Have you been injured in an e-scooter accident in Nashville? You may be able to claim compensation if you can prove who was liable for the accident. E-scooters have become increasingly popular in Nashville, as they have across the country, but accidents do still happen despite recalls of some models and an attempt by the city to regulate their use. You would think that something as innocuous as an e-scooter wouldn’t cause any accidents to speak of, but it’s where they are used, how they’re used, how they’re designed and how they are maintained which can give rise to accidents.
E-scooter accidents come in several different categories
There are several different types of e-scooter accident:
- Defective design, such as was the case in the 2018 Lime e-scooter recall;
- E-scooter rider hit by a larger vehicle;
- E-scooter crashing into a pedestrian or other road user;
- Tripping or stumbling over a badly parked e-scooter;
- E-scooter rider falling off their scooter because of poor scooter riding skills.
In all these categories someone is to blame for the accident, just like any other kind of vehicle accident. In the first category, defective design, it is the company that manufactures the scooter or the company that makes it available for rent (e.g. Lime or any of the other two e-scooter rental companies that operate in Nashville). If you still have a recalled e-scooter and have just been injured through its use, you may still be able to file a claim, but not if you were injured before or just after the recall, as the statute of limitations for personal injury claims against Lime was 12 months from the date of the injury.
Hit by another vehicle
Even though e-scooters have been around for a few years now, they have been treated more like bicycles, or a better comparison, e-bicycles. Riders of e-scooters are allowed to use the street and are discouraged from using sidewalks. There is no compulsion to wear a helmet and there are no special rules about learning how to ride them. As long as you are 16 or over you can jump on a rental e-scooter or your own machine and hit the highway.
There is a state rule that you are supposed to stick to the right side of the road, but that still makes e-scooter riders very vulnerable to accidents as much larger and more powerful motorized vehicles pass them. In this sort of scenario, it is most likely that in any collision between an e-scooter rider and another road user, the scooter rider is the victim and probably has grounds to file a personal injury claim against the person who hit them.
Hit by an e-scooter
Pedestrians are as vulnerable to e-scooters as they are to bicyclists and electric bike riders. E-scooters can get up to the 20 mph range and may use sidewalks or cycle paths where it is not specifically prohibited. Because of the potential speed of the e-scooter, any collision with a pedestrian is probably the e-scooter rider’s fault. In this case, it is up to the pedestrian to file a claim against the e-scooter rider. As with claims against bicyclists, though, the problem here is that there is no requirement for e-scooter riders to have insurance and the e-scooter company that rents them out (if hit by a rental scooter) is not liable for personal injury caused by the rider’s own negligence. Compensation would have to be claimed from the personal assets of the negligent rider.
Trip and fall accident caused by negligently parked e-scooter
E-scooters are commonly badly parked or left after a rental in a haphazard way and this has been a bone of contention in Nashville in the past as it has in many cities where rental companies have introduced scooters. The city has reduced the number of scooter companies from seven in 2019 down to three, reduced the number of e-scooters to rent down to 2,000 and toughened up the rules regarding safety that the three companies are supposed to adhere to. If you have tripped over a badly parked e-scooter, then either the rider is to blame or the company or both. Proving liability might be tricky and you will need the services of an experienced personal injury attorney if you have suffered a bad accident.
E-scooter rider falls through poor rider skills
With no state wide or city wide requirement to pass a test, be licensed or even wear a helmet, most accidents in this sort of category cannot realistically be blamed on anyone else.
If you or a member of your family have been injured as a result of an e-scooter accident and believe that another road user, a scooter rider or a rental company is to blame, you may be able to claim compensation from the at-fault party as a result of their negligence. You should contact a dedicated and experienced personal injury attorney at the Keith Williams Law Group in East Nashville to discuss your legal options. You can contact Keith Williams at (615) 313-3999.