While electric motor scooters have been around in other cities for years, in February 2020, the Jacksonville city council unanimously approved the use of rental scooters for the first time. Now, active streetcorners are lined with scooter rental banks, and renters can be seen riding them on the busiest streets.
However, if you’re one of the thousands of residents and visitors who use rental scooters in Jacksonville, or if you own an electric motor scooter, you should be aware of the dangers involved. As is the case with motorcycle accidents, a scooter collision with a motor vehicle can have catastrophic consequences.
If you’ve been injured in a scooter accident in Jacksonville, you’re going to require the services of a law firm that has experience representing scooter riders. Contact a Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer from Fasig | Brooks Law Office for a free consultation and immediate representation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are never out-of-pocket costs for our professional legal advice.
The Dangers Associated With Florida Scooter Accidents
The scooters usually available through apps in Jacksonville have electric motors, which makes them extremely quiet. In addition, motorscooter riders have a smaller profile than even bicyclists. The minimal size and reduced sound of electric motor scooters mean that other drivers can easily miss them when changing lanes, making turns, opening their car doors when parallel parked, etc.
Compared with a motor vehicle, a motor scooter offers little protection to the rider. Additionally, the mass and speed of a car or truck and the speed of these larger vehicles make them particularly dangerous to electric motor scooter operators. This is why motor scooter accidents often result in severe injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a motor scooter accident, you may sustain serious injuries. You’re entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Contact a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer from Fasig | Brooks today.
Damages You Can Recover For Your Injuries
Under Florida law, an accident victim can typically recover two types of compensable damages: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages, or monetary damages, attempt to reimburse the victim for all monetary costs due to the accident. For example, hospital bills, follow-ups with doctors and specialists, physical therapy, the cost of prescription medicine, etc., are all considered economic damages. However, economic damages also include lost wages, property damage, the cost of any home accommodations that your injuries may necessitate, and more. With economic damages, your personal injury attorneys will itemize and include anything from the scooter accident that resulted in monetary costs.
This category of damages is also often referred to as pain and suffering. You don’t need to have suffered a permanent disability or serious injury to experience a great deal of physical pain and mental trauma. Non-economic damages attempt to reimburse injured riders for these intangible costs. Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate than economic damages, which is why it’s important to enlist the help of a motor scooter accident attorney, like the ones you’ll find at Fasig | Brooks of Jacksonville, FL.
Punitive damages are non-compensable damages that a personal injury law firm might seek on your behalf if the actions of the negligent party were particularly egregious. For instance, if the driver left the accident scene without rendering aid or the police arrested them for DUI, it might be grounds for punitive damages.
Recovering Compensation After Your Florida Scooter Accident
Motor scooters are somewhat dangerous to ride, and the companies that rent electric scooters do their best to absolve themselves from liability. Whether you rented an electric motor scooter from a vendor or you used an app to access the machine, you signed a waiver of liability. That, of course, does not completely let the vendors off the hook. If your motor scooter accident was caused by negligent maintenance or a defect that the manufacturer should have discovered, you might still have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
In most motor scooter accident cases, the defendant is usually a driver and their insurance company. If you make a claim directly with the insurer, the speed at which they make a settlement offer may surprise you. That’s because they’re trying to get you to commit to a settlement before you speak to an accident lawyer. If you take an initial settlement offer for your motor scooter accident, you will have to sign a waiver of liability, which means that you won’t be able to ask for more money if your injuries turn out to be worse.
Types of Injuries in Florida Scooter Collisions
Injuries from scooter-related accidents parallel those seen in motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. Because many people who rent motorized scooters do not wear a helmet, they ride without protection. This often results in traumatic brain injuries to the riders. Other injuries include broken bones, bruising, road rash, sprains, dental damage, and more. Wrongful death is also a possible consequence. If you’ve suffered any physical injury because you were struck while operating a scooter, contact Fasig | Brooks today to be connected to an accident attorney.
Hiring A Scooter Accident Law Firm
Many accident victims are reticent to speak to an accident lawyer because they believe that they can’t afford the fees. While this may be true for other areas of the law, personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. That means you don’t pay out of pocket for professional legal advice. The attorneys only get paid if you receive compensation through a settlement or court award.
Fasig | Brooks represents the victims of scooter accidents and helps them seek justice. Our injury lawyers are familiar with the legal process and how insurance companies work. If you’ve been injured in a scooter accident, we are here to help. Contact our Jacksonville office today to discuss your claim. If you’re unable to come in, we can visit you at home or the hospital. All consultations are free, so call today.