Electric scooters are becoming more and more popular for a good reason! They are a fun, fast, and affordable way to get around. However, as with any mode of transportation, there are some safety tips you should keep in mind when riding an electric scooter.
If you’ve been in an e-scooter accident due to someone else’s negligence, you do not have to go through it alone. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we help you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation! We’ll fight for the justice you deserve.
What is Considered an Electric Scooter in Washington, DC?
To be considered an electric scooter or “Personal Mobility Device” in Washington, DC, a vehicle must:
- Have handlebars
- Be designed to be propelled by an electric motor
- Have a deck on which the rider can stand or sit
- Have a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour
- Weigh no more than 100 pounds
Safety Tips for E-Scooters in DC
Now that we know what an electric scooter is, let’s discuss some safety tips.
Wear a Helmet
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to wear a helmet when riding an electric scooter. Scooter riders are at a higher risk of suffering severe head injuries. If you’re riding a higher-speed electric scooter, you should have a full-face helmet to protect your jaw/chin. Mountain bike or motorcycle helmets will work for this.
Wear Safety Gear
In addition to a helmet, you should also wear bright and visible clothing when riding an electric scooter. This will help make you more visible to drivers on the road. Other safety equipment you can wear includes elbow pads and knee pads.
Don’t Ride on the Sidewalk
Many electric scooters, such as class 3 electric bikes, are not allowed on sidewalks in Washington D.C. Be sure to ride in the street instead.
Use Lights at Night
You should always use a front light and a rear reflector when scooter riding at night. This will help you see and be seen by other vehicles on the road.
Yield to Pedestrians
Like any other vehicle, you should yield to pedestrians and other riders when riding an electric scooter. This means coming to a complete stop when necessary and using caution when passing pedestrians.
Be Cautious of Potholes, Cracks, and Debris
As with any other mode of transportation, you should be aware of your surroundings when riding an e-scooter. Be cautious of potholes, cracks, and debris in the road that could cause you to lose control of your scooter.
Never Ride Under the Influence
Just like you shouldn’t drive a car under the influence, you shouldn’t ride an electric scooter under the influence either. Riding under the influence can impair your judgment and reaction time, making you more likely to have an accident.
Follow the Rules of the Road
When riding an electric scooter, you should always follow the rules of the road. This means obeying all traffic laws, signs, and signals.
Beware of Car Doors
This is a danger for anyone who rides a bike or scooter on city streets. Be aware of car doors that could open suddenly and cause you to crash.
Ride With Caution
As with anything, use caution when riding an electric scooter. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable. Ride in a straight line and avoid sudden stops or turns. And always be aware of your surroundings. This includes other scooter riders and vehicles.
Don’t Use Your Phone
We know, we know. It’s hard to resist checking your phone when you’re out and about. But it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when riding an electric scooter. Avoid using your phone while riding, as this can distract you from the task at hand and increase your chances of having an accident.
Be Mindful of Parking
Inspect Your Scooter Regularly
You should inspect your scooter regularly to ensure everything is in working order. This includes checking the brakes, tires, and lights. You should also ensure the scooter’s folding mechanism is firmly in place and not damaged in any way.
Most Common E-Scooter Injuries
The most common e-scooter injuries are cuts, bruises, and scrapes. However, more serious injuries can occur if you’re not careful. These include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and even death.
Common Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents
The most common cause of electric scooter accidents include:
- Speeding: One of the most common causes of electric scooter accidents is speeding. Scooters can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, which can be dangerous if you’re not paying attention.
- Distraction: Another common cause of accidents is distraction. As we mentioned earlier, avoiding using your phone while riding is important. But other distractions, such as listening to music or talking to a friend, can also increase your chances of having an accident.
- Weather: Weather can also be a factor in electric scooter accidents. Slick roads and low visibility can make it difficult to see obstacles in your path. And strong winds can knock you off balance.
- Rider Error: Rider error includes things like riding under the influence, not following the rules of the road, and riding without caution.
Who is Liable for My Injuries in an E-Bike Accident?
If you are injured riding an electric scooter, you should first seek medical attention. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to figure out who is liable for your injuries.
In some cases, the rider may be held liable for breaking the law or not following safety guidelines. But in other cases, the scooter company, the city, or a motor vehicle driver may be held liable.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you investigate your accident and determine who is liable for your injuries. They can also help you file a claim and fight for the compensation you deserve.
The Vulnerable User Recovery Act of 2020
The Vulnerable User Recovery Act of 2020 is a District of Columbia law that was created to protect vulnerable users of the road, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders Under this doctrine, the plaintiff’s negligence is not a bar to recovery if the Plaintiff’s negligence is 50% or less. This means that pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders, and users of other non-motorized devices like skateboards can recover up to 100% of their losses.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney For Your Accident Claim
The Washington, D.C. accident 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 an e-scooter accident, gathering evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has 0btained 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.
We Get You the Compensation You Deserve
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 due to someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
- $3.5 million for a man who suffered a brain injury when a District of Columbia police officer opened his door into traffic and “doored” him.
- $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury due to a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury due to 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.
- $600,000 verdict obtained against the United States Postal Service due to the negligence of one of its drivers, who pulled out from a stop sign in front of our client’s motorcycle.
See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.
Contact an E-Scooter Attorney Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your e-scooter 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.