Are Scooters Safe or an Injury-In-the-Making?

man riding a scooterDepending on where you live and where you’ve traveled to, you may or may not be aware of the latest trend in city transportation: dockless scooters that are rented in 15-minute time increments with a simple scan from a smartphone. The two companies that are operating these businesses, Bird Rides, Inc. and Lime, have been generating a lot of buzz, and plenty of people have been enjoying the ability to grab a scooter and zip through a city rather than walking, taking a cab or Uber, or using public transportation. But along with the convenience that the scooters have provided there have been many complaints, and the question of whether scooters are safe or an injury-in-the making.


The scooters are being spoken of as a brilliant way to get around without the need to work up a sweat, find a parking space, or spend big bucks. Unfortunately, their dockless nature means that people simply leave them wherever they are when they’re done with them, and that has led to people literally tripping over them on sidewalks. Further, though the companies do advise riders to wear helmets and that they must be 18 or over to drive them, not all riders adhere to these rules. Now people are starting to wonder who is liable if somebody is hurt while riding a dockless scooter, as well as who is responsible if somebody trips over a scooter or is struck by one.


So far, there have been no personal injury cases filed against either Bird or Lime, but many personal injury attorneys believe that it is just a matter of time before a claim is made. Some people are operating the vehicles recklessly, yet there is an implicit understanding that if a rider causes an accident, they are likely to disappear long before they can be confronted. Some people have been injured falling off of a scooter, especially when brakes lock or they lose control, but in most cases, these cases have been settled long before claims are filed.


When riders download the scooter companies’ apps, they agree that they use the scooters at their own risk: Bird limits its own liability to $100 per ride. But this type of waiver doesn’t mean that the company can’t be sued for gross negligence. It remains to be seen when the first major lawsuit will be filed against one of these companies, or how such a case would be resolved, but if you or someone you love is injured by or on one of these scooters, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and the assistance and counsel we can provide.