Electric scooters, also called e-scooters, are growing in popularity across the country. Companies like Bird and Lime are expanding their foothold on the industry in numerous states, towns and cities. Users can rent these electric, motor powered scooters with apps created by the companies and then park the scooters for other people to use after arriving at their destination.
With Bothell and Puget Sound recently launching pilot programs for e-scooters, many people are wondering whether Seattle could be next. In May, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signaled she and members of the City Council may allow electric scooters in the city within the next couple of months – perhaps as early as next year.
Other cities with electric scooters, such as San Francisco, have experienced a nightmare. People have placed scooters on top of light poles, in the San Francisco Bay and smeared them with feces. Even worse, other California cities with electric scooters are reporting high rates of injuries, especially head and brain injuries. A recent report published by doctors at UCLA found that scooter collisions often involved head injuries.
Whether Seattle could experience the same fate depends on the success of its pilot program, state law and how well City Council’s regulations help prevent acts of vandalism and instances of injuries. The scooter companies that could operate in our city, if it ever happens, will play a role as well.
Are Electric Scooter Accidents Leading to Lawsuits and Other Problems?
Many cities are reporting instances of injuries caused by electric scooter accidents. As mentioned, UCLA published its own report on accidents and injuries. However, Los Angeles is only one city with electric scooters that is experiencing an influx of accidents.
Atlanta recorded two recent deaths involving electric scooters and paused permits for scooters due to the fatalities. In Austin, a man suffered injuries while riding a Lime scooter after it suddenly locked up and threw him in front of a bus. Plaintiffs filed eight lawsuits against scooter companies in Austin, with cases alleging serious defects that led to major injuries. Defects included brakes that locked up while the scooter was in motion and loose handlebars.
Pedestrians and cyclists are also suffering injuries caused by scooters. It’s not just scooter users themselves who are suffering major injuries.
Some of the largest scooter companies, who want to potentially operate in Seattle, are producing potentially defective scooters that may lead to injuries or deaths.
Scooter companies also require users to sign an agreement with a liability waiver, which makes it more difficult, but not impossible to file a lawsuit for injuries or deaths.
Can You Sue for a Scooter Injury?
Personal injury attorneys across the country on testing the waters with lawsuits for scooter injuries. There isn’t much of a case history to go on because electric scooters only recently became very popular. The language in the user agreements for the apps can also complicate legal options for injured users.
If you suffered injuries on a scooter, or lost a loved one to a scooter accident, then an attorney can help you determine your next steps.
About Our Seattle Personal Injury Law Firm
Herschensohn Law PLLC is as Seattle personal injury law firm with experience handling cases involving serious injuries. You can contact us for a free consultation by dialing (206) 588-4344 or by using the contact form on our website.