Personal Injury Lawyer
Skip scooters are yet another entrant into the burgeoning electric scooter market sweeping across cities in the United States. In contrast to several other brands, Skip scooters are lighter and, in some cases, faster. Most cities require electric scooter companies to software-limit the scooters to fifteen miles per hour, but software glitches can cause this maximum speed to increase to 20 miles per hour. As a personal injury lawyer from a firm like MartinWren, P.C. can explain, moving at higher speeds means more risk of an accident and more serious injuries.
In June 2019, Skip scooters made headlines when several of their e-scooters burst into flames, seemingly spontaneously. Electric scooters use dense lithium-ion batteries which are typically charged each night by independent agents. These batteries must hold a tremendous amount of energy in order to run a scooter for hours the following day. Speculation that Skip scooters used cheaper battery sources seemed to be confirmed when the batteries caught on fire.
Although no injuries were yet reported in connection to Skip scooter fires, these aren’t the only hazards associated with electric scooters. Skip scooter lawyers have seen numerous other e-scooter accidents caused when the structural integrity of the scooter fails during the ride. The vertical post which connects the handlebar to the base of the scooter can become worn and fragile, and if it fails, it can send a driver flying over the handlebars, causing serious injuries.
Accidents can also be caused by other defects, like worn tires, broken brakes, or cracked handlebars. Most electric scooter companies include a waiver of injuries in their terms and conditions, but this likely does not absolve them of responsibility if the scooter itself fails. For example, another rider may have previously crashed a scooter, which resulted in structural damage that would not become evident until a later rider hit uneven pavement or leaned too hard on the fragile structure. It is the responsibility of these companies to inspect their vehicles regularly in order to prevent these accidents.
Riders themselves are not the only ones who can be injured when an electric scooter malfunctions or breaks. Because many jurisdictions allow e-scooters on public sidewalks, a sudden structural failure could cause a rider to impact other pedestrians, sometimes at high speed. In these situations, the pedestrian also has a potential cause of action against the scooter company and should consult a personal injury lawyer to make sure their rights are protected. If the accident really was the result of Skip’s negligence, rather than any fault of the rider, both parties may be able to speak to the same lawyer, greatly reducing expenses and helping to hold the company accountable.