Assessing the Risks of E-Scooter Accidents in Tulsa: Legal Recourse for Riders

October 19, 2023
Assessing the Risks of E-Scooter Accidents in Tulsa: Legal Recourse for Riders

E-scooters are gaining popularity in Tulsa, with the rental companies Lime and Bird offering a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation. While these two-wheelers are a hit among commuters and tourists alike, their rise in popularity has also led to an increase in accidents – including a tragic incident where a 5 year-old boy was fatally injured. A simple ride to the grocery store or a quick zip through downtown can quickly turn perilous, resulting in injuries ranging from minor scrapes to more serious conditions like fractures or concussions. Despite the fun and freedom associated with e-scooters, it’s important to acknowledge the risks involved. As e-scooter use continues to grow, so does the need for riders to be aware of the potential hazards and legal implications. 

E-Scooter Laws in Oklahoma: What Every Rider Needs to Know

In Oklahoma, e-scooter laws aim to balance convenience and safety. Riders must adhere to specific rules to ensure not just their well-being, but also of pedestrians and other road users. For instance, Oklahoma law generally treats e-scooters like bicycles, meaning they are allowed on roads, bike lanes, and certain sidewalks. However, e-scooters are not permitted on highways or interstates. Speed limits also apply, usually capping at around 15 to 20 miles per hour depending on local ordinances. Helmets are not mandated by state law, but some cities within Oklahoma may have their own requirements. Riders should also be aware e-scooters are to be parked in designated areas to avoid obstructing sidewalks or entrances. Ignorance of these laws can result in fines or other penalties, making it important for every rider to be well-informed.

Types of Injuries Sustained in E-Scooter Accidents: From Minor to Severe

E-scooter accidents can result in a variety of injuries, some more serious than others. On the milder end of the spectrum, riders might experience scrapes, bruises, or minor cuts. These usually require basic first aid and heal relatively quickly. However, accidents can also lead to more severe outcomes. Broken bones, sprains, and dislocations are not uncommon. In more extreme cases, riders have suffered from head injuries, including concussions, which can have long-term consequences. Spinal injuries are another concern and can result in lasting damage. While e-scooters offer a convenient way to get around, the risks involved should not be underestimated. Awareness of the types of possible injuries may encourage riders to take appropriate precautions, such as wearing helmets and following traffic rules, to minimize risks.

E-Scooter Companies and Liability: Where Responsibility Lies

When an e-scooter accident occurs, questions about liability often arise. In many instances, e-scooter companies attempt to limit their responsibility through user agreements. These agreements, which riders must accept before using the service, often contain clauses to shift the burden of risk onto the user. However, there are scenarios where a company might be held accountable. For example, if an accident is caused by a malfunctioning scooter, such as faulty brakes or a defective battery, the company could be considered liable for any resulting injuries. Additionally, if a company fails to provide adequate safety information or does not maintain its fleet properly, it could face legal repercussions.

Steps to Take Immediately After an E-Scooter Accident: A Guide for Injured Riders

In the moments following an e-scooter accident, quick and thoughtful action can make a significant difference. First and foremost, it’s important to check for injuries and seek medical attention if needed. Even if injuries seem minor, a medical evaluation can provide a documented record, which may be useful later. Next, if possible, move the e-scooter and oneself out of the way of traffic to a safe location. Documenting the scene is also a wise move; taking photos of the accident site, the e-scooter, and any injuries can serve as valuable evidence. Witnesses can offer additional insights, so collecting contact information from anyone who saw the incident can be helpful. Finally, filing an accident report with the e-scooter company provides an official account of what happened.

Gathering Evidence for Your Personal Injury Claim: Tips and Strategies

Collecting evidence after an e-scooter accident can be a decisive factor in a personal injury claim. One of the first pieces of evidence to secure is a medical report detailing injuries sustained, as it can serve as a cornerstone for any claim. Photographic evidence is also highly valuable; pictures of the accident scene, the e-scooter involved, and any visible injuries can strengthen a case. Witnesses can offer an unbiased account of the incident, so gathering their contact information is advisable. Riders should also keep a record of any communications with the e-scooter company, as well as any expenses incurred due to the accident, such as medical bills or property damage. Additionally, traffic camera footage or security camera recordings can provide an objective view of the events leading up to the accident. A well-documented case can significantly improve the chances of a favorable outcome.

Insurance Coverage for E-Scooter Accidents: What Policies Offer Protection?

Insurance coverage for e-scooter accidents can be a complex topic, as traditional policies may not always provide the protection riders assume they have. Auto insurance, for instance, generally does not cover e-scooter accidents, as these vehicles are not considered automobiles. Similarly, while some might think homeowners’ or renters’ insurance would cover such incidents, these policies often exclude “motor vehicles,” which can include e-scooters depending on the wording of the policy. Some e-scooter companies offer limited insurance coverage, but these often come with high deductibles and may not cover all types of injuries or damages. Riders interested in more comprehensive coverage might consider specialized e-scooter insurance policies, which are increasingly available as the popularity of these vehicles grows. 

Legal Options for E-Scooter Accident Victims: From Settlements to Lawsuits

E-Scooter Accident Injuries

When an e-scooter accident occurs, victims may wonder about their legal options for seeking compensation. One common route is through a settlement, where the injured party agrees to a financial sum in exchange for not pursuing further legal action. Settlements can be quicker and less stressful than going to court but may result in lower compensation. On the other hand, filing a lawsuit allows the injured party to present their case in a formal setting, potentially leading to higher compensation. However, lawsuits can be time-consuming and require substantial evidence to prove liability. Whether pursuing a settlement or a lawsuit, understanding the specifics of the accident, such as who is at fault and what laws were potentially broken, can be key factors in determining the course of action.

If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident, contact us or call us at 918-359-6600 today for a free consultation. 

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