When you go outdoors in Houston, you can’t miss the number of people cruising around the city on electric scooters. Since e-scooter rentals were introduced to select cities around the country, they’ve grown increasingly popular. More people are choosing them over their vehicles to travel short distances.
E-scooters are a relatively new phenomenon that is spreading quickly in popularity. Because they are new, many people are unaware of how easily accidents can happen. It only takes one wrong move for an e-scooter accident to occur that can leave the rider, a pedestrian, or driver with painful injuries.
What are E-Scooters?
Electric scooters are battery-packed, rideable technology that allows for efficiency when traveling in short distances. E-scooters can go up to 15 miles per hour and up to 25 miles, depending on usage. Dockless scooters became popular with companies like Bird Rides and LimeBike came on the scene providing rental or purchase options.
What Laws Does Houston Have For E-Scooters?
Since e-scooters have become widespread in Houston and other local cities, statewide regulations were created to exercise safety. According to the Texas Transportation Code Section 551.352, electric scooter regulations include:
- E-scooters may not exceed 35 miles per hour, nor can they be on roads with higher limits
- Counties and municipalities have the right to ban the use of electric scooters on sidewalks or streets to keep the public safe
- In most cases, e-scooters can be used on bicycle paths
- E-scooter riders have the right to cross a roadway even when the speed limit is above 35mph
Many electric scooter accidents in Houston occur at an intersection where cars operate at much higher speeds than the scooters. As such, these high-speed crashes tend to cause severe damage.
Types of e-Scooter Accidents
There are a myriad of ways a person can become injured while riding on an e-scooter or being near someone riding an e-scooter in Houston. Some of the most common types of accidents involving e-scooters are described below:
Unsafe or Inappropriate Use of e-Scooters
- Unsupervised or young children riding on e-scooters
- People trying to ride more than one e-scooter at once
- Using e-scooters on sidewalks or streets devoid of bike lanes
- More than one person riding on an e-scooter at once
- Riding e-scooters in areas not designated for usage
Faulty e-Scooter Equipment
- Unexpected battery failure in the middle of a ride
- Flat tire or tires while riding
- Brake failure
- Throttle stuck on full or accelerated speed
- E-scooter baseboard breaking
- Detached or loose handlebars
Other Riders, Motorists, or Pedestrians
- A pedestrian may be hit by an e-scooter or fall trying to avoid being
- E-scooter riders may swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting other riders
- Motorists may hit a person riding on an e-scooter or pedestrians to avoid hitting another scooter
Improper Parking of e-Scooters
- E-scooters parked in an accessible or handicap spot or ramp
- E-scooters left in the middle of sidewalks and roads’
- E-scooters left in front of business entrances and exits
Common Injuries that Result from e-Scooter Accidents in Houston
There is a wide range of injuries that result from an accident involving an e-scooter in Houston. Minor injuries include cuts, bruises, and sprains, while more severe injuries include broken bones, herniated discs, and traumatic brain injuries.
Who is Liable for Damages in an e-Scooter Accident?
If you were involved in an e-scooter accident in Houston, you are likely wondering who is liable for the injuries caused. Determining fault depends on the type of accident and who created it. Generally, three main parties may be held accountable for the damages you’ve sustained since your e-scooter accident occurred: the scooter rider, the motorist, or the e-scooter company.
The E-Scooter Rider
While e-scooters are not allowed on sidewalks, not all riders are aware of the restrictions. Many riders are operating in immediate proximity to pedestrians and other riders. If you’re hit by an e-scooter rider and suffer injuries due to the accident, the rider or insurance company will likely be liable for damages.
Other People On the Road
E-scooters are allowed to ride in bicycle lanes along many Houston streets. If e-scooter riders are operating in a bike lane surrounded by other motorists, it is easy for an accident to occur on the road because the other vehicles on the road travel at much higher speeds. A collision with a scooter could be devastating. If the driver is found to be at fault, their auto insurance policy will cover the damages.
The E-Scooter Company
If a malfunction caused your accident in the e-scooter, the e-scooter company that provided them may be held responsible for your injury claim and damages.
What Compensation Might Injured Victims Receive After an e-Scooter Accident?
If you’ve been injured in an e-scooter accident in Houston, you may be eligible for two types of damages:
Economic damages include any financial costs linked directly to your injury that the accident caused that can be accounted for, including:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of future medical treatment
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future earnings
- Property damage
Non-economic damages cannot be considered based on receipts. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering or psychological harm, such as post-traumatic stress disorder that you may sustain after an accident.
Contact Houston e-Scooter Accident Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love were hurt while riding an e-scooter or were injured by someone else riding an e-scooter, the personal injury attorneys at Sutliff & Stout can help. Whether the accident was caused due to malfunctioning equipment on the e-scooter or another party’s carelessness, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries.
Board-certified personal injury lawyers at Sutliff & Stout have vast experience handling cases involving e-scooters and are dedicated to helping clients in Houston recover favorable and maximum compensation for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with a Sutliff & Stout attorney today, complete a contact form online or call (713)-987-7111.