Chicago Personal Injury Blog

E-Scooters May be More Dangerous: Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Gross Negligence

E-Scooters can be dangerous

Don’t let a ride around the park on an e-scooter put you at risk for serious injury. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. before you ride to learn your rights. We will help you with a personal injury claim to recover compensation based on product liability law after an e-scooter accident. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form.

Defective E-Scooters Blamed for Injuries

The pressure to go green and the need for better ways around town have influenced the boom of shared transportation programs. However, some people are seeing red due to the dangers of one program: e-scooters. A recent class-action lawsuit claims that e-scooters are dangerous, accusing two companies, Bird and Lime, of activities that demonstrate gross negligence and supporting assault. The lawsuit states that Bird and Lime were aware of the dangers of e-scooters and the injuries caused by riders using the devices – from collisions to injuries resulting from defective devices. Class members include both riders and pedestrians harmed in scooter related accidents.

More Scooters Comes More Injuries

Since the launch of e-scooters, safety concerns are steadily rising – along with the number of injury victims. Nationwide data on e-scooter incidents is not available yet, but medical professionals state more victims are entering the ER due to e-scooters. Unfortunately, it’s not a smooth ride out of triage, with victims suffering injuries like those resulting from a car accident. People commonly mistake the scooters as safer devices, but doctors state that the max speeds of 15 to 20 mph are fast enough to cause serious brain damage. Injury examples include:

  • A California rider incurred a concussion, severe lacerations, and a broken nose after his scooter hit a bump on the road and threw him into the pavement.
  • Gravel burns and swelling to a rider’s legs when a scooter slid out from under her body upon acceleration.
  • A fatal collision in Washington D.C., when an SUV struck a rider and pinned him under the vehicle.
  • A Santa Monica rider was unable to stop her scooter in time, forcing her to swerve and crash to avoid colliding with a toddler. The rider was forced to have pins and plates inserted in her arm.
  • A rider who collided into a mother and her young son walking down a sidewalk at UCLA. The rider fled the scene, leaving the mother temporarily unconscious.

Scoot Over Safety

E-scooter companies Lime and Bird have made several public claims that safety is their top concern, but the user experience, device upkeep, and lobbying say otherwise. Bird claims that no evidence exists to show that e-scooters are more dangerous than riding a bike, but research shows that the device construction does not support a stable base needed for traversing various terrains or reacting to sudden obstacles.

Scooter mechanics for both Lime and Bird are not certified, and these regular “techs” do not require certification to begin work. In fact, former and current mechanics state that they are trained to repair the e-scooters by watching a series of YouTube videos. Further, one mechanic stated that techs are pressured to complete as many repairs as possible, though proper replacement parts may be on backorder. The faulty fleets are recognized in the class-action lawsuit against Bird and Lime, stating that their devices are not fit for repeated public use.

Lime released a statement that the company takes steps to relay safety information wherever their devices are used, but riders claim otherwise. The training required to ride an e-scooter consist of illusory one-time warnings about rider safety and unenforced rider rules. Riders are told to wear helmets and respect local laws and watch optional instructional videos, but the companies know that these warnings are often ignored. In fact, Bird supported a bill in California getting rid of helmet laws, increasing e-scooter speeds, and allowing riders to use the devices on the sidewalk. Doctors claim that many of the increased scooter related injuries they witness are directly connected to the risky behaviors that the bill would allow.

The Rocky Road to Recovery

Riders and collision victims are in for a rough ride when they try to recover from scooter companies for damages. Bird and Lime user agreements are long, complicated terms of service that require riders to not hold the companies liable for e-scooter injuries. Lime also includes terms that require a rider to acknowledge that the e-scooter can malfunction and cause injury. Finally, the user agreements bind riders to arbitration instead of lawsuit options – restricting the rider’s ability to claim recovery and complicating the legal process.

Prior claims against Lime and Bird for e-scooter injuries resulted in frustrated victims and a lack of response from the companies – including refusal to reveal the identity of riders involved in hit-and-run collisions. Most insurance companies refuse to cover an e-scooter accident, so victims are left helpless to pay hefty medical bills. The class-action lawsuit calls for the e-scooter companies to create more balanced user agreements and include adequate safety warnings.

Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

Have you been injured in an e-scooter related accident? Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. immediately. Our committed and experienced attorneys are available for a free consultation to get the help you need. Call us at (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form.