Electric rental scooters offer a convenient way to get around Kansas City. They are particularly useful when it comes to completing the last leg of a trip. While there are a number of positives regarding e-scooters, there are the negatives as well—the most pressing of which includes accidents. If you’ve been in a rideshare scooter crash, a Kansas City electric rental scooter accident lawyer can explain your legal rights and options to you.
Electric Rental Scooters in Kansas City
In 2019, Kansas City, MO created a scooter and e-bike pilot program. In the first year, Kansas City residents rode 374,154 trips, equating to 408,610 miles. River Market, Downtown, Crossroads, Plaza, and UMKC Campus were the most popular ridership corridors.
This program was created as an innovative way to provide new modes of transportation to people in the city. On May 1, 2020, Kansas City extended its micromobility pilot program with Bird, RideKC Bike & Scooter, and Spin. The city believes the program has provided an important transportation mode for residents and visitors.
In order to keep scooter users, pedestrians, and drivers safe, the city has implemented the following laws and safety tips:
- People should ride e-scooters in the streets or in bike lanes.
- Riding electric rental scooters, which are classified as motorized vehicles, on sidewalks is in violation of KCMO ordinance 70-253.
- The use of helmets is encouraged.
- Rentals cannot be parked where they block access to sidewalks or building entrances. Instead, vehicles should be parked near existing bike racks or in micromobility hubs, where available.
Even with those laws and safety guidelines, e-scooter accidents are still possible. Over the course of the first year of the pilot program, Spin reported nine crashes and injuries. Bird reported six crashes and 49 injuries. Let’s take a look at the different types of wrecks that happen.
Types of E-Scooter Accidents
There are a variety of ways an e-scooter ride can go wrong—particularly when someone is being negligent. While accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, especially in areas with heavy vehicle or pedestrian traffic, most crashes fall into one of two categories: scooter versus pedestrian and scooter versus car.
E-Scooters and Pedestrians
When a company like Bird or Lime brings its business model to a city, they typically start by dropping off hundreds of e-scooters. Local regulators and the general public are left to figure out how to safely use them. With how new rental scooters are to most areas, riders may only have a vague understanding of the local rules of the road for the vehicles and they may not be fully informed on how to operate the scooter as safely as possible.
Whether a pedestrian is walking on a sidewalk or coming out of a building, a negligent electric scooter rider could hit them. If they do, both parties are likely to sustain injuries. Broken bones, lacerations, contusions, and head injuries are among the most common. While the majority of scooter accident victims are able to recover over time, some accidents result in fatal injuries.
E-Scooters and Cars
Drivers are supposed to be aware of their surroundings at all times. When a driver is distracted or simply disregarding the rules of the road, they are at risk of causing an accident. In the event a passenger vehicle or larger truck strikes an e-scooter rider, it’s likely the rider will sustain serious injuries. If, however, the e-scooter rider was acting negligently when they ran into a vehicle, it’s likely the vehicle owner should be compensated for any property damage.
Whether you were riding an e-scooter at the time of your accident, or you were hit by one, it’s important to understand your rights and what you may be entitled to in regard to compensation for your injuries and any other losses. Let’s take a look at the process of filing an e-scooter accident claim.
Legal Options for Rental Scooter Accident Victims
Whether you were riding a scooter and were injured, or were injured by an e-scooter rider, it’s important to understand what you need to do to protect yourself and your future. Immediately following any accident, assess the situation. Make note of any injuries you can see or feel. You’ll need to seek medical attention as soon as possible, so your injuries are diagnosed and treated.
If you can, take photos at the scene of the accident. Your lawyer can use those later to help prove your claim. You’ll likely speak with a police officer who will file an official incident report. Take care to not apologize or speculate. Only discuss what you know to be true.
In order to pay for your medical bills and any time you need to take off work to recover, you’ll need to get the opposing party’s insurance company involved. While you can handle claims without the guidance of an attorney, this is not advisable. Insurance adjusters are focused on protecting their company’s bottom line, so you could receive less than you deserve.
Instead, work with a Kansas City lawyer who can build a strong case that proves you were wronged. Then, you’ll be on your way to receive the compensation you need to get your life back in order.
Learn More From Thomas Law Offices
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a scooter crash, you’ll benefit from seeking legal guidance from a Kansas City electric rental scooter accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices. Our law firm has experience helping clients handle accident claims, and we’re prepared to take your case on next.
While proving negligence for an e-scooter accident isn’t always easy, our attorneys have access to the knowledge and resources needed to build a strong claim on your behalf. Once we’ve done so, we can begin the process of negotiating a full and fair settlement to cover your economic and noneconomic losses. In the event settling isn’t possible, we’ll take your case before a judge and jury to get an official verdict.
We understand the idea of pursuing a legal claim while you’re trying to recover physically and mentally from your accident can be daunting. That’s why when you work with Thomas Law Offices, we’ll handle your legal claim while keeping you informed the entire time. To learn more about the process or the benefits of filing, contact us today.