Electric Scooter Accident Attorney
Electric scooters have surged in popularity in recent years, offering a fun and efficient way to navigate the urban landscape of Tampa. However, with this spike in usage, there has also been a significant rise in accidents. These two-wheeled vehicles can reach high speeds and often share the road with larger, faster-moving vehicles, leading to dangerous or even catastrophic situations. Victims of such accidents can suffer severe injuries, facing not only physical and emotional trauma but also financial hardships due to medical bills and lost wages. In these critical moments, it becomes vitally important to have effective, knowledgeable legal representation to secure fair compensation for the damages incurred.
The Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is dedicated to fighting for victims of electric scooter accidents in Tampa. Our team of experienced Tampa scooter accident lawyers understands the complexities of these cases and works tirelessly to provide our clients with compassionate, results-driven representation. We are well-versed in Florida laws and personal injury litigation, allowing us to navigate the legal system on your behalf while you focus on recovering from your injuries. 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 likelier 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 – an enormous 71% rise. These statistics highlight the need for 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 Tampa Scooter Accidents
Rider Error: This includes scenarios when operators don’t have proper knowledge of how to operate motorized scooters, or they are intoxicated.
Reckless Driving: Speeding, ignoring traffic signals, or weaving through traffic can result in accidents.
Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven surfaces, or debris on the road can cause riders to lose control.
Lack of Protective Gear: Not wearing helmets or appropriate safety attire increases the risk of severe injuries to electric scooter riders during an e-scooter accident.
Defective Equipment: Faulty brakes, tires, or other components of the scooter can lead to accidents.
Collisions with Cars: Accidents often occur when other motor vehicles fail to see or yield to e-scooters.
Pedestrian Interference: An unexpected appearance of pedestrians, animals, or other e-scooters can cause accidents.
Inadequate Maintenance: Regular maintenance checks are needed for safe operation of electric scooters. Lack of maintenance or overlooking minor issues can lead to accidents.
Types of Electric Scooters Accident Injuries
Electric scooter usage carries significant risks, leading to potentially severe injuries for riders. A study published in JAMA Surgery reveals that less than 5% of scooter riders do not use helmets. This lack of protective gear leads to double the rate of head injuries compared to bicyclists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified a series of common serious injuries associated with e-scooter accidents. These include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, encompassing concussions
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Nerve, tendon, and ligament injuries
- Bone fractures affecting both upper and lower limbs
- Severe bleeding
- Sustained organ damage
Regrettably, some of these injuries can cast a long-term or permanent shadow on the victim’s life. The treatment often involves extensive medical intervention, rehabilitation, and enduring care. Such care results in lofty medical expenses and can lead to lost wages and other financial burdens for scooter accident victims. At Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, our electric scooter accident attorneys are committed to helping you seek compensation for these damages.
Seeking Compensation & Comparative Negligence Law in Florida
In Florida, the law of comparative negligence applies when determining damages in accident cases, including those involving electric scooters. This law takes into account the percentage of fault assigned to each party involved in the incident. According to the state’s comparative negligence law, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you are barred from seeking any compensation.
Understanding this, it becomes crucial to build a strong case demonstrating that you were less than 50% at fault in the accident.
Our seasoned Tampa scooter accident attorneys at Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers can guide you through this complex process. We are committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring you receive the fairest compensation possible, considering all facets of comparative negligence law. Our team works relentlessly to gather strong evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and present a robust case in court if needed. We strive to ensure that your path to recovery is as smooth as possible, alleviating the financial pressures associated with medical bills, lost wages, and other incident-related expenses.
Remember, even if you are partially at fault, you might still be entitled to compensation in Florida. However, the amount you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found 30% at fault and awarded $100,000, you would receive $70,000 after the reduction. Having an experienced legal advocate in your corner is essential to navigate these circumstances and maximize your potential compensation.
Compensation Available to Injured Riders
Injured electric scooter riders can seek compensation for various damages resulting from an accident. The specific amount and type of compensation available may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. However, there are several common categories of compensation that riders can potentially recover.
This includes the cost of immediate medical care following the accident and any ongoing or future medical expenses related to injuries sustained in the scooter accident. It can cover hospital bills, the cost of medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, surgeries, and any other necessary treatments.
If your injuries cause you to miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This also includes loss of earning capacity if the injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job or limit your ability to work.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to tangible losses, riders can seek compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. This includes physical pain, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life caused by the accident and resulting injuries.
If your electric scooter was damaged or destroyed in the accident, you can seek compensation for the cost of repairs or replacement.
In cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly reckless or negligent, the court may award punitive damages. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. However, punitive damages are less common and usually only awarded in severe cases.
Contact Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an electric scooter accident, it’s essential to seek legal representation from experienced and dedicated attorneys. Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is dedicated to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. Our team will work tirelessly to hold the responsible party accountable and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you on your road to recovery.