Boston Electric Scooter Accident Lawyers
Dockless electric scooters have appeared on Boston city sidewalks almost overnight. With many cities across America seeing an influx of these rental scooters, these miniaturized motorbikes are ushering in what tech scholars are dubbing a “micro-mobility revolution.”
Unfortunately, with the explosion in popularity of these small vehicles comes an increased risk of accidents for riders, pedestrians, and motorists alike. If you have been hurt in a dockless scooter accident that was not your fault, you should not have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Bird and Lime, two prominent dockless electric scooter companies in Boston, are rapidly expanding and are adding more of these vehicles to city streets. If you were severely hurt in an electric scooter wreck in Boston or anywhere in Massachusetts, contact Crowe & Harris, LLP immediately at (617) 404-3417 or fill out a contact form to schedule your no-cost consultation with an experienced lawyer.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Massachusetts law is incredibly complex when it comes to electric scooters. Although widely used in many cities statewide, state law dictates that all motorized scooters must have turn signals and tail lights to be deemed “street legal,” although hand signals are legal methods of making turns. Lime and Bird dockless electric scooters have one headlamp, and that’s it. With this rule, electronic scooter injury claims can be complex.
Another component of injury cases where complexities often arise is fault. All accidents require elements of causation, breach of duty, an established duty to care, and damages. Claims lacking one or more elements will require investigation to fill in gaps; this is an often tedious process many injury victims aren’t willing or able to undertake.
It takes an exceptional amount of effort and understanding of state, county, and local laws to substantiate electric scooter accident claims. Failing to prove fault, or any violation of tort law, will jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation. Lawyers, on the other hand, understand the process, since many have worked personal injury claims for years.
Why Choose Crowe & Harris, LLP ?
With over $500 million collected for victims of personal injury accidents, our reputation for providing superior legal representation is exceeded only by our commitment to seeking justice for the injured. We believe that injured people deserve compensation for losses beyond their control, and stop at nothing in collecting what’s rightfully owed.
Crowe & Harris, LLP staffs some of Boston's finest attorneys who continuously demonstrate their ability to uphold their clients’ rights to civil action against negligent parties. Our team of skilled nurses offers another dimension to our legal services, and our hard-working paralegals, legal assistants, and general office staff allow our firm to be an incredible force in electric scooter accident cases.
Every case we try is treated like it’s our only case. And if there are questions for our attorneys or nursing staff, we’ll treat them with the significance they deserve.
Dockless Scooter Accident Claims
Unlocked by app and costing fifteen cents per minute, dockless scooters are designed to minimize the congestion of heavy automobile traffic. Unfortunately, accidents are happening more pervasively and frequently than their planned expansion to other cities. Scooter accident claims follow Massachusetts personal injury tort laws since they’re litigated in largely the same manner as other negligence-based accidents.
You’ll find the most common causes of electric scooter accidents include:
- Manufacturer defects;
- Mechanical flaws;
- Passenger cars not obeying traffic laws;
- Drivers who are distracted, intoxicated, or otherwise reckless;
- Potholes and other issues not attended to by city maintenance;
- Parked drivers hitting scooters with doors;
- City buses hitting scooters they can’t see;
- Commercial drivers attempting to speed through congested traffic;
- Intentional torts (during a crime).
Although not exclusive, this brief list includes the more common ways electric scooter operators are finding themselves injured.
Scooter Company Liability – How Does It Work?
Much like holding automotive manufacturers and trucking companies accountable for causing accidents, scooter company liability requires investigative efforts to uncover who builds the scooter, where the parts come from, where assembly took place and more. With tech startups like Lime and Bird, finding who built or manufactured dockless scooters may take time.
Once found, getting to the source of malfunction or shoddy craftsmanship is much easier since each manufacturer will have lists of OEM parts that were used in the production of the scooter. Holding the appropriate company accountable from there requires our firm to follow standard personal injury protocol.
When it comes to insurance claims for accidents involving Lime or Bird scooters, it gets even more complex. For one, prior to unlocking an electric scooter from your app, you agree to legal disclosures by tapping “I Agree.” In the fine print, Lime and Bird are asking renters to ride at their own risk. In English, their disclosure means they’re not insuring your use of their equipment. This means:
- The party responsible for your accident will need to cooperate with an injured person’s attorney so they’re able to hold that insurer accountable; or
- Lime and Bird attempts to limit their liability to physical product defect and not operator performance; or
- Relying on your personal liability umbrella policy (PLUP) may be necessary since many personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage for vehicles with fewer than four wheels; or
- You’ll need to rely on an intelligent law firm to hold the appropriate party and/or policy accountable to injuries you sustain while riding rented equipment.
Some cities may require dockless electric scooter companies to obtain licenses to operate an enterprise within city limits. In many licensing agreements, those companies may be required to carry liability insurance. Checking with your county or city code enforcement office to see if Lime and Bird have such insurance may be helpful.
Compensation for Dockless Scooter Accidents
Injuries sustained by another’s reckless actions, even while riding a rented dockless electric scooter, will follow Massachusetts tort laws found in the state’s statutes. It’s important to note that victims are given three years to file their personal injury claim; if the government caused your injury, you’re given two years to file notice of claim and three years to file suit.
When it’s time to file your claim, our attorneys will reconstruct your accident to determine which party could be at fault; in some cases, there are several at-fault parties. Once determinations are made, we’ll move forward with filing your claim in court.
With the case filed, we’ll begin negotiations based off the severity of injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and potential inability to earn wages at the same capacity in the future. These discussions will take place with all parties involved. Should they accept our proposed settlement, an agreement is forged and presented to you for approval or denial. Many times the settlement offers Crowe & Harris, LLP brings to their clients are respectable and require little adjustment thereafter. However, if insurers, the scooter company, manufacturer, or other at-fault party are uncooperative, we’ll prepare for trial.
Comparative Fault Rule
Massachusetts law stipulates that any victim with partial fault in their accident will have their settlements reduced by the total percentage of fault the judge, jury, or obvious evidence deems appropriate. For example, if you’re owed $50,000 for your electric scooter accident, but were 20% responsible for your injuries, you would receive $40,000 ($50,000 x .20). If an injured person is more than 50% responsible, the right to receive compensation is eliminated.
Another law that affects Massachusetts injury claims is damage caps. Most personal injury claims are uncapped unless it stems from medical malpractice, which is capped at $500,000 for noneconomic losses (which can be nullified by showing cause) such as pain and suffering or emotional damages.
Once all factors are applied to your claim, an agreement is forged, signed by you, and sent back to the at-fault party or insurer, Crowe & Harris, LLP will notify you when your check is ready for disbursement. In cases that are ruled favorably by jury, your attorney will notify you when the at-fault party has satisfied judgment.
We Offer Effective Litigation of Electric Scooter Accidents
Although dockless electronic scooter technology is new, our vigorous style of personal injury representation isn’t. Our team will work every angle of your personal injury claim to assure the unwarranted physical anguish you endured while innocently riding your rented scooter is made right.
Deciding who will represent you when you are injured is an undoubtedly difficult decision you hoped you’d never have to make. Now that you need compensation for an accident you didn’t cause, put an experienced firm with over $500 million in negotiated settlements to work for you. Clients who retain us are charged nothing until their case settles.
Crowe & Harris, LLP offers free consultations for electric scooter injuries. Call (617) 404-3417 to schedule yours today.