Injured? Discuss Your Legal Rights with a Tampa Scooter Accident Lawyer for Free
As scooters and electric scooters (e-scooters) become increasingly common, so do scooter and e-scooter accidents. These accidents can result from a variety of different causes; and, if you’ve been injured in an accident, determining the cause of the accident will be one of the first steps toward filing a successful claim. This involves hiring a Tampa scooter accident attorney to conduct a thorough investigation.
We represent victims in motorized scooter and e-scooter claims throughout Florida. We handle moped accident claims as well. Accidents involving scooters, e-scooters, and mopeds can leave victims suffering from serious injuries—and these injuries can lead to substantial economic and non-economic costs.
What are Scooters and E-Scooters?
Scooters are two-wheeled or three-wheeled devices with a foot pedestal (the “deck”) and a handle attached to a vertical pole. While scooters used to be primarily used as toys, they have also become popular as a means of transportation in recent years—especially in urban areas and beach towns.
E-scooters have electric motors that propel them forward. Rather than using their feet to push off of the ground, e-scooter riders have a speed controller on the handle. Typically, this operates similarly to the throttle on a motorcycle, with the rider twisting one of the hand grips to drive the e-scooter forward. To use an electric scooter, a user must download an app, enter their credit card information, and then find and scan a scooter. The E-scooter can then be left at the user’s destination. E-scooters can travel up to 20 mph and will be permitted on sidewalks only. Due to the growth in popularity of E-scooters, many companies now offer short-term rentals in major cities like Tampa. These companies include:
What’s the Difference Between a Scooter and a Moped?
Mopeds are also two-wheeled transportation devices. However, they can be distinguished from scooters by two main characteristics: First, mopeds generally have a seat, whereas scooter riders stand on the deck. Second, mopeds typically have larger gas or electric engines, which typically means that they can reach higher speeds than scooters as well.
Is a Segway Considered an E-Scooter or Moped?
Segway is the brand name of a self-balancing transportation device that became popular around 2010. Today, Segway sells several types of transportation devices, including e-scooters, e-mopeds, and even golf carts and e-bikes. It still sells its self-balancing devices as well, and it describes these as “self-balancing scooters.” Thus, when most people refer to “a Segway,” they are referring to an e-scooter.
The Dangers of E-scooters
While E-scooters may be convenient, they are certainly not the safest mode of transportation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there has been a recent uptick in emergency room visits for fractures, dislocations, and head trauma since the scooters have hit the streets of cities across the country. The CDC found that 45% of accidents involving scooters resulted in head injuries.
Many of these injuries result from the fact that riders are not wearing protective gear when they use scooters. While typically riders agree that they will wear a helmet when they sign in to use an E-scooter, the reality is that most riders are not wearing any protective gear. This makes them particularly vulnerable to serious injuries.
Negligent drivers can cause accidents with scooters. Because scooters have a low profile, they can be difficult for a driver to see, especially if the driver is not paying attention to their surroundings. Drivers need to respect an E-scooters space, especially when they are operating in crosswalks. A failure to do so can result in catastrophic injury.
Common Causes of Scooter, E-Scooter & Moped Accidents
Regardless of whether you are riding a Segway, Vespa, or any other type of scooter, e-scooter, or moped, you face injury risks every time you hit the road (or the sidewalk). If you need a scooter injury lawyer or moped accident lawyer in Tampa, you are not alone. Accidents are extremely common; and, while some of these accidents are fairly minor, many result in serious injuries.
Some of the most common causes of scooter, e-scooter, and moped accidents include:
- Car and truck driver negligence (i.e., speeding and distracted driving)
- Poorly marked crosswalks
- Poorly timed stoplights and crossing signals
- Hazardous sidewalks and roads
- Inadequate rental e-scooter maintenance
- Scooter and moped malfunctions
- Lack of safe pedestrian and bicycle lanes
Common Injuries in Scooter, E-Scooter & Moped Accidents
Regardless of why a scooter, e-scooter, or moped accident happens, it can have serious consequences. Riders usually have little (if any) protection, and the result of an accident can cause serious external and internal trauma. These accidents commonly result in injuries such as:
- Back and spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Burns (including burns from road rash)
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Nerve and soft tissue (muscle, ligament, and tendon) damage
- Severe cuts and bruises
Florida Laws that Govern Scooter, E-Scooter & Moped Accidents
Florida has several laws that apply to scooter, e-scooter, and moped accidents. One of the most important of these laws is Florida’s law on general negligence.
In Florida, individuals, companies, and government agencies all owe a duty of care to avoid causing unnecessary accidents and injuries. What exactly this duty means varies in different circumstances; but, as a general rule, if a person or entity causes an accident that could—and should—have been avoided, that person or entity can be held liable for the victim’s injuries.
This applies to scooter, e-scooter, and moped accidents. If you were injured in an accident that was a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to just compensation for your injury-related costs. As we discuss below, these costs (your “damages”) can take several forms, and they can add up to make it well worth hiring a Tampa scooter injury lawyer to file a claim.
Another important law in scooter, e-scooter, and moped accident cases is Florida’s law on “modified comparative negligence.” This law took effect in 2023. Under Florida’s modified comparative negligence law, you may recover a portion of your losses if you were 50% or less at fault in an accident; but, if you were more than 50% at fault, you are not entitled to any financial compensation.
Due to Florida’s new modified comparative negligence law, insurance companies will try to blame scooter, e-scooter, and moped accident victims for their own injuries in many cases. Overcoming these allegations requires clear evidence of liability; and, to make sure you have the evidence you need, you should hire a Tampa scooter accident lawyer as soon after your accident as possible.
Insurance Coverage for Scooter, E-Scooter & Moped Accidents
Speaking of the insurance companies, recovering just compensation for a scooter, e-scooter, or moped accident involves filing an insurance claim in most cases. Auto liability policies cover these accidents, and companies’ and government agencies’ insurance policies cover accident-related injuries as well.
If you have auto insurance and you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage under your policy, you may be able to use this coverage if you don’t have any better options. At least one Florida court has held that UIM insurance covers e-scooter accidents in certain scenarios. When you speak with a Florida scooter accident attorney at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk about your case, your attorney will carefully examine all of your options for seeking just compensation.
What to Do After a Scooter, E-Scooter, or Moped Accident
No matter what type of claim (or claims) you can file, there are some important steps you need to try to take after a scooter, e-scooter, or moped accident in Florida. To protect your legal rights, you should:
- Get Medical Treatment – Getting the treatment you need (and having a doctor document your injuries) is important for protecting your health and your legal rights.
- Take Notes – Write down everything you can remember about the accident. The more details you can write down, the better.
- Talk to a Tampa Scooter Lawyer – Scooter and moped accident cases present some unique challenges, so it will be important to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
Damages Available to Victims of Scooter, E-Scooter & Moped Accidents
When you hire a Tampa scooter crash lawyer at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk to represent you, your lawyer will use his or her experience to carefully calculate the damages you may be entitled to recover. Florida law allows scooter and moped crash victims to seek just compensation for all of their injury-related losses, including common losses such as:
- Medical expenses (current and future)
- Other out-of-pocket costs (current and future)
- Loss of income (current and future)
- Pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, and disability
- Loss of companionship, consortium, services, and support
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Recent Electric Scooter Settlement Payouts and Amounts
$60,000/Electric Scooter Accident/2021
In this unusual case, our client, who utilized an electric scooter, was being transported to a doctor’s appointment by a medical transport company. Unfortunately, the driver of the van negligently failed to properly secure the scooter for the drive. After embarking on the trip to the doctor’s office, the van driver made a turn and the scooter abruptly tipped over slamming our client to the ground. She suffered a laceration to her leg as a result which required treatment once they arrived at the doctor’s office.
After her doctor’s appointment was over, a different driver from the same transport company picked our client up. Unbelievably, this driver also failed to properly secure the electric scooter and our client before driving the van. When the van drove over a drainage grate, our client was once again thrown out of the scooter and suffered injuries to her hip and shoulder, including a rotator cuff tear which required therapy and injections.
Unfortunately, we learned that the transport company was not insured at the time of the incidents. Our client, however, carried uninsured motorist insurance, a coverage that is designed to pay damages when the insured person suffers an injury because of the negligence of an uninsured or underinsured person or entity. This coverage is crucial to have since many people fail to carry bodily injury insurance or, if they do, they carry a minimal amount.
Our client’s uninsured motorist insurer fought hard in this case on the issue of causation. They argued that there was evidence of pre-existing shoulder problems and that the rotator cuff tear was not caused by the incidents. We were ultimately able to persuade them to pay our client $60,000.00. Our client was very pleased with the outcome.
If I was Injured, Do I Need a Lawyer?
Your injuries could prove incredibly costly, and you may be entitled to financial compensation if someone else is to blame for your accident. An e-scooter accident lawyer in Tampa can investigate to determine if you have a claim; and, if you do, your lawyer can calculate just compensation and fight to obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
What if I was a Passenger on a Scooter, E-Scooter, or Moped?
What if you were injured while riding as a passenger on a scooter, e-scooter, or moped? In this scenario, your legal rights are exactly the same as if you were the driver. If someone else (including the driver) is responsible for your injuries, you have the right to recover just compensation under Florida law.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
When Florida’s comparative fault law changed in 2023, so did the state’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Time can pass quickly, and hiring a lawyer as soon as possible will give you the best chance to seek the financial compensation you deserve.
How To Get A Scooter Accident Report In Tampa
If you’ve been involved in a scooter accident in Tampa and want to file a claim for compensation for any injuries or damages caused by a negligent party, it’s essential to file a police report. Therefore, presenting a copy of this scooter accident report to the insurance company is crucial for initiating the claims process.
Initially, crash reports are confidential for the first 60 days after filing, after which they become accessible to the public. However, finding information on how to obtain a scooter accident report in Tampa can be challenging for many individuals. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we understand the importance of timely access to these reports. We have compiled the necessary information and resources to assist you in obtaining your scooter accident report to assist you in obtaining the compensation you rightfully deserve.
- Go to the City of Tampa website.
- At the top of the page, you will see a menu across the page in white lettering. Hover over “Government” and, under the “Top Departments” section, click on “Police.“
- This will redirect you to the Tampa Police Department page.
- Towards the bottom of the page, you’ll find big white squares with blue text. Look for the one that says “Police Records” and click on it.
- On the Police Records page, at the top will be two sections, look at the “Request A Copy Of A Report” section. You will see a blue button stating “Request A Copy Of A Report Online.” Click on it.
- On the next page, you’ll find three options to select from. Choose the second option where the description box states “USE TO REQUEST POLICE REPORTS” and click the “Select” button.
- You will be prompted to create an account and then further follow the steps to input the correct information related to your scooter accident report.
- Once you have completed the necessary steps, your report will be generated. You can then download and print it for your records and insurance claim purposes.
By following these steps, you can efficiently obtain the scooter accident report you need in Tampa. If you encounter any difficulties or have questions regarding how to get a scooter accident report in Tampa, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. Our team is here to assist you and provide guidance through the process.
Information You Need To Get A Scooter Accident Report In Tampa
To obtain a scooter accident report within the initial 60-day period governed by Florida’s record rule, you may be required to provide certain identifying factors. This may involve furnishing details such as:
- The accident report number – this is typically provided by the police officer at the scene as they collect evidence and start to file their report
- Personal identification
- Other relevant information about the scooter accident
Florida’s 60-day record rule mandates a confidential status for crash reports during this period, highlighting the importance of promptly accessing and providing the necessary details to secure the report. By complying with these requirements, individuals involved in scooter accidents can ensure timely access to critical documentation for legal and insurance purposes.
Speak with a Moped or Scooter Accident Lawyer in Tampa for Free
Are you entitled to financial compensation for your scooter, e-scooter, or moped accident in Florida? Contact us to find out. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 866-921-3219 or request an appointment online today.
If you have been injured in an e-bike accident, speak to one of our e-bike accident lawyers today.