain your distance from them. By keeping your distance, you will have more time to react and avoid an accident. It helps to realize that the same principle while driving a car applies when riding an electric scooter, as well. Always give yourself enough distance to react accordingly to any situation.
While you might choose to maintain your distance from vehicles, unfortunately, other drivers might not choose to follow this rule. If another vehicle is tailgating you, keep to the side and let them pass. The minor inconvenience of letting a tailgater pass is worth the peace of mind that comes from not having an aggressive driver behind you causing you stress and potentially putting you in danger.
Follow The Law
There are no special rules for e-scooters, so operators are required to follow the same rules of the road as an automobile driver. That includes stopping at controlled intersections and not using your mobile phone while operating. It is important to understand this and not make the mistake of riding without any regard to road safety. Making this mistake could cost you severely.
Bird and Lime e-Scooter Safety Ratings
Bird and Lime are two of the most popular e-scooter rental companies, and both have established pilot programs as well as an upcoming permanent contract with the City of Chicago.
Both have implemented a maximum speed of 15mph on their e-scooters, always-on rear and front lights for improved visibility, and an internal mechanism that disables the e-scooters between midnight and 5:00am when drunk drivers are most likely to be on the road.
E-scooters will also come equipped with internal sensors that will disable it if it is being operated on a sidewalk or biking trail.
Nonetheless, there have been reported mechanical and maintenance issues with some scooters. One class action lawsuit has alleged that Lime scooter riders have been injured due to unexpected and excessive braking and accelerations during operations. There have also been reported fires due to their Lithium-Ion battery failures.
Chicago Scooter Injury Lawyers
If you were injured while operating an e-scooter, you need to contact an experienced e-scooter injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including:
Pain and suffering
Loss of a normal life
Call The Kryder Law Group, LLC today for a free consultation of your e-scooter accident. One of our experienced personal injury attorneys can review your case with no obligation from you and determine how we can help get you the maximum compensation that is available to your specific case.