Scooter Accidents and Injuries on the Rise
Watch Negretti & Associates’ Jonathan Negretti on AZTV 7’s Daily Mix show, discussing scooter accident liability, and how the fine print found in scooter companies’ terms-of-service agreements can impact riders.
Electric scooters seem to be everywhere. It has now become commonplace to see one, two or sometimes three different scooter companies represented on any given street corner. Scooters are pay-per-ride, so they are freely transported all over town, as more and more people are utilizing them.
Yet, just as scooter usage has exploded in popularity, so have scooter accidents:
- According to the Arizona Republic, scooter accidents in metro Phoenix just hit triple digits.
- Meantime, a UCLA study found that one-third of scooter-related emergency-room visits have involved delivery by ambulances — an indication of how serious injuries related to scooter accidents can be.
Scooter accidents range from minor to catastrophic. Riders have landed in the hospital with injuries ranging from severe gravel rash to knocked-out teeth, ripped-out toenails, detached biceps, and traumatic brain injuries.
Across the country there are stories of riders being killed while riding on scooters. Some cities are continuing to study safety measures to ensure that scooter riders avoid accidents. Officials in some cities, including San Francisco and Santa Monica, have temporarily banned electric scooters and filed criminal complaints against the companies behind them for operating without a business permit.
Who Is at Fault in a Scooter Accident?
What happens if you are involved in an accident while riding a scooter? Does the scooter company offer insurance to cover you? If you are involved in an accident with an automobile, does their insurance cover you? If you have auto insurance, does it cover you as a rider of a scooter?
It’s important to figure out who is at fault before you can figure out who is responsible to pay for your injuries. As you probably guessed, many insurance policies were drafted well before the advent of these scooters. The language in a policy will be critical to determining coverage.
If you find yourself in this situation, it would be a good idea to give the attorneys at Negretti & Associates a call, so that we can review your policy for potential coverage.
Common Types of Scooter Accidents
Scooter accidents include the following:
- Scooter driver hit by another vehicle.
- Pedestrians tripping on abandoned scooters.
- Scooter crash due to road hazards like potholes.
- Crash due to malfunctioned or defective scooter.
If you are riding a scooter and you are hit by another vehicle, that vehicle’s insurance company may cover your claim. Additionally, your own auto insurance coverage may apply, depending on the language in your policy. Homeowners insurance could also apply, depending on the policy.
In a scenario in which a pedestrian trips over a scooter that was abandoned, the pedestrian might have a claim against the scooter manufacturer, as well as the city or private property owner where the scooter was located when the pedestrian fell.
If the scooter rider hits a pothole and suffers injuries, the city would be the most likely be the culprit. Obviously, it is not as easy as pointing the finger at the city. The scooter rider would have to present a notice of claim to the city establishing their claim and be able to demonstrate that the pothole was a “dangerous condition” that the scooter rider couldn’t see before encountering it.
Lastly, if a scooter rider is injured because of a defective scooter, that could trigger a product liability claim against the manufacture of the scooter. These types of claims can be very complicated and expensive to pursue.
Why Call Negretti & Associates?
If you have been injured while riding a scooter, it would be a good idea to contact the attorneys at Negretti & Associates. We can discuss your particular facts and circumstances, and help you determine whether you have a viable claim.