Electric Scooter Accident Attorney
Electric scooters have surged in popularity in recent years, providing an efficient and eco-friendly means of urban transport. They have become an integral part of city commuting, especially in bustling locales like Clearwater. However, with the rise in their use, there has also been a significant increase in scooter-related accidents, often leading to severe injuries. Victims of such mishaps may face physical trauma, hefty medical bills, and lost wages, thereby causing undue stress and financial strain. In these challenging times, it is crucial to have a dedicated scooter accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers has years of experience in representing clients who have suffered injuries due to scooter accidents. Our team of skilled lawyers understands the complexities of such cases and is well-equipped to handle them with precision and expertise. Contact us for a free consultation today.
Understanding Electric Scooter Accidents
Electric scooters are motorized vehicles that can reach speeds of up to 15mph and are often used for short-distance travel. Due to their compact size, they can navigate through heavy traffic and are convenient to park. However, the very features that make them attractive also make them prone to accidents.
The Rise in Electric Scooter Accidents
Electric scooters have become popular as a convenient and cost-effective means of transport. However, their increased usage has also resulted in a rise in potential dangers and accidents. A study conducted in Oslo indicates that e-scooter riders experience nearly three times the number of accidents compared to cyclists. Moreover, research from UCLA reveals that e-scooter riders are more likely to be young, intoxicated, and not wearing helmets. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that within a 2-year study period, U.S. emergency departments recorded 13,557 e-scooter-related injuries among children, with a significant increase from 5,012 injuries in 2020 to 8,545 injuries in 2021 – a staggering 71% rise. These statistics emphasize the importance of increased awareness and safety precautions when using electric scooters.
What Are the E-Scooter Laws in Florida?
Now that motor scooters are a popular form of transportation, Florida has specific motor scooter laws in place.
- You need to be at least 16 years of age to operate an electric or motor scooter in the state of Florida.
- You must have a valid driver’s license or motorcycle license to rent and/or operate a scooter.
- You do not need to carry scooter insurance in Florida.
- You must share the road with other vehicles and obey state traffic laws.
- You need to obey all road signs, including traffic lights and stop signs.
- You cannot carry a passenger if you’re operating a motorized scooter.
- You are not legally obligated to wear a helmet if you’re over the age of 16 and your speed never exceeds 30 mph.
- You cannot operate a scooter on sidewalks, bicycle paths, state highways, or interstates.
- You can never ride abreast with passenger vehicles or ride between lanes.
- You must stay to the right-hand side of the road unless you’re avoiding a road hazard or making a left turn.
- You need to use arm motions to signal stops and turns unless your vehicle is equipped with signals and brake lights.
- It’s against the law to operate an e-scooter under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Common Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents
Inadequate Maintenance: Many accidents occur due to poorly maintained scooters. Faulty brakes, flat tires, or defective handlebars can lead to severe accidents.
Reckless Riding: Speeding, swerving between vehicles, and not adhering to traffic rules are common causes of scooter accidents.
Riding Under the Influence: Operating scooters under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly increases the risk of accidents.
Distracted Riding: Using a phone or being otherwise distracted while riding a scooter can lead to collisions.
Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, or slippery surfaces can cause scooter riders to lose control and crash.
Lack of Experience: New or inexperienced riders may not have the skills to safely operate an e-scooter, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
Failure to Wear Protective Gear: Not wearing helmets or other protective gear can result in severe injuries in the event of an accident.
Negligence of Another Driver: Scooter accidents can also occur due to the negligence of other drivers on the road, such as car drivers not paying attention and colliding with a scooter rider.
What to Do If You’re Involved in an Electric Scooter Accident
Take Immediate Action
If you’re involved in an electric scooter accident, your immediate response is of utmost importance. Firstly, ensure the safety of all involved by moving away from traffic, if possible. However, do not leave the scene of the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Some injuries may not show symptoms immediately but can have long-term repercussions if not treated promptly. A medical record documenting your injuries can also serve as vital evidence in a legal case.
Document the Scene
Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, if possible. This includes images of your injuries, the scooter, any vehicular damage, and surrounding road conditions.
Collect the contact details of the other party involved in the accident, if applicable, and any witnesses. This information may be crucial for your legal claim.
Report the Accident
Report the accident to the police, and ensure you get a copy of the police report. It’s also essential to report the incident to the scooter rental company, if the scooter was rented.
Consult a Lawyer
Reach out to an experienced electric scooter accident lawyer, like those at Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers. They can guide you through the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and helping you seek the compensation you deserve.
Be Cautious When Speaking to the Insurance Company
Avoid speaking to the insurance company without consulting your lawyer first. Insurance companies may try to offer a low settlement amount or use your statements against you.
Types of Electric Scooter Accident Injuries
Electric scooters, while convenient, carry significant risks, with injuries ranging from mild to severe. According to an alarming study conducted by JAMA Surgery, less than 5% of scooter riders wear helmets, which subsequently leads to a head injury rate that is double compared to bicyclists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has enumerated several serious injuries commonly sustained during e-scooter accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Nerve, tendon, and ligament injuries
- Bone fractures on both upper and lower limbs
- Severe bleeding
- Sustained organ damage
Sadly, some of these injuries can have long-term or even permanent effects on the victim’s life. They may necessitate extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care, leading to high medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial burdens. Our skilled team of electric scooter accident attorneys at Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is ready to help you pursue compensation for these damages.
Can You Seek Compensation For Injuries From an E-Scooter Accident?
Yes, you can seek compensation if you are injured in a scooter accident. The compensation process may involve dealing with insurance companies or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident. The compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages related to the accident.
It’s noteworthy to mention the legal principle of “Comparative Negligence.” In some states, such as Florida, Comparative Negligence law applies, which means that the amount of compensation you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident. For instance, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your compensation would be reduced by 20%. Florida also recently passed law HB837, which means if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you are barred from receiving any compensation for your injuries.
This is why consulting with experienced scooter-car accident attorneys, such as those at Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is crucial. We can help you navigate through the complexities of Comparative Negligence laws, counter any attempts to unfairly shift blame onto you, and work relentlessly to maximize your compensation.
Contact Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in an electric scooter accident, Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is here to help. Our experienced team of lawyers has handled countless personal injury claims and can provide the legal representation and support you need during this difficult time. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us fight for your rights while you focus on recovering from your injuries.