E-Scooters Come to South Florida
If you’ve been paying attention, you might have recently noticed a new trend in urban transportation – electric scooters. These e-scooters are taking the country by storm, popping up in just about every major city. In places with year round sunshine and great weather, like Miami, the trend is growing even faster. As with any new transportation method, there will naturally be a number of unique risks and dangers. At Halpern, Santos & Pinkert, P.A., we help people recover from serious injuries by providing high quality professional legal representation. If you’re involved in an e-scooter accident, give us a call today.
What is an E-Scooter?
One part skateboard and one part motorized hoverboard, these e-scooters (also called “dockless scooters”) look a lot like the old fashioned stand-up scooters from your youth. They come equipped with handle bars and a small standing platform, akin to a skateboard. You put your feet on the platform, grab the handles and ride. The distinct new twist is that these scooters are connected to the internet, and they have a small motor that powers them.
How do E-Scooters Work?
They function a lot like an Uber or Lyft. You download the app to your smartphone, and when you pick one up, you just put in the relevant info and agree to pay. Your account is billed for the time you use. The e-scooter powers on when activated; therefore, without a user connected via smartphone, they are dormant and locked. You pick one up, use it to get where you are going, then leave it where you stop so the next person can catch a ride.
These e-scooters are highly effective in high density areas and urban communities with lots of shops. They are especially popular in younger markets and colleges and universities. But their popularity is certainly not limited to young people, as you’ll find people of all ages enjoying them.
What Companies Manufacture E-Scooters?
Right now, there are two dominant brands on the market: Lime and Bird. But others are joining the pack. Uber recently acquired a company now called Jump Bikes. Other lesser-known players are Spin and Skip. They all operate on pretty much the same basic concept, though platforms, pricing, and locations vary a bit.
What People Are Saying About Dockless E-Scooters
On one hand, proponents of these e-scooters say they reduce air pollution, reduce urban congestion, and allow commuters more options for parking and access to downtown spaces. They also claim that they are great for small businesses, because they encourage more people to go downtown for shopping and entertainment.
While the benefits are hard to deny, e-scooters also can be very dangerous. Added risk factors include:
- Inexperienced operators
- People drinking while riding
- Not wearing helmets
- Drivers aren’t used to seeing them
- Drivers aren’t expecting pedestrians traveling at high speeds
- Heavy e-scooter density in pedestrian areas
Common Incidents and Accidents Involving Dockless E-Scooters
All over the Miami area, people are using e-scooters. When accidents happen, they are often very severe. While a scooter may travel up to 10-15 miles per hour, the rider is still essentially just a pedestrian. A lot of people make the decision to use a Lime or Bird scooter while they are out with friends enjoying nightlife. For this reason, people are usually not equipped with helmets or knee and elbow pads. This means a minor collision can have a very serious impact on the individual rider, leaving them with injuries. Some common accidents often involve:
- A driver not seeing a rider in an intersection
- A driver not stopping before a crosswalk
- Two riders colliding in a pedestrian area
- An impaired rider disregarding traffic signs
- An impaired driver not seeing a rider
- Clipping or striking a rider who is operating on a shoulder
Given the limited protection an e-scooter rider has, it’s no wonder that e-scooter operators get hurt badly by auto accidents. Some of the more frequent injuries typically include:
- Broken bones
- Head traumas
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Sprains and strains
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries, including herniated discs
- Lacerations, skin tears, and road rash
- Disfiguring injuries to the head and face
What an Attorney Can Do For You After an E-Scooter Accident
If you are hurt in a scooter accident in Miami, an experienced attorney from Halpern, Santos & Pinkert, P.A. can meet with you for a free initial consultation to go over the facts of the case. Our firm can:
- Investigate the Facts. This all starts with reviewing official police reports, witness statements, and any videos or photos of the accident.
- Help You Get Medical Care. Many people may lack health insurance and worry that a serious injury will go untreated. Our firm has working relationships with many fantastic medical providers throughout south Florida. We are often able to help you find providers who can offer quality medical care without a large upfront premium.
- Work to Resolve Insurance Claims. Our attorneys will work to make sure that all sources of payment are discovered. This may mean making claims with your personal injury protection (PIP) policy, the other driver’s insurance, or any corporate or commercial policies that may apply.
- Fight to Get a Fair Settlement. We leverage our years of experience to help you get a fair and reasonable settlement offer when possible.
- Take Your Case to Trial. If a defendant or insurance carrier is unwilling to negotiate, we may have to take your case to trial. While rare, there are times when the only way to get justice is through a jury. We are prepared to do so if needs be.
Get Aggressive and Experienced Legal Representation Today
If you were hurt while riding a Lime or Bird e-scooter, call Halpern, Santos & Pinkert, P.A. today, and schedule your own free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. We only take a fee if we recover money for your injury, so you have no risk. Plus, we cover all of the advanced costs involved in pursuing justice for you and only get reimbursed if successful in recovering compensation. So call today to learn more.