Mintz Law Firm
Lately, electric scooters have been taking over big city streets. Unlike the manual scooters of our childhoods, electric scooters have become a legitimate form of transportation. The micro-mobility industry, spearheaded by companies like Bird and Lime, has made its presence known in many major cities. Still, while business seems to be booming, safety appears to have taken a back seat.
Lightweight, electric scooters can be dangerous, and accidents involving them can be more damaging than you might expect. What’s more, when an accident does happen, attempting to recover damages can be a complex process. Those who have been in an electric scooter accident should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss their options for pursuing legal action.
Electric Scooters Are Everywhere in Denver
Like many other major cities, Denver has become overrun with electric scooters. These scooters have made a name for themselves as an easy, fun, and convenient way to explore a city and travel short distances. With scooter-sharing, patrons can rent these scooters from whatever provider has happened to dispense them on their city streets and zip off to their next location, where they can be carefully deposited or thoughtlessly discarded on the sidewalk for the next rider.
City officials have made their own attempts to protect their citizens. In 2019, the Denver City council made a few decisions regarding the presence of electric scooters in their city. With a few exceptions, they voted unanimously to prohibit electric scooters from being used on city sidewalks. In circumstances when riders may be on the sidewalk, this ordinance also limits scooters' speed to 6mph on sidewalks. Otherwise, the ordinance requires riders to use the road or bike lanes.
What Injuries Can I Sustain from an Accident Involving Electric Scooters?
During their research into electric scooter-related injuries, the CDC encountered an injury rate of 14.3 per 100,000 trips during their study. Also, at least 1,500 people have been harmed while riding e-scooters, according to Consumer Reports research between 2017 and 2019. Riders rarely wear helmets, and electric scooter accidents often result in injuries to the head, upper arm, forearm, and hand.
There are numerous ways that electric scooter-related accidents can occur:
- The rider crashes into an obstacle like a street sign, light pole, or pedestrian.
- The rider travels too fast, loses control of the scooter, and falls off it.
- The rider enters traffic and fails to follow traffic laws.
- The rider is traveling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- The electric scooter is discarded in the street or sidewalk in a way that blocks the flow of traffic.
- The driver of a vehicle fails to stop for an electric scooter that is lawfully in the road.
Determining who is at fault after an accident can get complicated due to electric scooters and laws related to them being relatively new.
Are There Laws Regulating Electric Scooters in Denver?
Electric scooters are in an ambiguous place. For a time, electric scooters were considered toy vehicles under Colorado law, but House Bill 19-1221 redefined electric scooters as vehicles, authorizing them on roadways.
According to Colorado state law, an electric scooter is defined as a device that:
- Weighs less than 100 lbs
- Has handlebars
- Has an electric motor
- Is powered by an electric motor
- Obtains a maximum speed of 20 mph on a paved surface when powered by the motor
The act affords riders of electric scooters the same rights and responsibilities that riders of electric bicycles have under Colorado law.
Damages You Can Recover from Electric Scooter Accidents in Denver
Victims of scooter accidents are protected by Colorado law. In Colorado, the individual responsible for the scooter accident must compensate the victims for their losses. They may be liable to the victim for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering, among other things. To be compensated, the victim must file a claim for damages and show that the other party's activities caused the scooter accident.
Those affected by electric scooter accidents have the right to seek reimbursement from the insurance companies of responsible parties. To recover damages from an electric scooter accident, you must:
- Determine the party or parties who are at fault
- Gather all evidence against the defendant, including police reports
- Keep a record of your losses, including injuries, medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages resulting from the electric scooter collision
An electric scooter accident lawyer can help compile this information for you.
Who’s Liable for My Denver Electric Scooter Accident?
Electric scooters have taken over Denver by storm, and city laws are scrambling to keep up with citizens' use. As a result, there's a lot of confusion surrounding liability in the event of an accident.
However, since electric scooters are legally considered vehicles, electric scooter accidents can be dealt with similarly to other motor vehicle accidents. Potentially liable parties in electric scooter accidents include:
- Electric scooter riders
- Electric scooter manufacturers
- Electric scooter companies and service providers, such as Bird, Lyft, and Lime
- Drivers of other vehicles on the road
- Transit companies
Ultimately, anyone who plays a role in causing an accident may be held financially responsible for the resulting damages.
Consult a Denver Electric Scooter Accident Attorney
Knowing who is responsible for your electric scooter accident is critical in securing compensation. The right lawyer will be able to dive into your case and use their skills to determine liability for your accident and a solid strategy for recovering maximum compensation from all negligent parties.
The legal professionals at Mintz Law Firm are compassionate. We have the resources necessary to provide our clients with individual, attentive support. Our firm has represented numerous victims of personal injury accidents in Colorado and recovered large sums for our clients. To schedule a free consultation, call (303) 462-2999 or fill in our contact form today.