After having moved my parents and in laws to South Tampa’s SOHO district to be close to us, I can’t help but notice all the E-Scooters appearing there and in downtown Tampa over the past year. Please be careful when riding these. At least wear bright colors and a simple bike helmet if you can. These two steps alone would drastically reduce the vehicle versus E-Scooter problem out there. And wave if you happen to see my 78 year old mom riding around town! Not too likely, but you never know.
Riding an e-scooter is an excellent way of getting around. They are small, fast, and flexible. They allow riders to avoid congestion and save time by not having to find a parking space. However, the benefits of using an e-scooter do not come without dangers.
E-scooter accidents are on the rise throughout the United States. The quick and agile motion of e-scooters can throw off inattentive automobile drivers. E-scooter riders are also put in danger by the reckless and irresponsible.
If you use an e-scooter, you are vulnerable to sustaining serious injuries in an accident. You do not have the chassis of a motor vehicle to protect you in a crash. If you are hit by a car, truck, or SUV, you will probably receive injuries that are serious enough to put you in the hospital.
5 steps to Take If You’re Injured Using An E-Scooter
If you have been injured using an e-scooter, you will of course need to look after your health. As you heal and recover from the accident, you should also think about the future and the compensation you may be entitled to. A personal injury lawyer can help you with the latter.
Here are the steps you will need to take to get justice:
1. Determine the seriousness and extent of your injuries
You should speak to your physician about the nature of your injuries and your prospects for a full recovery. You should also discuss physical therapy and any other rehabilitation you will need to go through. You should also be informed of any medication you will need after you have been released. Having this information will give you a sense of the medical bills you will need to pay and the income you will potentially lose because of an inability to work.
2. Contact an attorney
As you feel better and more clear-headed, you should contact an attorney. DO NOT accept a small check from an insurance company until you speak with an attorney. Progressive Insurance likes to offer a small check before you become aware of the full extent of your injuries. You should speak to an attorney who specializes in personal injury law. And the personal injury lawyer you choose should have experience in handling e-scooter accident cases.
Personal injury lawyers deal with people in your situation all the time. In the first interview, you will need to provide just enough information for them to lay the groundwork for your case. The interview will not be long and taxing, as they understand how difficult and strenuous it can be to recall all the facts surrounding the accident.
3. Determine who is to blame for the accident
Once your attorney has the basics of what happened, they will go to work. The identity of the person who caused the accident is the first thing that needs to be explored. Unless you were the victim of a hit-and-run, the police report will contain the name, address, and contact details of the other driver involved in the accident.
Your lawyer will go beyond the information contained in the official report. They will re-investigate the accident using their own team of professional investigators. Forensics from the crash will be reviewed, eyewitnesses will be interviewed, and inquiries will be made into the actions, state-of-mind, and sobriety of the other driver involved in the crash. If it becomes clear that the inattention or recklessness of the other driver led to the accident, then they will be held liable.
4. Determine who should pay you compensation
In most instances, the person who crashed into your e-scooter will not be the one who pays you. Their insurance company will be responsible for doing so. However, getting a fair settlement from their insurer will be an uphill battle.
The insurance company of the driver who hit you may make you an initial settlement offer. One of the reasons you should speak to a lawyer soon after the accident is so that they are on hand when such a proposal comes through. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows a good offer from a bad one. You should leave all negotiation with the insurance company to them.
If you have sustained great bodily harm as a result of the accident, you may need the kind of treatment that can be very expensive. You may also need to give up your livelihood. The financial strain that such a situation can cause must be factored into the sum of money you are willing to accept.
5. Decide whether you need to sue
The insurance company will not want the case to go to trial. They will even try to avoid a lawsuit. However, if they engage in ploys and technical maneuvers that drag negotiations out, then you will need to decide whether to sue. The insurance company may delay paying as a means of pressuring you to accept something short of the money you deserve. You need not fall victim to this tactic. If your attorney believes that filing a lawsuit is the best way to force the hand of the insurance company, then you should follow their advice.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you believe that your e-scooter accident was the result of recklessness on the part of another driver, then you have the right to make a claim against them. You should exercise this right with the guidance of a personal injury lawyer.