Electric scooter rental companies like Bird, Lime, and Lyft make it easier for young people to get from place to place in urban areas at a fraction of the cost of a taxi or rideshare. Scooters can go up to 20 miles per hour to get people where they need be quickly. They also alleviate traffic, contributing to environmental sustainability.
Just because they’re convenient and good for the environment, however, doesn’t mean they’re safe. In fact, scooter injuries are becoming more and more common. In some cases, these injuries can cause long-term health problems or even fatalities.
Young people are at the center of this growing problem. As of 2018, the most oft-injured scooter riders were between the ages of 18 and 34.
Keep reading to learn the essential facts about scooters and scooter injuries, as well as what to do if you’ve been in a scooter accident.
1. Scooter Injuries Are on the Rise
According to a study conducted by the University of California San Francisco, the number of scooter-related injuries and hospital admissions in the U.S. increased by 222% percent between 2014 and 2018. During this period, there were nearly 40,000 injuries, increasing scooter-related hospital admissions by 365%.
Because of this increase in scooter injuries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began the first study of electric scooter accidents in March of 2019. Jeff Taylor, Manager of the Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit with Austin Public Health, is working with the CDC to conduct the study. According to Jeff, scooter accidents occur at all times of day and aren’t just caused by cars. In fact, most of these accidents occur when a rider loses their balance or hits a bump.
Additionally, of the 42 patients admitted to the University of San Diego Medical Center for scooter-related injuries over the past year, 98% were not wearing a helmet, 48% had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, and 52% tested positive for an illicit substance.
2. Scooter Riders Have High Traumatic Brain Injury Rates
When people experience mild scooter injuries, they may bruise their knees or cut their arms on the pavement when they fall. However, if the scooter injuries are more serious, riders could experience a traumatic brain injury. In fact, the UCSF study above reported that nearly one-third of scooter injury patients suffer head trauma — more than double the rate of head injuries that bicyclists suffer.
The rate of TBI is so high because most riders do not wear helmets, which lower the risks of a head injury, according to Nikan K. Namiri, a medical student at the UCSF School of Medicine working on the study. And since e-scooter companies lobby to avoid providing helmets for their customers, riders rarely wear them.
3. Scooter Crashes Are Underreported
According to the UCSF study, the authors wrote that the actual incidence of e-scooter trauma could be underestimated because cases with unclear scooter types were not included in the study. Further, many injured riders don’t go to the emergency room despite their injuries.
If you’ve experienced scooter injuries and are considering legal action to cover your medical costs and damages, keep reading to learn which steps to take to strengthen your case.
How to Strengthen Your Scooter Personal Injury Case
If you are involved in a scooter accident, you should take multiple pictures of the scene, your injuries, and your device. You should also ask witnesses for their contact information and keep them on hand. If a driver or other scooter rider hit you, you should gather their pertinent information and file a police report to use as evidence later.
You should also receive medical attention immediately after your scooter accident. Tell your doctor about any pain you’re experiencing and follow their medical advice to the letter. If symptoms flare up, be sure to seek further medical attention. Not only will this help mitigate your symptoms and ensure your future health, but the medical records will also provide a documented track record of your medical struggles as a result of the accident.
“According to a study conducted by the University of California San Francisco, the number of scooter-related injuries and hospital admissions in the U.S. increased by 222% percent between 2014 and 2018. During this period, there were nearly 40,000 injuries, increasing scooter-related hospital admissions by 365%.”
There may be multiple parties at fault for your scooter accident and injuries, including the e-scooter company or a negligent driver. For instance, maybe you were riding a defective scooter. Or, perhaps you were observing all the local laws on your scooter when a negligent driver hit you. It’s also possible that you were hit by a scooter rider while walking your dog when the rider inadvertently hit a pothole.
Regardless of the circumstances of your accident and injuries, you should contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling scooter claims to help you sort out the particulars of your case and determine the legal validity and potential compensation of your claim.
Contact Crosley Law for Help With Your Scooter Injury case
Crosley Law is a proven and trusted San Antonio-based personal injury firm who is at the cutting edge of scooter-related legislation. We work with scooter accident victims to ensure they get the compensation they deserve.
If you have been injured by a defective scooter or negligent driver, or if you were hit by a scooter rider resulting in injuries or damaged property, please contact us today by completing this brief form or calling 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.
Chiland, E. (2018, September 21). California removes helmet requirement for electronic scooters. Curbed, Los Angeles. Retrieved from https://la.curbed.com/2018/9/21/17884220/bird-lime-scooters-rules-helmets-california
Fernandez, E. (2020, January 8). Urban health scare: e-Scooters show alarming spike in injuries. UCSF. Retrieved from https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/01/416396/urban-health-scare-e-scooters-show-alarming-spike-injuries
Khorram, Y. (2019, March 8). The CDC is studying the rise in e-scooter injuries for the first time as start-ups expand to more cities. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/08/the-cdc-is-investigating-rise-in-e-scooter-injuries.html
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.