Electric scooters have hit the streets of Chicago, and they have already caused much contention between those who use them and those who interact with them. According to a Consumer Reports investigation, there were well over 1,500 scooter accidents throughout the country between 2017 and 2019. Due to the fact that these scooters are relatively new, when an accident occurs, victims often don’t know what to do, and who to hold liable.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., our Chicago scooter accident lawyers can help victims identify all potentially liable parties after a crash and file a claim for the full compensation they need. Contact us now for a free consultation.
Who Is Liable for Electric Scooter Accidents?
After a scooter accident, it is crucial to determine who was liable for the crash. One of the most complex aspects of scooter accidents is that there are potentially many liable parties. These include:
- Scooter riders: When scooter riders cause an accident, such as crashing into a car, they can be held liable for any injuries that result. Scooter riders are not required to carry liability insurance. However, if the rider has a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, this can provide compensation in some cases.
- Scooter companies: Scooter rental companies are responsible for ensuring their scooters are properly maintained and in good condition at all times. This is often overlooked, as several riders can use one scooter in a day, making it difficult to repair scooters as soon as a part wears out.
- Scooter manufacturers: If the scooter has an actual defect, it can cause serious accidents. Many injuries due to defective scooters have already been reported. When manufacturers fail to ensure their product is safe, accident victims can hold them liable.
- Negligent drivers: Drivers watch out for other cars but often fail to see cyclists and scooter riders. When scooter operators are hit by a driver, they can claim compensation through the driver’s insurance company.
- Negligent pedestrians: Pedestrians sometimes step into a scooter’s path, particularly when they’re not accustomed to sharing space with them. This is still considered negligence, and pedestrians can be held liable. Injured individuals may have to go through the pedestrian’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to seek compensation for their injuries.
A Chicago scooter accident lawyer can help crash victims determine who was liable for a crash and fight to hold them accountable for paying full and fair compensation.
Common Causes of Scooter Accidents
A scooter accident can happen in a number of ways. However, there are some causes that are more common than others. These include:
- Scooter malfunctions: There have been many reports of scooters malfunctioning and causing accidents. The most common of these involve brake and software malfunctions.
- Riding on the sidewalk: Riding a scooter on a sidewalk is dangerous for both the operator and pedestrians. Scooters are treated as bicycles and, as such, should only be ridden on the roads, heading in the same direction as traffic.
- Failure to obey traffic laws: Anyone on a vehicle, including a scooter, must follow traffic laws. When scooter riders, pedestrians, or motorists fail to obey traffic laws, it can result in a crash.
- User inexperience: Riding an electric scooter is not as easy as it looks. When operators don’t know how to properly and safely ride a scooter, an accident is likely.
Regardless of the cause of the accident, when someone else was at fault, accident victims can claim compensation to help with their injuries.
Compensation After a Scooter Accident
There are many different types of compensation available after a scooter accident. The types awarded will depend on the circumstances of the accident, who was at fault, and the extent of the injuries. Some of the most common types of compensation awarded in scooter accident cases include:
- Medical expenses: Medical expenses can include everything from emergency transportation to a hospital, medication, doctor’s visits, and any other costs related to medical treatment for the injuries.
- Lost income: Often, the injuries resulting from a scooter accident are so severe, accident victims are unable to return to work. Those hurt can claim compensation for the wages they lose as a result, in addition to other benefits such as vacation pay.
- Rehabilitative costs: After a crash, accident victims often must undergo rehabilitation, such as physical therapy. Injured individuals can claim compensation for these costs.
- Loss of earning capacity: When injuries are severe, sometimes accident victims are never the same. Many find they can’t return to the same type of work they once did, and suffer financially as a result. Compensation can include this loss of earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: Injuries cause a great deal of pain and suffering, both physically and mentally. The courts recognize these injuries as non-economic losses and award these damages to help compensate the victim.
After a full review of your case, a scooter accident lawyer can determine the fair amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
Chicago Electric Scooter Laws
When Chicago’s shared electric scooter pilot program first came to the city, there were over 600,000 rides in the first week. However, many scooter operators aren’t aware of the laws Chicago has regarding electric scooters. Or they are aware and are simply ignoring them. The laws on electric scooters in Chicago state that:
- Scooter operators are not allowed to ride on sidewalks or The 606.
- Scooter operators must be 18 years old, or 16 years old with parental consent.
- Scooters can hold only one person at any time.
- Scooter operators must travel in the same direction as traffic at all times.
- Scooters must only be parked in designated areas.
- Scooter riders under the age of 17 must wear a helmet at all times.
Failing to obey these laws could indicate negligence in the case of an accident and leave scooter operators liable for paying compensation.
Talk to a Scooter Accident Lawyer Now
If you’ve been injured by a scooter, or while riding on one, and someone else was at fault, you could be entitled to compensation. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., our Chicago scooter accident lawyers want to help you. We are committed to helping accident victims claim the full and fair compensation they need to recover from their injuries.
Contact us online for your free consultation.