Electric scooters have become a common sight in most major cities across the United States. This mainly has to do with the fact that they provide an easy mode of transport, especially in congested areas. Despite the welcomed acceptance of these e-scooters, they can be unsafe. As more of these vehicles are being utilized in Florida, rates of accidents have also increased. If you were involved in an accident with an e-scooter, you are advised to consult with a Hollywood E-Scooter Accident Lawyer as soon as possible.
Klotzman Law Firm represents individuals that have sustained injuries in e-scooter accidents in Hollywood, Florida. Our clients often include pedestrians who have sustained an injury from an e-scooter rider or people who have rented e-scooters. Our team of personal injury attorneys uses our extensive experience in litigation to assist our clients in obtaining the compensation they rightly deserve.
What Is An E-Scooter?
An e-scooter is an electric scooter that can be purchased or rented. They are used for riding along streets in cities at a maximum speed of 15 mph. Several companies across the U.S. have made these e-scooters available to people in most of the major cities. These scooters feature wireless connectivity and GPS trackers allowing riders to hire one using a credit card and smartphone. Rental prices may vary from one company to the next, but most charge around $1 per minute, while the range is generally limited to 35 miles.
Where Are E-Scooter Riders Permitted To Travel?
In the state of Florida, E-scooters can only be used in bike lanes, or on streets with a 30 mph speed limit. No riding is allowed on beach paths, private property, or sidewalks.
What Are The Common Types Of Injuries That People Sustain While Riding An E-Scooter?
Electric scooters travel on the same streets that bicycles, buses, trucks, and cars do. Similar to a motorcyclist, the rider’s helmet is their only form of protection while they zoom down streets at a speed of 15 miles per hour. Some of the common injuries that have already been reported often include:
- Lacerations and cuts
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- TBI (traumatic brain injury)
- Eye injuries
If you or a loved one have sustained one of these injuries due to an e-scooter accident caused by the negligence of another party, our Hollywood e-scooter accident attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve.
What Are The Laws In Florida Regarding E-Scooters?
Despite being a convenient and easy way of traveling around Hollywood, there are a few things riders need to be aware of when it comes to e-scooter laws in the state of Florida.
In 2019, Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida authorized the legal use of electric scooters. You won’t need insurance or a driver’s license, but riders have to be 16 years of age or older to operate an e-scooter.
E-scooter riders are permitted to ride in the bike lanes but are also required to follow the same road rules that apply to bikes.
There are also a few regulations for e-scooters in the state of Florida. The top speed limit for scooters is 30 mph. Despite this, the latest Florida legislation has dictated that e-scooters are not allowed to go beyond 15 mph.
What Are The Main Causes Of E-Scooter Crashes In The State Of Florida?
Scooter malfunctions including unexpected acceleration, faulty brakes, or the motor shutting down unexpectedly can result in a crash. Other possible causes include:
- Illegally riding on sidewalks and knocking down pedestrians
- A distracted rider
- Inexperienced riders
- Weaving through traffic on a congested street
- Defective road conditions
- Failing to follow traffic laws in a local area
Who Can Be Held Liable For An E-Scooter Accident In Hollywood?
More than one party might potentially be held liable for an e-scooter accident that has resulted in damages and injuries:
1.) The E-Scooter Rider
If you were a pedestrian that was struck by an electric scooter, the operator may be held liable for the injuries you have sustained due to negligent acts such as:
- Not paying attention
- Failing to break in time
If a car or any other type of vehicle hit you while you were operating an electric scooter, the driver may be held liable when it is proven that they were speeding, not watching the road, or they were engaged in an act involving reckless driving such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
3.) The E-Scooter Company
The company that manufactured the electric scooter may be held liable if the scooter malfunctioned during operation and this resulted in your accident.
If an electric scooter accident occurred due to a pedestrian that was acting negligently, they could also be held liable. In this situation, your claim might be filed against his/her homeowner’s insurance.
5.) Construction Company, Business, Or City
A city could be held responsible legally for an accident that occurred due to damaged sidewalks, or potholes. If a construction company or business is responsible for a property and the accident resulted from obstructions or debris on this property, the construction company or business might be held responsible for your injuries.
How Can Terms Of Service Agreements Affect Your Claim?
When downloading an electric scooter ride-share app, you will probably be required to agree to terms and conditions related to riding an electric scooter and using the app. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of agreeing to “terms and conditions” without actually reading them. These terms could have stated that the “rental provider” will not be held liable for injuries that occur to you or any person that you might injure while operating one of these devices.
Your lawyer at Klotzman Law Firm can review this agreement that you signed along with the circumstances associated with your injuries in order to determine if the agreement can stop you from making a claim against the electric scooter company.
Is There Insurance Coverage For E-Scooter Accidents?
There is more than one type of insurance you might be permitted to file a claim against after your e-scooter accident:
- Health insurance
- Auto-insurance, when the party at fault was a driver
- Renters’ or homeowners’ insurance
- Personal-liability umbrella insurance
- Scooter insurance
What Damages Could You Recover For An E-Scooter Injury In Hollywood, Florida?
Similar to all types of personal injury claims, you will need to provide proof that a negligent party caused you damage or injury. Once the defendant or negligent party has been proven liable, your lawyer can help you to recover one or more of these damage types, depending on all the facts relating to your case:
- Loss of wages for any time that you had to take off work while recovering from your injuries
- Medical expenses relating to present along with future medical bills associated with your accident
- Pain and suffering
- Disability for a permanent injury caused by the accident
- Loss of consortium (dedicated to spouses)
- Emotional anguish or distress
- Other losses
How Long Do You Have To File An E-Scooter Claim In The State Of Florida?
For the majority of personal injury claims that involve bodily injury, the statute of limitations in Florida is four years (from the date of your accident). This will mean you will have four years from when the accident occurred to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this period, you won’t be allowed to proceed with a case.
However, this four-year window doesn’t mean you should wait when it comes to seeking legal advice or representation. In all personal injury cases, it’s crucial to consult with a lawyer as quickly as possible.
Evidence is vital for every type of lawsuit, and if you wait to obtain legal counsel this could result in important evidence being destroyed or lost. This could include a surveillance video in the area, which could have proven your claim. A local business may have caught the accident on camera, but they usually do not keep this type of footage for long (no more than 90 days), and they may even erase it after 30 days.
Reasons Why E-Scooters Are Dangerous
Electric scooters may be associated with numerous benefits. They can help decrease traffic congestion or reliance on automobiles. They also lower greenhouse gas emissions, while sharing programs allow people to have easy and convenient access to reliable transportation. Still, a number of cities have started to revisit their policies in regard to electric scooters which mainly has to do with the hazards they present.
Here are some of the common dangers that e-scooter riders face:
No Statewide Mandate For Helmets
It comes as no surprise that the largest cause of many emergency-room visitors for riders of e-scooters is when they failed to wear protective headgear. Even if municipalities and cities were to start writing local laws that required e-scooter riders to use a helmet, it would unlikely curb the injuries suffered by operators of e-scooters. E-scooters have sky-rocketed in popularity due to their convenience and ease of use. It is very unlikely that individuals would start carrying helmets around for this purpose.
Lack Of Licensing And Training
Unlike motorcycles or cars, you are not required to complete training or pass any tests to operate an e-scooter. This can mean that operators might not know how to ride an e-scooter or be aware of traffic laws.
Many electric scooters, especially the ones that are used by various rental companies, happen to be low-quality and low-cost. This often results in frequent breakdowns, while riders are often not aware of these damages. In most cases, these damages are not visible.
Excessive speeding is among the main causes of e-scooter accidents. In Hollywood, Florida, the law requires that an e-scooter is not allowed to exceed 15 miles per hour. These devices are usually top-heavy, which makes them more prone to tipping over once they reach higher speeds.
Dependent on the model and make, e-scooters might have weight limits for riders. The models that are rented out usually have a 220-pound maximum weight limit. Excess weight may impact the performance of the scooter, which also increases the risks of accidents.
Many cities across the U.S. have banned the use of electric scooters on sidewalks because they are dangerous for both pedestrians and riders. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety published a study in 2020 that found that 60% of all accidents that involved electric scooters happened on sidewalks.
While the state of Florida permits the use of electric scooters in bike lanes and on certain roads with a speed limit of 30 mph, having to share a road with trucks and full-size cars also increases the likelihood of accidents occurring.
Reports relating to braking issues seem to be common. For example, in 2019, Lime dealt with a “software problem” that resulted in “excessive sudden braking”. Lime conducted updates to the software in order to address these issues, but problems persist. In 2022, two New Zealand cities banned Lime e-scooters temporarily due to several safety concerns, which included “irregular braking incidents” as well as the front wheels locking.
Knowing about these risks of operating an electric scooter may help you lower your risks of injury. However, if you were involved in an accident, Klotzman Law Firm firm can assist you with filing a claim for your injuries.
How Can A Hollywood E-Scooter Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If you sustained serious or catastrophic injuries in an electric scooter accident, you will increase your chances of securing compensation when you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Since injury cases relating to e-scooters are still new, you will need the legal counsel of a reliable injury law practice to fight for your rights. Your lawyer will also go over all the legal steps involved in your case, and provide answers to any pressing questions or concerns you might have.
Klotzman Law Firm provides a free review of your case to go over the facts and to decide how we could assist you with obtaining compensation, whether you sustained injuries by someone operating an e-scooter, or you were operating an e-scooter in Hollywood or anywhere else in Florida. We are here to answer all your questions and to go over all the legal options that may be available to you.
What To Do After You Were Involved In An E-Scooter Accident
Even though there are safety and traffic rules that are supposed to maintain the safety of riders and drivers on the roads, accidents are unavoidable. Here are the steps you should be following after the accident:
- When necessary, remove your e-scooter and yourself from immediate danger.
- Check yourself for injuries, and when possible, any other party involved. If you are feeling pain in areas such as your back, neck, or head, try to remain still and ask someone to call 911 immediately.
- Even if you don’t feel any pain right away, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor will assess whether you have sustained internal injuries.
- If your injuries are minor, make sure you have called the police so that you can provide your statement. Only state the facts relating to the accident and avoid giving your opinion on what you think might have happened. Most insurance providers may completely deny or downplay your claim should the information that you provided prove to be inconsistent or untrue.
- When possible, use your phone to take photos of your injuries, the scene of the accident along with damage to the e-scooter or any other property. Photos can assist with proving your case, which can increase the likelihood of receiving the compensation you deserve.
- Write down all the important details relating to the scene of the accident. Take down the contact information of any drivers involved including their address, telephone number, driver’s license number, and their full names. Also take down their vehicle identification and license plate numbers, along with their insurance details.
- Contact a Hollywood e-scooter accident attorney as soon as you can. Depending on your situation, your attorney can give you advice on what legal steps you need to take next. There is a deadline when it comes to filing a personal injury claim in Florida. If you allow this deadline to pass, it is usually very unlikely that you will be allowed to go after compensation for what you have lost.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With A Hollywood E-Scooter Accident Lawyer Today!
Electric scooters might be convenient and fun until you or someone else gets hurt. If you were riding an e-scooter and you were involved in an accident, or you sustained injuries due to the negligence of an e-scooter rider, a Hollywood e-scooter accident lawyer at Klotzman Law Firm firm can provide you with the best advice on how to file your claim. You can call us at [Phone] or complete our online form to book your first consultation. An experienced and compassionate lawyer will then go over all the details of your case and give you the best advice on what you should do next.