Electric Scooter Injury Lawsuits
Sharable e-scooters have taken the U.S. by storm, becoming an increasingly common sight in major metro areas and small towns throughout the U.S. With manufacturers the likes of Bird, Lime, Spin, and more, the e-scooter industry is booming.
Although these motorized retakes on the traditional foot-powered scooter provide a fun, convenient, and cost-effective means of navigating city streets, they’ve come with some serious issues. That includes not only the difficulties of regulating how they’re used in and around motor vehicles, but also the significant risks of accidents and injuries e-scooters create for all those on our roads and walkways.
City of Tampa E-Scooter Program & Florida Law
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, e-scooters made their arrival on local streets and sidewalks during the Memorial Day weekend of 2019 as part of a year-long pilot program between the City of Tampa and four of the nation’s largest shared motorized scooter vendors: Spin, Lime, JUMP, and Bird Rides Inc.
Under a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (HB 453), e-scooters are legal in Florida, but cities have jurisdiction over regulating them locally. For Tampa and surrounding areas, that means:
- E-scooters (or “micro-mobility devices” as they’re defined under Florida law) are allowed only in permitted areas of downtown, Ybor City, and the University of Tampa;
- Electric scooters cannot be used in no-ride zones, which include Bayshore Boulevard, the Riverwalk, and East Seventh St. in Ybor City.
The law provides e-scooter riders with the same rights and duties as bicycle riders, does not require riders to hold a valid driver’s license, and allows scooters to be parked on sidewalks (in accordance to state and local laws, and in a manner which doesn’t impede pedestrian traffic). Though riders were initially only allowed to ride on sidewalks, cities can allow users to operate them in bike lanes.
E-Scooter Accidents in Tampa
Tampa’s objective in permitting the nearly 2,500 e-scooters in its pilot program was to improve downtown mobility and alleviate traffic congestion by providing transportation alternatives for short-distance commutes and access to public transit stops which can be several miles apart.
Although e-scooters may be effective in serving as low-cost transportation for the “last-mile” needs of commuters, data collected from the program and other similar projects nationwide show substantial increases in accidents – on both sidewalks and streets.
E-scooters pose numerous risks to riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. Some of these include:
- Trip and fall hazards created by abandoned scooters;
- Defective products / unsafe scooters that malfunction while in use;
- Roadway defects, walkway, and sidewalk hazards (premises liability);
- Intersection and crosswalk accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents;
- Car accidents or truck accidents involving negligent motorists who fail to see riders or commit other traffic violations.
- Drunk driving accidents / hit-and-run accidents
As e-scooters ingratiate themselves into the daily hustle of Tampa’s transportation system, risks of accidents and what can be serious injuries – including brain injuries, neck and back injuries, and broken bones – will always exist, especially when riders or others sharing the roads and walkways are negligent, and fail to uphold their obligations for exerting a reasonable amount of care.
Fortunately, our laws provide victims harmed by the negligent or wrongful acts of others to take legal action. If you or someone you love has been injured in an e-scooter accident anywhere in Tampa, Ybor City, or the surrounding areas of Florida, you may be entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical bills;
- Lost income;
- Disability or disfigurement;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Other economic and non-economic damages.
Because plaintiffs in personal injury cases must prove fault and liability (i.e. that the at-fault party failed to meet their duty of care), and because insurance companies fight aggressively to pay as little as possible, working with experienced attorneys is of the utmost importance.
Free Tampa E-Scooter Consultation
Robert Sparks Attorneys has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims and families. We know the novelty of e-scooters and the new and evolving laws which surround them could very well create challenges in victims’ fight for compensation. Our award-winning team of trial attorneys are serious about the cases they represent, and we’re ready to stand up for you.
If you or someone you have been injured in any accident involving a sharable e-scooter, get serious and call (813) 606-5050 . Robert Sparks Attorneys offers free consultations, and handles personal injury cases on contingency fees – which means there’s no fee unless we win your case.