Electric scooters, or e-Scooters, have become a popular way to get around in Chicago, but they can also be dangerous. If you are injured in an electric scooter accident, it is important to speak to a Chicago scooter accident lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
At The Kryder Law Group LLC, Accident and Injury Lawyers, we have experience handling catastrophic injury claims, and we can help seriously injured e-scooter crash victims get full compensation for the accident.
In this Article
What Is an Electric Scooter?
According to the Municipal Code of Chicago, which defines the requirements for e-scooter companies, electric scooters are two-wheeled, battery-powered motorized vehicles. They are small and lightweight but can reach speeds of up to 15 mph in some cases. These are much smaller than motorcycles and mopeds and don’t require an M or L class motorcycle license to ride.
What Traffic Laws Apply to Electric Scooters?
In Chicago, e-Scooter riders must follow traffic laws as do drivers of other motor vehicles. This means that scooter riders must obey all stop signs, traffic signals, and other rules of the road just like drivers of cars and trucks.
Operate an e-Scooter Like a Bicycle
According to the Municipal Code of Chicago, scooters must be operated in the same way as bicycles are operated. Accordingly, scooters are permitted to be operated only on Chicago’s bike lanes or paths and cannot be ridden on sidewalks. Where there is no bike lane or path, scooters are allowed to be operated on city streets.
Who Can Operate an e-Scooter in Chicago?
In Chicago, anyone who is at least 18 years old (or 16 or 17 with the consent of a parent or legal guardian) can legally operate an electric scooter. All riders must sign a rental agreement and waiver of liability prior to renting a shared scooter from any approved vendor in the city.
What e-Scooter Program is Approved in Chicago?
Chicago has an e-scooter program for scooter-sharing in which electric motorized scooters are available for short-term rentals. They are available for rent in Chicago through the Divvy bike share system as well as through three e-scooter companies:
Do I Need a Driver’s License to Operate an e-Scooter in Illinois?
No. In the state of Illinois, an electric scooter rider does not need a license to operate an e-scooter.
Amendments to the Vehicle Code
At some point in the future, riders may need a valid driver’s license as an amendment to Illinois’ vehicle code has been considered several times. The 101st General Assembly of the State of Illinois considered HB 1590, which would have required low-speed electric scooter drivers to have a driver’s license, permit, or state ID card. This bill was killed 12/31/2020.
Do I Have to Sign a Waiver to Operate an e-Scooter?
Yes. In Chicago, all scooter riders must sign a rental agreement and waiver of liability before operating a shared scooter. The waivers are intended to protect shared scooter companies from any legal or financial responsibility in the event of an accident while using an e-Scooter.
What If I Signed a Waiver and I’m Injured in an e-Scooter Accident?
Even if you signed a waiver of liability, you may still be eligible for fair compensation for your injuries depending on the circumstances of your accident. An experienced Chicago scooter accident attorney can review the facts of your scooter company case and determine whether or not you have a valid claim. Call today to find out if you have a case.
What is an Electric Scooter Accident Case Worth?
Because all motor vehicle accidents are radically different, there’s not an easy way to calculate an average settlement for a scooter accident. The specifics of your case, the insurance available, and the severity of your injuries will contribute to the value or your case. The best way to find out how much your case is worth is to speak to a Chicago scooter accident attorney about what happened.
Types of Compensation for Chicago Scooter Accidents
If you have been injured while riding a scooter, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the following expenses:
Hospital and doctor bills
Future medical bills
Your pain and suffering
Common Injuries in Electric Scooter Accidents
Electric scooter accidents in Chicago can cause a wide variety of injuries to the rider. Especially if the e-scooter accident victims were riding on a city street and are hit by a car, they can suffer debilitating and life-changing injuries. Some common injuries from a scooter accident include:
Head and neck injuries – Even if a rider is wearing a helmet, they can suffer a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage in an accident. These types of injuries require long-term care and can prevent a person from working or doing the activities they once enjoyed.
Broken bones – When a scooter rider is struck by another vehicle, they may sustain broken bones or fractures that can require surgery and a long recovery period.
Internal injuries – Scooter riders are particularly vulnerable to getting internal injuries if hit by a car.
Lacerations – Broken glass, metal pieces from the scooter or other debris can cause severe cuts that require stitches.
Spinal cord injury – Injuries to the spine can have lifelong implications. Crash victims may experience paralysis, loss of motor function or other disabilities due to a spinal cord injury.
Fatalities – Tragically, some scooter accidents can result in the death of the rider.
e-Scooter Accidents and Wrongful Death
Because much of the rider’s body is exposed, e-scooters don’t offer much protection in the event of collision with a car. This makes an e-scooter collision potentially quite dangerous to the scooter rider.
Wrongful Death Compensation Examples
If you’ve lost a loved one in a scooter accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, we can help. Our team of wrongful death lawyers could help your family recover losses such as:
Medical expenses for your loved one
Burial and funeral expenses
Loss of your loved one’s income
Loss of companionship
Pain and suffering
A Chicago scooter accident lawyer from The Kryder Law Group LLC, Accident and Injury Lawyers can handle your personal injury lawsuit with compassion while you focus on grieving for your lost loved one.
e-Scooter Helmet Laws
While a helmet law does not exist in Illinois, it is critical in preventing serious head injuries in a scooter accident. If you wear a helmet and you hit your head while falling from an electric scooter in an accident, you might end up with the following types of e-scooter injuries:
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries
All of these types of serious injuries can have lifelong consequences. Wearing a helmet and protective gear while riding an e-Scooter can help prevent such catastrophic injuries.
What to Do After a Crash on an Electric Scooter
Riding an e-scooter leaves you highly vulnerable in car accidents because there is very little protection if you are hit. In the event of a collision, scooters have none of safety features of other vehicles on the road.
If you’ve been in a scooter and car accident while riding one of the rented e-scooters in Chicago, do the following:
If someone has been injured as a result of the collision, call 911 for prompt medical attention. Be sure to file a police report of the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if your injuries appear to be minor, visit a healthcare provider for a complete check-up.
Replace Safety Gear
Whether or not you suffered injuries, replace your helmet and other safety gear.
Note Critical Facts
Make a detailed list of the make, model, and license plates of all vehicles involved. Make sure to record the name of the scooter company.
Document Others at the Scene
Make a list of all drivers, pedestrians, or other parties who may have witnessed or been involved in the episode.
Contact a Chicago Scooter Accident Lawyer
To safeguard your rights and explore your options, contact our Chicago scooter accident lawyers for a free consultation to find out if you have grounds to file a personal injury claim. We can help you seek compensation for your injuries.