E-scooter sharing companies like Lime and Bird are available for riders to zip around the city on the small, battery-powered scooters. Like New York's Citi Bike Share Program, riders can unlock a scooter for a short ride to pick up and drop off as needed. Even though these scooters are small, they can still present a major danger to riders, pedestrians, and cyclists on the street.
If you or a family member was injured by an e-scooter or while riding an e-scooter, talk to a New York e-scooter accident lawyer from Sullivan & Brill, LLP. Our legal team knows how to protect your rights. We represent injury victims across New York City, including Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island, and Westchester County, as well as in Puerto Rico. Contact us today at (212) 566-1000 for a free consultation.
E-Scooter Share Companies
There are a number of e-scooter share companies that are fighting for the largest share of ridership in this new industry. There are dozens of companies offering similar ride-sharing options for scooters across the world, but some of the most popular in the U.S include:
These companies generally operate by having users enter or scan a code with an app to unlock the scooter. The rider is then charged for using the scooter, generally based on time. When the rider is done, they drop off the scooter and use the app to finish the ride.
There have been a number of injuries and at least one fatality involving electric scooter accidents. Most injuries involve the scooter rider or pedestrians. Even at a low speed, e-scooter falls and collisions can result in serious injuries, including:
- Head injury
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Nerve damage
- Facial trauma
- Broken bones
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a surge in electric scooter-related injuries. A CDC study concluded, “A high proportion of e-scooter related injuries involved potentially preventable risk factors, such as lack of helmet use, or motor vehicle interaction. Interventions aimed at these risks and education to first-time riders could potentially reduce injury incidence and severity.”
E-Scooter Company Liability
After a rider is injured by an e-scooter, the e-scooter companies try to avoid liability by blaming the accident on the rider or some other cause. However, these companies should be held accountable for their negligence.
E-scooter companies may provide a warning that the rider must wear a helmet, but helmets are generally not provided along with the rental. The scooter companies also do not require any instructional training on operating these scooters, which often results in injuries to first-time riders who are not familiar with the sensitive steering, acceleration, or braking of the scooters.
There may also be mechanical or software problems with the scooter that a rider is not aware of. Electrical, battery, or computer issues may cause an e-scooter to stop, increasing the risk of injury to the rider. Brake problems and steering problems may cause the rider to lose control of the scooter, putting them and others at risk of an accident. Design defects, manufacturing defects, or lack of a proper warning can be the basis for a product liability claim against the scooter company.
Cars Causing Scooter Accidents
Anyone who rides a bike or walks in New York knows that drivers do not always follow traffic laws, putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk of a serious injury. Drivers in a hurry and drivers frustrated with traffic may speed through an intersection or take a corner at high-speed where others have the right of way. Now e-scooter riders can be at similar risk of an accident. Driver negligence that could put a scooter rider in danger includes:
- Turns into the path of a rider
- Failure to stop or yield at an intersection
- Backing up in a parking lot
- Drifting onto the shoulder
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Opening the door of a parked car
- Following too closely
- Speeding or traffic infractions
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
Pedestrians Injured by E-Scooters
Most e-scooter riders do not have a lot of experience riding electric scooters. Scooter riders may not know the rules about where they can ride, right of way, and where they are supposed to leave scooters when they are finished riding. Inexperience, recklessness, or a disregard for others can cause serious injuries to pedestrians.
E-scooters can go up to 15-miles an hour. When a rider hits a pedestrian at 15-miles an hour, it can cause serious injury to the pedestrian, including knocking the victim to the ground and causing head, neck or back injuries. Combining these speeds with crowded streets, intersections, and narrow sidewalks often leave innocent pedestrians at risk of injury.
Damages in an E-Scooter Accident
Scooter injuries can result in expensive medical bills and lost wages for injury victims. When the accident was caused by a driver, negligent scooter rider, or defective scooter, you may have a claim for compensation. Filing a personal injury lawsuit with an experienced New York accident attorney can help you recover:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Emergency medical care
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
There is a limited time to file a claim after an injury accident in New York. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to get your claim started so you can receive the compensation you are owed.
New York E-Scooter Injury Attorneys
Our New York City injury attorney, Joseph F. Sullivan, is personally involved in every case and knows how to investigate and prep injury accident claims, including electric scooter accidents. He brings more than 25 years of experience to your case, including a record of verdicts and settlements that demands the attention of insurance companies.
Our lawyers are familiar with the types of injuries common in scooter, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents, including leg injuries, chest injuries, head trauma, spinal cord injury, back and neck injuries, serious lacerations, and road rash abrasions. We strive to maximize compensation for clients to cover their medical care, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and long-term harm such as permanent disability or disfigurement. Contact us today for a free case evaluation online or call us at (212) 566-1000.