Frequently Asked Questions - Can You Sue If You Get Injured Riding A Bird, Lime, Skip, Or Spin Scooter?
Electric scooters have continued to increase in popularity across the state of Florida since they were introduced in the Summer of 2019. Numerous companies such as Bird, Lime, Skip, Spin, Lyft, and Uber offer electric scooter rentals through their smartphone application. These companies make it possible to quickly rent and ride an electric scooter in cities all across Florida. Unfortunately, the increase is electric scooter usage has also seen a large increase in scooter related injuries. If you are injured while riding an electric scooter, or if you have been injured by someone who was riding an electric scooter, an experienced attorney can help recover compensation for your injuries. Your ability to sue, and if there will be liability insurance coverage available, will differ depending on the details of your injury.
Scooter injuries resulting from motor vehicle collisions
Scooter riders share all the same rights and responsibilities as bicyclists. Just like a cyclist, an electric scooter rider can travel on roadways, sidewalks, and trails. While riding on a roadway an electric scooter rider must follow all the rules of the road. For instance, they must follow the flow of traffic and obey traffic signs and signals. Failure to adhere to traffic laws while riding an electric scooter on the roadway may prevent you from recovering damages for injuries. Additionally, if you cause an accident while riding on a scooter due to a failure to follow traffic laws, you may be held liable for damages.
If you are injured on an electric scooter due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver you will likely qualify for personal injury protection benefits. Personal injury protection benefits pay 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000. Personal injury protection benefits will also compensate you for 60% of your lost wages during the period where you are unable to work due to your injuries. If you are injured while riding a scooter and own a registered vehicle in Florida, you will qualify for personal injury protection benefits through your automobile insurance provider. If you do not own a vehicle but reside with a relative who does carry a valid Florida insurance policy, you should qualify for personal injury protection benefits through their insurance policy. Finally, if you do not own a vehicle and you do not reside with a relative who has personal injury protection benefits, you may qualify for benefits through the insurance policy of the at fault driver.
If you are injured on an electric scooter due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver, you can assert a claim against them and their automobile liability insurance carrier. The driver is liable for any economic damages resulting from your injury. Economic damages include your past and future medical bills, lost wages, property damage, loss of future earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses. If you have suffered a permanent injury as a result of the collision, you may also be entitled to non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are nonfinancial losses that have occurred due to the injuries sustained in the collision. These damages can include pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, and the loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.
The best way to protect yourself from the negligence of other drivers is to carry uninsured motorist coverage on your own automobile insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional part of your insurance policy in Florida. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage and are injured by a motor vehicle while driving, riding a scooter, or riding your bicycle, you will be protected even if the other driver is uninsured or does not carry sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries. The more uninsured motorist coverage you carry on your policy, the greater your protection from negligent drivers while on Florida roadways.
Injuries due to negligent scooter riders
If you are injured due to the negligence of a scooter rider you can sue the rider for damages. Riders of electric scooters have the same responsibilities as cyclists. Therefore, if they are not following the rules of the road or if they cause an injury due to negligence, the injured party may seek damages from the rider. Just like a cyclist, however, scooter riders are not required to have a license or carry insurance. As such, it may be more difficult to pursue a claim against a negligent rider.
If you are injured by a scooter rider as a pedestrian your health insurance should assist with medical bill payments. Automobile insurance would not apply in this scenario. If you later receive compensation from the negligent scooter rider, your insurance carrier has a right to be paid back for funds spent on your medical bills. This right of subrogation prevents an injured party from being compensated twice for the same injury. An experienced attorney can help negotiate subrogation liens in the event the recovery from the at fault party does not properly “make you whole” or fully compensate you for your injury.
Injuries as a result of malfunctioning or defective scooter equipment
If you are injured while riding a Bird, Lime, or other ride share company’s scooter, you may be entitled to compensation from the company. However, these companies require riders to sign waivers and agree to terms and conditions when renting scooters via their smartphone application. These waivers may limit your ability to a jury trial or even your ability to sue for damages in Florida. It is important to review these terms carefully prior to renting scooter equipment.
Scooter rental companies, such as those mentioned above, have a duty to maintain their equipment in safe and working condition. This may include periodic inspection to identify safety issues and performing necessary maintenance and repairs. If you sustain an injury on a scooter due to faulty equipment, you may have a claim against the owner of the scooter. If the owner contracts with a third-party company to perform maintenance and repairs, and they are done incorrectly, or not at all, that company may also be liable for your injuries. Similarly, if the manufacturer of a scooter designs, creates, or distributes scooters with a defect that results in injury, the manufacturer may be liable for resulting injuries.
If you are riding a Bird, Lime, Skip, or Spin Scooter and are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to sue the negligent party for damages. Additionally, if you are injured by someone else who is riding a Bird, Lime, Skip, or Spin Scooter you may also have a claim for damages. Who you can recover from and if liability insurance is available will depend on how your injury occurred. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the ever changing laws regarding the regulation of electric scooters.