There is no denying that electric scooters have made a splash all across the nation, and Florida is no exception. What many people fail to recognize, however, is exactly how dangerous scooter accidents are. When you’re zipping around on a scooter, absolutely nothing comes between you and the immense impact of an accident, which leaves you extraordinarily vulnerable to life-threatening injuries. If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in a scooter accident, turn to the professional legal guidance of an experienced Florida scooter accident lawyer.
How the Laws Apply
Conjuring up an electric scooter with the touch of an app may feel quite magical, but the plain old rules of the road still apply to you, and it’s important to know what they are (in order to better protect yourself out there). In 2019, Florida’s governor legalized electric scooter use statewide, and the applicable laws include:
- In order to ride an electric scooter, you must be at least 16 years old, but you do not need a driver’s license.
- You may operate an electric scooter in any bike lane throughout the state, but you must follow the laws that pertain to bike riding.
- While cities can regulate how scooter programs work within their confines, they cannot regulate private scooter ownership.
- Scooters cannot exceed 30 miles per hour. In essence, however, those scooters that are not able to exceed 15 miles per hour are afforded the same status that bikes have.
- While helmets are naturally encouraged, they are not required when you ride a scooter.
When it comes to electric scooters, you could say that it is the wild west out there. The entire concept is new enough that it is difficult to deny the free-for-all feel that accompanies the e-scooter phenomenon.
When you are on an electric scooter, you mix and mingle somewhat with traffic, but you have nothing to protect you from the impact of a traffic accident involving a much larger vehicle. Further, because you are standing up on a small, wheeled platform, you’re extremely vulnerable to even minor irregularities in the road. For example, a bump that a bicyclist may not even notice can throw an unsuspecting and inexperienced scooterist off his or her safety game.
Scooter Accidents Are Often Quite Serious
Scooter accidents can be exceptionally dangerous – even if another vehicle isn’t involved. When you fall from standing while traveling at 10 to 15 miles an hour, it can do serious damage, and when you fall on the road, the danger ratchets up considerably. There is a wide range of serious injuries that are closely associated with scooter accidents.
A broken bone is slow to heal, and if it is a complicated break that heals incorrectly, it can lead to serious consequences that include chronic pain and a significant decrease in range of motion. And even a so-called simple break is an exceptionally painful injury. The impact of a scooter accident can easily cause a broken bone.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are generally caused by a blow to the head, and being thrown from a scooter easily suffices. Because our personal identities reside within our brains, TBIs are complicated injuries that are associated with as much emotional damage as they are with physical and financial damage. A serious TBI can alter the course of your life in a split second.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are typically caused by impact to the neck, back, or shoulders and these painful injuries are not only slow to heal but can also lead to chronic pain. Spinal cord injuries are closely associated with serious losses in the range of motion. And if the spinal cord itself is seriously damaged or severed, the victim suffers either incomplete (some control over bodily movements) or complete (no control over bodily movements) paralysis over either the bottom half of his or her body (paraplegia) or over nearly his or her entire body (quadriplegia).
Soft Tissue Injuries
A prime example of a soft tissue injury is whiplash, which happens when the head is whipped back and forth on the neck. A whiplash injury can come on suddenly, can develop over time, can be short-lived, or can lead to chronic pain. In other words, whiplash is an unpredictable injury that is commonly associated with significant declines in the range of motion.
Road rash refers to the cuts, burns, and abrasions that accident victims often experience when they are dragged across the ground in the course of an accident – such as a scooter accident. Because road rash opens up the victim’s skin, it is very susceptible to dangerous infections. When such infections become resistant to treatment, they can be life-threatening.
Serious Cuts and Burns
When a driver is thrown from a scooter (which is typical of scooter accidents), he or she can suffer serious cuts and/or burns in the course of the accident. When these injuries are deep, they can lead to very serious scarring that thickens and loses elasticity as it builds up. When a cut or burn is on or near the face, it can lead to permanent disfigurement, which can take emotional pain and suffering to new heights.
Consult with an Experienced Florida Electric Scooter Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured on a Bird electric scooter – or any other brand of e-scooter – while you’re out and about in Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, or Broward County, the practiced Bird scooter accident lawyers at Iscoe Law Firm are standing by to help. Our dedicated legal team understands the difficulties you face and is committed to skillfully fighting not only for your legal rights but also for your rightful compensation. We’re on your side and here to help, so please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 800-800-6500 today for more information about what we can do for you. Because you need us when you need us, we are available to answer your call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.