A few recent and fatal scooter accidents here in Austin call new concerns about the dangers of electric scooters. Because these small, open, motorized vehicles provide absolutely no protection from external forces, in the event of a collision, the scooter operator is typically severely or fatally injured. And, motorist negligence is often to blame for these types of accidents.
FOX 29 reported on May 9, two scooter riders suffered serious injuries after being involved in a crash with a truck in downtown Austin, at East 8th and San Jacinto. The truck reportedly hit one scooter with two people on it, and did stay on the scene of the accident. The news outlet provided no further details.
A second man died about an hour later in a different in an “’apparent scooter collision’ at 2706 E. 13th St near the intersection of Walnut Avenue,” reported the Austonia. Authorities were unable to find a vehicle related to the crash at the time of the report.
The Austonia notes these scooter accidents and fatalities come on the heels of the tragic death of 32-year-old local graffiti artist Adam Gaconnet. Gaconnet was killed while riding his scooter home from work in the early morning hours of April 29th when he was struck by a car. The driver who hit him was charged with driving while intoxicated.
A recent study reveals that, per miles traveled, electric scooters (or e-scooters) have an injury rate between 175 to 200 times higher than motor vehicle travel. Says Dr. Joann Elmore, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles:
The finding that rates of injuries from e-scooters are similar to rates for motorcycle injuries is startling. The ease of public access to on-demand shareable scooters and safety regulations that are still in their infancy suggest that e-scooter operators, cities and health care providers will continue to see a significant number of injuries each year.
Causes of scooter accidents in Austin
Even though Lime and Bird offer electric scooters all over Austin, it doesn’t mean their services and products are 100 percent safe. And, even if they are, it doesn’t mean the people with which you’re sharing the road care about your safety. Common causes of electric scooter accidents include:
- Scooter malfunction, including brake failure, tire collapse, steering problems, or electrical problems.
- Failure to yield, which includes motorists failing to give the right of way to scooters at stop signs, red lights, etc.
- Driving while intoxicated, distracted, or drowsy
- Car doors, when drivers fail to check before opening their doors
- Road hazards, like unexpected potholes or gravel
More and more accidents are happening from pedestrians tripping over abandoned scooters on sidewalks, or being hit by scooters themselves, as well. Our attorneys can investigate your accident to determine the exact cause and what party or parties should be held liable for your injuries.
What types of injuries happen in scooter accidents?
Because of the nature of electric scooter design – meaning there’s nothing to protect riders from other vehicles and objects – in the event of an accident, injuries can range from serious to catastrophic. These include:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Face and skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken and fractured limbs
- Road rash, which often presents as a burn injury
In the most tragic cases, a victim of a scooter accident does not survive their injuries. In cases like these, our Austin attorneys can file a wrongful death claim on your behalf.
Who is liable for an electric scooter accident?
If you were injured in a scooter accident, you are likely concerned about your medical expenses and paying your bills while you’re unable to work. Filing a personal injury claim against the person or party responsible for causing your accident can help you secure the compensation to which you’re entitled. Liable parties can include:
- The motorist who caused the accident
- The entity responsible for maintaining the road
- The company responsible for maintaining the scooter
- The manufacturer of the scooter
There may be other negligent parties depending on the circumstances of the accident. Our attorneys can explain more.
What compensation am I entitled to for my injuries?
If you or a loved one were injured in an Austin electric scooter accident that wasn’t your fault, you are likely entitled to compensation. The lawyers at Slack Davis Sanger handle paperwork, negotiations, and settlement discussions with insurance companies on your behalf – but we never make a move without your agreement and approval. Compensation for injury cases typically include:
- Medical costs and expenses, current and future
- Physical therapy and any necessary medication/devices
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
The amount of compensation to which you or your loved one may be entitled will depend on the specific circumstances of your accident and injury. A consultation with an experienced attorney can provide you with more detail.
At Slack Davis Sanger, we help victims of e-scooter accidents throughout Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, we want to help protect your right to compensation. To speak with an experienced and dedicated member of our legal team, call our firm at 800-455-8686 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment today.
The firm handles cases involving catastrophic personal injuries and deaths. Our work spans three decades of handling airplane and helicopter crashes, truck and car accidents, oilfield and construction accidents, and other devastating accidents. We try lawsuits throughout the country in both federal and state courts and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. To date, we have handled or tried cases in 47 states, read more about our attorneys and firm.