What happens if someone gets hurt while riding an electric scooter?
Author: Attorney Jason Macri
Fort Lauderdale’s streets have been inundated by thousands of electric scooters that have been offered up for rent by companies like Lime, Bird, Bolt and Gotcha. In July of 2018, the City of Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance approving the usage of these scooters. In February of 2019, the City passed an ordinance that gives the City Manager the authority to implement “mitigation measures related to high impact events on beach property.” This ordinance enables the City to limit or ban electric scooters during the “busy” season, such as spring break. The City has allowed for 1700 total scooters to be made available for rental among the 4 approved rental companies.
Though the City has recently indicated that these scooters are only to be driven on the sidewalk, the scooter companies have previously instructed riders to use the public roadways. The City of Fort Lauderdale has recently released its “Dockless Mobility User Guidelines” which can be found on the City’s website. The first guideline listed states that “dockless scooters are authorized for use on sidewalks.” Further down, users are instructed to “wear a helmet whenever possible.” Why did the City feel the need to make it clear that electric scooters can only be ridden on sidewalks and that users should wear helmets? Probably because innocent people have been getting seriously injured.
In December of 2018, a 14 year-old boy was riding an electric scooter southbound in the northbound lanes of Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale when he was struck by a car. The driver of the car fled the scene. Police at the time said that the incident was just the latest in a series of scooter crashes. Doctors at Broward Health Medical center were quoted as saying that they had been seeing “anywhere from five to ten cases related to electric scooters every week.” Doctors have seen every type of injury involving electric scooters from bumps and bruises to broken bones and serious head trauma. Clearly there is a grave danger hidden in the usage of these seemingly innocuous electric scooters. The City seems to appreciate the danger but what about the scooter companies? Do the scooter companies appreciate the danger involved? What, if anything, have the scooter companies done to prevent these serious injuries?
The seeming failure of the electric scooter rental companies to ensure the safety of their users potentially opens them up to liability. Lawsuits are currently being investigated and filed against the electric scooter rental companies for their negligence. If you or a loved one have been injured in an electric scooter incident, call the injury attorneys at the law office of Dell & Schaefer. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience protecting the rights of the injured and will stop at nothing to help ensure compensation for injured victims.