Who Is Liable in an E-Scooter Accident?
Electric scooters (e-scooters) have exploded in popularity in Boston with the introduction of rentable dockless e-scooter companies such as Bird and Lime. Yet many riders severely overestimate the safety of these vehicles. Hundreds of e-scooter accidents have injured and killed victims in the last few years alone. If you get into an e-scooter accident, you or a lawyer may need to determine and prove liability to recover fair compensation.
Who Is Liable for an E-Scooter Accident?
The most recent statistics from Consumer Reports state that since fall 2017 alone, 8 people have died and at least 1,500 others have injuries from e-scooter accidents in the U.S. Electric scooter accidents are almost always preventable. They occur most often when someone neglects his or her duties of care, making careless mistakes that put scooter riders at risk. You may need to prove someone else’s liability for your e-scooter accident if you have grounds to file outside of Massachusetts’ no-fault insurance system.
- A motor vehicle driver. Drivers cause many e-scooter accidents through distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, driving drowsy and reckless driving. Speeding, running red lights and driving too closely to e-scooter riders could all lead to devastating and preventable accidents.
- The e-scooter company or manufacturer. An e-scooter manufacturer may be liable if a defective scooter part or software system caused the accident. The e-scooter rental company could also be liable if it contributed to the accident, such as by failing to properly maintain and repair its rentable scooters.
- The city. If an e-scooter accident happens due to a roadway defect in Boston, such as a pothole, debris in the road, a dangerous construction detour or a malfunctioning traffic light, the City of Boston may be liable for damages.
Under the no-fault law, you will only need to establish liability if you have grounds to file a lawsuit. This could be the case if the crash gave you serious, permanent or disabling injuries. For more minor accidents, you can recover compensation from your own auto insurance provider without proving fault, even if you did not cause the accident and were operating an e-scooter – not your insured vehicle – at the time of the wreck.
Evidence to Use When Establishing Liability
During a personal injury claim, the courts impose the burden of proof on the plaintiff or injured party. The burden of proof is a requirement to prove based on a preponderance of evidence that what you are claiming is more likely to be true than not true. You or your lawyer must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent and that this negligence caused your e-scooter accident and related damages. You must do this using clear and convincing evidence.
- Photographs from the scene of the accident
- Video or surveillance footage
- Police reports and traffic citations
- Eyewitness accounts
- E-scooter accident expert testimony
- Accident reconstruction
An e-scooter accident lawyer can investigate your claim while important evidence is still available. Your lawyer can preserve and gather evidence, as well as craft a claim in a way to present it clearly to a judge or jury. If your attorney wins your e-scooter accident case, you could recover important compensation for many damages.
What Can You Claim in an E-Scooter Accident Case?
It is important to work with an attorney to bring your e-scooter accident case in Boston if you have serious injuries. Your future could be at stake if you have expensive medical bills, lost wages or permanent disability. A Boston personal injury lawyer can help you write a demand letter that claims the full and total value of all your e-scooter accident damages.
- Past and future hospital bills
- The costs associated with a disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Legal expenses
- Punitive damages
Punitive damages come in addition to compensatory ones in some personal injury cases in Boston. A judge may award punitive damages if he or she believes you deserve it due to a defendant’s gross negligence, wanton disregard for others, fraud, intent to harm or malice. Discuss what your case could be worth with an e-scooter accident lawyer near you.