Two-wheeled electric scooters have become omnipresent in Austin and many other metropolitan areas in the past year or so, purporting to offer commuters a little extra boost to their travels. However, they have been controversial, causing issues for disabled pedestrians and also, allegedly, leading to injuries on a regular basis. There has not been a completed study of scooter injuries as of this writing, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has requested Austin’s data on the issue as they work on theirs. If you have been injured by a person on a scooter or while using a scooter yourself, data like this can be very relevant if you decide to bring suit to try and recover for your medical bills.
Weekends Downtown Have Highest Risk
A pattern of injuries sustained in scooter accidents has been occurring ever since their installation in Austin some months ago. In January, an Irish exchange student died after being struck by a car while using a scooter; anecdotal evidence suggests at least a handful more have died while using scooters in traffic. Injuries have numbered in the hundreds at Dell Seton Medical Center alone since the end of September 2018, with head injuries, cuts, and bruises being the most common.
The data shows that if one breaks down the number of injuries logged by Austin/Travis County EMS, one can see the most injuries occurred on nights where crowds downtown are at their largest – Friday and Saturday nights’ totals were significantly higher than those for other days. It is also indicative that almost two-thirds of the injury accidents in the data occurred in Austin’s Congress District, with the remainder scattered throughout the city limits – like with any other type of vehicle, more traffic will mean a greater risk of injury.
Suing After Injury
If you have sustained injuries in a scooter accident, there are many different possible defendants, depending on the specific nature of your accident. If you were struck by a scooter rider, you may be able to bring suit under a theory of negligence, or possibly in strict liability, if you can show that they breached safety regulations. For example, if you are struck by a scooter traveling on the sidewalk, when the Texas Transportation Code explicitly states that they must be used on roadways only, you might be able to allege that the rider should be liable by virtue of breaking that law – this is referred to in Texas as negligence per se.
If you were injured while riding a scooter, you may be able to bring suit either against the motorist who struck you (if there was one) or against the scooter company itself. Many companies with active electric scooter permits in Austin, including Lime and Bird, have had to recall scooters after repeated incidences of failure, including batteries that had the potential to catch on fire, and baseboards that could break while in use. If your scooter behaved in a defective way, the company may be liable.
Call a New Braunfels Scooter Accident Lawyer
Electric scooters are likely here to stay, but they must be regulated to ensure they are safe to use. If you have been injured in a scooter accident, contacting a dedicated New Braunfels scooter accident lawyer at the Bettersworth Law Firm can be your first step toward recovering compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.