Recently, more than 2400 electric scooters have taken over the streets of Tampa, Florida and more will arrive in St. Petersburg this fall. In welcoming this new mode of transportation, local government examined other e-scooter cities to help develop rules and regulate use. The city of Tampa lists that all riders are required to be at least 16 years old with a valid license. They must also follow all roadway laws, yield to pedestrians and not operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The city does not require helmets, but do recommend their use to help prevent injury. The rise of motorized scooter use has brought forth numerous concerns for rider, driver and pedestrian safety. Although we are still in the introductory stages of this new mode of transportation, our community has also already experienced its first fatal e-scooter accident.
In this video blog, Rob Roy of Kinney, Fernandez, Boire P.A. explains how lawmakers are attempting to regulate scooter use, the types of injuries individuals might sustain in an electric scooter accident, who can be sued in this type of accident and what to do if you are injured in an accident involving a scooter.
“What to do if you are in an electric scooter accident” Vlog Transcript:
(Rob Roy, Attorney): “So in recent weeks, 24 hundred electric scooters have taken over Tampa. Companies such as Lime, Spin, and Jump have been given license by the city of Tampa to provide these electric scooters and proponents of these scooters say they provide good options for people who need to get from place to place too far to walk, too short to drive and they’re fun. But with the sheer numbers of electric scooters that are now cruising around the city of Tampa, of course, some regulation needs to be put in place.”
TEXT: HOW DO LAWMAKERS REGULATE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS?
(Rob Roy, Attorney): “Cities have jumped on the electric scooter bandwagon. In the state of Florida, Miami, Fort Lauderdale led the charge and now Tampa’s on board. So we do have regulations in the city of Tampa with regard to the e-scooters. You’re not allowed to ride the e-scooter on the riverwalk or on the Bayshore sidewalk or on the sidewalk of Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. But because there are so many e-scooters around the city of Tampa now, there are legal issues that are arising with their use. So with the increase of e-scooters, we’ve certainly seen an increase of injuries related to their use.”
TEXT: INJURIES FROM SCOOTER ACCIDENTS
(Rob Roy, Attorney): “Hospitals across the country where e-scooters are in place are finding people coming in with broken bones, cuts, bruises, head injuries, concussions, even death. The fact is, these electric scooters can go fast. They can go up to 15 miles per hour. Helmets are not required. Helmets are not supplied by the companies. So in cities such as Tampa, government officials are monitoring their use and trying to develop proper rules and regulations to deal with the legal issues that arise with the use of these e-scooters. At KFB Law we are following along with this new and developing area of the law. At KFB Law, we have been looking into the legal issues involving these e-scooters.”
TEXT: WHO CAN BE SUED IN AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER ACCIDENT?
(Rob Roy, Attorney): “We’ve identified four different entities or people that may be responsible for any accidents involving an e-scooter. Certainly, the operator of an e-scooter itself has a responsibility to operate that scooter in a safe and careful manner. If an e-scooter operator causes an accident and injures somebody else, they can be held responsible for those damages. The cities that allow these e-scooters to operate also have a responsibility because sidewalks and roadways that are allowed to be in disrepair where e-scooters are operating, can increase the risk of injury to others. Motor vehicle operators now have a greater responsibility to pay attention to where they’re going and how they’re driving in areas where e-scooters are operating. So motor vehicle operators can have liability.
And last but not least, are the e-scooter companies themselves. They put these electric scooters on the roadway to make a profit. They have a responsibility to maintain the e-scooters, to use e-scooters that are safe and well designed, and to provide maintenance. If an e-scooter rider is injured as a result of disrepair, the company itself can be held responsible.”
TEXT: WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN AN E-SCOOTER ACCIDENT
(Rob Roy, Attorney): “So riding an electric scooter can be fun and there’s certainly no reason to avoid this activity if this is something that you are interested in doing. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and accidents typically happen because someone wasn’t paying attention, they were negligent, careless, or even reckless. If you are involved in an accident involving an e-scooter, treat it like a car accident. Make sure that you exchange information. Call the police. Call paramedics or the fire department if there has been an injury. Make sure you take photographs and get names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Document the incident as best you can and get the medical attention that you need right away. And after that, seek the advice of a qualified attorney in this area. For more information from us, contact us at KFBLaw.com.”