San Antonio Electric Scooter Accidents
As companies like Bird and Lime gain popularity among visitors to San Antonio, electric scooters are proving to be a danger around town. Accidents and injuries resulting from the use of these rental scooters are more varied than anyone anticipated, and public policy is struggling to catch up.
The issue is becoming so problematic that San Antonio City Council is meeting to consider regulations on scooters this October. For those injured before then, change may come too late. To secure compensation necessary for recovery, victims will need the help of lawyers who aren’t afraid to tackle a new frontier of personal injuries.Who is Liable for Electric Scooter Accidents in San Antonio?
Without clear precedents for electric scooter accidents in San Antonio, who is liable becomes a point of contention. Parties involved in these accidents will likely take advantage of the confusion to avoid responsibility, from drivers’ insurers, to property owners, to the scooter companies themselves.
This poses no problem to the San Antonio accident attorneys of Carabin Shaw. With experience winning cases ranging from oil field accidents to medical malpractice, our attorneys know the law and how to apply it in any situation.If You Were Riding an Electric Scooter
For a rider involved in an electric scooter accident in San Antonio, finding who is liable becomes fundamental to recovery. The potential dangers that result in accidents are plentiful, making sources of potential liability just as varied.
- Scooter riders hit by a vehicle: Being struck by a vehicle while following traffic rules and right-of-way is the most clear-cut case of driver liability. Less obvious cases involve drivers who park in bike lanes, which endangers riders who must navigate around them, open car doors suddenly, or box in riders traveling alongside.
- Accidents caused by faulty or broken scooters: Bird and Lime rely on riders to report malfunctions. This is problematic when most riders only discover defects at cruising speed. Riders have the rightful expectation that the scooters they rent are safe to use, and products liability law allows attorneys to hold companies to that expectation.
- Accidents caused by road hazards: Equipment, debris, and obstructions left in the road by businesses or construction creates a public hazard, and those who created the hazard are liable if and when it causes an accident. If the hazard is created by the road itself, the city may be responsible for poor maintenance.
- Outside influence leading to an accident: Sometimes, negligence outside the rider’s control directly or indirectly causes an accident. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, and other scooters bumping into or cutting off a rider. Dogs that chase scooters and cause riders to crash is also an issue, in which case the dog owner is liable.
The public safety of scooters largely rests upon riders following the terms of the user agreement. Unfortunately, the only thing holding riders to this agreement is their conscience – that is, if they even read it in the first place.
Regardless of whether they read them, one of the rules riders agree to is the assumption of liability in any accidents they cause. Here are the most likely scenarios with the rider at fault.
- Directly hit by a scooter rider: Whether you are a pedestrian enjoying the sidewalk or a driving your vehicle in traffic, if a scooter hits you, its rider is usually to blame. The rare exceptions would be when scooter malfunction or outside instigator puts the rider on the collision course.
- Accidents indirectly caused by scooters: Scooters are small, quick, and hard to see. When paired with reckless riding, scooters can appear out of nowhere, sending pedestrians leaping for cover and startled drivers swerving to avoid collision. When this results in accidents or injuries, the rider is liable.
- Hurt by improperly parked scooter: Because riders can leave these dockless scooters anywhere, they often leave them everywhere. Pedestrians can trip over scooters left on sidewalks, and vehicles hitting scooters left in the street can incur damage or lose control. Here, the last person to use the scooter is responsible.
If the rider is nowhere to be seen, your case isn’t lost. Unlike a traditional hit-and-run, app-powered rental services leave a data trail that can be followed. An attorney can subpoena scooter companies for these records, linking GPS data with the user history to find the account present at the scene.Carabin Shaw of San Antonio Fights Scooter Accidents
In many cases, liability may extend beyond those immediately responsible to the scooter provider. Scooter companies are quick to claim that they have no legal responsibility for accidents, but what they say isn’t the law. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re powerless; Carabin Shaw has electric scooter accident attorneys in San Antonio ready to prove them wrong.
Let our San Antonio personal injury lawyers hear about your case in a free consultation meeting. We’ll give you our expert opinion and outline what steps to take with your claim. To get started, call our attorneys’ offices in San Antonio at 210.222.2288 today.