E-Scooter Accidents Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
Modes of transportation are changing with the times, and electric scooters have become ubiquitous in cities around the country. However, these scooters have caused several accidents. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the rate of injuries for those using micromobility devices has skyrocketed, increasing by 127 percent between 2017 and 2021, with 44 percent of ER visits caused by accidents involving rental e-scooters. Due to the relative novelty of e-scooters, many people don’t know what to do if they’ve been injured in an accident involving one.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an e-scooter accident in Georgia, Attorney Walter Gabriel at The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC in Atlanta is here to help. Whether your accident was caused by another motorist or a faulty rental scooter, Walter Gabriel is ready to fight for your right to compensation for your injuries.
First, it is essential to understand Georgia’s e-scooter laws.
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Laws Affecting Electric Scooters
In Georgia, gas scooters are regulated in the same way as motorcycles. You must be 17 or older in order to take the scooter license exam, and you must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage.
However, electric scooters operate differently. These scooters can be rented by companies such as Bird, Lime, or Spin. You do not need to obtain a license or buy insurance to ride an e-scooter.
It is important that you follow all traffic laws while on an e-scooter. E-scooters cannot be operated by anyone under 15, and anyone under 16 must wear a helmet when riding an e-scooter. Only one person at a time can ride, and an e-scooter can only be operated on bike paths (or bike lanes that are near roads) and roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or less—not sidewalks. Failure to comply with these rules can compromise your ability to hold a scooter company or another motorist liable for any injuries you may incur in an accident.
Common E-Scooter Injuries and Causes
Unfortunately, head injuries are common as a result of e-scooter accidents, as well as neck injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries.
E-scooter injuries can have a number of causes. Accidents can happen due to bumps in the road or otherwise uneven road surfaces. E-scooters are harder to see than other vehicles, which may increase the likelihood of being hit by a bigger vehicle. E-scooter riders can also lose control of the e-scooter, sometimes through a malfunction. Finally, e-scooter riders can crash into each other.
The good news is that, if you hire a personal injury attorney, you may have legal recourse in the event that you are injured in an e-scooter accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an E-Scooter Accident?
Car driver who failed to share the road
Both car drivers and e-scooter drivers must obey the rules of the road, and sharing the road is one of those cardinal rules. If a car driver was negligent and you were not at fault, you can file a claim with their insurance company or pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Scooter company (for a defective scooter)
Scooter companies such as Bird, Lime, and Spin have attempted to cover their bases by requiring users to sign lengthy user agreements. By signing such an agreement, you essentially waive your right to sue for damages.
However, there are ways around this if you want to sue for a Bird/Lime injury. For example, Lime specifies that you must conduct a thorough safety inspection before riding. However, if a defect in the scooter would not have been apparent to a reasonable person, you may have grounds to sue.
As well, the user agreements of companies such as Lime do not prevent you from presenting your case through arbitration. Arbitration does not follow the same process as a lawsuit; your attorney will not present your case to a court, but to a neutral third party called an arbitrator. The arbitrator will listen to both the plaintiff and defendant and make a final decision. A skilled attorney will be able to present your case effectively during arbitration.
If you were hit by another e-scooter user who was not following the rules of the road, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against them, citing their negligence in operating the scooter.
Government entity (for bad roads)
You may be able to sue the government entity (such as the city, county, or municipality) responsible for maintaining roads if a condition like a dangerous pothole caused your accident. However, these claims are more difficult to pursue, and it is best to hire an experienced attorney to handle this type of case.
How an Attorney Can Help
Your attorney can help you to determine who was responsible for the accident by assisting you with gathering and organizing evidence (such as pictures and eyewitness testimony).
To file a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that the other party was negligent. The other party can be proved negligent if you can show that they owed you a duty of care (such as following the rules of the road if they are a motorist who hit you, or maintaining safe roads if they are a government entity), that they failed to provide that duty of care, and that failure resulted in your injury. If the other party was indeed negligent, your attorney will be able to present the evidence in a way that will highlight that negligence.
Filing Your Claim/Lawsuit
Your attorney will be able to ensure that your claim or lawsuit is filed within the time limit and in a proper manner, reducing the likelihood of mistakes and resulting delays.
Negotiating Fair Settlement
Your attorney will be experienced in negotiating with insurance companies as well as in presenting evidence to an arbitrator or judge, increasing your chances of receiving a fair payout.
E-Scooter Accidents Attorney Serving Atlanta, Georgia
If you’ve been injured in an e-scooter accident, call personal injury attorney Walter Gabriel at The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC, serving Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the surrounding area including Dunwoody and Alexandria. Walter is a highly skilled litigator who is passionate about helping his clients receive the compensation that is due to them so that they can begin to move forward. Call today for a free consultation.