Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC represents people who have been hurt in powered scooter accidents in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. If you’ve been hurt on a scooter or if a reckless scooter operator injured you, we will seek compensation and justice on your behalf.
On July 26, 2018, WCPO-TV reported that dozens of electric scooters were available to rent in Cincinnati’s Downtown and Over-the-Rhine (OTR) neighborhoods. They were provided by the company Bird and could be located and accessed through Bird’s mobile app. Less than a month later, a Xavier University spokesperson confirmed to WCPO that the institution signed a deal with Lime to provide dockless scooters on campus.
On September 20, 2018, WXIX-TV reported that the Cincinnati City Council passed an emergency ordinance banning electric scooters from sidewalks, with first offenses drawing $100 fines. Cincinnati Police also banned scooters from the Oktoberfest Zinzinnati festival that weekend.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Bird received a 60-day grace period before it would have to enter into a written operation-agreement with the city, and the company would be limited to 200 scooters. The city’s initial guidelines held that users be at least 18 years of age and should wear helmets.
The Enquirer reported on August 27, 2018, a hit-and-run (hit-skip) scooter accident that struck two pedestrians. It was Cincinnati’s first known injury from a collision involving a Bird scooter since the company launched in the city. A Bird spokesperson did not comment on the case specifically but said in a written statement to the Enquirer that “safety is a top priority for the company.” One of the pedestrians involved told the Enquirer that she called Bird to report the collision but had not yet heard back.
Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a scooter accident in Cincinnati? It could be incredibly difficult to hold the negligent party accountable, which is why you will want legal representation.
Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC represents clients all over the greater Cincinnati area and is willing to come meet you in your hospital room or home if you cannot come to one of our locations. Call (513) 351-5997 or fill out an online contact form to have our Cincinnati rental scooter accident lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
Cincinnati Scooter Rules
Bird and Lime are two companies that rent out electric scooters in many different cities. The scooters can be located and unlocked through the companies’ mobile apps. Both companies charge a small fee for unlocking the scooters, and then have rates that users pay depending on how long they use the device. Unlike with older vehicle-sharing services, Bird and Lime users do not need to return dockless scooters to any docking stations, as the companies collect all the scooters at night to recharge them and inspect them.
Lime requires all of its users to be at least 18 years of age, although a minor who is at least 16 years of age can use a scooter when their parent or legal guardian rents one. The Lime user agreement also states that a person must report any damage, injury, theft, or lost product to Lime as soon as possible. If a crash involves personal injury, property damage, or a stolen product, the user must file a report with the local police department within 24 hours.
Bird’s user agreement declares that a scooter needs to be locked at the conclusion of a trip, or the rider will continue to be charged, up to a maximum of $100. The agreement also states that a user must promptly report any damaged or malfunctioning scooter to Bird via the company’s mobile app or email.
Types of Scooter Accidents
Bird and Lime scooters have top speeds of 15 miles per hour. The devices are deceptively fast to many people, and misjudging their speed can factor into accidents.
In Cincinnati, the biggest complaint about scooters is the danger and inconvenience they cause pedestrians when used on the sidewalk. On city streets, scooters often must avoid motor vehicles. Collisions in both situations can result in serious injuries.
In general, there are four types of scooter accidents:
- Collisions with Pedestrians — One of the most common kinds of scooter accidents, collisions could be the fault of either party. In these types of cases, it is important to remember that Ohio Revised Code § 2315.33 establishes that the contributory fault of a person does not prevent them from recovering damages as long as they were not found to bear most of the liability. In other words, you cannot file a lawsuit against somebody if you were 51 percent or more at fault. The damages a person does recover can be reduced by their share of negligence, such that a person awarded $100,000 in a scooter accident who is found to be 30 percent at fault would have their award reduced by $30,000 and ultimately receive $70,000.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents — Poor decisions by drivers can endanger scooter users. Some motorists may pass too closely, others might fail to yield at intersections, and some might be speeding. Accidents caused by a driver’s negligence make that motorist liable for the scooter user’s injuries.
- Defective Scooters — When a scooter malfunctions, it could involve one of two causes. If a scooter malfunctioned because the rental company did not adequately maintain it, then the company is liable for a victim’s injuries. If a scooter malfunctioned because of a defective part, then the manufacturer of that part could be liable.
- Dangerous Road Conditions — The state or another governmental entity could be to blame for certain hazards on roads that cause scooter accidents. These types of claims might include instances of potholes, inadequate guardrails, depressions in the road, malfunctioning traffic signals, or poor roadway designs.
If you are contacted by the negligent party’s insurance company, you should not say anything to them. While some insurers may try to pressure you into accepting a lump sum settlement to resolve your case, you should know that these offers are almost always far short of what people are actually entitled to.
Let a lawyer talk to an insurance company for you. They can accurately assess the true value of your case and then work to achieve a fair and full settlement.
Types of Scooter Injuries
Scooter accidents can range in severity depending on many different factors. In some of the most serious crashes, victims can suffer such injuries as:
- Road rash
- Muscle strains
- Nerve damage
- Neck injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
People who sustain these types of injuries are usually overwhelmed with medical bills. To make matters worse, many are also unable to return to work and could be incapable of ever working again.
In the worst scooter crashes, victims suffer fatal injuries. Family members can file wrongful death actions when their loved ones are killed in scooter accidents caused by the negligence of other parties.
Contact a Cincinnati Scooter Accident Attorney Today
Many people are confused about what to do after a scooter accident. They may be dealing with stress, fear, and trauma. Friends and family rarely have experience with similar claims, and the scooter companies themselves can be difficult to work with directly.
You want to have you own lawyer because they will commence an independent investigation that can help determine the actual cause of your accident. The lawyer can also collect evidence, consult experts, and identify liable parties.
When a person is involved in any kind of scooter accident, they should always make sure to immediately receive medical care. Some injuries are not readily apparent. Seeking treatment right away can help identify less obvious injuries.
Do not let fear of medical bills prevent you from receiving treatment. Medical expenses are generally covered by negligent parties. Furthermore, quick care is important: Insurance companies often claim that the injuries were not serious because the victim was not in a hurry to treat them.
Also make sure to call 911 to report your accident. This may require patience with the local law enforcement agency, but a wait will ultimately be worthwhile to create a record of your incident.
Another valuable thing to do after an accident is to take several photographs of your crash scene. Take pictures of all circumstances relating to your accident, including the scooter itself, any motor vehicle involved, and all other possible contributing factors.
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a scooter accident in Cincinnati, you will want to quickly retain legal counsel. Scooter accidents can be challenging injury claims to handle, and a person attempting to do so on their own risks harming their legal case.
Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC‘s personal injury attorneys can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (513) 351-5997 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.