Bird and Lime Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer in Denver
Electric scooters have hit the streets (and sidewalks) in Denver. Today, an estimated 2,000 scooters* provided by five different companies can be found in the city. Two of the most popular companies are LimeBike (Lime) and Bird. However, three other companies now have permission to maintain 350 scooters each within Denver’s boundaries, too.
The surge in electric scooters within the city is something that many riders are thrilled about. They see the scooters as fun, easy to use and relatively inexpensive to ride. You can use an app on your phone to find, activate and pay for one. Still, many city officials and others are concerned about issues with parking, designated riding areas and liability in the event of an accident that involves one of these electric scooters.
At Sawaya Law Firm, our Bird and Lime electric scooter accident lawyers understand the complexities associated with Lime and Bird electric scooters, especially when an accident occurs. If you have been injured in an electric scooter crash, our scooter accident lawyers want to meet with you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
What Is an Electric Scooter?
An electric scooter, such as those owned by Bird and Lime, is not the type of vehicle that you sit on and operate like a motorcycle or motorbike. Instead, these electric scooters require you to stand. They very much resemble, in design, the traditional Razor scooter.
However, unlike a non-electric scooter, you don’t use your foot to propel a Lime or Bird scooter forward. Instead, you push a throttle button with your thumb. Both feet remain stationary on the footboard while the ride is in motion. To get the scooter to stop or slow down, you squeeze a hand brake.
These scooters are also unique in how you rent them. You can locate and activate a scooter by using an app. When you arrive at your destination, you are free to leave the scooter where you want. There are no designated pick-up or drop-off points for the scooters. This is why, in recent months, you may see these scooters all over the place in Denver – in front of buildings, on sidewalks and in the grass.
Why Are These Scooters Dangerous?
While electric scooters can be fun, they can also be very dangerous, too. Reasons why electric scooters pose a threat include:
- Despite regulations, most riders don’t know where they can – or cannot – operate the scooters. In turn, motor vehicle drivers are unsure of where they can expect to encounter scooter riders. Riders may be found on sidewalks, bike lanes, crossing at intersections or right in the road.
- Riders typically don’t wear helmets. When an accident occurs, the head often makes contact with the ground, another vehicle or another object. Riders can, as a result, suffer serious head and brain trauma.
- The scooters travel much faster than human-propelled scooters. Electric Lime and Bird scooters can actually reach speeds of up to 15 mph. That may not seem very fast. Still, if an accident occurs when a device is traveling at 15 mph, it can have devastating consequences.
- Riders are often distracted. Just like pedestrians and drivers, electric scooter riders may text or talk on a phone while riding, talk to friends riding alongside them, listen to music or even attempt to eat or drink.
The above risks are in addition to all of the other risks associated with motor vehicles and walking or biking around motor vehicles.
What Types of Injuries Can Occur on an Electric Scooter?
Just like riding a bike or walking, those who choose to get around on an electric scooter have few – if any – protections to keep them from harm. The majority of riders don’t even wear proper footwear or long-sleeved shirts and pants – let alone a helmet. So, when an accident occurs, especially if the scooter accident involves a motor vehicle, the damages may be catastrophic. Types of injuries that are possible include:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Road rash
- Laceration and bruising injuries
- Internal injuries
- Bone fracture injuries
- Crush injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries.
Electric scooter accidents can, in this sense, lead to extensive medical costs and loss of income due to the inability to work. These accidents also have the potential to be fatal.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Accidents?
Because they are still new, regulations and liability issues with electric scooters are still being worked out. They vary from city-to-city. However, in most cases, liability for an electric scooter accident is based on negligence. If you have been in an electric scooter accident that was caused by a dangerous driver – for example, a driver who was distracted, speeding, failed to yield or otherwise acting unreasonably at the time of crash – then you should be able to file a claim for damages directly against the driver (or the driver’s insurance company).
Other parties who might be to blame for a scooter accident include:
- The electric scooter company (if the accident was caused by a scooter defect or malfunction)
- The party responsible for road or sidewalk maintenance (like the City of Denver if a hazardous condition such as a pothole caused the accident)
- Any other third party whose actions contributed to your harm.
Keep in mind: Your own negligence can affect the amount of compensation that you can potentially recover in an electric scooter accident claim. For example, in Denver, the city considers scooters to be “toy vehicles.” The city requires that scooter riders stay on the sidewalk. So, if you were riding in the street or in a bike lane at the time of your crash, Colorado’s contributory negligence law could diminish the amount of damages that you can recover. This may also prove true if you were riding without a helmet, distracted or not wearing other proper gear.
Get Help from a Denver Lime and Bird Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer Today
If you are involved in an accident while riding a Lime or Bird electric scooter, you need to take action immediately. Our electric scooter accident attorneys at Sawaya Law Firm are ready to help you understand your rights, explore your options and fight for full and fair compensation. Contact a Denver electric scooter accident attorney today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.