Scooter Accident Lawyer

Scooters have become a popular mode of transportation in New York City, with recent laws allowing people to operate bicycles with an electric assist (e-bikes) on some streets and highways throughout the state. It's an unfortunate fact that electric scooter accidents are also on the rise, with crashes often resulting in serious injury. If you've been hurt in a crash, you may be facing medical bills, lost wages, and pain & suffering.

If you have been injured in a scooter accident in New York, it is important to contact an experienced NYC car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you take action the more likely you will be able to get compensation for your injuries and other losses. Our firm has decades of experience helping victims recover compensation after their injuries from all kinds of serious accidents and we will fight for your rights so that you get everything you deserve under the law.

A scooter accident lawyer at Raphaelson & Levine can help you understand your legal rights and next steps. To schedule a free consultation, complete the case review form or call 212-268-3222 today.

Overview of Scooters & E-Scooters

New trends often bring challenges, and e-scooters are no exception. Pedestrians and drivers alike do not know how to coexist with e-scooters, so everyone remains safe.

E-scooters look like kick scooters, but they contain an electric engine. You stand on the deck and push-off, but you also accelerate and brake using hand controls. There are e-scooters for sale, however, many people rent them through an app through companies like Lime, Jump, and Lyft in New York. People respond by taking advantage of these devices to do quick errands or simply have a little fun.

E-Scooter Risks & Dangers

New York lawmakers recently ended the ban on electric scooters from companies like Lime, Bird, Lyft, Revel, and others, but serious safety concerns still exist. There are a limited number of regulations for scooters as traffic laws have not caught up to the trending new mode of transportation. A scooter rider may not have any previous experience driving, and many pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists are unaccustomed to sharing the road with these vehicles.

However, there are attempts to make the city safer for e-scooters. New York set a speed limit for e-scooters (15 mph on sidewalks and 30 mph on bike lanes and streets) and limits their use to those aged 16 and up. Helmets are not required for riders under 18, and the Department of Transportation only recommends helmets for those 18 and older. That means protection from traumatic brain injury is not always guaranteed, especially since many people will not buy a helmet if they use an e-scooter only occasionally.

New motorized scooters that hold a driver and passenger complicate the situation further since they often move and behave like a motorcycle, but without any of the same rules that apply to them — including driver’s license requirements.

E-scooters also come with mechanical quirks. They often do not brake as well as bicycles, and their small tires do not hold up well to potholes and other hazards. The same tires slide easily in wet conditions. Also, scooters provided by Bird and Lyft contain a glitch where scooters gain sudden acceleration over city speed limits. Riders may lose control, and even if they wear a bicycle helmet, they have less protection from injuries. Bicycle helmet design does not accommodate speeds of over 20 mph.

If your scooter experiences this glitch, you are in for a fight if you want compensation for your injuries. When you sign up for the app to rent a scooter, you agree to the Scooter User Liability and Agreements, where the company assigns any liability to you. There are ways to overcome these agreements, but you need an experienced personal injury law firm to help you get past the agreement and pursue damages. We successfully challenge these agreements frequently and can offer that service for your personal injury claim.

Common Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents

As this market for electric scooters grows, so do the injuries associated with them. New York City emergency rooms have already noticed an increase in scooter-related injuries as more pay-per-use scooter services enter the city. Common causes of electric scooter accidents include:

  • Mechanical malfunctions: Besides the acceleration issue discussed above, e-scooters also break down completely. The engine may suddenly switch off, or the deck and handlebars collapse because of heavy use and lack of maintenance. A 2017 Consumer Reports study revealed that eight percent reported scooter malfunctions.
  • Maintenance issues: Companies may not stay current on e-scooter maintenance. This oversight leads to mechanical problems but also charging shortcomings and blown tires. If a scooter rider has a good speed when these issues arise, the fall and resulting injuries could be catastrophic.
  • Road hazards: Fallen debris and potholes are dangerous for e-scooters due to their small tires and slow braking speed. If a business or municipal agency is responsible for clearing debris and fails to do, they may be held liable in the same way as a slip-and-fall injury.
  • Other people and vehicles: Many riders use sidewalks because they do not feel safe in bike lanes or roads. T But three out of five e-scooter users sustained injuries while riding on the sidewalk. Unleashed dogs may jump in front of a scooter, or pedestrians fail to pay attention and step into the path of one. The Consumer Reports study revealed one-quarter of e-scooter riders had pedestrians step in front of them. Once again, slow braking, small tires, and unbalanced e-scooter structure do little to prevent accidents.

Common Injuries from Electric Scooter Accidents

Scooter accident injuries can be minor or severe, from scrapes and bruises to dislocated shoulders, fractures, and traumatic head injuries. Common types of injuries include:

  • Lacerations and bruises
  • Road rash
  • Back injuries, broken bones, and fractures
  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Fractures to shins, ankles, and jaws
  • Sprains and strains to ankles, wrists, knees, necks, backs, and joints

Minor injuries receive treatment in the emergency with patients instructed to use ice and over-the-counter painkillers. Soft tissue injuries, like sprains and strains, may require additional attention, including chiropractic care and physical therapy.

Fractures and head injuries have longer recovery times. During these periods, patients may require surgery or time off work. They often owe large medical bills and face reduced wages as they miss work for recovery and doctor appointments. Severe cases often result in permanent disability.

Sidewalks accidents are more frequent but often result in less serious injuries. The more severe crashes usually involve automobiles when riders use motor vehicle lanes. Sidewalk riding is the primary survival strategy; however, riders use protected lanes when they are available. These patterns lead many people to push for protected lanes for scooters to ride safely without danger from pedestrians, bicycles, and cars.

Do I Have a Scooter Accident Injury Case?

The personal injury law firm of Raphaelson & Levine handles all types of e-scooter cases, including:

  • Car accidents involving scooters
  • Collisions between scooters and pedestrians or dogs
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Defective and malfunctioning scooters
  • Scooter companies failing to maintain or repair scooters
  • Hazardous conditions
  • Any negligent or intentional conduct by another which injures a scooter rider

Our personal injury attorneys start your case evaluation with a free consultation. If you have names and numbers of other parties and witnesses, you can provide those at the appointment. However, in traumatic injury cases, you may not recollect that information at the time. If that is the case, we review police reports and security footage to identify witnesses and other parties.

You have a scooter accident claim if the carelessness of another person causes your injuries. Since there is press regarding reckless scooter riders, it may be a fight to show you were not at fault for your injuries. During these cases, you need an attorney to investigate the matter and advocate firmly on your behalf. Otherwise, you must deal with opposing parties and insurance companies when your focus needs to be on injury recovery.

A scooter accident attorney offers advocacy and the insights of other experts. These experts may include accident reconstruction engineers who can break down how your accident occurred and why it is not your fault. That insight is critical when victims suffer head injuries or other trauma that affects their memories. Mechanical experts can assess faulty e-scooters and explain why they failed and how they caused your injuries.

Once we break down the facts of your case, we evaluate your damages. When you face injuries through no fault of your own, your compensation may cover:

  • Medical expenses for specialist treatment, setting broken bones, mobility devices, physical therapy, and other treatment.
  • Lost wages due to missed work for recovery and doctor appointments
  • Any expenses arising from injury, including an alternative mode of transportation, household support, and other costs related to your injury
  • Non-economic damages including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of previous activities, and reduced quality of life
  • Diminished earning capacity if you become disabled
  • In wrongful death cases, final illness expenses, funeral costs, mental anguish and grief, and loss of financial support and companionship

An opposing party’s insurance company hires a team of lawyers whose sole purpose is to break down your credibility. Lyft, Lime, and other rental companies also have a team ready to argue that you assumed liability and their scooters were not defective. They prepare for a fight and have the money to back it up. You need legal representation that stands up to this.

Speak with a Scooter Accident Attorney Nearby

If you are an e-scooter rider who recently suffered injuries in an accident or a loved one suffered an e-scooter accident, you do not have to fend for yourself.

Located in Manhattan, New York, the personal injury lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine have recovered over $700 Million and helped thousands of clients get their lives back on track after a serious injury.

Call us today at (212) 268-3222 or complete our contact form to speak with a scooter accident lawyer about your claim.

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Located near Penn Station in New York, NY, our law firm serves Nassau County, Rockland County, Suffolk County, Westchester and all of New York State, including the five boroughs of NYC: Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
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