Who is Responsible for Injuries on E-Scooters?
Electric scooters or “e-scooters” have entered the market in Atlanta as a fun alternative to walking, bicycle riding, driving, or taking public transportation. E-scooters are not like the old fashion push scooters many people had as children. They are about the same size as traditional foot pedal scootersbut run on an electric motor that propels riders on streets and sidewalks. The e-scooters offered for rent by companies such as Bird and Lime are quick and are easy to maneuver provided that the rider maintains his or her balance and pays close attention to the surrounding traffic situation in the street and on the sidewalk.
The convenience of an e-scooter is unrivaled. Unlike a car rental business, e-scooters are dockless. Riders drop them off and pick them up wherever they may be found. At night, teams of employees will hunt them down with the use of smartphone technology and recharge them for use the following day. The rider purchases a lease through a smartphone app. The fee is usually $1 and then a fee per minute of use thereafter, in the realm of 15 cents per minute.
The proliferation of e-scooters in Atlanta has led to some interesting legal issues. For instance, state law prohibits motorized vehicles from operating on sidewalks. However, suffocating vehicular traffic in Atlanta means that the safer option for e-scooter riders is riding on the sidewalk instead of competing for limited space on the roadway.
Atlanta enacted regulations in January of 2019 to regulate e-scooter use and storage. One of the issues those laws tried to tackle was how riders must stow the vehicles. Riders notoriously leave them on sidewalks or leaning against random walls at the peril of the people using the sidewalk.
So, who is responsible for injuries sustained by a pedestrian who trips and falls over an e-scooter illegally parked on the sidewalk? A seasoned personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will examine all of the options available to obtain the largest settlement possible for their clients including filing a claim against the rider and the e-scooter company, if legally advisable.
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