There’s a reason that Pennsylvania and New York haven’t yet opened their metropolitan areas to e-scooters — they can be really, really dangerous.
The rate of injury attributed to electric vehicles grows every year in the expanding number of cities where they are street legal. This is due in large part to rental companies Lime and Bird making the dockless version accessible to anyone with a smartphone. Of the 27,700 e-scooter riders who visited emergency rooms in 2019, 20 percent were between the ages of 5 and 14.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an e-scooter accident, the time for justice is now. When you call on the experienced personal injury lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell, you’re calling on over 30 years of experience fighting the good fight.
The Types of Injuries that Scooters Cause
Between 2014 and 2019, over 70,000 e-scooter users visited emergency rooms around the U.S. For these users, head injuries were the most frequent complaint — affecting 27 percent of the total. Of this total, around half were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
The most frequent injuries on the whole were:
- Internal organ injuries
The Threat to Pedestrians
Riders aren’t the only ones hurt by these devices. Pedestrians have fallen over e-scooters abandoned on sidewalks, or hit by their silent approach.
Although the rideshare companies make riders photograph the place where they park, evidence suggests that oversight is lacking. A study from San Jose, California found that 10 percent of Lime’s scooters were parked in a way that obstructed pedestrian right-of-way.
How Scooters Represent a Kind of ‘Attractive Nuisance’
The most surprising finding of the Consumer Product Safety Commission study surveying e-scooter ER visits wasn’t that 20 percent of injuries come to riders 5 to 14 years old. It was that 1 percent of ER visits involved toddlers below age 5.
Although toddlers don’t use smartphones, there’s a recognized principle of premises liability law that e-scooter companies should be concerned with. Under the doctrine of attractive nuisance, property owners are responsible for safeguarding their property for things that may attract children. And though e-scooters are often parked on public property, the dockless way they are designed to be used may constitute a unique danger for young children.
How Defective Product Law May Also Come into Play
Federal laws cover manufacturing defects, design defects, and communication about known product dangers, ensuring consumers of a basic right to the implied safety of a purchased product. When you buy a product and use it in the proper way, these laws are there to protect users from unexpected harm.
Manufacturers, distributors, and others in the supply chain have a responsibility to safeguard against predictable risks, and e-scooters have a lot of them.
A CDC study looked at a 3-month span of e-scooter ridership in Austin, Texas. Of the 190 ER visits that resulted, only one featured a rider who was wearing a helmet. And the majority of injured riders had taken fewer than 10 total trips, indicating that a lack of training was also at fault.
Such predictable hazards have safety advocates wondering whether e-scooter providers care much at all about their users’ safety.
When to Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Many people make the mistake of thinking that they can properly handle an injury claim on their own. But especially in injury cases without much precedent, you’ll need a good lawyer on your side to get the justice that you deserve.
At McEldrew Young Purtell, we take a vested interest in your case. You never pay a dime unless we win. In many cases, we can also advance the expenses necessary to work with experts. We like to view ourselves as partners in your case, and in the challenge of maximizing your claim.
With 30 years of experience litigating personal injury cases, McEldrew Young Purtell welcomes clients from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania communities near and far. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.