Possibly one of the most frustrating developments in recent years is the presence of e-scooters throughout many major cities. Most of these companies launched their scooter services with little collaboration or even permission from the city or town. And cities nationwide immediately saw a spike in personal injury claims, injuries caused by an e-scooter rider, and vehicle accidents involving pedestrians/riders. Why?
Why are e-Scooters in Cleveland?
Previously Bird scooters popped up all over Cleveland in a fly-by-night attempt to evade issues with city regulations. Then Cleveland, unlike many other cities plagued by e-Scooters, stood up and told Bird to get out. Bird complied and pulled out their 100 e-Scooters and then began to work with the city to establish rules and policies that would help ensure public safety.
Now, as of June 2019, the e-Scooters are back but only in select areas. Mostly in the downtown region, and University square. That makes it all the more likely that any crash involving a scooter will be at low enough speeds to avoid death. However, even a slow-speed crash for a e-scooter rider not even wearing a helmet can lead to serious injury, which has lead to many drivers injuring themselves or wrecking their vehicles to avoid hitting what is essentially a fast-moving pedestrian.
What are the Requirements to Operate an e-Scooter?
There are none essentially. All you need to do to access one of these scooters and begin traveling at about 15 miles an hour is a smartphone and a form of payment. That means that teenagers, drunk people, and those who act recklessly can zip around the streets and sidewalks wreaking havoc.
While you’ve spent time and energy learning the rules of the road and abiding by them, these e-scooter riders often do as they please. Although you sustained injuries and property damage, many vehicle drivers have a hard time proving that the e-scooter rider was at-fault. There are a reasons for this, but the biggest one is that people associate the size with fault.
e-Scooters are small, and many people believe that any accident must be the cause of the big vehicle driver. But again, the most common issue that drivers are having is injuries caused by avoiding scooter riders, not from hitting them. Often, the drivers will hit another vehicle, pole, or curb to avoid an e-scooter rider that darts in front of them.
Handling a Crash with an e-Scooter Rider
If you hit another vehicle, then you have an additional element to your normal claims process. After the crash, you’ll want to get the information from the scooter rider, although they may be reluctant, especially if they realize that they caused a crash. Fortunately for the rider, there is little you can do in terms of pursuing compensation from them. You can attempt to communicate that in exchange for their contact information and a quick snap of their scooter’s app to show that it was active at the time of the crash.
Second, it’s important to note that Ohio is a fault-based state that requires one of the drivers to be responsible. Many insurance companies aren’t sure how to handle cases that involve these scooters, because the rider is not a pedestrian, however, they’re not on a motor vehicle or a vehicle that gives them any right to the road.
You could argue with the help of an attorney that the rider should not have been on the road at all, much less, in front of your car. You can also argue that your attempt to avoid the rider was an attempt to act as safely as possible and prevent serious injury or even death to the rider. This whole topic is very touchy at the moment, and it’s best to involve an Ohio car wreck attorney.
Getting an Ohio Accident Attorney Involved
If you swerved to avoid an e-scooter, then it’s likely that you won’t have much ground to pursue compensation. In fact, you may even have a hard time showing that the e-scooter was why you swerved. It’s an issue that is new to both the insurance world and drivers. With help from Ohio Car Accident Lawyers of Cleveland, OH, you can work to prove to the involved insurance companies that the crash was not your fault. That you are the victim of an accident caused because of a scooter rider acting in a reckless or negligent way. They can also help you identify who you should pursue compensation from and how to start your recovery. Contact Ohio Car Accident Lawyers today.