Who Pays for the Damages on Electric Scooter Accidents?
Who Pays for the Damages on Electric Scooter Accidents?
Many Texans have experienced extensive injuries and damage because of Lime, Lyft scooters, Jump, Bird, and OJO. These scooter companies popped up overnight, and over the last year and a half, Texas cities have waged war. Many riders are hurt, more pedestrians are hurt, and a handful of people have died in electric scooter accidents.
But, who pays for these injuries? They’re not all qualified to count as car accidents, and many others are simply a result of bad judgment. Often the victim is left with hefty medical bills and not much guidance on how to handle the resolution. In a situation like this, it’s best to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas for guidance.
Texas Based Study on Electric Scooter Accidents and Injuries
A recent study was done in Texas that evaluated the injuries of over 200 people associated with scooters exposed to some interesting issues. First, the rider’s age ranged from 9 to 79 years, meaning that people well below driving age were attempting to operate a vehicle that goes 15 miles-per-hour. Second, most were injured during their first, or first few, scooter rides. That is an important finding as these scooter companies require that the rider acknowledges in their terms and agreements that they “know” how to use the device. Third, most injuries were to the head and joints.
Hip, Knee, Ankle, and Wrist Injuries
About 70% of injured riders had injuries to their upper limbs, including the shoulders, hands, and wrists. These injuries can lead to substantial medical debt, as joint damage is often extensive. Upper body injuries also put the victims at risk of internal damage and organ damage.
About a third of injured riders experienced bone fractures, and that percentage excused fractures that often aren’t treated, such as broken toes or a nose. These figures show that the most substantial injuries are common.
There is also a slew of hip, knee, and ankle injuries as a result of the rider trying to avoid the fall or correct themselves.
Will These Scooters Be Going Away Soon?
Although these scooters claim to be good for the environment and provide an inexpensive way to get through metropolitan areas without congesting traffic, there are issues. The injuries experienced, the frustration of these scooters lying in front of businesses, and even in the street has resulted in a lot of backlash. Fortunately, the state senate has decided to take action.
In May of 2019, Texas decided that it should remove scooters from the sidewalks, but the good factors do make it difficult. For years residents have looked for a way to get around the expensive private transportation, congested streets, and overloaded public transit systems. E-scooters seem like a pretty good solution. Texas is proposing a series of restrictions and measures that would prohibit dangerous use or risky behavior when on electric scooters.
Coverage Options and Grey Area Issues
Lime, among many other companies that provide electric scooter services, boasts of a $1 million policy available for compensation claims. But the grey area issues are what cause those claims to fall through. For example, Lime claims that their coverage is only accessible if the rider was compliant with all the user terms and agreements. But, in those terms and agreements, they have statements that seem to cancel each other out or are impossible to meet.
The helmet section is a big issue for those injured. Lime does not provide helmets near their docking stations, which means that riders must think far enough ahead to determine to bring their own helmet into the city with them. Lime’s terms and conditions provide the following for users:
- “We recommend that you wear a helmet any time you use…”
- “If you choose not to wear a helmet and are injured. As a result, we are not responsible.”
Those two statements say that the helmet is the rider’s choice, but that not choosing a helmet violates the user’s protection under their policy. That is how Lime and other e-scooter companies get out of paying for damages.
Do Texas Personal Injury Attorneys Handle Electric Scooter Accidents?
A personal injury attorney office in Texas, such as Brent Coon and Associates, is the best place to start. A Texas personal injury attorney should understand not only the ins and outs of insurance claims through these terms but also the present danger of electric scooters.
These companies will often fight claims on the basis of the user violating terms or agreements. You need someone to stand up and expose how the company failed the victim, not the other way around. Contact a Brent Coon office near you and dive into the help available.
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