Accessible Scooter Accidents in Oakland
Accessible scooters are becoming more popular for people who need a little help getting around. Modern technology is making them more comfortable, practical and go farther on a charge. According to Disabled World, around 2 million people use electric scooters or wheelchairs across the U.S., most of whom would not be able to get around with these devices.
However, this also means accidents, and in the last three years, there have been around 300,000 accidents that sent victims to a trauma center and of those around 30 ended in a fatality.
How Scooter Accidents Happen
Accessible scooters greatly improve the quality of life for those who use them, however, like other similar vehicles—ebikes, escooters, some mopeds—there are no license requirements and no clear cut rules governing their use.
In 2016 in Hampshire England, a young boy was hit and dragged 10 feet along the sidewalk causing serious injury. In the U.S. an elderly man on an accessible scooter was struck in a crosswalk by a drunk driver. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information looked at common accidents and injuries involving accessible scooters.
They found that the most common accident was a tip-over of the scooter which was also led to one of the most common injury types, a traumatic brain injury. Some of the most common of these accident types are:
- Accident with pedestrian
- An accident with another scooter
- Rear-ended by motor vehicle
- Broadsided by motor vehicle
- Collision with bicycle/e-bike/scooter
Common Scooter Injuries
Scooters max out at about 8 to 9 mph, which isn’t very fast. However, it is enough to cause injury to the rider and even another person especially pedestrians. In most accessible scooter accidents with a serious injury, the rider is ejected from the vehicle which significantly increased the chance of injury. The NCBI study found that the most common serious injury was a traumatic brain injury followed by broken arms/legs.
Since elderly and disabled make up a significant portion of the user demographics, these injuries can be serious often leading to long hospital stays and significant recovery.
Accessible Scooter Liability
When a motor vehicle is involved, then the other driver’s insurance will pay for any damages—assuming the driver is at fault. However, many times the driver of the scooter doesn’t have driver’s license and thus probably doesn’t have their own auto insurance.
If they do and have uninsured and underinsured motorist’s coverage, then if they are injured in a crash with a motor vehicle and injured, they might be able to use this coverage.
Another source of compensation is the manufacturer of the accessible scooter. If the accident was because of a defect in design, manufacturing or maintenance, then a third party to the accident might have some level of culpability.