Over the past few years, the use of electric scooters on our roads has increased dramatically. At the same time, so have accidents involving motor vehicles and scooters. Since the scooter operators are not protected like motor vehicle occupants, the injuries suffered in accidents tend to be more severe.
What should you do if involved in an accident while on a scooter? Below, we answer some of the most common questions we regularly get concerning e-scooter accidents.
What Should I Do at the Accident Scene?
Call 911 if you need assistance. If you can, take photos of the scene, including where the scooter is relative to the car. Get the names of any witnesses, as well as the insurance information from the driver.
I Was Hit by a Car While Riding a Scooter, Who Will Pay My Medical Bills?
If your scooter cannot travel over 20 mph, your medical bills and lost wages should be compensated by the driver’s no-fault insurance.
I Was Not Wearing a Helmet When the Accident Occurred, Can I Still Bring a Claim?
NYS law currently only requires a helmet if your scooter can go over 20 mph. If you aren’t wearing a helmet and suffer a head injury, the insurance company can fairly argue that a helmet could have reduced or eliminated the risk of a head injury. If this argument is accepted, it could dramatically impact the value of your claim.
I Was Riding on the Sidewalk When the Accident Happened, Can I Still Bring a Claim?
Yes. New York is a comparative fault case. This means that even if you contributed to the happening of your accident, you can still bring a claim. However, the value of your claim is reduced by your percentage of responsibility. For example, if your injuries are worth $100k, and you are found to be 50% responsible for the accident, you would only receive 50k. If a jury finds that the accident was your fault because you were riding the scooter on the sidewalk, you would not receive any recovery. Riding your scooter on the sidewalk is not allowed, but this fact alone will not negate your claim.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself While Riding a Scooter?
- Only ride a scooter that travels 20 mph or less
- Wear a helmet, proper gloves, pants, and sturdy shoes
- Use all available lights on the scooter (you can also buy lights aftermarket and affix them to both yourself and the scooter)
- Wear reflective gear, no matter the time of day
- Obey all traffic laws
- Assume the motorists can’t see you and drive accordingly
Second only to getting the medical care you need, the most important thing to do after an e-scooter accident is connect with an injury attorney who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.