You’ve probably seen the headlines. Riders on electric scooters are having accidents, suffering serious injuries and being admitted to hospitals in record numbers. Technology companies like Bird and Lime have placed thousands of scooters across hundreds of US cities. Not surprisingly, people are being injured. Types of injuries which can occur in an electric scooter accident can include severe head injuries, facial fractures, orthopedic injuries (broken bones), and cuts and scrapes.
We saw these electric scooter rental facilities pop up in places like Miami Beach, but so far none in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, or along the Treasure Coast. They certainly look like fun, but folks should remember that these machines are capable of speeds of up to 25 miles per hour when traveling downhill. A collision at that speed could cause a head injury which would require lifelong nursing care for a rider who is not wearing a helmet.
Electric scooter accidents could be the result of many different causes. Drivers can lose control and hit a curb or pothole. An auto driver may not see the scooter and cause an auto accident. The electric scooter could malfunction. Ultimately a rider on an electric scooter who has an accident with a car is very similar to a rider involved in a bicycle accident or a pedestrian accident. When a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a car or truck, it is the pedestrian who is most likely to suffer serious injury or death. Personal injury lawyers have filed lawsuits against Bird, Lime, Xiaomi, and Segway alleging the scooters are dangerous and defective.
Florida law defines a motorized scooter as “any vehicle not having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels, and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground,” and while an electric personal assistive mobility device (a “Rascal”), as defined in s. 316.003, is specifically authorized by State law to be operated on a road or street where the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less, these two wheel Bird/Lime scooters would not fit that definition. As they may not be registered as motor vehicles, it would seem they shouldn’t be on the street at all and under most circumstances may not be operated on sidewalks unless authorized by an ordinance under F.S. 316.008. However, in October the Miami City Commission passed an ordinance on a 3-2 vote green-lighting a pilot program for these electric scooters for Downtown, Brickell, and Coconut Grove and according to the Miami Herald, riders will be able to use the scooters on the streets and sidewalks in these neighborhoods.
We find driving a car in Miami difficult enough and would be too scared to jump on these scooters given the types of injuries they can cause in an accident, especially a car accident!
When a personal injury results from a car accident involving an electric scooter, a ridesharing accident, or a pedestrian accident, the insurance aspects can become very complicated. Anyone involved in one of these accidents should contact an experienced accident attorney to protect your rights.
Injury attorney Todd C. Passman, P.A. handles auto accidents, ridesharing accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accident cases serving Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Stuart, and Okeechobee, Florida, and surrounding areas.
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If you, a family member or a friend have suffered a personal injury in an auto accident, or have questions please contact accident attorney Todd C. Passman today, at (772) 465-9806. Someone from our office will contact you right away.