Electric scooters and bikes are an increasingly popular way for pedestrians to get around in crowded urban areas like New York City. These vehicles are very convenient for users, but they are very inconvenient for everyone else. Not surprisingly, a new kind of motor vehicle on New York streets and sidewalks has created an uptick in injury claims. Furthermore, e-scooters are often defective. They have lots of delicate moving parts.
The diligent New York e-scooter injury attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik thoroughly investigate your claim to determine your best legal options. We have the resources, such as accident reconstructionists and private investigators, to handle the most complex claims. Because we pay attention to the details on the front end, the resolution on the back end often exceeds our clients’ expectations.
Common E-Scooter Injuries
Speed is one of the leading factors in e-scooter injuries. First generation electric scooters with lead batteries could only manage about a 20mph top speed. Today’s e-scooters can go up to 60 or even 80mph.
Excessive speed increases the risk of a collision and the force in a collision. Velocity increases stopping time, which is the time required for an operator to safely stop an e-scooter in an emergency. Speed also multiplies the force in a collision. The greater impact usually throws riders off their scooters.
Speeding riders usually have no crash helmets. They definitely have no seatbelts or airbags to protect them. This combination often leads to serious injuries, such as:
- Head Injuries: The brain is very adept at hiding its own injuries. So, when emergency responders or ER doctors examine them, most head injury patients say they feel fine. A few days later, more severe symptoms appear. By this time, head injuries are much more difficult to treat.
- Broken Bones: The impact of an e-scooter wreck usually crushes bones instead of merely breaking them. As a result, doctors must often use metal parts to set the broken bones. So, these victims must go through additional physical therapy to regain lost function.
- Internal Injuries: This same motion causes internal organs to grind and bump against each other. Since there is no protective skin layer, these injuries usually bleed very badly. In fact, exsanguination (excessive blood loss) is usually the official cause of death in these cases.
Typically, doctors refuse to treat these victims. They are afraid the insurance company will not pay. So, our New York e-scooter accident lawyers send letters of protection to medical providers. These letters guarantee payment when the case is resolved. So, victims receive top medical assistance at no upfront cost.
Third-Party Negligence Claims
The most serious e-scooter wrecks usually occur when operators try to cross or ride in streets. Operator mistake, mostly vehicle operator mistake, causes most of the accidents. We all make mistakes, and we all must accept the consequences of our mistakes. That’s the essence of an ordinary negligence or a negligence per se claim.
Ordinary negligence is a lack of care. In this context, the duty of care requires drivers to avoid accidents when possible and drive defensively.
E-scooter ordinary negligence claims are often complex. Generally, e-scooter riders hug the curb. But many roads have no curb. In other cases, water pools, storm drains, or other obstacles force e-scooter riders further into a traffic lane.
If the victim was riding a bicycle or motorcycle, traditional contributory negligence principles might reduce the victim’s compensation in these cases. But e-scooters are as fast as motorcycles and as unstable as bicycles. So, the usual rules might not apply.
These same issues exist regarding negligence per se. Normally, negligent drivers (“tortfeasors”) are liable for damages as a matter of law if they violate safety laws and cause crashes. That would include failing to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle, such as an e-scooter.
However, the crash must be foreseeable. In other words, the negligent driver must anticipate that such an accident could happen. Pedestrians often jaywalk across traffic, so these incidents are foreseeable. That’s arguably not the case with regard to faster e-scooters.
Therefore, in negligence claims against other drivers, it’s not enough for a New York e-scooter accident lawyer to build a case. Your attorney should also anticipate some likely insurance company defenses. Otherwise, your lawyer must play catch-up.
E-Scooter Owner Claims
Convenience is one of the most popular e-scooter features. Pick one, enter payment information, and go. This convenience also makes these vehicles quite unsafe. No one inspects them to ensure they are safe. And, they are parked in the open, exposed to the elements.
Like all other property owners, e-scooter owners have a duty to ensure that their property is reasonably safe. If they fail to do so, and that failure causes injury, the company could be liable for damages.
Liability could also attach because of a dangerous or defective part. Design defects are rather common in these vehicles. As mentioned, they are much faster than they were before. In some cases, engineers did not fully account for the increased speed when it comes to things like braking and steering.
Manufacturing defects are common as well. E-scooter companies import many parts from foreign countries. These parts might include cheap components that are not tough enough to withstand many miles of wear and tear.
Manufacturers are usually liable for defective product damages as a matter of law. Negligence, or lack thereof, is only relevant for damages purposes.
Convenient e-scooters often lead to inconvenient, and catastrophic, personal injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced New York e-scooter accident lawyer, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.