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Maryland Attorney on Best Ideas to Avoid Electric Scooter Accidents

Maryland pedestrian accidentsDockless electric scooters have been popping up in almost every major city across the United States. They were brought to Washington D.C. in 2018, and since then, the numbers have grown to thousands within city limits, according to NPR research and reporting.  The most popular vendors in our area are Skip, Bird, Lime and well known ride service, Lyft.

As this mode of urban transportation unfolds, it offers city residents an alternative to sitting in traffic or waiting at a bus stop. It’s simple. You just download an app (can we give some examples), enter your credit card, find a scooter, and when you’re done traveling, leave it at your destination. However, this nifty new mode of transportation also brings with it new dangers faced by scooter riders and pedestrians.

What data shows

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, collected data from two separate emergency departments in Southern California from September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2018.

The study found that out of 249 people injured in scooter-related accidents, approximately 91.6 percent were injured while riding scooters and 8.4 percent were injured in accidents by people riding scooters.

Falls from scooters accounted for 80.2 percent of accidents, followed by collisions with objects (11%), and being struck by vehicles or objects (8.8%).

The most common increase reported by medical professionals include:

  • Broken bones – 40%
  • Head injuries – 31.7%
  • Cuts, sprains, bruises – 27.7%

The majority of these accidents were attributed to inexperience with riding, failure to comply with traffic laws, and failure to adhere to scooter company warnings.

The other main concern is that riders, just abandon or dump the scooters anywhere e.g. the middle of the sidewalk or on a roadway, which creates not only an eye sore, but another potential hazard or injury waiting to happen.

Legal complications

The onset of scooter-related injuries has spurred several lawsuits in Los Angeles. Since then, there has been a lot of finger-pointing between those injured in accidents, city officials, and electric scooter companies.

Injured parties in various instances have placed the blame on companies such as Lime and Bird, claiming they should have considered the risks associated with the use of scooters within city limits before flooding urban areas with them.

Bird, on the other hand, places blame on drivers. In a statement, the company said, “At Bird, safety is our very top priority, and it drives our mission to get cars off the road to make cities safer and more livable.”

Accidents involving electric scooters are highly complex. There are three parties that are likely responsible:

  • Scooter riders: If a pedestrian, bicyclist, or other electric scooter rider could be injured in a crash caused by a rider who failed to comply with traffic rules. In addition, distracted or reckless riding may be factors.
  • Passenger-vehicle drivers: Electric scooter riders may be struck by passenger-vehicles while riding safely and obeying traffic laws. As with pedestrians and bicyclists, some passenger-vehicle drivers may fail to pay attention or yield to electric scooter riders.
  • Electric scooter companies: It’s important for electric scooter companies to ensure that all scooters work properly and are safe to operate. Moreover, operating instructions and safety warnings should be provided to riders. In the event of a malfunction or defect, an electric scooter company may be at fault for damages caused in an accident.

If you have been injured in an accident involving an electric scooter, you need an attorney on your side who knows how to identify responsible parties and accurately determine the value of your claim.

Contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to discuss the legal options available to you.

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