Frequently Asked Questions - Can I Sue If Someone Riding A Lime Scooter Crashed Into Me?
Lime is an e-scooter company offering bicycle and e-scooter-sharing options throughout major cities across the world. Through a mobile app, riders can locate, reserve, and ride bicycles and e-scooters for a relatively small fee. Reserving Lime scooters is straightforward. After downloading the app, you can locate scooters nearby and rent them.
In recent years, popularity of e-scooter companies like Lime has increased significantly. Many cities have jumped on board and permitted Lime to operate in hopes of relieving traffic congestion and providing the public with a cleaner alternative to public transit. However, the increased presence of e-scooters on public roads means more potential for injuries and deaths among riders, pedestrians, and occupants of motor vehicles.
There are several reasons e-scooters create undue danger to the public.
E-scooters smaller size makes them less visible to motor vehicles, because parked cars or other objects in the roadway may obstruct them from view. Second, roadway defects such as uneven pavement, potholes, gravel, and debris could cause a motorized scooter to lose control and fall or be thrown from the vehicle. Many scooter accidents occur when riders try to swerve around roadway defects or debris. Thirds, e-scooters can lock up or become wobbly, especially when riders suddenly swerve or apply the emergency brake while moving. Fourth, since there are no standards to gauge the competency of potential riders, many e-scooter riders do not have adequate experience and struggle to operate a type of vehicle they have never ridden before. Finally, some scooter riders choose to operate e-scooters in a risky or reckless manner. Common examples are not wearing helmets, riding at high speeds on sidewalks, operating e-scooters with more than one passenger, or performing dangerous stunts.
Scooter company liability
E-scooter companies spent millions of dollars toward insulating their own liability. When using their app to rent a scooter, Lime requires you to agree to a comprehensive waiver that essentially insulates them from almost any potential liability. The waiver is like one you are required to accept before engaging in potentially dangerous activities such as skydiving, trampoline centers, scuba diving, etc. Unlike owners of motor vehicles who are liable by virtue of owning the vehicle, unless an accident is caused by an e-scooter malfunction, establishing legal liability can be challenging for attorneys.
Recover compensation for injuries caused by e-scooter accidents is largely dependent on who was at fault for the crash. If an e-scooter rider was at fault, he can be held financially responsible for your injuries. If the rider has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, that insurance policy may provide coverage for your damages claim. Similarly, if bicyclist or another e-scooter causes injuries to anyone, the same types of insurance may provide coverage for the injured victim.
Next, we have seen several cases where e-scooters crashed due to sub-standard parts or improper maintenance. E-scooters typically have several different riders each day and may not be repaired immediately after sustaining damage. Defective or worn-out parts such as brakes may undetected and thus not timely repaired. Recently, an e-scooter rider was catastrophically injured when the brakes failed and the rider was propelled into a busy intersection, even though her intention was to stop at the red-light. It was later determined that the e-scooter, which was 3 years old, never underwent any regular maintenance protocols, and had the company done so, the rider would not have become a quadriplegic.
Finally, if a pedestrian sustains injuries caused by an e-scooter rider, rider’s homeowner or rental insurance can in many cases cover the injured person.
In addition to the e-scooter company, If a dangerous condition caused by a manufacturing or design flaw caused an e-scooter crash and resulting injuries, you can file a product liability claim against the scooter manufacturer to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Many e-scooter riders have trouble maneuvering around debris and other potentially dangerous conditions on the roadway. These dangerous conditions may be caused by residual debris from a construction company or by a business discarding debris or trash outside its premises. In such cases, the business owner is liable for any injuries or damages you sustain. Similarly, if a dangerous roadway condition such as a pothole, uneven pavement or poor lighting has caused am e-scooter accident, the municipality where the incident occurred may be liable.
Types of injuries
The most common injury we see from e-scooter accidents are traumatic brain injuries that occur when the skull strikes the ground and causes injury to the brain. In fact, concussions are diagnosed in over 40% of ER visits following e-scooter accidents.
Spinal injuries and fractures are also very common and often result in complex surgeries with hardware installation and long painful recovery times.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, which party or parties were responsible, and the nature and extent of the injuries and damages, there are varying types of damages one can claim in e-scooter accident cases. Medical expenses include emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, and the cost of medication, medical equipment, doctor visits, prescriptions, and any other factors related to your medical treatment.
If you miss time from work due to your injuries or medical attention, you can claim the wages you have lost as a result. Further, depending on your prognosis, you can claim the loss of potential income in the future. Many injuries require physical therapy and other rehabilitation. Such costs are also recoverable in these situations. Pain and suffering, sometimes called non-economic damages, include physical pain and psychological/emotional pain. Many victims focus exclusively on the physical injuries, however the psychological trauma, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and marital problems are all common fallout from victims of e-scooter accident. Finally, the inability to enjoy aspects of life we often take for granted, such as cycling, hiking, or engaging with our children, is a significant element of an e-scooter victim’s damages.
Recovering damages resulting from e-scooter accidents can be complex matters, and because this is a relatively new mode of transportation, theories of liability and legal standards are constantly evolving, making it critical to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as practicable following an accident.