Did you suffer catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in an electric scooter accident in the greater Dallas area? You will want to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Whether you were hurt as a dockless scooter rider, or if a rider injured you, you could be eligible for significant compensation.
Smith Kendall, PLLC represents clients in Dallas on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay us absolutely nothing unless you obtain a financial award. Our Dallas electric scooter accident lawyers can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (214) 361-6124 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Under Dallas City Code Chapter 28 SEC. 28-41.1, a motor assisted scooter is defined as “a self-propelled device with at least two wheels in contact with the ground during operation, a braking system capable of stopping the device under typical operating conditions, a gas or electric motor not exceeding 40 cubic centimeters, a deck designed to allow a person to stand or sit while operating the device, and the ability to be powered by human power alone.” A scooter can only be used on a public path or trail set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
Lime, Bird, and Skip require scooter users to be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and consent to their safety agreements to register through their smartphone apps. Lime, Bird, and Skip scooters cost $1 to start and 15 cents per minute to rent.
Dallas City Council regulations require companies to pick up any scooters reported to 311 that are blocking sidewalks or have fallen over within two hours of daytime reports and within 12 hours of nighttime reports. The companies are required to provide information about the locations and frequency of rides to the city four times a year.
Bird and Lime scooters can go as fast as 15 miles per hour (mph), but Skip scooters have a top speed of 18 mph. The City of Dallas requires scooter riders under 18 years to wear helmets.
Scooter accidents are often the result of one party’s negligence, but the negligent party could be the driver of a motor vehicle, a pedestrian, or possibly even the scooter user themselves. Some of the most common kinds of electric scooter accidents include:
The person operating a scooter is not always the individual who is injured in an accident. Crashes involving pedestrians can often lead to the pedestrians being the injured parties.
Pedestrians injured by scooter operators should get the scooter user’s contact information, and they should not be afraid to ask for a driver’s license to confirm the operator’s identity. It is also recommended that you contact a local law enforcement agency to file a police report.
The Washington Post reported in September 2018 that there is currently no national data for scooter injuries. Multiple news stories in Dallas since scooters were placed on streets have shed some insight into the wide range of injuries some people have suffered while using scooters in the city.
While helmets play an important role in reducing serious head injuries, they do not provide protection for the remainder of a person’s body. People can still suffer any one of a number of severe injuries that can include, but are not limited to:
The injuries a person can sustain will depend on multiple factors, including the type of accident a scooter is involved in and the speed it was traveling. Serious injuries not only require lengthy, expensive hospitalization and aftercare, but they can also lead to victims being unable to go back to work. If a person is killed in a scooter accident, their family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent parties.
Nearly one year after five companies placed rental electric scooters all over the city, the Dallas City Council approved regulations in its final meeting before summer recess in June 2018 that required scooter operators to obtain permits. The Dallas Morning News reported that even after many council members expressed concerns about injuries during a contentious debate, scooters were legalized for a period of six months.
The Dallas City Council said it would revisit the issue after six months to review injuries, complaints, and noncompliance with the rules. Within a matter of days, the Dallas Business Journal reported that two companies, Bird and Lime, rolled out electric scooters and were expected to rent 500 scooters each during the six-month trial period. Skip is another company that has attempted to enter the Dallas market.
For many people, electric scooters are a fun and convenient manner of getting around town at an affordable cost. Scooters, however, have been involved in a disturbing number of accidents around Dallas since being unveiled.
WFAA-TV reported in July 2018 that one woman faced “a couple thousand dollars” in medical bills after being taken to an emergency room after falling from a Lime scooter during her very first ride. In November 2018, WFAA reported that a man shattered his kneecap, broke his tibia in multiple places nearly leading to amputation, suffered severe road rash, and cracked a few teeth after a scooter accident in Deep Ellum, resulting in nearly $1 million in medical expenses.
On September 4, 2018, the Washington Post reported that the death of a 24-year-old man who was using a scooter to get home from work could be the city’s first death since the scooters had been placed on city streets. In November 2018, the Dallas Morning News reported that only four motorized scooter crashes had been reported to police, but Dallas paramedics’ records presented at a City Council briefing showed 13 scooter patients from May to September, and Parkland Memorial Hospital identified 37 emergency complaints in 2018 in which scooters were mentioned by staff members.
Your first concern following a scooter accident should be seeking medical attention. Even if you do not think you were hurt, it is still a good idea to go to a hospital, as not all injuries produce immediate symptoms.
Contact the local law enforcement agency so a police report can be filed. If your crash was caused by a negligent driver, the responding officer may issue the motorist a citation, which can be helpful in your claim for compensation.
You should also take several pictures of everything involved in your accident from various angles and distances. Also look for any people who may have seen your accident and ask them for their names and phone numbers. When you cannot take these steps, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to do this for you.
Some victims are contacted by insurance companies for the negligent parties after these accidents. These insurers may offer lump-sum settlements to resolve their cases, but these amounts rarely cover all of the victim’s future expenses. Do not accept a settlement offer without discussing it with an attorney first.
Do not say anything to any insurance company without an attorney. You will also want a lawyer because they can conduct an independent investigation to find the cause of your crash, collect evidence, and identify all liable parties.
If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a bike share accident in Dallas caused by another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for all of your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Smith Kendall, PLLC will fight to help you recover every dollar of compensation you are entitled to.
Bill Kendall and Mary Ellen P. Smith have almost 30 years of combined legal experience. Call (214) 361-6124 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.