What Should I Do After an Electric Scooter Accident?
Electric scooters operated by companies like Bird, Lime, Skip, Lyft, and JUMP have become common on the sidewalks and street corners of many American cities. The vehicles are simple to operate. Using a proprietary smartphone app (or, in the case of Lyft and JUMP, an existing rideshare app) and the QR code printed on the handlebars, a rider can unlock the device, step on, and start riding to their destination in a matter of seconds. Most charge a dollar to unlock and then charge a few cents per minute thereafter.
Once a rider reaches his or her destination, the app can be used again to conclude the ride and lock the scooter once more. Most rides within cities cost only a few dollars, making them an affordable, convenient, and attractive way to get the last few blocks from public transit or a carpool drop off site on to the destination.
At the end of the day, when the scooters are depleted of battery, independent contractors collect the dead scooters and take them to charging points to be recharged for the following day. This practice has attracted some criticism, as these contractors often earn very little for their efforts and can cause traffic hazards by frequent stops to collect scooters during rush-hour traffic.
With more scooters than ever on the streets, the number of accidents has rapidly climbed. Whether the accidents involve uneven pavement, inattentive riders, faulty equipment, pedestrians, or other vehicles, the likelihood of serious injuries is high. Those involved in an electric scooter accident should keep a few things in mind immediately afterward.
First, document everything. Take photographs that clearly show where the accident took place, how the accident took place, and what injuries occurred, if they are clear. Having photographs can help your scooter accident attorney from Cohen & Cohen piece together the incident and bring your claim later on.
You should also get contact information and statements from any witnesses. The more witnesses, the better. Remember that some witnesses may not be reachable later on, so having more contacts will ensure someone else will corroborate your story. Don’t just get a statement alone; their word is inadmissible unless they can actually tell their story in court.
If the app has a way to report an accident, make sure you use it, but do not sign any waivers or agree to any new terms and conditions after the fact. This is especially true if the accident was caused by an equipment malfunction or structural failure of the scooter.
Finally, be prepared to notify authorities. Even if you do not think it is important, exchange auto insurance information with everyone involved. Your e-scooter attorney may be able to use that auto insurance information to your benefit later on.