The City of St. Petersburg eagerly awaits the arrival of dockless e-scooters. Electric e-scooters are viewed as an environmentally-friendly way to travel short distances that are more of a hassle to drive, walk, or bicycle. While e-scooters can be fun, like any other mode of transportation, riding them presents risks. If you’re injured in an e-scooter crash as a rider of an e-scooter, a pedestrian, or even the driver of a vehicle, who can you hold liable for your injuries?
Uber, Bird, Lime, and Bolt are some of the biggest names in dockless e-scooters today. These e-scooters can be seen littering the streets and sidewalks of large cities nationwide. St. Petersburg hopes to join the ranks of some of the country’s busiest cities, like Washington D.C., San Jose, Chicago, and Austin, soon by implementing its own dockless e-scooter mobility program.
St. Petersburg city officials expect to receive e-scooters in the fall of 2019. They plan to ban e-scooters from sidewalks so they won’t disrupt pedestrian traffic. They will also likely refrain from mandating helmets, although they would strongly encourage their use. Florida law allows e-scooter riders to use streets and bike lanes, so limiting e-scooter riders to those areas should keep pedestrians safe. Still, we should anticipate issues regarding liability whenever a new mode of transportation is made available to the public.
Unfortunately, cities like Tampa, which have already started their dockless e-scooter mobility program, have already experienced e-scooter-related incidents. An e-scooter rider died after being hit by a semi-trailer truck earlier this year. The most important thing now is understanding what protections e-scooter accident victims have available to them when they need to seek financial compensation for damages and/or injuries as a result of a crash.
How to Determine Liability in an E-Scooter Accident
Liability for electric e-scooter accidents depends on the details of the crash. At times, more than one party may share liability. Some of the most common accidents happen because the person using the e-scooter is negligent and fails to follow common safety procedures or a vehicle driver isn’t expecting to see an e-scooter and fails to notice them. Other times, manufacturing errors during the production or design phases lead to dangerous defects that cause e-scooters to malfunction.
Even when e-scooter riders are diligent and operate e-scooters safely, a collision between an e-scooter and a vehicle or bicycle, or an e-scooter-on-pedestrian accident, can lead to severe injuries – and complications determining liability. Regardless of how the accident took place, if you were hurt in an e-scooter crash, you’ll need to establish liability to receive any compensation for your damages. A St. Petersburg auto accident attorney who is familiar with complex accident cases can investigate your crash and gather evidence to support your claim.
Who is Responsible for My E-Scooter Accident Injuries?
Depending on the facts of your case, the following parties may be responsible for your electric e-scooter accident injuries, depending on the facts of your case:
- The person operating the e-scooter;
- The vehicle operator;
- The e-scooter manufacturer;
- The City.
If you were struck by a person riding an e-scooter, the e-scooter rider may have displayed negligence or carelessness while riding it. It’s not uncommon to see people on e-scooters listening to music, texting, or even deliberately creating an unsafe situation. If you can prove the e-scooter rider acted negligently, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries. Additionally, as a pedestrian, you may be able to receive compensation through your uninsured motorist coverage.
If you were hurt on an e-scooter by a driver of another vehicle, the driver who struck you may be liable. E-scooters frequently operate alongside vehicles on low-speed roads or in bike lanes. The other driver may be at fault, you may be able to claim damages against their insurance policy.
The manufacturer of the e-scooter may have made an error that led to the e-scooter malfunctioning at a critical moment. Still, users agree to the User Agreement when they board an e-scooter, which could potentially waive the liability of the e-scooter companies. An attorney can dig into your case to see if it may be possible to file a claim against the e-scooter company or manufacturer for any potential defect.
Finally, the City of St. Petersburg or another city where you were riding may have created an unsafe environment in which to ride your e-scooter, which could have led to your accident. If you were hurt because of dangerous riding conditions such as potholes or unlevel pavement, you might be able to hold the city liable.
Working with Marsalisi Law to Resolve your St. Petersburg E-Scooter Accident Case
E-scooter accident cases can present tricky situations that make it more urgent than ever to work with an experienced accident attorney in St. Petersburg. Frank P. Marsalisi of Marsalisi Law has helped the people of St. Pete get through challenging moments in their lives with excellent results.
Frank P. Marsalisi genuinely cares about his clients. If you’re unable to visit him in his office, he’ll come to a place convenient for you to discuss serious matters. At Marsalisi Law, we strive to provide top representation to help ease the pain of this stressful experience. Marsalisi Law wants you to know that you’re not alone during this process and we will keep you informed about your claim as often as you would like.
As a member of the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association, Frank P. Marsalisi has successfully litigated many accident cases in and around the Tampa Bay area. If you’d like to discuss your particular case, call (727) 800-5052 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal.