Virginia E-Scooter Accident Lawyer

Lately, rental electric scooters by companies like Lime and Bird are taking cities by storm. They suddenly appeared in the DC suburbs of Virginia, as well as the Hampton Roads area, Richmond, and other places without explicit approval from local or state lawmakers. And though some localities fought to get them off the streets just as quickly, others have allowed them to remain or are considering inviting the companies that provide shared e-scooters back into their jurisdiction.

When these e-scooters are involved in accidents, the consequences can be particularly serious. But with laws regarding this type of transportation unclear, it can be difficult to understand who may bear the liability for these accidents. Those injured are advised to consult a knowledgeable Virginia e-scooter accident lawyer to obtain further information. An experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to assist in seeking compensation for injuries suffered.

Rental E-Scooter Regulation is Limited in Virginia

Companies advertise their electric scooter rentals to users who sign up and agree to rental terms through apps on their phones. These scooters do not have a docking location, but may be picked up and left at random locations.

Local Regulators were Unprepared for Rental Scooter Operations

When rental e-scooters were first set out on the streets of Richmond, the city impounded all of them on the grounds that they lacked permits. But negotiation with the government will allow the e-scooters to return. In Arlington, the rental e-scooters made a similar surprise appearance and after time, local officials decided to adopt a pilot program and consider future regulation.

So, in many situations, rental e-scooters are operating with very little local regulation, at least initially. Riders, motorists and pedestrians are not always certain whether the e-scooters belong on the street or sidewalk.

On the streets, riders of e-scooters are not as visible as other motorized vehicles or bicycles, and riders are not required to wear helmets, so e-scooter riders are put at heightened risk. On the sidewalks, e-scooters traveling at ten or more miles per hour can mow down pedestrians if they are not careful, and serious injuries may result.

State Laws Provide Some Guidelines

Virginia state law does establish certain limits for “electric personal delivery devices” in Section 46.2-908.1of the code. This law prohibits operation of these devices at speeds over ten miles per hour or on an interstate highway.

The statute also provides that the motorized foot scooters should not be operated by someone under the age of 14 unless supervised by an adult, and that they should not be driven on road that has a speed limit of more than 25 miles per hour. If a sidewalk is present, state law specifies that riders should use the sidewalk unless prohibited by local law.

Liability for E-Scooter Accidents

If someone suffers injuries after being hit by the rider of an e-scooter rented from a provider, it would make sense that the injured person could seek recovery from the rider, and possibly even from the provider or manufacturer, if defects were alleged. However, when e-scooter riders suffer injuries, even if due to improper maintenance or another factor under the control of the scooter provider, these liability issues may be difficult to establish.

Many e-scooter providers, such as Bird and Lime, include terms in their rental agreements that require riders to submit a case to arbitration and prohibit the filing of a lawsuit. For help with filing a lawsuit, reach out to an e-scooter accident lawyer in Virginia.

Get Help From a Virginia E-Scooter Accident Attorney Today

An attorney who understands e-scooter cases could examine a rider’s agreement with the company. It may be possible to contest the arbitration requirement and seek recovery through a lawsuit.

Both those riding e-scooter and pedestrians struck by e-scooters have little to protect them from serious injury and can suffer long term consequences.

An experienced Virginia e-scooter accident lawyer may be able to help those injured recover damages to cover expenses such as medical bills, lost wages and reduced future income as well as effects such as pain and suffering. To learn what may be available in your case, call for a consultation.