Electric Scooter Accidents
Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer in Miami
An electric scooter accident lawyer in Miami plays a crucial role in assisting those who have been injured due to the negligent use or malfunction of electric scooters. At Florida Legal, we have extensive experience in handling all aspects of personal injury law, including cases involving electric scooter accidents. While the laws surrounding electric scooters are still developing, our Miami-based personal injury law firm is dedicated to guiding you through the recovery process and maximizing your chances of obtaining a fair monetary settlement for your injuries.
What Is Considered A Scooter In Florida?
Scooters and e-scooters are distinct types of vehicles. A scooter consists of two wheels and a flat platform where the rider stands, propelling themselves forward with their foot to gain momentum. On the other hand, an e-scooter, which is the focus of this article, shares a similar shape and purpose to a traditional scooter but is powered by an electric motor. E-scooters can reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour, but they also pose a greater risk of accidents and injuries compared to regular scooters.
In Florida, particularly in larger cities like Miami and Tampa, e-scooters have become increasingly prevalent. These cities offer a variety of e-scooter rental brands, with the most popular ones being:
Causes Of Miami Electric Scooter Accidents
Electric scooter accidents can happen in multiple ways, ranging from rider negligence and scooter malfunctions to collisions with other motor vehicles on the road. Several common factors contribute to electric scooter accidents:
- Mechanical defects in the scooter.
- Road hazards, such as potholes, debris, or tree limbs.
- Reckless, negligent, or careless driving by a scooter rider; such as exceeding a safe speed for the environment, operating a scooter in crowded public areas, and failing to adhere to traffic signs.
- Scooter riders hit by motorists and vice-versa.
This list is by no means comprehensive. Given the widespread availability of electric scooters in various bustling public spaces, the potential for accidents is vast and constantly expanding.
Scooter Regulations in Florida
The regulations and rules governing the usage of e-scooters vary from city to city. In Florida, motorized scooters like those offered by Lyft and Uber are not considered street legal. Consequently, riding these scooters on roads where cars and other motor vehicles are present is prohibited. Each county or municipality has the authority to implement controls, permits, and regulations pertaining to the operation of motorized scooters. However, all permitted motorized scooters are subject to a maximum speed limit of 15 mph. Other regulations related to the use of e-scooters include:
- Individuals do not have to have a driver’s license to operate motorized scooters in Florida.
- E-scooters cannot have seats or a saddle.
- Riders must be at least 16 years of age.
Scooter User Liability and Agreements
Alongside city-specific regulations governing the use of e-scooters, e-scooter companies also establish user liability and agreements. While these regulations and liabilities may differ across companies, many enforce agreements that closely resemble the following:
- Scooter riders must follow traffic laws according to the location where the scooter is being ridden
- Scooter riders must be competent to operate an e-scooter
- Scooter riders must be physically fit enough to operate and ride an e-scooter
- Scooter riders must assess the scooter and ensure it’s safe to ride before riding it
Regulations and liabilities are established to protect e-scooter companies from being held responsible in case of accidents. Violating any of these provisions can undermine a rider’s ability to hold the scooter company accountable. However, there are specific scenarios where the scooter company can be held liable for an accident. The exact circumstances may vary depending on the city and the company involved.
Who Is Liable For A Miami Electric Scooter Accident?
In the event of an electric scooter accident, responsibility for the incident may lie with various parties. It is crucial to comprehend the different aspects of liability, particularly if you have sustained injuries in such an accident. Presented here are several common categories of individuals or entities that may be deemed at fault in electric scooter accidents.
Electric Scooter Rider
If an electric scooter is operated negligently, the rider can be held responsible for injuries caused to pedestrians, other scooter riders, automobiles, or any other vehicles on the road. It is crucial to exercise caution and responsibility while riding to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
There are instances where a pedestrian may bear responsibility for negligently causing injuries to an electric scooter rider. Similarly, when a pedestrian seeks compensation from a negligent scooter rider, it is probable that the injured rider would need to file a tort claim against the pedestrian at fault.
A motorist can be held responsible for injuries sustained by a scooter rider. For instance, if the driver opens their door on a crowded street without checking for clearance, causing the rider to crash. It is also possible for vehicles like state or city-owned buses to be liable for a scooter rider’s damages. In either case, the most efficient recovery would likely be through the motorist’s automobile insurance policy or the bus coverage. When an electric scooter rider suffers injuries in a car accident caused by the other driver’s negligence, a viable personal injury claim is likely.
The Scooter Company or Manufacturer
The electric scooter company or manufacturer may be held responsible for injuries caused by mechanical malfunctions. As previously mentioned, these claims would typically fall under the scooter company’s liability waiver arbitration clause. Numerous states have filed collective lawsuits against scooter companies, alleging defects that led to substantial injuries.
Contact Our Miami Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer Now
If you sustain an injury in an electric scooter accident, it is crucial to seek guidance from a skilled electric scooter accident lawyer in Miami. They will help you explore your options for recovery. Given the existing loopholes in electric scooter laws, it is paramount to promptly reach out to an attorney specializing in electric scooter accidents. This proactive step will maximize your chances of receiving the rightful compensation you deserve in the aftermath of such an incident. Call Florida Legal now for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.