Electric Scooter Accident Attorney in St. Petersburg, FL
In recent years, electric scooters have surged in popularity, transforming the face of urban transportation in cities like St. Petersburg. These compact, efficient, and eco-friendly vehicles provide a quick and convenient means to navigate bustling city streets. However, with this rise in use, there has been an unfortunate increase in accidents involving these scooters, underscoring their potential dangers. Unfortunately, scooter riders are often the victims of these accidents, sustaining injuries that range from mild to severe and sometimes even life-threatening.
If you’ve been injured in a scooter accident in St. Petersburg, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Our experienced scooter accident attorneys at Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers have helped numerous victims of motorized scooter accidents recover the compensation they deserve. Our team understands the complexities and nuances of such cases, and we are committed to fighting for our clients’ rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.
The Rise in Electric Scooter Accidents
Electric scooters have gained popularity as a convenient and cost-effective mode of transportation. However, their increased use has also led to a rise in potential hazards and accidents. According to a study conducted in Oslo, e-scooter riders experience nearly three times as many accidents as cyclists. Additionally, 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 the pediatric population, with a significant increase from 5,012 injuries in 2020 to 8,545 injuries in 2021 – a staggering 71% rise. These statistics highlight the need for increased awareness and safety measures 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
Several factors can contribute to an e-scooter accident, including:
- Poorly maintained or malfunctioning scooters
- Collisions with motor vehicles or other objects on the road
- Slippery or uneven pavement conditions
- Reckless riding, such as sudden turns and unsafe speeds
- Inexperienced riders who may not know how to properly operate the scooter
- Failing to obey traffic laws
- Drivers of a larger vehicle not seeing the scooter or failing to yield right-of-way.
- Pedestrians walking in designated e-scooter lanes.
Common Types of Scooter Accident Injuries
The risks associated with e-scooter use are considerable, and the injuries suffered by riders can be severe. According to JAMA Surgery, less than 5% of scooter riders wear helmets, which results in users experiencing twice the rate of head injuries compared to bicyclists. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified several common serious injuries sustained during e-scooter accidents, including:
- Traumatic brain injury, including concussions
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Nerve, tendon, and ligament injuries
- Bone fractures on both upper and lower limbs
- Severe bleeding
- Sustained organ damage
Despite these stark figures, it’s important to note that bicyclists are still three times as likely as scooter riders to be hit in an auto accident. This higher risk most likely stems from bicyclists’ more frequent usage of roadways.
What to Do After a St Petersburg Motor Scooter Accident?
If you find yourself involved in an electric scooter accident, here are the crucial steps you should take:
Move out of the road or any dangerous location as quickly and safely as possible to prevent further harm.
Call emergency services
Dial 911 if you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured.
Document the accident
If it’s safe and feasible, take pictures or videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and damages to the scooter or other property involved.
Gather witness information
If there are any witnesses, collect their contact information for future reference.
Report the accident
Contact local law enforcement to report the accident. A police report can be valuable evidence for your claim.
Seek medical attention
Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s important to get checked by a medical professional, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Consult with a lawyer
Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney who specializes in electric scooter accidents. They can guide you through the process and ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
When Can an Injured Scooter Rider Seek Compensation?
If you’ve been injured in an electric scooter accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
A common legal strategy is to argue that the injury was a result of another party’s negligence. In other words, the accident occurred because someone else failed to act with reasonable care.
If the accident was caused by a defective or malfunctioning scooter, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor.
Florida follows the comparative fault doctrine, which means that if both parties are found partially at fault for an accident, the damages awarded will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. However, if the injured party is less than 50% at fault, they can still seek compensation.
What Compensation Is Available to an Injured Rider?
In the aftermath of an electric scooter accident, an injured rider may be entitled to various forms of compensation. This can include:
Medical Expenses: These include costs of immediate medical treatment, hospitalization, medications, ongoing care, physical therapy, and any future medical costs related to the accident.
Loss of Earnings: If the injury resulted in time off work, the victim could be compensated for lost wages. In severe cases where the victim is left permanently unable to work, they may be able to claim for loss of future earnings.
Pain and Suffering: This covers the physical pain and emotional distress suffered as a result of the accident. It can also extend to compensation for any decrease in quality of life or long-term psychological impact.
Property Damage: If the scooter or any other personal property was damaged in the accident, the victim could be reimbursed for repair or replacement costs.
Wrongful Death: In tragic instances where an accident results in loss of life, the family of the victim may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and other related damages.
Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is Here To Help
In the wake of an electric scooter accident, you don’t have to navigate the complex legal process alone. Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers are here to offer experienced, empathetic, and effective representation. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients, working tirelessly to help them secure the compensation they rightfully deserve. Whether your case involves negligence, product liability, or comparative fault, we’re prepared to fight for your rights. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll an accident can take, and we’re ready to help you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate – contact us today for a free consultation and let us guide you through this challenging time.