Washington, D.C. is the latest city to jump on the electric scooter bandwagon. These vehicles are becoming increasingly popular for getting around cities, offering several benefits over other forms of transportation.
However, there are also some important local laws that you need to know about before using them. In this blog post, we will discuss the Washington, D.C. electric scooter laws and how they affect riders.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving an e-scooter, you may be entitled to compensation. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our experienced scooter accident 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!
What is Considered an Electric Scooter in D.C.?
Under D.C. law, electric scooters are defined as a type of “Personal Mobility Device” (“PMD”). A PMD is:
- A motorized device designed to transport one person, or
- A self-balancing, two “non-tandem” wheeled devices designed to transport one person with an electric motor.
PMDs are defined to exclude battery-operated wheelchairs.
Do You Need a License to Drive an E-Scooter in D.C.?
No, you do not need a license to operate electric scooters in Washington D.C. You also do not need to register your scooter with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, you must be at least 16 years old to operate an electric scooter on public roads.
Can You Ride Electric Scooters on the Sidewalk in D.C.?
Like motorized bicycles, e-scooters are not allowed on sidewalks in the Central Business District, which covers the U.S. Capitol grounds and the area from the National Mall to Massachusetts Avenue. e-scooters are permitted in the bike lane when available.
Other E-Scooter Laws
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.
- The maximum speed limit for scooter riders is ten MPH.
- Users are not required to carry insurance.
- Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in a $150 fine.
- Users may ride motorized scooters on sidewalks outside of the Central Business District, including bike lanes and roads with low-speed limits.
- Riding scooters on bike paths is legal
- Users must legally park their scooters
- Users must obey restrictions on carrying packages
Electric Scooter Safety Tips
Whether you are new to scooters or have been using them for a while, safety should always be your top priority. Here are some safety tips that all riders should follow:
- Wear a helmet: Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself from serious injury if you get in an accident.
- Obey the law: Follow all traffic laws and signs when riding an e-scooter.
- Be visible: Scooters are smaller and less visible than other vehicles. To protect yourself, wear bright and reflective clothing when riding a scooter, especially at night.
- Don’t ride with passengers: E-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 an e-scooter. If you find yourself in an accident, contact an experienced scooter accident lawyer.
What If I’m in an Accident?
If you’ve been involved in an e-scooter accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately. 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 scooter accident lawyer.
What We Can Do For You After an E-Scooter Accident
The Washington, D.C. e-scooter lawyers at 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 negligence and other types of liability.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has obtained 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.
Who is Liable for Scooter Accidents?
As with any other type of vehicle, there is always the potential for accidents when riding electric scooters. If you are involved in an accident, it is important to know who is liable. In most cases, the rider will be held responsible for any damages or injuries that they cause.
However, there are some exceptions. For example, the manufacturer may be held liable if the accident was caused by a defective scooter. Or if the accident involved a car, the driver of the vehicle may be held liable.
The Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Act
In 2020, D.C. passed the Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Act. Under current D.C. law, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other “vulnerable users” of the roadway are entitled to extra legal protection if they are injured in an accident caused by a car driver’s negligence.
For example, if you are using an e-scooter and you are injured by a car on the roadway, you qualify as a “vulnerable user,” You will be entitled to financial recovery from the car driver unless you are determined to be more than 50% negligent.
We Can Help You Recover Compensation for Your Injuries
For more than 50 years, the Washington, D.C. 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:
- $15 million for a woman who was permanently paralyzed from the neck down due to being struck by a stray bullet.
- $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 chemical product use.
- $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, D.C. Scooter Accident Lawyers 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.