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    The Dangers of E-Scooters in Philadelphia: Legal Perspective

    Electric scooters or e-scooters are easy to use and very effective in busy cities when everyone is in a rush to get to work on time. But you won’t see many e-scooters in Philadelphia. As an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer knows, the reason is quite simple: these vehicles are illegal to use either on the pavement or the road.

    Let us understand the legal issues related to e-scooter users who cause injuries to pedestrians or cyclists.

    The Conundrum of Defining E-Scooters in Pennsylvania as Vehicles

    The main problem related to e-scooters is how they are built and operated. They do not meet the technical requirements for being titled and registered in Pennsylvania. Yet, the fact that they are operated by a motor makes e-scooters fall into the category of “motor driven cycles” according to Pennsylvania law.

    People who drive e-scooters in Philadelphia are actually breaking the law. While there is a legal initiative which would allow the use of these vehicles in our city, it could not be enacted, as it contradicted the state law. And state laws always supersede any law passed by a local government authority.

    Are E-Scooters Really Dangerous?

    Now, you’ve all probably seen an e-scooter in photos and videos. And it does not look very impressive. It’s just a bit larger than a regular scooter operated by foot. However, these vehicles are dangerous and can cause serious harm when they hit a person.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study on injuries caused by this vehicle in Austin, Texas. Over a period of less than 3 months, 271 people were injured in an e-scooter accident.

    And the injuries they suffered were quite severe:

    • 45% of victims suffered head injuries
    • 27% of them suffered injuries to the arms
    • 12% of the victims suffered leg injuries

    Of all the e-scooter victims, 20% of them had to be hospitalized for treatment.

    being hit by an e-scooter rider can result in severe injuries

    Challenges in Pursuing Compensation after an E-Scooter Accident

    If you are hit by an e-scooter, the number one issue is holding the operator of this vehicle liable. E-scooters are not registered motor vehicles. The operators are not bound by the obligation to carry liability insurance as car drivers are. 

    Therefore, there are several potential negative scenarios for an accident victim:

    • The e-scooter rider drives away without stopping
    • You may not report the incident as a traffic accident and get a police report on it
    • The rider does not have any insurance, so you’d have to sue them for damages

    You should consult with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to explore your legal options for getting compensation. 

    Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting Compensation after an E-Scooter Accident

    Since e-scooters are not legally operated on the roads, your case will fall under general personal injury tort law. Therefore, you will likely not deal with an insurance company, but go straight to court to sue the rider.

    To do this, you will need evidence that they caused your accident and you suffered injuries and economic damages. An attorney would advise you to take the same steps you would after a car crash:

    • Get the rider’s contact details
    • Take photos and videos of the accident scene
    • Look for eyewitnesses and get their statement and contact details
    • Go to the nearest hospital and seek medical care
    • Talk to an attorney about your legal rights

    However, you must be aware of the possibility that the e-scooter does not own valuable assets. Even if you win a personal injury lawsuit, you may be unable to collect the compensation amount awarded by the jury.

    Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer!

    E-scooters in Philadelphia are not legally allowed, but some people choose to flout the law and use them. If they hit you while you are crossing the road or walking on the pavement, they still carry the liability to compensate you for your economic damages, pain and suffering.

    However, getting compensation from an e-scooter rider is extremely difficult if you choose to pursue your rights on your own. The best decision is to bring all the evidence you have to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer and get a reliable legal opinion.

    We offer each new client a free case review, so call us at 267-314-8024!

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