In recent years, electric scooters have emerged as a leading method of flexible, convenient transportation around urban areas. Renting one of these devices is often as easy as downloading a smartphone app and finding a nearby scooter, already charged and ready to get you where you want to go at 15 to 20 miles per hour. Their ease of use and considerable speed make them perfect for anyone looking to explore a city or head to a local hotspot.
Unfortunately, many of those who use one of these scooters will end up injured at some point on their ride, sometimes seriously. If you or someone you love has been injured during the operation of one of these devices in Philadelphia, you may be eligible to receive compensation from those involved, depending on your circumstances. The attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm have a long and distinguished record of standing up for their clients’ rights. To discuss your case in a free and private consultation, call our offices today at (215) 515-3913.
Common Injuries Caused by Electric Scooters
A recent study conducted by the city of Austin, Texas, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over a three-month period, 192 electric scooter riders and operators were injured so severely that they had to visit a nearby emergency room. Almost half of those injured had head wounds, some of which included traumatic brain injuries. Broken bones were also common among those admitted, afflicting 35 percent of the riders in the study. In rare cases, the injuries can be more severe:
- Sustained organ damage
- Multiple fractures
- Death or disability
- Chronic pain
These injuries can be caused by any number of factors. Many of the riders in the CDC study cited scooter malfunctions or poor surface conditions as reasons why they sustained their wounds. Neither cause is particularly surprising; scooters that see extensive use by the general public will experience wear and tear, eventually breaking down, while uneven pavement or can make riding a vehicle with small wheels exceptionally difficult and dangerous.
A few riders also reported collisions with vehicles, which can significantly complicate the situation for everyone involved. Not only can a vehicular collision cause serious injury, but the involvement of insurance in the proceeds adds a new dimension of complexity to the legal proceedings in your case.
Suing for Injuries Sustained While Operating an Electric Scooter
Just as the causes of an electric scooter-related injury can be many and varied, so too are the parties than could be responsible. Any person or entity that had a hand in causing your wound may be liable for what happened, though some are more vulnerable than others. A qualified legal representative can help you sort through the details of your case to determine who may be at fault.
Although your first instinct may be to blame the equipment, you should be aware that successfully suing an electric scooter rental company can be very tough. Most of these companies are aware of just how dangerous their devices are, and so they protect themselves through layers of waivers and disclaimers designed to protect their interests in the event of a serious accident. Even if the scooter malfunctioned, the odds of winning compensation from the scooter company itself are pretty slim.
You may be able to get compensation from other parties, however. If you fell because of a pothole in the bike lane, for example, the city of Philadelphia may be responsible because it is the local government’s job to ensure that the roads are cared for. If a pedestrian pulls a reckless stunt and causes you to fall, that person may be on the hook for your damages.
Drivers in Pennsylvania typically fall under the state’s “no-fault” insurance laws, making it tricky to win compensation. This is because the operator of an electric scooter probably does not have a valid insurance policy for that specific type of vehicle, though there are quite a few cases where an accident involving a car and some other type of property – an electric scooter, for instance – does not fall under the same insurance laws as usual vehicular accidents. If you are unsure whether the circumstances surrounding your injury allow for compensation from a driver, contact an attorney who can guide you through the process.
Contact a Skilled Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Although electric scooters are designed to be fun and easy to use, they often lead to some unfortunate outcomes for operators. If you or someone you know has been wounded while driving an electric scooter, contact the experienced attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm in Philadelphia. For more than 40 years, we have represented injured clients, fighting our way to multimillion-dollar victories on their behalf. To find out how we can help you in a free, confidential consultation, call us at (215) 515-3913 today.