CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH NEW MEXICO SCOOTER INJURY LAWYERS
In 2019, Americans took 86 million e-scooter rides. However, with this boom in scooter usage, there has also been an increase in scooter accidents and injuries. A fun joy ride or commute to work can quickly turn into a serious scooter accident. Victims of these accidents may be left with significant injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
The New Mexico attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience helpingly scooter riders seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with an experienced New Mexico scooter injury lawyer.
What are E-Scooters?
An electric scooter, or e-scooter, looks similar to a traditional scooter but it is propelled by an electric motor. Popular e-scooter companies include Bird, Lime, and Spin, which have become increasing popular because of their ease of use. Riders simply need to download the scooter company’s app, scan a barcode on the scooter, and ride off.
These scooters are considered dock-less because riders do not need to return the scooter to any specific location. Instead, when the next rider opens the app, they will see a map of the nearby available scooters and locate the nearest scooter to them, which was left there by the last rider. E-scooters can be used as transportation to get to work, around town, or as a recreational activity.
E-scooters travel, on average, 15 miles per hour, although some models are capable of going double the speed. While the popularity of e-scooters has continued to soar, so have injuries. The increased speed and smaller size of e-scooters compared to other vehicles on the road has helped to triple the number of people injured in the past 10 years.
Common Causes of Scooter Injuries
From 2013 to 2017, there were an estimated 32,400 e-scooter-related injuries. While there are a number of factors that can contribute to a scooter crash, some of the most common causes of accidents include the following:
Collision with a Car
When e-scooters share the road with bigger vehicles, automobile drivers may not see e-scooter riders because of their small size. As scooter rental companies expand to more cities, drivers may be unaware of the new mode of transportation and fail to watch out for scooter riders. Cars can injure scooter riders if they take a corner too sharply, open a car door unexpectedly, or are otherwise unaware that a rider is operating an e-scooter alongside their car.
Poorly Maintained Roads
When a rider hits a pothole, uneven sidewalk, or poorly maintained road, they may go flying off the scooter. Because e-scooters are designed to be lightweight and have small wheels, they offer little protection against bumps or dips in the road. Riders should always be cautious of uneven surfaces.
Riding on the Sidewalk
Many counties and municipalities prohibit e-scooter operators from riding on the sidewalk. This is intended to prevent collisions with pedestrians and other objects. However, this means that the alternative for scooter riders may be the bike lane or the road, both of which can increase the chances of being hit by a car.
Distracted Scooter Driver
Just like driving a car, riders need to pay attention when they are operating a scooter. Uneven surfaces, pedestrians, cars, lampposts, dogs, and a number of other obstacles can interfere with a rider in a split second. Accidents are more likely to occur when scooter drivers are texting, listening to music, or otherwise not paying attention.
Because e-scooters do not require special training or licensing, riders may hop on a scooter without any idea of how to safely operate it. When riders do not have experience riding an e-scooter, they are more likely to speed, not know how to stop, and injure themselves. One study found that 40% of riders were injured on their very first scooter ride.
Sometimes, no matter how cautious a scooter rider is, they can be injured by a defective scooter. When a scooter is incorrectly manufactured the systems intended to keep riders safe may fail to work. If riders use an e-scooter rental company, the chances of a defect may be greater, since several riders can use the same scooter before the company is made aware of an error.
Common Scooter Injuries
E-scooters are intended to zip through traffic. However, these scooters offer little protection for riders when they hit cars, potholes, or other road hazards. As a result, e-scooters can result in serious injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries from scooter accidents include:
Head injuries are one of the most common e-scooter injuries because riders often do not wear helmets. In 2018, 32% of all scooter injuries involved damage to the head, including concussions and skull fractures. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you believe you have a head injury, as untreated injuries can lead to serious, long-term detrimental effects.
When e-scooter riders flip over the handlebars, collide with a car, or hit a stationary object, the
force generated can be enough to break their bones. From 2014 to 2018, 27% of e-scooter injuries involved at least one broken bone.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises
When a rider falls off an e-scooter, their skin may skid across the concrete and cause cuts, scrapes, and bruises. From 2014 to 2018, 37% of e-scooter injuries involved injuries to the skin. Cuts and scrapes are especially susceptible to infection and should be closely monitored after an injury.
What to Do After a Scooter Accident
When most riders hop on an e-scooter, they commute to work, go for a recreational ride, or take a quick trip across town. However, few riders suspect that their ride will end in an abrupt crash. The below steps outline what you should in the days and weeks following your accident.
Seek Medical Help
If you do not receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident or later go to the hospital, you should continue to monitor your health to make sure there are no lasting effects from your scooter accident. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, be sure to watch out for signs of head injuries like concussions.
Document Your Damage
As soon as possible, be sure to take photos of the damage to the e-scooter, your injuries, the injuries of any other people involved, the scene of the accident, and any property damage, if possible. If any witnesses watched the accident occur, take down their contact information. If a police officer responded to your accident, he or she will have filled out an accident report, and you should call the police department to ask for a copy.
Keep Track of Your Expenses
To help you receive the compensation you may deserve after a scooter injury, you will need to keep track of your expenses. This could include hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, or documented time taken off from work due to your injuries.
Contact a Lawyer
A New Mexico scooter injury lawyer may be able to assist you by dealing with claims and questions from insurance and e-scooter companies. Attorneys may also be able to discuss the specific facts of your case and help determine how much your e-scooter case is worth.
Will I Be Responsible for Paying for E-Scooter Damage?
Most scooter companies’ user agreements include a part that holds the scooter riders liable for any damage, outside of normal wear and tear, that occurs. For example, the e-scooter company Lime states in its user agreement that any scooters that are damaged may cost a rider up to $1,500 to repair or replace the scooter. However, you should not have to pay for damage that is not your fault. A New Mexico lawyer may be able to assist you in ensuring the responsible party pays for e-scooter damage.
Does My Insurance Cover Electric Scooters?
While insurance in some areas may offer riders the ability to cover personal e-scooters, the majority of scooter riders are left without coverage. Most car insurance policies do not cover vehicles with less than four wheels and will not protect scooter riders if they are in an accident. Likewise, most homeowner and rental insurance does not include e-scooters.
Contact a Lawyer Who Handles Scooter Accident Cases
We understand that a scooter accident can leave you with significant medical bills and injuries. Our New Mexico scooter injury attorneys have helped many scooter riders get the compensation they deserved after suffering from an e-scooter injury, and we want to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
At Zinda Law Group, we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced New Mexico scooter injury lawyers.
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