Lawsuits Filed Against E-Scooter Companies Bird and Lime
Since they first began to hit U.S. city streets about a year ago, electric scooters have continued to increase in popularity and recognition. With that recognition has come a cost, however, as injured plaintiffs come forward to file lawsuits against the major scooter companies, Bird and Lime.
Although the scooter companies require riders to sign a waiver releasing them from liability, it’s still possible to hold them accountable for injuries if you are hurt in a crash. At Habbas & Associates, our personal injury lawyers can help you file a claim in the appropriate channels – and seek compensation for your losses.
But first, here are some things you should know about the lawsuits filed against Bird, Lime, Uber, and other e-scooter companies.
What Are the Risks of Using Electric Scooters?
Easy to rent and use, electric scooters have been touted as “micromobility” vehicles that will save both the environment and consumers’ wallets. Each ride only costs a few dollars at most, and the scooters can carry riders across multiple miles at once, saving them from hailing a ridesharing service or a costly taxi cab.
Unfortunately, because of their vulnerability to the elements, electric scooters have also sent hundreds of people to the emergency room in the last year alone. This is partly because riders do not wear helmets: An extensive study at UCLA found that only 4.4% of all scooter riders admitted to emergency rooms were wearing a helmet at the time of collision. Even more troubling is a June 2019 survey conducted by Consumer Reports, which uncovered that 1 in 4 scooter riders don’t know which laws they should obey – and have not done any research for their local jurisdiction.
Here are just a few of the most common injuries reported because of electric scooter crashes:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Sprained wrists and ankles
- Bruises, cuts, and lacerations
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle strains and tissue injuries
Aside from hurting riders, drivers, and pedestrians in crashes, electric scooters can also cause injuries without moving an inch. Because of the rental business model employed by Bird and Lime, riders can simply drop their scooters anywhere on the sidewalk once they’re finished with the ride. Thistrip and fall hazard has posed such a severe risk in San Francisco – one of the birthplaces of electric scootering – that officials briefly banned scooters in May.
What Lawsuits Have Been Filed?
To date, most of the lawsuits that have been filed against Bird and Lime have centered on the concept of product liability, both for defective products and for false advertising. Holding that the biggest e-scooter firms had committed “gross negligence” and “aided and abetted assault,” eight injured California plaintiffs filed a class action against these companies in October 2018.
Ultimately, the fate of this class action will depend on whether the presiding judge agrees that there are core design defects in these products and that they lacked sufficient instructions to operate. The plaintiffs also allege that the core business model used by Bird, Lime, Segway, and others makes it all too easy for people to be injured.
Suing E-Scooter Companies: Class Action or Individual Claims?
Whether you’re injured while riding an electric scooter or walking down the street as an unwary pedestrian, your electric scooter crash injuries may cost a significant sum in medical expenses and other fees. So where exactly can you turn for compensation if you’re involved in a scooter crash? After all, the companies force riders to release all liability.
It comes down to the nature of your accident and your injuries. If your electric scooter malfunctioned, for example, you may be able to join up with a class action lawsuit and argue that the company’s products are defective or poorly maintained. If you would prefer to file an individual claim for compensation, however, you may only be able to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the responsible party for your crash.
How Can I Seek Compensation After a Crash?
Filing a claim for an electric scooter vehicle is complicated and requires a deep understanding of local laws, ordinances, and traffic rules. At Habbas & Associates, our team can help you pursue justice. Combining 175 years of experience with a strong knowledge of legal trends, our experienced lawyers can create a winning case strategy after your losses.
Call (888) 387-4053 for more information.