Scooter Accident Lawyers in Austin
CALL (512) 246 2224 TO SPEAK WITH SCOOTER ACCIDENT LAWYERS FOR FREE
Over the past year, Austin has seen a vast increase in the use of electric scooters throughout the city. With that increased use, scooter accidents in Austin have also increased. Whether using Bird scooters, Lime scooters, JUMP scooters, or other rental scooters, riders and others may suffer injuries as the result of a scooter accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scooter accident, call the Texas scooter accident attorneys from Zinda Law Group at (512) 246-2224 for a free consultation. If we cannot reach a favorable result in your case, you will not owe us anything.
Scooter Accident Statistics
Accidents involving electric scooters gained national attention in January 2019 after a 21-year-old student became the first person to die in Austin from an accident involving an electric scooter. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed crash data from Austin for a two-month period in fall 2018, which involved electric scooters. In this two-month period alone, 166 injuries were reported. Of these injuries, the CDC reported that nearly half of the victims suffered a "severe" injury, which included bone fractures, severe bleeding, and other serious injuries.
Further, according to data from the Austin-Travis County EMS for the same two-month period, men were more likely to be injured in scooter-related accidents than women, with men accounting for 62% of the reported crashes.
Finally, the most dangerous area of Austin for scooter-related injuries was the Congress District in downtown Austin, where about 60 percent of scooter-related injuries occurred. Other more dangerous areas in and around Austin included the area near UT-Austin’s campus, South Austin, the Pleasant Valley neighborhood, and Central East Austin.
Common Causes of Scooter Accidents
Many scooter accidents appear to have been caused by the scooter’s brakes failing to work and causing the scooter to crash into an object, vehicle, or person. The accelerator may also become stuck, preventing stopping or traveling at safe speeds. Finally, the scooter’s handlebars may become too loose or detach, causing the rider to lose control of the scooter and crash. Sticky accelerators and flat tires may also cause accidents.
Electric scooters are not as easy to ride as they may appear. Riders who do not know how to operate a scooter safely may cause accidents. Riding on the sidewalk also causes many scooter accidents. Aside from failing to ride the scooter on roads, failure to obey other traffic laws may also lead to accidents. Finally, many injuries are also caused by users failing to wear proper protective equipment such as helmets.
Other Driver Negligence
Scooter accidents may also be caused by other drivers who behave negligently, such as by running stop signs or red lights. Negligence by other drivers may also include intoxicated drivers or distracted drivers.
With electric scooters, even relatively minor road hazards can cause an accident and serious injuries. Potholes can be especially dangerous for scooters, with their smaller wheels and much lighter weight. Even a small pothole can cause the scooter and its rider to crash. Other dangerous road hazards when riding a scooter include fallen limbs or other road debris.
Common Injuries from Scooter Accidents
Common injuries from scooter accidents often mirror those suffered by motorcyclists and may include:
- Skin Injuries
- Road Rash
- Broken Bones
- Head Trauma
- Bruises and Lacerations
Notably, the CDC study into Austin's scooter-related accidents indicated that almost half of victims suffered head injuries, with some head injuries, including signs of traumatic brain injury. Head injuries are made more common by the fact that many people who ride e-scooters may fail to wear helmets while riding.
What to Do If You Are in a Scooter Accident
If you have been in a scooter accident, you should:
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
You should seek immediate medical attention if you have been in a scooter accident, even if you do not appear to be injured. Some injuries may take longer to appear, such as internal bleeding. Immediate medical attention can help you recover from your injuries faster. It can also help you document your injuries and any medical expenses.
2. Contact the Police
After seeking medical attention, it is also important to contact the police and file an accident report as soon as possible. Indeed, some electric scooter companies, such as Bird, require you to file a police report within 24 hours, pursuant to the user agreement.
3. Gather Contact Information
If you were struck by a scooter rider or other person, you should collect that person’s name, contact information, the driver’s license information. You should also collect contact information for any witnesses.
4. Gather Evidence
Next, you should gather as much evidence as you can at the accident scene. Take pictures of the scooter, any other vehicles, your injuries as well as those of any other people involved, and of the road and any potential hazards.
5. Document your Injuries and Damages
You should also be sure to save any documentation of your injuries, such as any medical bills or records, as well as any other documents related to your accident, such as the police report. You should also document any lost wages resulting from missed work and any documentation for any other damages you may have suffered.
6. Contact an Austin Scooter Accident Attorney
Finally, you should contact an award-winning scooter accident attorney in Austin as soon as possible. By quickly contacting an experienced lawyer, your attorney may begin the process of pursuing compensation while evidence is still readily available and before the statute of limitations for your claim ends.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Scooter Accident?
If you have been injured in a scooter accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Because the electric scooter rental business is still very new and evolving, seeking compensation after an accident can be very complicated. While you can file a claim for compensation without an attorney, an experienced scooter accident lawyer may help you navigate this confusing and difficult process. An attorney may help you file or obtain a police report, figure out how to pay any medical bills, as well as document and gather evidence to help you pursue compensation.
Can I Sue the Scooter Company?
With the proliferation of electric scooters still being very recent, the law surrounding e-scooter lawsuits is still developing and may make suing these companies more difficult. You may still be able to sue the scooter company, but hiring an experienced scooter accident attorney may be crucial in pursuing any compensation you may be entitled to.
Most scooter companies contain waiver language in their user agreements, and JUMP, Lime, and Bird are no different. Many people fail to read these agreements in their entirety, especially given that Bird's user agreement is 18 pages, while Lime's agreement is 35 pages long. However, these agreements claim that you accept any risk of injury and waive your right to sue the scooter company if you are injured. Notably, they also contain a waiver of your right to bring or join a class action. Further, these user agreements also require you to agree to a binding arbitration hearing rather than a lawsuit and require you to waive your right to a jury trial. Lime does not allow you to opt-out of any of these provisions. However, if you send written notice to Bird’s office in California, you can opt-out of these provisions.
Further, while Lime, JUMP, Bird, and other scooter rental companies include liability "waivers" and clauses in their user agreements claiming you assume all the risk of using their scooters, you may still be able to sue. First, while all three major companies include language about the assumption of the risk in their user agreements, the Texas Supreme Court expressly abolished this defense in 2015. However, as with the waiver, this language in the user agreement can be offered as evidence in a trial and can be considered by the jury when it determines what damages, if any, to award. Finally, you may be able to sue despite these waivers if you are able to prove that the electric scooter company was grossly negligent. Many states, including Texas, do not allow gross negligence to be disclaimed in a waiver.
How to File a Claim After an Electric Scooter Accident
1. Consult an Experienced Austin Scooter Accident Lawyer
As soon as you are able after the accident, you should contact an accident attorney in Austin. An attorney may help you better understand your options. The law surrounding scooter accidents and suing scooter companies can be confusing. An experienced lawyer may help you navigate this confusing process and pursue any compensation you may be entitled to.
Next, your attorney may begin a thorough investigation into your scooter accident to gather as many facts as possible. This investigation may prove the liability of the other party as well as the extent of your injuries. Your lawyer may gather any available documentation of your injuries, the accident report, the user or rental agreement with the scooter company, maintenance records for the scooter, and other evidence. Your attorney may also contact any witnesses to the accident and take pictures of the accident site.
Finally, after hiring an experienced attorney and providing any necessary information or documentation, you may focus on your recovery. At this stage, your attorney may begin negotiations with the other party or the insurer. If negotiations fail, your attorney may then take your case to trial to pursue compensation. Until your attorney needs you to approve any potential settlement or for trial, you can recover and let your attorney handle your case.
If you have been injured in a scooter accident, the compensation you may be entitled to may be based upon a calculation of your economic and non-economic damages:
You may be entitled to compensation for any medical expenses resulting from any injuries or treatment you received because of your scooter accident. This compensation may include ambulance costs, emergency room fees, doctor’s visits, medication, or other injury-related medical expenses.
You may also be entitled to compensation for any rehabilitative therapy, such as physical therapy, that you had to undergo as a result of your injuries.
Compensation for lost wages includes any income you may have lost as the result of not being able to return to work because of any injuries suffered from the scooter accident. Lost income may also include other lost benefits such as vacation pay.
Loss of Earning Capacity
If your injuries were so severe that you were unable to return to work, or unable to perform the same type or amount of work, you may be entitled to compensation.
Pain and Suffering
You may also be able to pursue compensation for the physical, mental, and emotional suffering caused by your injuries. This pain and suffering is considered a non-economic loss, but you may still be able to seek compensation for your suffering.
Call Zinda Law Group Today
At Zinda Law Group, our Texas scooter accident attorneys are here to assist you with your claim. We help our clients pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to as a victim of a scooter accident.
If you have been injured in a scooter accident, the Austin Personal Injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group can help you. Give us a call today at (800) 863-5312 for a free no fee consultation. If we don't win your case, you won't owe us anything.
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