The landscape of transportation has changed dramatically over the last decade. First came Uber, transforming the way we think of transportation with their ridesharing and food delivery services. Then came bike rentals services like Divvy, Lime Bike and Relay, allowing tourists to explore major cities in a convenient and accessible way. And while many began to raise the question of safety and whether cities were prepared for so many bikes on the road, no one could have foreseen the newest trend to hit the transportation market: motorized scooters.
The rise of the motorized scooter began at the beginning of 2018 when companies like Bird, Scoot, and Skip brought thousands to America’s major cities. San Francisco, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta and more found themselves inundated seemingly overnight, and with these scooters came serious safety concerns.
Safe Operation of Motorized Scooters
Motorized scooters are capable of reaching speeds up to 15 mph. While this might not seem very fast, running into a sign or pedestrian at these speeds can cause serious injury.
When renting a motorized scooter, you must be at least 18 years old and are required by law to wear a helmet. Helmets are not available for rent or purchase where you pick up your scooter — you must bring your own.
It is important to research the proper operation of a motorized scooter before renting. Both of your feet should be on the footboard at all times, and you should always try to stay in bike lanes or the far right curb of the street. Additionally, you should never ride on the sidewalk with your scooter. This is for both the safety of pedestrians and yourself. In some locales, it may also be against the law.
When you are finished riding and need to park your motorized scooter, it’s important not to block public pathways, fire hydrants or driveways. Try to park your scooter by bike racks where possible, and make sure your scooter is upright and the kickstand is firmly locked.
Who Is Liable If You Get Hurt on a Motorized Scooter?
Most companies require you to sign a waiver before operating one of their motorized scooters. However, the terms of this waiver are rarely explicitly stated and simply require you to submit your email address. Then, by clicking “ride,” you are agreeing to their terms of service and can only find the rental agreement when you go farther into the “help” portion of the app.
While signing this waiver might seem innocent enough, it could limit your rights to sue the company should you injure yourself or someone else. Additionally, many defense attorneys will argue that you assume the risk of injury when you choose to ride a motorized scooter, especially without a helmet. These attorneys could also argue your claim with contributory or comparative fault, meaning you contributed to your own harm through negligence.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for Scooter-Related Injuries
The lawyers in our firm have gone up against some of the biggest corporations and insurance companies in the country fighting on behalf of our clients for justice. We are ready to help you get the money you need to move forward after you or someone you love has been injured in a motorized scooter accident. Please give us a call at (404) 751-4702 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.