As the number of electric scooter companies rises, so does the number of electric scooter accidents. While e-scooters can be a fun and convenient way to get around, they can also be dangerous.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving a Bird scooter, you may be entitled to compensation. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights and options. We know what it takes to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation!
How Do Bird Scooters Work?
Since its launch in 2017, Bird Scooters have become increasingly popular in cities across the country. However, they have also been the subject of much controversy. There have been numerous reports of people being injured while riding Bird Scooters. In some cases, these accidents have been caused by defective scooters. In other cases, they have been caused by careless riders.
The Dangers of Riding a Bird Electric Scooters
Before you get on your scooter, it’s important to understand the risks. Bird Scooters can be dangerous for several reasons.
Charging the Scooter
Most Bird Scooters need to be charged every 20 miles or so. This means that e-scooter riders need to find a place to park and plug in their scooter. When a rider doesn’t charge the scooter, it may become sluggish, limiting response time or causing the scooter to stall as you ride. If there is no acceleration left when a rider drives in the bike lane, it may be impossible to catch up to traffic flow, potentially causing an accident.
Sometimes software glitches can cause a Bird scooter to accelerate spontaneously, lurch forward, or drive in circles. These software glitches can be extremely dangerous, especially if they occur while the scooter is in motion.
Bird Scooters can reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. This may not seem like a lot, but it can be dangerous if you’re not used to riding at that speed. Moreover, the scooters are not equipped with brakes that are as effective as those on a bicycle. This means that it can be difficult to stop quickly if you need to. If you’re not careful, you could easily lose control and crash.
In some cases, Bird Scooters are defective. This can be due to many reasons, including poor manufacturing or design flaws. If you were injured because of a defective Bird Scooter, you might be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the company.
Causes of Bird Scooter Accidents in DC
Many different factors can contribute to a Bird Scooter accident. Some of the most common include:
- Negligent drivers
- Inattentive drivers
- Speeding drivers
- Defective scooters
- Negligent scooter riders
- Poorly maintained scooters
- Inadequate training for riders
Common E-Scooter Injuries
Falling off an e-scooter often results in serious injuries. Especially when it is an accident involving a motor vehicle. The most common injuries associated with e-scooter accidents include:
- Traumatic injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Safety Tips for Bird Electric Scooter Riders
Whether you are new to Bird Scooter or have been using it for a while, safety should always be your top priority. Here are some safety tips that all riders should follow:
- Wear a helmet: Always wear a properly fitting helmet when riding a Bird scooter.
- Obey the law: Follow all traffic laws and signs when riding a Bird scooter.
- Be visible: Wear bright and reflective clothing when riding a Bird scooter, especially at night.
- Don’t ride under the influence: Never ride a Bird scooter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Stay off sidewalks: In most cities, it is illegal to ride Bird scooters on sidewalks.
- Don’t ride with passengers: Bird scooters are only meant for one rider at a time.
- Inspect your scooter: Before each ride, inspect your scooter to ensure that it is in good working condition.
Follow these safety tips, and you will be less likely to be involved in an accident while riding a Bird scooter. If you find yourself in an accident, contact an experienced Bird Scooter accident lawyer.
E-Scooter Laws in Washington D.C.
The Shared Fleet Devices Amendment Act of 2020 regulates electric scooter services and sets benchmarks to ensure their availability and proper signage throughout the nation’s capital. Follow these rules to provide the safest experience for you and the pedestrians and drivers with whom you’ll share the road:
- Users must yield to pedestrians.
- Scooter riders must follow a speed limit of 10 mph.
- E-scooters are considered personal mobility devices, which means users are not required to carry insurance.
- Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs would result in a $150 fine.
- E-scooter users may not ride on sidewalks in the Central Business District, which covers the U.S. Capitol grounds and the area from the National Mall to Massachusetts Avenue.
- Users may ride on sidewalks outside of the Central Business District, including bike lanes and roads with low-speed limits.
- Must be at least 16 years old (For Bird Scooters, riders must be 18 years old and older.)
- Users can use bike lanes
- Users must legally park their scooters
- Users must obey restrictions on carrying packages
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved in a Bird Scooter Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a Bird Scooter accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. Once you have received medical treatment, you should contact an experienced Bird Scooter accident lawyer.
What We Can Do For You After a Bird Scooter Accident
The Washington, D.C. e-scooter lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a bicycle accident, gathering the evidence needed to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Washington DC Vulnerable User Recovery Act of 2020
In 2020, DC passed the Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Act, which added other vulnerable users to the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016. The law is designed to help those vulnerable users who have been injured in a car accident as a result of another driver’s negligence.
According to section 2(13) of the amendment, “‘Vulnerable user ‘means an individual using an all-terrain vehicle, bicycle, dirt bike, electric mobility device, motorcycle, motorized bicycle, motor-driven cycle, non-motorized scooter, personal mobility device, skateboard, or other similar devices.”
If you are involved in an e-scooter accident, you qualify as a “vulnerable user,” and you will not be denied a financial recovery if you were in an accident with a car unless you are determined to be more than 50% negligent.
Can I Sue Bird Scooter for My Injuries?
Bird Scooter’s terms and conditions state, “By choosing to ride a Vehicle, rider assumes all responsibilities and risks for any injuries or medical conditions.” If the accident was caused due to random conditions or rider negligence, it’s unlikely that Bird can be held responsible.
However, if the accident was caused due to a malfunctioned scooter, it can be possible to successfully bring a claim against the company. The best way to determine whether you have a valid case is to speak with a Bird Scooter accident lawyer about your legal options.
Will My Auto Insurance Policy Cover My Accident?
It’s unlikely that your auto insurance policy will cover your accident. Most policies have exclusions for accidents that occur while operating a motorized vehicle, such as an electric scooter. However, if your accident is due to the negligence of a motorist, the negligent driver’s auto liability policy will cover medical and property damages.
If you were injured in a Bird Scooter accident, the best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve is to contact an experienced Bird Scooter accident lawyer.
We Can Help You Recover Compensation for Your Injuries
For more than 50 years, the Washington DC lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones as the result of someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
- $15 million for a woman who was permanently paralyzed from the neck down as a result of being struck by a stray bullet.
- $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury as a result of a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a doctor’s inappropriate use of a chemical product.
- $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
- $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.
See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.
Call Our Washington DC Scooter Accident Lawyers Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your bicycle accident claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.