Motor scooters have become a popular means of transportation for people in cities across the United States. While scooters have yet to be legalized in Philadelphia, companies such as LimeBike, Bird Rides Inc. and Spin have been lobbying lawmakers to allow scooter share programs in the city. Motor scooters have been pitched as convenient, ecologically sustainable modes of transportation; however, opponents have raised legitimate safety concerns due to the potential risk of injury to riders, pedestrians, and motorists.
Cooper Schall and Levy, a preeminent personal injury law firm serving clients in Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster, Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, is prepared to handle injury claims arising from motor scooter accidents. Because rules and regulations regarding scooter share services have yet to be established, determining liability in a motor scooter accident is complicated. Nonetheless, our legal team has the skills and experience to help accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
How do motor scooter share programs work?
Electric motorized scooters are two-wheeled devices powered by an electric motor with handlebars and a floorboard to stand on. Scooter share programs are similar to rideshare services (e.g Uber, Lyft), in that scooters can be obtained through a smartphone app. Riders locate nearby scooters through the app, scan a code on the scooter to unlock the device, travel to a destination, and lock the scooter up where it can be picked up by the next rider.
Types of Motor Scooter Accidents
motor scooters accelerate rapidly and can travel up to 15 miles per hour, taking both riders and pedestrians by surprise. The devices can become involved in a wide variety of accidents. Single scooter crashes, for example, can be caused by a mechanical defect, rider carelessness, or road hazards (e.g. potholes, debris, wet pavement). Pedestrians are also at risk of being struck by a motor scooter or sustaining an injury trying to avoid being struck. Riders can also crash trying to avoid hitting a pedestrian, motor vehicle or another obstacle. Finally, motor scooter riders can be involved in accidents with motor vehicles, particularly dooring accidents and left-turn accidents.
Who is liable in a motorized scooter accident?
Determining liability in a motorized scooter accident can be challenging. Unlike motor vehicle drivers, scooter operators are not required to carry liability insurance in cities that permit their use. If a scooter rider hits a pedestrian, the rider may be liable for any injuries; however, holding the rider accountable may depend on whether or not the rider has appropriate insurance coverage.
If the scooter malfunctions and the rider is injured, the scooter share company and the manufacturer may both be held liable. To have a valid claim, however, it is necessary to show that the company was aware of the defect and failed to take corrective action. Because motorized scooters are primarily manufactured by Chinese-based companies, obtaining damages from these entities can be difficult.
If a scooter rider sustains an injury in a collision with a motor vehicle, however, it is possible to pursue a lawsuit against the driver, provided it can be proved he or she was negligent. This requires demonstrating the following elements:
- The driver had a duty to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner,
- The driver breached that duty,
- The driver’s actions caused the accident, and
- The accident caused the victim’s injuries and monetary losses
Finally, if a motor scooter accident is caused by poorly maintained roads, curbs, sidewalks, or defective traffic signals, it may be possible to pursue a municipal liability claim against the government agency responsible for road and highway maintenance.
Contact Our Philadelphia Motor Scooter Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a motor scooter in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, we can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients inside and outside of the courtroom. When you become our client, we will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause of your motor scooter accident and assess whether you have a valid personal injury claim. Our objective is to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
At Cooper Schall and Levy, we handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. This means you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win compensation for you. When you call our office for a free consultation, you will have peace of mind knowing that your motor scooter accident claim is in good hands. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can fight for your rights.