With all the beautiful Spring weather, we are seeing folks out enjoying bicycles and electric scooters. They are common rentals in many cities, and emergency room doctors are reporting more injuries from accidents on these scooters.
Just recently, a class-action lawsuit was filed against several makers of the e-scooters accusing them of “gross negligence” related to injuries of both riders and pedestrians. The lawsuit maintains that the companies are liable because the scooters are unsafe, have manufacturing or design defects, and lack adequate instructions and warnings of risks.
Emergency Room doctors are reporting an increase in such injuries as hands, knees, fingers and faces. In some of the reported cases, the injured party required surgery to repair the damage. The class-action suit went so far as to accuse the companies of “aiding and abetting assaults” in many of the accidents.
The good news out of all of this is that the e-scooter industry seems to be answering the call to make safer the use of their products, at least in the short-term. Lime, one of the manufacturers of the scooter has recently released an updated model with stronger safety features, larger wheels and extra rear brakes.
But one of the main issues that concerns many scooter users is that they are docked right on public streets and accessible to anyone. This also means that they may be mishandled by anyone. So, is the scooter you take out for a spin well-maintained? Maintenance practices vary from company to company, and when you’re renting one from the dock, you have to be willing to take a chance that it will safely take you from Point A to Point B.
One such Washington, DC rider learned all of this the hard way after the scooter she rented malfunctioned leaving her on her side in the middle of a busy road. Luckily, she wasn’t injured except for some bumps and bruises, but she says that by the time she had collected herself to go back for the scooter, it was gone. She figures someone else scooped it up to finish their own commute.
You should know that when you mix together uneven rider compliance, unpredictable maintenance, and unsafe streets – scooter accidents are going to happen. When they do, determining where responsibility lies can be difficult.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.