How Safe Are E-Scooters, Actually?

E-scooters have become a popular mode of transportation for thousands of people in cities all over Illinois and the country, and Chicago is no exception. Forbes estimates that as of February 2019 there were more than 65,000 e-scooters on the roads of America. As more and more e-scooters populate the streets of our city, more and more people are sustaining serious injuries in collisions with other riders, drivers, and pedestrians.

But crashes aren’t the primary cause of injury. A study conducted between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018 of two emergency departments in California found that 249 people were brought to the hospital for e-scooter injuries. Of the 249 injured patients, 228 were injured while riding an e-scooter. The main cause of an e-scooter injury (183 cases) was falling down while on the scooter. Hitting an object caused 21 injuries and being hit by a vehicle caused 20 injuries.

How come no one wears helmets?

Since falls are the primary cause of e-scooter injuries, you would think that riders would do more to protect their heads. Yet every day, you can find people scooting around Chicago without a helmet. The problem is that not all states require helmets, and companies like Lime and Bird can’t actually regulate that you wear one.

Injuries suffered in e-scooter accidents

The injuries you can suffer in an e-scooter accident can range from minor scrapes and bruises to major trauma. Some of the more common injuries include:

  • Brain injuries and head trauma
  • Crushing injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Road rash
  • Paralysis
  • Broken bones

In the most tragic circumstances, a rider can die as a result of a collision, or from the injuries he or she sustains after an accident or fall.

Who can be held responsible for an e-scooter accident?

If the accident is cut and dry, meaning you were hit by a single vehicle, you can sue the driver who hit you. Your final award may be reduced, however, if you contributed in some way to your injuries. So, if you are riding your e-scooter and try to cross in the middle of a street, you could be found partially liable because you were breaking the law when you were hit.

It can also be challenging to determine who was liable if multiple cars were involved. You might also have a case against the city of Chicago, the counties of Cook and DuPage and the public works departments if the intersection where you were hit was not safe.

If your accident was caused by an e-scooter that malfunctioned, you might be able to make a claim against the manufacturer.

E-scooter injuries are climbing as these devices increase in popularity. We want you to be safe when you ride, so that you can avoid an injury. If you are hit by a car while riding an e-scooter, or if your injuries were caused by a defective part, you may be entitled to damages. Call the experienced team at Gainsberg Law, P.C. at 312-313-1621 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation in our Chicago office today.

 

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