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A scooter rider falling towards the pavement after hitting a curb
Michael Damaso
Civil Trial Attorney
Wooten Kimbrough Damaso & Dennis, P.A.
(407) 843-7060

E-scooters are becoming increasingly popular on Orlando streets and sidewalks as more residents and those visiting the area are using them to get around town. Orlando’s ordinance allows each scooter company to send 200-400 scooters, with a total limit of 1,800 e-scooters in the city.

Popular e-scooter companies such as Lime, offer access to their scooters through the Lime App,  which shows an up to the minute map of where scooters are available for rental. Users locate their desired scooter, scan the QR code located on the handlebars or the baseboard using the Lime app, and ride away.

Other popular e-scooter rentals in Orlando include: Bird, Wheels, and Lynx City. Several commissioners have raised safety concerns about the scooters, which can travel up to 20 mph. Helmets are not required nor provided for riders. According to a recent Consumer Reports study, at least one in every four e-scooter users are not aware of the basic traffic laws they are required to follow when riding e-scooters.

The most common accidents involving e-scooters are single vehicle crashes. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 33% of e-scooter riders who got injured were on their first ride. While a number of e-scooter crashes are the result of a rider’s inexperience, it does not necessarily make them responsible for the crash.

Road hazards, such as potholes, sidewalk blocks that can produce sudden changes in elevation, and hidden patches of road, can shift liability of the crash onto the local government.  Motorists and pedestrians who are distracted or unaware of their surroundings can also inadvertently cause an e-scooter crash.

ELECTRIC SCOOTER COMPANIES PUT RIDERS AT RISK OF INJURY

Lime’s e-scooters have been known to break apart during a ride.  This has caused a number of accidents and left riders seriously injured. Some e-scooters have a defect that is known to cause the brake to suddenly activate at high speeds, throwing the rider off the scooter. An especially common accident occurs between cars and scooters, known as ‘dooring.’  This occurs when a parked car opens the door into the path of a scooter, giving the rider no time to react and causing a crash.

A recent study published by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Network investigated just how dangerous e-scooters can be. Reviewing data between 2017 and 2018 involving e-scooter riders injured in the Los Angeles area, approximately 250 people went to the emergency room due to their injuries from riding an e-scooter. Of the injuries reported, 40 percent of them involved some type of head injury from an e-scooter crash.

Common e-scooter injuries include anything ranging from bruises and scrapes to broken bones, dislocated joints, and traumatic brain injuries.

A number of cases have been reported where the rider is injured due to e-scooter malfunction. Some of the more common causes are faulty breaks or throttles sticking. E-scooter companies like Lime has taken steps to insulate itself from paying for damages associated with e-scooter accidents, including having its users agree to aggressive terms before being allowed to ride. These ‘click-wrap contracts,’ as they are often called, force the person to click on a button that says “I agree” before getting to ride.  E-scooter companies, like Lime have tailored its user agreement to be 55 pages long.

Orlando ordinance requires that e-scooter companies provide liability insurance to cover any potential injuries to riders, as well as offer safety courses that are aimed at first-time riders. However, these safety courses are merely offered and not required.

COMPENSATION AVAILABLE TO VICTIMS OF E-SCOOTER ACCIDENTS

If you have been injured in an Orlando e-scooter accident, your injuries can be split into two categories: Economic damages and Non-Economic damages.

Economic Damages:

  • Medical Bills
  • Future Medical Treatment
  • Household expenses
  • Loss wages
  • Loss of future earnings

Non-Economic Damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological damage
  • Loss of consortium

If you were seriously injured in an Orlando e-scooter accident, our personal injury lawyers are ready to help protect your legal rights. From investigating the cause of the accident to helping you get the medical treatment you need, the legal team at Wooten Kimbrough Damaso & Dennis, P.A. is here to assist you every step of the way, and get you the compensation you deserve.

 

 

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