“Nearly 40,000 broken bones, head injuries, cuts and bruises resulting from scooter accidents were treated in U.S. emergency rooms from 2014 through 2018,” reports the Associated Press. E-scooter injuries have rapidly increased in the past four years, “nearly tripling,” according to researchers. (1)
People riding an e-scooter, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists, are at risk from accidents. Some of these accidents may result from a faulty e-scooter. Others are due to violation of traffic laws. Anyone injured in an e-scooter accident may need to file a lawsuit to get financial compensation for their injuries.
Electric Scooter Accidents
Electric scooters have been a growing trend in cities around the country since 2017. The number of accidents involving scooters has been increasing.
Some companies in the business of renting scooters, typically through smartphone apps, include:
Lime and Bird Scooter Accidents
Two of the dominant scooter rental companies, Bird and Lime, have accumulated some crash data from their scooter rentals.
There have been “an estimated 1,500 people across the country injured in an e-scooter-related crash since late 2017,” (2) according to Consumer Reports (CR). CR is a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.
Bird and Lime scooter accident data reveals the companies received 470 e-scooter injury reports through July 2018. Of these reports, 411 came from Bird and 59 from Lime. (3)
Bird and Lime also acknowledged receiving numerous complaints. Additionally, Bird reported 7 accidents with their scooters involved people with disabilities. (4)
In late 2018, The Washington Post reported Lime had recalled or removed two scooter models from service. One model made by Okai, a Chinese manufacturer, supposedly breaks apart where the baseboard meets the stem. (5)
The newspaper also reports that the company has removed scooters manufactured by Segway. This was due to a manufacturing defect which left them prone to catch fire. (6)
Defective products are dangerous and can result in injuries or death. If you were injured or a loved one was killed because of an e-scooter defect, you might benefit from a lawsuit to gain justice and compensation for your loss.
“At least eight people in the U.S. have died while using a rentable e-scooter since the fall of 2017,” says CR.(7)
“[Y]ou’re six times more likely to die every time you step onto a ride share scooter than if you had chosen a ride share bicycle instead,” according to Minda Zetlin, writing for Inc. (8)
The popularity of e-scooters is a recent phenomenon and their use varies from locale to locale. While the use of e-scooters in New York has been approved by the state legislature, that legislation was vetoed by Governor Cuomo in June of 2019. Ongoing efforts by New York lawmakers to change that have almost reached fruition. Scooter use is soon to be legal; it is included in the New York tentative budget agreement reached on April 1, 2020 and there is a provision for it in New York’s 2021 Budget. (9) (10)
If you or anyone you know has suffered an injury in a scooter accident, contact us for a free case evaluation.
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Limited nationwide data on scooter deaths and injuries exists, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the CDC did launch a study of e-scooter injury related incidents in Austin, Texas in 2018.(11)
“As many as 14,000… electric scooters are on the streets of Austin,” reports Sharon Jayson of Kaiser Health News. She points out that city officials are concerned about the risks scooters pose for automobiles and pedestrians. (12)
Preliminary results from the CDC study found there were 271 individuals with e-scooter related injury incidents, leading to an overall injury rate of 14.3 per 100,000 trips.
Of those injured: (13)
- 49% were male.
- The median age was 29 years.
- 20% were hospitalized.
- 45% suffered head injuries.
- 27% suffered upper extremity fractures.
- 12% suffered lower extremity fractures.
- 52% of injury incidents occurred in the street.
- 29% involved first-time riders.
- 18% involved motor vehicles.
- Less than 1% used helmets.
In a study published in 2019, researchers looked at the injuries associated with scooters from two medical centers in Southern California.
Out of a total of 249 patients with scooter associated injuries: (14)
- 58.2% were male.
- The mean age was 33.7 years.
- 91.6% were injured as riders.
- 8.4% were injured as nonriders.
- 10.8% were younger than 18 years of age.
- 4.4% wore helmets.
- 4.8% were intoxicated.
- 31.7% suffered fractures.
- 40.2% suffered head injuries.
- 94% were discharged from ER.
- 15 patients were admitted to the hospital.
- 2 patients were admitted to intensive care.
And in another study, published in a British medical journal, The BMJ, researchers looked at 103 patients with scooter related trauma.
Their results: (15)
- 65% were male.
- The mean age was 37.1 years.
- 98% were not wearing helmets.
- 79% were tested for alcohol.
- 42% suffered extremity fractures.
- 26% suffered facial fractures.
- 18% suffered head injuries.
- 33.5% of patients required surgery.
- 86% were discharged.
Dr. Leslie Kobayashi, lead researcher and her colleagues concluded, “eScooter-related trauma has significantly increased over time. Alcohol and illicit substance use among these patients was common, and helmet use was extremely rare.” (16)
The most common injuries from scooter crashes are: (17) (18)
- Head injuries, such as intracranial hemorrhages.
- Extremities fractures.
- Facial fractures.
Dangers of E-Scooters and Factors That Cause Accidents
Aside from dangers posed by possible defects in scooters, there are the dangers posed by riders themselves. Alcohol and drug use, and failure to wear helmets while riding are risky behaviors. So is trying to fit two people on a scooter designed to carry only one person at a time.
Additionally, “riders remain confused about what traffic laws they should follow.” (19) Experts agree there is a need for more public education about laws which apply to all two-wheel vehicles, from bicycles to motorcycles.
City streets pose dangers for electric scooter riders from potholes, to stopped or parked vehicles, to moving vehicles, to pedestrians. These streets were never intended for this mode of transportation. (20)
Among the factors that can cause e-scooter accidents are:
- Cars and other vehicles.
- Faulty scooters.
- Road hazards.
- Riders under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
- Exceeding capacity – scooters are designed for use by 1 person at a time.
- Sidewalk riding.
- Confusion over applicable laws.
- Abandoned scooters.
If you have been injured in a scooter accident and are considering a lawsuit, Weitz & Luxenberg is one of your best chances of gaining a favorable settlement or jury award to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
Accident Settlements and Verdicts
Weitz & Luxenberg, as an experienced personal injury litigation firm, has a history of success in accidents and injury cases.
W&L secured a $20.5 million verdict, along with approximately $3 million in past and future medical expenses, for a victim of a car accident. The hit-and-run left our client paralyzed for life.
We also secured a $1.4 million settlement for a woman hit by an ambulance in New York City.
Contact us so we can discuss your case and see what we can do for you.