E-scooters have recently become a popular option for transportation, especially in crowded metropolitan areas. These vehicles, also called electric kick scooters, typically have two small wheels, one of which has an electric motor. The rider then stands on a platform and holds onto a handlebar for steering and support. In many cities, riders can even rent these electric scooters by the minute.
However, one significant disadvantage to riding an electric scooter is the lack of protection. Unlike the occupants of cars and trucks, scooter riders do not have an outer covering or metal shell surrounding them in an accident. Therefore, if the impact from another vehicle knocks them off their scooter and onto the ground, they may suffer serious injuries. In the worst e-scooter injury accident scenarios, riders may suffer fatal injuries.
Although e-scooter riders can take several measures to decrease their chances of an injury, such as wearing a helmet while riding, they cannot control what other motor vehicle drivers do—or don’t do—while on the road. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in an e-scooter accident, you must retain an experienced lawyer to represent you throughout your injury claim.
Your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your e-scooter accident if the insurance company disputes fault. If you are eligible to file a claim, your Edmonton personal injury lawyer can pursue various types of monetary compensation on your behalf. Finally, suppose the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not offer you the total damages you deserve for your accident-related injuries. In that case, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and aggressively pursue a favourable resolution on your behalf.
Common Causes of E-scooter Accidents
E-scooter accidents usually result from some type of driver negligence. However, in some instances, these accidents happen when scooter parts malfunction. E-scooter accidents may also result from roadway or sidewalk defects.
Some of the most common causes include:
- Road rule violations: Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles carefully and safely at all times. This includes observing the road and looking out for smaller vehicles, including motorcycles, bicycles, and electric scooters. When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way at the appropriate time, speeds, tailgates, or drives aggressively, they might not notice a smaller vehicle on or near the road, striking it and causing the rider serious injuries. Many drivers also fail to see e-scooter riders turning left at traffic intersections.
- Blind spots: Many large vehicles, including big rigs and tractor-trailers, have blind spots where they may not see a cyclist or e-scooter rider behind them from their rearview or side view mirrors. When a driver does not pay attention to the road—or fails to use their mirrors when switching lanes—they may negligently cut the cyclist or e-scooter rider off in traffic, causing them to fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries.
- Distracted driving: Electric scooter accidents can also happen when drivers fail to observe the road. A driver may become distracted when they talk or roughhouse with other vehicle occupants, listen to loud music, or fiddle with a GPS device. Cellular phones and tablets may also prove distracting for drivers when drivers try to send or read text messages and emails while behind the wheel. Anything that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road is a potential distraction. When drivers become distracted, they may not notice a smaller vehicle approaching, such as an electric scooter. Consequently, the driver may negligently cause their vehicle to strike the scooter or the rider directly, causing severe injuries.
- Intoxicated driving: Most drivers are intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. Lower BAC standards apply to commercial vehicle operators and minors under 21 years old. Alberta imposes administrative penalties when the BAC is 0.05 percent and higher. When drivers are under the influence, they typically experience physical symptoms, including blurred vision. Their concentration and reaction time may suffer. Consequently, an intoxicated driver may be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a crash. Due to blurred vision, the driver may not even notice an approaching e-scooter rider, causing a collision. When an intoxicated driver negligently causes their vehicle to strike an electric scooter at a high rate of speed, severe injuries and fatalities may occur.
- Scooter part defects: Electric scooter manufacturers have a duty to properly design and test their parts before making them available for purchase to the public. When a scooter part, such as a handlebar, braking system, or other component, malfunctions on the road—and a serious accident occurs—the injured rider may be eligible to file a product liability claim. The rider can file their claim with the scooter manufacturer, designer, or other entity in the chain of product distribution.
- Roadway defects: Cities, municipalities, and other governmental entities and agencies are responsible for ensuring that roadways in their jurisdiction are free of severe defects. This includes appropriately maintaining roads and warning about or repairing deep cracks and potholes. When these roadway defects are significant enough, they may dislodge an electric scooter rider from their vehicle, causing them to strike the ground and suffer serious injuries. When an e-scooter rider suffers injuries in a single-vehicle accident due to a roadway defect, they can file a claim or lawsuit against the responsible governmental entity.
If you suffered injuries in an electric scooter accident resulting from another person or entity’s negligence, an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area can explain your legal options. Your lawyer can also help you decide on the best course of action to maximize the monetary compensation you recover in your injury case. If you are eligible, your lawyer can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and, if necessary, litigate your claim to a conclusion in the court system.
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Types of E-scooter Injuries
Since electric scooter riders have extremely limited protection, they may suffer extremely serious injuries in an accident. The injuries that a scooter accident victim suffers typically depend upon the force of the impact and whether or not the scooter rider falls to the ground in the crash. When a rider strikes the ground directly, their injuries depend on which body part(s) hit the ground.
For example, if a scooter rider strikes their head on the ground, they may suffer a concussion or other traumatic brain injury. If they strike other body parts on the ground, they may suffer cuts, abrasions, bruises, road rash, soft tissue injuries, rib fractures, and broken bones. Finally, if the scooter rider lands on their neck or back, they may suffer a spinal cord injury which leads to full or partial paralysis.
As soon as possible after an e-scooter accident, you should seek medical intervention at an urgent care center or hospital emergency room in your area. The medical provider on duty there can physically examine you, order x-rays and other imaging studies, and render an accurate medical diagnosis.
You should seek medical treatment at an emergency facility even if you are unsure about the seriousness of your injuries. This is because many injury symptoms—including symptoms of traumatic brain injuries and soft tissue injuries—do not always manifest right away. In fact, some injury symptoms may not appear until days or weeks after your e-scooter accident.
If you need additional medical treatment after your emergency room visit, the medical provider on duty can recommend the necessary follow-up care. It is vital that you seek this initial medical treatment and that you treat your injuries continuously. Otherwise, the insurance company handling your personal injury claim may become skeptical, believing that your injuries were not all that serious—or that you did not prioritize your medical treatment after your e-scooter accident.
While you focus on getting better, a skilled electric scooter accident lawyer in your area can begin advocating for you. First, your lawyer can gather up your medical treatment records, lost earning statements, and other documents, to prepare a settlement demand package. After your medical treatment is complete, your lawyer can send your demand package to the insurance company adjuster and begin advocating for settlement compensation on your behalf.
Filing a Timely Claim for Damages
To be eligible for damages after your electric scooter accident, your lawyer must file a lawsuit on your behalf promptly. Accident victims only have two years from their accident date in which to bring a claim or file a lawsuit with the court seeking monetary damages. If the accident victim files suit even one day after the statute of limitations deadline expires, they will be unable to recover any damages. Consequently, it is vital to your personal injury case to retain an experienced lawyer to represent you as soon as possible.
The damages that electric scooter accident victims may recover depend upon the severity of their injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, and other circumstances surrounding their accidents. Since every scooter accident case is different, the damages that one injured rider recovers may differ from those another rider receives.
First, an injured rider may recover compensation for lost earnings if they had to miss time from work after their e-scooter accident. To recover lost wage compensation, the accident victim’s lawyer must typically request and introduce copies of the accident victim’s income tax statements, pay stubs, and other documents which show the number of days the accident victim missed from work—and the total amount of money they lost. In addition, they may need to introduce medical evidence from a doctor’s report, stating that the accident victim can miss work on specific dates due to their injuries.
If the accident victim had to switch jobs and take a pay cut due to their severe injuries, they can also bring a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition, e-scooter accident victims may pursue monetary compensation for their mental distress and emotional anguish. This is especially true if the accident victim underwent treatment from a licensed counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist for a mental health condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The mental health provider must also be willing to causally connect the accident victim’s mental symptoms to the e-scooter accident.
In addition, victims may recover monetary damages for their inconvenience, as well as for past and anticipated pain and suffering. Victims may receive damages for future pain and suffering if a healthcare provider determines, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that they suffered a permanent injury in their scooter accident. Unlike most injuries, permanent injuries are unlikely to get better with time.
Finally, e-scooter accident victims may recover compensation for any permanent disfigurement, loss of the ability to use a body part, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of spousal companionship and consortium related to their accident and injuries.
An experienced and compassionate e-scooter accident lawyer in your area can help you determine which of these damages you are eligible to recover, given the facts and circumstances of your case, as well as your injuries and medical treatment. Your lawyer will then fight for your right to recover these damages during settlement negotiations or at trial.
Contact an Experienced E-scooter Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
Given their lack of protection, e-scooter riders can suffer severe injuries in an accident. In many instances, these injuries leave riders with permanent complications, including disfigurement and long-term disabilities. When an e-scooter accident results from someone else’s negligence, these damages are legally compensable.
An experienced electric scooter accident lawyer in your area will be your advocate throughout your personal injury claim or lawsuit. In addition to negotiating with insurance company adjusters and pursuing the total amount of compensation you deserve, your lawyer can represent you during the litigation stage of your case and advocate for you in court if your case goes to trial. They can do this while you focus on the most important thing, recovering from your injuries.
Your Edmonton personal injury lawyer will do everything they can to help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve for your e-scooter accident injuries. Never fail to exercise your legal rights after a serious injury.