Electric scooters are set to invade New Orleans, just as they have in almost every other big city. If you haven't seen one, think of an adult sized razor scooter powered by an electric motor. The City Council is poised to approve a proposal that would see them placed around the city just like the now ubiquitous blue city bikes, and available to be rented from various companies for a nominal amount based on the length of use.
Proponents have hailed them as way to cut down on traffic and congestion in metro areas, while providing riders a cheap and efficient way to get across town. But its not all sunshine and rainbows. These scooters travel in excess of 15 miles per hour, and some early adopting cities have reported increases in ER visits related to scooter use of up to 161 %.
Those are scary numbers, and that's before we take into account New Orleans' streets and drivers. What's more, because the rider does not have a vehicle around them to protect themselves, the injuries are often more serious.
Our firm has already begun to field questions about scooter injuries from our clients. Scooters accidents raise a number of difficult questions that require experienced lawyers to address if someone is injured while using an electric scooter. Are they considered a motor vehicle? Can I hold the scooter company liable? Will my own car insurance cover me for an accident? Do I need to call the police and report the accident?
Just as with any accident, the answers to all of those questions are, it depends on the specific facts of your accident. But generally, you should treat a scooter accident just as you would any other accident. If you have a scooter accident you should always report it to the appropriate authority, you should take pictures, and get the names of any witness, and report it to your and the other individual's insurance company, and most importantly, if you are injured seek medical attention. If you or someone you know has questions about a scooter accident, do not hesitate to give us a call. It's free, and we can make sure that your rights are protected.
- Chris M. Short is an associate at Kiefer & Kiefer.
This is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.