Today, hundreds of cities across the state host their own fleet of electric scooters, including West Palm Beach. While many people enjoy the convenience offered by this mode of transportation, others have witnessed the potential dangers they present first-hand. At Fetterman & Associates, we have seen how dangerous and damaging a scooter accident can be.
If you are involved in a scooter accident in West Palm Beach, there’s a good chance you will need an experienced and capable personal injury lawyer to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You can count on our team to provide the services and solutions you want and need.
Getting to Know the Most Common Types of Scooter Accidents in West Palm Beach
Even though the law in Florida prohibits riders from using motorized scooters on the street, the companies advise users to avoid riding on the sidewalks. This type of contradictory messaging confuses many riders, which puts them in danger. The amount of danger isn’t clear; since scooters are a newer mode of transportation in the area, and minimal studies are available regarding accidents and scooter safety.
While this is true, there is some data available. This includes:
- Scooters are involved in more accidents than motorbikes or cars, with 2.2 accidents occurring for every 10,000 miles driven.
- It’s estimated that scooter riders are injured about 1.4 times per every 10,000 trips.
- One in every three scooter accident victims requires emergency care for their injuries.
Scooter vs. Car
It doesn’t matter if you ride on the street or sidewalk; when you ride a scooter, there’s a risk of being struck by a car entering the road from a driveway, navigating intersections, or making a turn. An accident that occurs between a scooter and a car can result in a serious injury or death. If a driver is distracted, they may not see someone on a scooter or even misjudge how fast they are traveling, leading to a devastating accident.
Other Types of Car Related Scooter Accidents
It’s worth noting that there are other ways for people riding scooters to be in an accident and injured that doesn’t involve a collision with a vehicle. Any type of maneuver by a driver where a scooter rider feels like they may be hit or cut off can cause the rider to swerve or stop suddenly. Also, riders who happen to change their direction at the last minute to keep from hitting a vehicle may run into something else. If a rider happens to slam on the breaks, there’s a risk the wheels may lock up.
Scooters have smaller wheels, which means a lot less traction than other vehicles. This means scooter riders may be thrown off course by small imperfections on the sidewalk or road, including unmarked potholes and bumps. If proper maintenance isn’t provided, city sidewalks, roads, and pathways may develop various hazards. In some situations, they are in hard-to-see places, which can cause scooter riders to fall.
Sabotaged or Poorly Maintained Scooters
Many scooter companies will contract out scooter maintenance and charging. The goal is to have people in the local area keep the scooters running and on the road. The system also relies on user reports to find any issues or run-down scooters that require repairs. If routine maintenance is not provided to scooters, they may present a hazard to the rider.
There are also cases of sabotage, where someone in the area will damage the scooters intentionally. Unfortunately, these situations can lead to serious accidents and injuries for unsuspecting riders.
Common Types of Injuries That Occur in Scooter Accidents
Some of the most common reasons scooter accident victims must go to the hospital after an accident include:
- Head injuries (including TBIs – traumatic brain injuries)
- Fractures, which include open fractures
- Joint dislocations
- Ligament, tendon, or nerve damage
If a scooter accident victim does suffer one (or more) broken bones, they will likely occur in the forearm, upper arm, hand, or wrist. Because of this, many accident victims also must miss school or work to recover.
Understanding Scooter Company Liability in West Palm Beach
Most scooter companies have worked to ensure they aren’t held liable for accidents and require riders to agree they won’t sue when they rent the scooter. However, the contract doesn’t always hold up if an accident case goes to court. Because of this, most companies also carry liability insurance. If you are injured by a broken or defective scooter, you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
If you have been injured in a scooter accident in West Palm Beach, Florida, contact our personal injury lawyer at Fetterman & Associates. We will investigate your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.