Baltimore Scooter Accident Lawyer
Scooters offer riders a cheap and convenient way to get around town. They are gaining popularity across numerous demographics, but college students find them especially appealing. You have likely seen those electric scooters on Baltimore roads more than a few times.
Unfortunately, scooter accidents have also become more prevalent in recent years. In the wake of your crash, do not forget to enlist the help of a Baltimore scooter accident lawyer. Learn more about electric scooters, the laws that govern them, and the accidents they are typically involved in by continuing with the rest of this article.
What Exactly Is an Electric Scooter?
Before we go any further, let’s first take a few moments to define what electric scooters are. You may already be familiar with the regular or kick scooters that kids use. An electric scooter is similar to a kick scooter, but the former has some notable additions. The biggest difference between kick and electric scooters is that the latter are battery-powered. Therefore, you can operate them using the provided throttles. However, these electric scooters are difficult to move around manually, so you may be unable to use one if its battery runs out.
Electric scooters were among the dockless vehicles approved for legal use by the Baltimore City Council in 2019. They are also available to the public for rent. The electric scooters available for rent have GPS devices for easy tracking, and users can also park them in numerous locations.
Companies that currently offer electric scooters for rent in Baltimore include Bird, LINK, and Spin. Lime, one of the first providers of electric scooters in Baltimore, currently has no permit to operate in the city.
Do Accidents Involving Scooters Occur Often?
The possibility that you may need a scooter accident attorney is not zero. Like every other vehicle on the road, electric scooters also result in accidents occasionally. According to this article from House Grail, around twenty people for every 100,000 using electric scooters receive injuries. The article also notes that around half of all electric scooter injuries are serious.
Electric scooter users are more susceptible to certain types of injuries. This study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that distal lower extremity injuries are more common among electric scooter enthusiasts. On top of that, the study also reveals riders are more likely to experience concussions accompanied by loss of consciousness.
There are also important things to point out involving electric scooters and other vehicles. Electric scooter crashes are less likely to involve moving vehicles than bicycle accidents. However, around 80% of the electric scooter accidents that produce fatalities involve cars. Accidents involving electric scooters do happen, and they can have dire consequences. If you or someone you know was recently involved in that type of incident, do not hesitate to contact an e-scooter accident lawyer in Baltimore.
How Do These Injuries and Accidents Happen?
You are probably not surprised to learn that electric scooters also get involved in accidents. But what are the common causes of those unfortunate incidents? Let’s discuss them further in this section of the article.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is among the leading causes of electric scooter accidents. However, using an electric scooter does not give you the license to ignore the dangers of impaired driving. You can still end up causing serious injuries to yourself and others if you use your electric scooter in that state.
Electric scooter users should also be wary of any erratic drivers around them. Their erratic driving behavior could also be related to drug or alcohol consumption.
Distractions can play a role in your accident. For example, if you are eating, using your phone, or listening to something while driving your electric scooter, you may fail to notice your surroundings and crash into something. Do not underestimate the focus that using an electric scooter requires. Devote your full attention to the road while using that vehicle to keep yourself safe.
Some drivers are less careful around motorcycle riders, cyclists, and electric scooter users. They do not check for those vehicles when turning, and they may even refuse to yield the right of way even if they are obligated to do so by law. Those reckless drivers pose a great threat to their fellow motorists. Call a moped accident lawyer immediately if a driver like that hits your vehicle.
Poor visibility is another factor that contributes to electric scooter accidents. While driving at night, you should make yourself more visible. Keep your lights on while riding and use reflectors if you have them. If you have the choice of routes to use, you should stay on adequately illuminated roads.
How Is Liability Determined in a Scooter Accident Case?
You were recently involved in an electric scooter accident and need compensation for your medical bills. So, which party should you and your Baltimore electric scooter accident lawyer go after? To answer that question, you must first determine the facts relevant to your accident.
Were you following the rules of the road while using your electric scooter? If so, you are not to blame for what happened. That is a good thing because contributory negligence will not be a factor in your case.
Next, consider whether another motorist could be liable for your accident. For example, a drunk or distracted driver may have veered off their lane accidentally, and that caused them to hit your electric scooter. Their negligence resulted in your harm, so hold them accountable for their actions. In some cases, neither the driver of the electric scooter nor another motorist may be responsible for the accident. Instead, the fault could lie with either the electric scooter’s manufacturer or the company offering them for rent.
The electric scooter’s manufacturer may shoulder the blame if the investigation reveals that they sold a defective product. For example, you can blame the rental company if your accident was due to poor maintenance of the unit. Different parties could bear responsibility for your accident. Hire an attorney so they can investigate your case and identify the party that owes you damages.
Laws and Requirements for Scooters in Maryland
Following the rules of the road while using an electric scooter is important, not only because it helps you stay safe. As we noted in the previous section of this article, you can also avoid sharing the blame for your accident if you can prove that you were abiding by all the relevant laws in the moments before the crash. The Maryland laws that all electric scooter users should know are detailed below.
Title, Insurance, and License Requirements for Electric Scooters – Similar to cars, there are also insurance and license requirements that electric scooter users must meet before they can take to the road. According to Maryland law, operators of electric scooters should have a valid driver’s license or permit before they can use their preferred mode of transportation. They must also carry proof of insurance.
If you own an electric scooter, it must be titled before you can use it. You must also display a decal while driving your electric scooter around Maryland.
Helmet Regulations for Electric Scooter Users – The state of Maryland requires any electric scooter user under sixteen to wear a helmet. You can avoid that requirement as an adult, but doing so is risky. Nevertheless, helmets provide vital protection, so consider wearing one whenever you take your electric scooter out for a spin.
Riding Areas for Electric Scooters – Some people like using electric scooters because they can go about anywhere. Even so, laws still dictate where you can use electric scooters. Often, the sidewalk is not the place for an electric scooter. Exceptions for using electric scooters on sidewalks may only be if the nearby street has a speed limit of 30mph or higher.
Crosswalks are also off-limits for electric scooters. Before entering the crosswalk, get off your electric scooter and walk until you can return to the road.
Electric scooter drivers must also use bike lanes whenever they are available. If there is no bike lane available, riders must use the right side of the road.
Parking Spots for Electric Scooters – Although you can park electric scooters in various locations, you still cannot park them wherever you want.
Electric scooters cannot be parked in any spot on the sidewalk where it would block foot traffic. If there is a bike rack on the sidewalk, you can park your electric scooter there, but do not take one of the slots. Instead, simply place your electric scooter next to the bike rack.
Legal Capacity for Electric Scooters – The electric scooters available today are for solo users. You could run into trouble if you bring a passenger along while using that vehicle.
Right of Way Laws for Electric Scooters – It is always important to reference right-of-way laws when determining fault in vehicular accidents. However, for the most part, any driver who violated the right-of-way laws leading up to the accident must share at least some blame for it. If the driver of a car or truck spots an electric scooter user while turning, they need to slow down and yield the right-of-way. The driver of the car or truck must bear responsibility for the accident if they failed to offer the right-of-way in that situation.
Also, drivers of cars and trucks in Baltimore County need to give electric scooter riders enough space to move if they want to pass. They should provide at least three feet of clearance to prevent a potential collision. Work with a legal expert if the driver who crashed into your electric scooter did not follow the laws.
Do I Need a Lawyer after a Scooter Accident?
Hiring a personal injury lawyer during your scooter accident is crucial. You will understand why after learning more about the services they provide.
Your Lawyer Can Collect Pieces of Evidence Relevant to Your Accident
Evidence always plays an important role in determining the outcome of personal injury lawsuits. Therefore, you must gather as much of it as possible to make a compelling argument. A lawyer can collect evidence on your behalf. They can speak to witnesses, document the accident site, assess the report by the Baltimore police department, and obtain video footage from nearby establishments to provide an accurate picture of what happened. In addition, you can use all those pieces of evidence to prove that the other party was responsible for the crash.
Your Lawyer Can Manage Communications with the Other Party
Inevitably, a representative of the other party’s insurer will contact you. They may call you saying they wanted to check on how you are doing, but they likely have an ulterior motive. To avoid a substantial payout, the insurer’s lawyer may call you, hoping you will be open to accepting an unfair settlement offer. But, unfortunately, they may also try to bait you into saying something that could undermine your claim.
Let your lawyer handle those conversations so you can avoid saying anything that could jeopardize your chances of receiving adequate compensation.
Your Lawyer Can Give You Additional Time to Recover
You may have some significant injuries after your accident. Because of that, you may have difficulty moving your case forward. Resolve that issue by hiring a Baltimore electric scooter accident lawyer. Ask them to file your claim and handle other legal matters so you can devote more time to your recovery.
Contact Maryland Lawyer John Leppler Today
Attorney John Leppler is the voice of the voiceless plaintiffs in the state of Maryland. Even if you get turned away by the Maryland mega-firms, you can rest assured that John will take on your electric scooter accident case. John is ready to field questions from his clients no matter the time of day. Reach out to him today and secure his services before your legal battle.
Our injury law firm serves many locations in and around Baltimore County including Baltimore City, Towson, Timonium, Owings Mills, Pikesville, Parkville, and more.