The rising trend in e-scooters darting through city streets and sidewalks could lead to a new risk for bystanders in urban spaces. E-scooter operators can cause havoc on streets due to their erratic and unpredictable behavior to both public property and pedestrians alike. This new transportation holds the potential to be a new risk for personal injury, but for the time being who exactly will be held responsible remains uncertain.
Currently, there are over ten thousand shared scooters around the world, with a heavy concentration on urban roads and sidewalks. The situation is complicated, however, as most e-scooters are not owned by a single entity. Rather, these scooters are rented out to a handful of various organizations that lack the capital to own scooters wholesale. The main companies involved in the e-scooter industry are Spin, LimeBike, and Bird, all offering similar services integrated with mobile activation platforms designed to streamline scooter rental and use.
There are some safety considerations marketed to users of these products, but some remain skeptical about their effectiveness. Each smart phone application and scooter comes equipped with essential safety information for their riders, which can accelerate up to 15 miles per hour on a scooter. Bird specifically requires input of a valid driver’s license to confirm eligibility and scooter activation. That being said, none of the services mandate helmet usage, though they are available to users that ask for them. Despite all of these safety precautions taken by different companies, accidents still can and most likely will occur.
A report from a California based doctor found that scooters in the Bay Area accounted for nearly a dozen personal injuries every week. In Dallas, a user of an e-scooter was killed as the result of a fatal crash. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Bird and Lime specifically, alleging a continued and willful negligence to the personal injury potential their products held. No current case law exists regarding personal injury cases involving e-scooters.
As e-scooter usage continues to grow across the United States, the increased danger and risk associated with these products may also rise. Until adequate safety regulations are implemented, the potential for a tragic accident at the hands of electric scooter usage is undeniably higher. When protection from these types of accidents fail and you may sustain serious injuries. Consult a reliable personal injury lawyer to begin assessing your potential legal options.