Scooter sharing programs have been popping up in U.S. cities for the past couple of years. For as little as $1, the electric scooter can be rented and reached 15 miles per hour. Although electric scooters may be good for the environment, they can be bad for consumers. From defective scooters to auto accidents, any Nashville rider could wind up with a severe injury. At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, we assist personal injury clients throughout Nashville with their scooter accident claims. We will negotiate with the insurance company and, if necessary, represent you in the courtroom to make sure you receive compensation for your injuries.
Dockless Scooter Accidents: What You Need to Know
This past summer, Nashville Metro Council approved regulations to allow scooter companies Bird and Lime to operate in the Music City. The ordinance sets a cap on the number of scooters each company can have in Nashville. It also forbids riders from operating them on sidewalks in business districts.
Although dockless scooters can help with the traffic problems, there may be an increase in personal injury claims. In a recent Nashville Public Radio report, Vanderbilt Medical Center’s trauma ICU director explains that it’s getting approximately one brain injury per month after a dockless scooter accident, an injury that the rider will never recover.
Not only are the scooters causing injuries following a car accident, but they can also break apart on a rider. Since September, Lime has been under fire for safety issues after several riders received injuries when a Lime scooter broke apart while in use. Photos throughout social media feature scooters broken into two, often where the baseboard and stem meet. Earlier this fall, Lime announced that these e-scooters, manufactured by Chinese company Okai are no longer on the streets.
This incident is not the first time Lime has faced safety issues. Currently, a class action lawsuit has been filed in California citing that gross negligence on behalf of scooter rental companies which led to many injuries to pedestrians and riders.
Who is Responsible for Your E-Scooter Accident?
Much like ridesharing programs Uber and Lyft, scooter ridesharing has experienced a meteoric rise with little to no regulation. Since this industry is so new, it’s easy to be confused about what your next legal steps should be. Both Lime and its rival Bird make users sign liability waivers. However, these waivers do not bar claims of gross negligence.
For example, if your scooter breaks apart while you are riding on it, you may have a product liability claim. In Tennessee, any party that manufactured sold or marketed the defective product can be held responsible for your injuries. So not only can you bring a suit against Lime or Bird but also the manufacturer of the scooter. It is the responsibility of the scooter company to maintain the vehicles. Failure to do so can result in a scooter riding accident and a subsequent personal injury claim.
But what if you are involved in a car accident while riding a scooter? In addition to filing a claim with your own insurance company, you may be able to file a third-party claim with the driver’s insurance company. You may also file a complaint against Lime or Bird if a malfunction on the scooter led to the accident.
Our Nashville E-Scooter Accident Lawyers are Here to Help
If you receive an injury after riding a dockless scooter in Nashville, you need to know what legal options are available to you. At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, we use all the legal tools available to help victims across Tennessee. We understand how life changing these accidents can be and will make sure you receive compensation from those responsible for your injuries.
The time to act is today. Contact the Tennessee e-scooter accident lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard today for a free consultation.