Do you ride electric scooters? Do you know people that do? Do you or they always wear a helmet? Have you or they ever been in an accident on an electric scooter? Well, these are becoming common questions for Hollywood electric scooter injury lawyers as these cases are multiplying.
Fort Lauderdale and frankly, all of South Florida’s streets have been flooded by thousands of electric scooters that have been offered up for rent by companies like Lime, Bolt, and Bird. In the middle of 2018, the City of Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance authorizing the usage of these scooters.
In early 2019, the city of Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance that gives the City Manager the authority to implement “mitigation measures related to high impact events on beach property.” This ordinance allows the city to limit or ban electric scooters during the city’s “busy” season, such as spring break and other major holidays. The city has allowed for 1700 total scooters to be made available for rental among the approved rental companies.
There are A lot of Scooters All Over the City
While the city of Fort Lauderdale has recently advised that these scooters are only to be driven on the sidewalk, the scooter companies themselves have actually instructed riders to use the public roadways.
The city of Fort Lauderdale has recently released its “Dockless Mobility User Guidelines” .pdf file which can be found on the city’s website. The first guideline listed states that “dockless scooters are authorized for use on sidewalks.” Further down, users are instructed to “wear a helmet whenever possible.” Why did the city feel the need to make it clear that electric scooters can only be ridden on sidewalks and that users should wear helmets? We at Inserra Law feel like this is most likely because innocent people have been getting seriously injured.
The Incidents Are Growing
In December of 2018, a 14 year-old boy was riding an electric scooter southbound in the northbound lanes of Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale when he was struck by a car. The driver of the car immediately fled the scene of the accident. Police at the time said that this was just one of many scooter-related injuries in the city of Fort Lauderdale. In fact, doctors at Broward Health Medical Center were quoted as saying that they had been seeing “anywhere from five to ten cases related to electric scooters every week.”
Doctors have seen every type of injury involving electric scooters from scrapes and cuts to broken bones and major head trauma injuries. The city of Fort Lauderdale appears to understand and realize the danger but what about the scooter companies? Do the scooter companies appreciate the danger involved? What, if anything, have the scooter companies done to prevent these serious injuries?
We are in the opinion that it is the failure of the electric scooter rental companies to ensure the safety and protect the wellbeing of riders that opens these companies up to liability.
The Growing Stats on Injuries are Staggering
The Centers for Disease Control have gone as far as to use credit scooter injuries for causing a “new health scare”.
The CDC went on to say that since electric scooters began populating the streets of the country’s biggest cities, there has been a surge in emergency room visits for fractures, dislocations and head trauma. Head injuries topped the list of accident-related incidents involving e-scooters at 45%. The study determined that many electric scooter injuries could have been prevented if the riders wore helmets and were more careful around cars.
The CDC launched the national study of e-scooter accidents in March, at the request of health and transportation departments in Austin, Texas.
But along with the new motorized vehicles has come a host of safety problems and complaints about the lack of regulatory oversight, particularly in places without clear rules about where people can ride and park the devices. Injuries are the bigger problem, with some medical professionals warning of a public health crisis.
According to the CDC study, the most common wound after head injuries involved upper extremity fractures at 27%, followed by lower extremity fractures at 12%. The study, which lasted nearly three months, found the e-scooter injury rate was 14.3 per 100,000 trips.
The median age for people injured was 29. The majority of injuries occurred on the street, with 29% connected to first-time riders and 18% involving motor vehicles.
“Interventions aimed at these risks and education to first-time riders could potentially reduce injury incidence and severity,” the report said.
Half the people interviewed said a “surface condition like a pothole or crack in the street” may have caused their injuries. Just over one-third of people in the survey said they would still use a dockless electric scooter again.
“We hope to build upon the results of this study as more agencies nationwide may use it as a base to expand their research and knowledge about this new mode of transportation,” said a spokesperson with the Austin Public Health Department.
What Should You Do if Hurt Riding a Scooter
The policies and safety requirements of these companies are being investigated and lawsuits are being filed against the electric scooter rental companies for their negligence after riders have gotten injured while riding their scooters. If you or someone you know were injured on an electric scooter in the city of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Dania Beach, or the surrounding areas in South Florida, call attorney Andrew Inserra at The Inserra Law Firm.
We at The Inserra Law Firm want to remind you that if you need a quality attorney to represent you or a loved one in a similar situation, then please look to set up a FREE consultation at the law office in Hollywood. Don’t forget that Attorney Inserra specializes in: auto accidents, Uber & Lyft accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, boat accidents, slip & falls, pedestrian accidents, wrongful death, burn injuries & head & traumatic brain injuries.