Chicago Electric Scooter Accident Lawyers
Shared electric scooters appeared to Chicago streets in 2019, according to the Chicago Tribune. These e-scooters have been a source of contention in the other cities where they operate, and for a good reason.
Many people have suffered injuries either while riding an electric scooter or hitting others while riding the vehicle.
Electric scooters are new and spreading rapidly nationwide. Because of that, many cities have yet to enforce safety regulations for the vehicles, much to the danger of pedestrians, motorists, and scooter riders alike.
Hiring a Chicago Rental Scooter Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries in an e-scooter accident, you could file a compensation claim for your damages through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Your legal options will depend on the circumstances of the accident and your relationship with the operator.
Contact the electric scooter accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC as soon as possible to discuss an injury claim for fair compensation.
Rental Scooter Accident FAQs
Is it Dangerous to Ride a Scooter?
All powered two-wheeled vehicles, including motorcycles, scooters, Vespas, and mopeds, are dangerous when traveling through heavy traffic. Most scooters travel significantly slower than a motorcycle.
A lack of power is not always to the advantage of the scooter rider that might need to move out of harm's way of fast oncoming traffic. Traveling at a slower speed does not correlate with lowering the risk of an accident.
How Many People Have Died on Scooters?
In 2019, Consumer Reports published a survey finding that many scooter riders were confused about the scooter's rules of the road and traffic laws. By 2017, at least eight scooter riders lost their lives in the United States after renting vehicles to travel in congested areas.
Many riders who rent scooters lack experience on how to operate and control the vehicle to avoid a crash or collision.
What is the Difference Between a Moped and a Scooter?
If the operator can sit on a two-wheeled motorized vehicle and place their feet on a platform, they are likely riding a scooter. Mopeds are classified as two-wheeled vehicles under 50 cc engine power. Typically, scooters have small diameter wheels compared to mopeds that could have a manual or automatic transmission.
Why are E-Scooters Dangerous?
Electric scooters (E-scooter) offer a light, compact transportation alternative to ridesharing bicycles. Numerous rental companies, including Lime, Skip, and Bird, offer consumers access to rental e-scooters to travel through major cities from sunup to sundown.
Unfortunately, many e-scooter riders fail to wear a helmet, increasing their chances of suffering severe injuries or death. As of 2017, major rideshare companies rented over 60,000 e-scooters to residents and visitors riding on American roads.
Which is Safer, Bicycle or Scooter?
Bicycles are significantly safer on American roadways compared to traveling on a scooter for numerous reasons. Commonly, cyclists travel at approximately 15 to 20 mph when merging and blending into vehicle traffic.
Alternatively, scooters can reach an estimated 40 mph or more. Victims involved in a Scooter accident while traveling at its maximum speed without protective gear or helmet could suffer severe injuries or death.
Both types of two-wheeled vehicles are exposed to the dangers of traffic when others sharing the road are inattentive.
How Dangerous are Vespas?
Vespas have significantly more power than a gas-powered scooter or e-scooter and could operate at higher speeds. Many commuters use Vespa's over motorcycles because of ease of operation.
However, Vespas are hazardous, and like riding on a motorcycle, the vehicle does not offer the biker or passenger any body protection in the event of a crash.
What are Dockless Electric Scooters?
E-scooters are a relatively new phenomenon popping up in cities across the United States. Chicago might be next on their list of vehicles currently operating in San Diego, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Denver. These electric rental scooters run on electric motors and batteries, making them heavier than a gas-powered scooter.
Many different scooter companies operate sharing programs in these cities. Everyone from locals to tourists can rent one of these scooters for the day, driving them everywhere from city streets to sidewalks and public pathways.
Bird and Lime are the nation's leading rental companies offering consumers an hourly rental time of these new transportation devices.
Current E-Scooter Regulations
As of 2019, no national regulations are in place to regulate these devices, despite the high increase in injuries involving these vehicles. Also, no state-level regulations exist.
You do not need to carry a license, registration, or insurance to operate an e-scooter. Instead, the cities put restrictions in place to keep these vehicles at bay. The City of Chicago is proposing the following regulations with the new scooter test program:
- Scooters can only operate in designated pilot areas currently in the Northwest, Southwest, and West sides of Chicago.
- The program will run on a limited timeframe between June 15th and October 15th.
- The maximum amount of scooters that will operate in the pilot area will be 3,500.
- Scooters can only drive up to 15 miles per hour.
Types of Scooter Accidents Handled by Our Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys
Many different types of accidents can occur while riding these devices. We can divide the types of accidents into five categories: the improper use of e-scooters, machinery malfunctions, accidents involving other riders or motorists, improper parking, and road hazards.
Simply put, many cities are not set up to accommodate devices, and riders and motorists experience the consequences.
- Machinery malfunctions: There are many reports of scooters malfunctioning while riders are operating these vehicles. Brakes can fail, leading to loss of control of the vehicle. Other riders report the battery crashing in the middle of the ride and the lock of the front wheel mid-ride.
The tires can go flat, the handlebars can detach, and the throttle can be stuck at full speed. All of these conditions can lead to severe consequences and injuries to the rider.
- Improperly parked scooters: Because of the lack of education and regulation of these vehicles, riders do not properly park these scooters in safe places. Scooters can cause injuries to disabled people when riders park them in designated handicap spots or ramps.
They can also harm people exiting and entering buildings when riders park them in front of these building doors. Also, some riders abandon scooters in the middle of roads and sidewalks, which can be hazardous to drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike.
- Improper use of scooters: Many riders can operate the vehicles in an unsafe way. They can allow young or unsupervised children to ride these machines, causing injury or death.
They can use the scooters on city streets without bike lanes or ride multiple scooters at once in a large group. Also, multiple people riding on one scooter is hazardous, as well as using the scooter in an undesignated location.
- Road hazards: Cities are not set up to accommodate this new form of transportation, and the lack of regulations cannot protect riders from serious hazards. Construction areas can pose a danger to e-scooter riders when ice or water on the road.
Any potholes, debris, litter, or bumps on roadways can cause an electric scooter to crash. Also, riders can use these scooters at night with low visibility, leading to crashes with cars and pedestrians.
- Accidents involving motorists, pedestrians, and other scooters: Electric scooters and other vehicles and pedestrians are a volatile mix. Electric scooter riders can crash into pedestrians or cause pedestrians to fall while they are riding.
Scooters can also swerve into traffic, leading to motor vehicle collisions or falls. Also, motorists could cause accidents with other vehicles, scooters, or even pedestrians getting away from a moving scooter.
Accidents Involving Electric Scooters in Other Cities
Electric scooters will soon be a new occurrence on Chicago roadways. So far, these vehicles have already caused significant amounts of damage in other cities.
The powered scooters have caused at least 1,500 injuries in major cities in the United States in the past year alone. Many of these accidents lead to significant, lifelong consequences for the victims.
Unfortunately, many Chicago residents are projected to suffer injuries during the pilot program this summer.
For example, a Minnesota man recently suffered severe injuries in a scooter accident in Denver. He suffered severe traumatic brain injuries and will likely have to undergo years of therapy to recover.
Another man in Tempe, Arizona, experienced critical injuries when he was hit by a vehicle while riding a scooter. Recently, an electric scooter rider suffered a severe injury and died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when he collided with a car.
Many people have suffered injuries while riding on these vehicles, making them a severe safety hazard and liability.
The Liability of Rideshare Programs
Many rental scooter riders wind up in the emergency room after a negligent driver causes a horrific accident by violating traffic laws. Drivers of Uber, Lyft, Wings, Gett, Juno, and others must operate with liability coverage issued through a reputable insurance company to pay for injured victims' medical expenses in a car accident.
Rideshare drivers' liability insurance coverage must also ensure any injured cyclists, scooter riders, pedestrians, bikers, or others injured in the crash.
Legal Options for People Seriously Injured in Electric Scooter Accidents in Chicago
Injuries sustained due to an electric scooter can be severe to operators, motorists, and pedestrians. If you were not at-fault for the accident, you could claim compensation for your injuries and other losses, such as lost wages or property damage, through an insurance claim, a product liability lawsuit, or a personal injury lawsuit.
Depending on the cause of your accident and your relationship to the scooter, you could claim various forms of compensation such as:
- Past and future medical expenses related to the injury
- Property damage and replacement
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Medical bills
- Chronic pain and disability
- Emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety
- Loss of quality of life
- Other pain and suffering damages related to the accident and losses
Filing a claim against an electric scooter company can involve very complex insurance questions and issues of liability. For best results, contact a personal injury attorney from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to discuss the facts of your injury case and develop a plan of action.
A Chicago Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer can Help
Malfunctioning machinery, improper operation, and a lack of adequate regulations have led to many electric scooter accidents from the cities that allow these vehicles. Will
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to one of them, you could claim financial compensation. Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago scooter accident lawyer.
All discussions with our personal injury lawyers remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Please don't send sensitive information to our Illinois law office through voicemail, smartphone, email, or text message concerning your scooter accident case.
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