Electric scooters are a convenient, environmentally friendly, and fun mode of transportation, characteristics which have increased their presence on Atlanta’s roads. Riding them, however, is not a risk-free activity and as electric scooters grow in popularity, so does the number of electric scooter accidents. These accidents can injure electric-scooter riders and unsuspecting pedestrians.
If you are injured in an electric scooter accident, secure legal representation from an Atlanta electric scooter accident attorney from John Foy & Associates to get the financial compensation the negligent parties owe you.
Atlanta’s Electric Scooter Program
Though some riders privately own their electric scooters, or e-scooters, many cities have instituted e-scooter programs, providing commuters, tourists, and others on their streets a convenient and affordable travel option. The scooters are kept at charging stations and available for rental through the scooter company’s app. Riders can “park” scooters where their ride ends, and the scooter company’s pickup crew will take the vehicle back to a nearby charging station.
The City of Atlanta instituted such a program in March 2020. The City of Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) has created an open-data portal for e-scooters and other shareable dockless mobility devices. Portal Data shows on average, there are:
- 3404 e-scooters available for use
- 4500 e-scooter trips per day (up to 12,000 on heavy-use days)
- Travel rates of 5.12 miles per hour (MPH)
Atlanta has rules for riders including:
- No riding on sidewalks or crosswalks. Riders must dismount and walk the scooter through these spaces
- Only rider per vehicle
- Riders must obey traffic laws
- No texting while riding
- Scooters must be parked in an upright position. Additional regulations specify where scooters cannot be parked, such as in areas where they will obstruct traffic or pedestrians.
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Why Electric Scooter Accidents Happen
Accidents can be caused by mechanical, electrical, or human error or unsafe road conditions. When these or any other issues cause you injury, reach out to an Atlanta electric scooter accident attorney from John Foy & Associates.
As use and accidents increased among e-scooter riders, common mechanical failures were discovered. In some cases, brakes activated without warning or too powerfully, sending riders flying from the vehicle. Other times, brakes did not engage fast or powerfully enough to slow the scooter in time to avoid a collision.
Some accidents occurred when the “deck,” the platform riders stand on when riding, broke. The decks could not stand up to the high level of use or, on some models, were made from an inferior product.
Weak handlebars that come loose or fall off completely are other accident-causing mechanical problems, as are weak posts, the pole connecting the handlebars to the deck. Also, the front wheel of an e-scooter can turn 90 degrees. If the wheel turns unexpectedly and fully during a ride, the rider can be sent over the handlebars.
E-scooters are battery-operated. Sometimes, the battery can die mid-ride, to the rider’s surprise. If scooters are ridden over “geo-fences,” the electrical boundaries scooter companies set to control where riders can travel, they lose their charge. The sudden loss of power can cause riders to lose control or lose balance and fall from the scooter.
Many e-scooters are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have the potential to overheat and catch fire if not cared for properly. When this happens, riders can experience a literal crash and burn.
Sometimes, the scooter operator causes an accident. Operating while under the influence, engaging in reckless riding, riding on sidewalks, or ignoring other traffic rules can cause collisions and serious injuries, especially to pedestrians who are completely unprotected from the impact. Inexperienced riders who do not know how to balance, manage speed levels, and steer the vehicle are also at high risk for accidents.
Other vehicle operators’ negligence can cause accidents for the same reasons, but these drivers also just may not see the e-scooter. E-scooters are even smaller than motorcycles and are easy to miss in a blind spot.
As part of an e-scooter accident study, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) interviewed e-scooter riders who underwent emergency medical care for injuries sustained in e-scooter accidents. Half of all respondents cited potholes, cracks, or other road-surface conditions as contributing to their accidents.
How an Atlanta Electric Scooter Accident Attorney Will Help You
Injuries from an e-scooter accident can be severe, ranging from lacerations to broken bones to traumatic brain injury. Your injuries may prevent you from working temporarily or permanently and will incur significant medical costs. To recover your losses and secure your future financial stability, have an electric scooter accident lawyer in Atlanta manage your case.
- Investigate and determine fault: Conducting a comprehensive investigation of the accident allows your attorney to determine who is at fault for your accident. You can only secure a settlement if you hold the right party accountable.
- File your claim: Once fault is determined, your lawyer will file a claim against the negligent party and prepare and submit any additional legal documentation accurately and on time.
- Collect and present evidence: Your Atlanta electronic scooter accident lawyer will gather substantive evidence to support your claim and present it to the at-fault party’s insurance and/or legal representatives.
- Negotiate a settlement: Insurance companies do not want to make large payouts–or any payouts–and will fight to avoid blame, try to convince you that you are at fault, or intimidate you into accepting a low settlement. Equipped with top-notch negotiating skills and extensive legal knowledge, your lawyer will handle these negotiations and prevent insurance companies from using unethical tactics to deny you the compensation you deserve.
- Go to trial: Most often, injury claims settle out of court. If the at-fault party’s representatives refuse to negotiate fairly or drag settlement negotiations out unreasonably, you may choose to take the case to court. With an electric scooter accident attorney in Atlanta representing you at trial, you are in the best position to see a favorable outcome.
The Strong Arm of Georgia Will Fight Until You Get the Compensation You Deserve
For all their benefits, electric scooters still carry risks to riders, pedestrians, cyclists, and others on the road. E-scooter manufacturers, government entities overseeing road conditions, drivers, and e-scooter operators must do their part to eliminate preventable risks.
When any of these parties fail to meet their responsibility and cause you injury, contact an Atlanta electric scooter accident lawyer from John Foy & Associates as soon as possible. The Strong Arm of Georgia has successfully fought for victims of serious injury for decades, and your lawyer will fight for you until you get the compensation you deserve.