There are fads that happen every few years that take the world by storm. A few years back everyone was riding around the city on a Segway. This recreational vehicle was a fun way for you to get back and forth without walking everywhere. In fact, there are still some cities that offer Segway tours. Now, we are seeing the emergence of electronic scooters. Much like the Segway that came before them, these Bird scooters are causing havoc on NYC streets. Although these scooters are electronic and eco-friendly, this mode of transportation is bothering many pedestrians and motorists in NYC.
What is a Lime or Bird scooter?
A bird is an electronic scooter rental app that is taking cities by storm. You download the app and find a scooter. Simply tap a button on the app and you can ride it. When you put your helmet on, you can jump on the scooter and go to your destination. There are brakes and an accelerator, much like any other recreational vehicle. The app recommends that you ride in the bike lane when available, but some riders still ride on the sidewalks. The problem with this app is the people who are riding the scooters. You have individuals that have never ridden a scooter before that are taking to the streets. These riders are running into cars and pedestrians. There have already been several accidents in cities all around the country. Lime is a similar app that offers the same experience to riders. If you are hit by a scooter is there anything that you can do?
Motorized scooter accidents are on the rise.
Initially, we didn’t hear a lot of scooter-related injuries. However, recently there are many instances of pedestrians and cars being hit by scooters. The Lime and Bird scooter can both reach speeds of 15 mph, which can cause serious injuries and damages. Currently, there haven’t been any fatalities, but most experts feel like it is only a matter of time.
Vehicles have a difficult enough time sharing the roads with bikes and motorcycles, now they need to watch out for scooters. The main difference with a scooter is that they are lower on the road. So, it is more difficult to see a scooter beside you because they are so small. When riding a scooter, you need to worry about a car hitting you, or if you’re walking along the sidewalk you worry about a scooter running you over. Either way, if you sustain injuries because of a scooter accident you need representation.
Who is liable?
There are some city government officials that are demanding the companies be held responsible for damages that occur because of the scooters. However, when a rider rents these scooters they sign a contract taking full responsibility for their riding. These contracts limit liability to only 100 dollars for Bird, and Lime doesn’t have any liability at all. Once riders are on these scooters they are riding at their own risk. There is no license required to drive these scooters. So, if a scooter does clip you, then the person can just ride away, and you’d never know who it was. There isn’t even a license plate on it. Some recommend that insurance companies should offer liability coverage, but many insurance companies are not recognizing scooters as a vehicle. So, you would need to hold the rider of the motorized scooter responsible for any damages or injuries.
What are the types of scooter accident?
So, there are really two types of scooter accidents. One, the scooter rider is at fault and runs into a car or a pedestrian. Two, a car runs into a scooter rider. Much like a motorcycle accident, scooter riders have minimal safety gear. If a car hits a scooter, the rider is definitely going to sustain some injuries. It is easier to hold the driver of a car accountable, versus a scooter rider that hits a pedestrian. Also, the insurance of the car covers the accident with the scooter, much like the insurance would cover an accident with a pedestrian.
I’ve suffered injuries from a scooter accident, now what?
Since the world of electronic scooters is fairly new there is a lot of gray areas. If you find yourself in an accident with a scooter remain calm. Whether you’re the driver or innocent bystander, stay on the scene and call the police. If the scooter hits you and runs, try to get as much detail as possible. See if any witnesses saw the person that ran you over. Once the police arrive, get a report and then go to get your injuries checked out. Once you are ok, it is time to hire legal representation.
An experienced personal injury lawyer like Gary Falkowitz can assist you with your personal lawsuit. He will investigate every aspect of your case to begin building your lawsuit. If you have suffered from injuries because of a scooter accident, don’t hesitate to call us today. We look forward to speaking with you.