Articles Posted in Scooter Accidents

When someone hits your car, you may assume that that individual caused the accident by crashing into you first. But what if they only hit you because you were driving distractedly and checking your text messages or on your phone? Or, what if following the accident, the injuries you suffered were because you were not wearing a seatbelt? Can you still recover compensation following a car accident if you contributed in some part to the severity or cause of the collision in Maryland?

According to a recent news report, a local man is facing charges following an accident where the victim died. The accident, which took place last June, occurred when the local man crashed into an individual driving a moped. The local man was exiting a shopping plaza and stopped at a light at an intersection because it was flashing yellow. He did not see any vehicles approaching from the east where the sun was obstructing his view, so he began to turn onto the ramp. Midway through the turn, the local man heard a loud crash on the passenger side of his vehicle when he collided with the victim on a moped. Police located the man operating the moped in the road near his scooter with serious injuries. The moped driver was transported to a local hospital for treatment, where he was later pronounced dead.

Following the accident, the local man was taken to the hospital for an evaluation and gave authorities permission to obtain samples of his blood. An investigation of the accident revealed that the local man was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol while he was driving, but that he was using his cellphone. Because the man was distracted while operating his vehicle, he failed to yield to oncoming traffic, which caused the crash. The man has been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

Over the past decade, the way people move around the city and travel to work has changed. Many people are opting for a practical vehicle that provides users with the autonomy to move around quickly; one such method of transportation is the electric scooter (e-scooter). These micro-mobility devices provide many benefits; they also present a serious risk of a Maryland traffic accident.

E-scooters are stand-up scooters that can reach about 18/mph through power from an electric motor. The batteries generally last from 6-8 hours, depending on the model. E-scooter injuries have become a public health issue in many communities despite the benefits. Various factors can impact the severity of an e-scooter accident, such as the age and sex of the user, helmet use, accident mechanism, injury time, type of injury, and treatment.

According to one study, most injuries occurred in young men around 30 years old and resulted from a fall from the e-scooter. Nearly half of the injuries were upper limb fractures, and about 50% of the features required surgery. As an example, a recent news report described a fatal Maryland e-scooter accident. According to the report, around midnight, police responded to an accident report near Route 50. An initial investigation revealed that the e-scooter operator was traveling west without his lights on when a large sedan slammed into him from behind. The e-scooter operated succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.

In the tragic event of the loss of a loved one after a motorcycle, family members suffering from the loss may be able to file a claim against responsible parties. A Maryland wrongful death claim allows certain family members to file a claim against responsible parties to recover financial compensation for the loss and hold those parties responsible after a Maryland motorcycle accident or another accident. It allows qualifying family members to recover compensation for the wrongful acts that would have allowed the deceased family member to file a claim if they had not passed.

Generally, a Maryland wrongful claim can be filed by a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased family member. If they did not have a spouse, parent, or child, another person who is related by blood or by marriage and who was substantially dependent upon the deceased family member may file the claim. A wrongful death claim may only be filed once based upon one person’s death. Family members in successful wrongful death claims may be able to obtain financial compensation for their loss, including for mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss of guidance, and more. Family members may have to contend with allegations that the victim has partially at fault for the accident. If the victim is found to be partially at fault in a Maryland wrongful death claim, the family members may be barred from recovering through a wrongful death claim. A Maryland wrongful death claim generally is required to be filed within three years of the victim’s death.

E-scooters have become more common throughout the U.S. over the past several years, with e-scooter sharing programs now in cities across Maryland. But the use of e-scooters comes with its own share of issues and dangers. Users should take all the necessary precautions to avoid an accident; however, some accidents are unavoidable.

Electric scooters are growing in popularity all across the United States, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread. These scooters are convenient and easy to use, and many people are using them to travel from home to work, to run their regular errands, or even to get some fresh air in parks. Despite their growing popularity, there are concerns about the personal safety of riders and other vehicles on the road with them that lead to some questions about electric scooter use in Maryland, particularly amidst more and more reports of electric scooter accidents each month.

For example, just a few weeks ago an adult man was killed in an electric scooter accident. According to a local news article, the fatal crash happened on a Tuesday evening just after 5 PM. Police say that the man was riding a stand-up electric scooter southbound in the dedicated bicycle lane on the east side of the road. A vehicle was exiting a parking lot and preparing to turn north. As the car turned, the scooter tried to stop, but the man was ejected over the handlebars of the scooter and then got stuck under the car. Medics rushed the man to the hospital, but he, unfortunately, died from his injuries. The full investigation of the accident is ongoing.

This accident—one of many electric scooter accidents over the past year—raises some questions about the safety of electric scooters. Maryland residents who are thinking about riding a scooter must make sure to follow all safety rules and regulations and drive them properly. Maryland State law regulates these scooters under the same code that regulates standard bicycles, meaning they must be operated on the road (not sidewalks) and follow all traffic laws. These laws include, but are not limited to, stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic signals, riding in the direction of traffic, and yielding to other vehicles and pedestrians. Like bikes, they are expected to be ridden in bike lanes when applicable. For maximum safety, riders should avoid busy roads and choose routes with low traffic, even if it makes the ride a bit longer. Additionally, riders should always wear a properly fitting helmet and refrain from wearing earbuds or headphones while driving. Following these guidelines can help prevent tragic scooter accidents from occurring, but in the case that they do, riders should make sure to call a personal injury attorney right away to learn about their legal rights and options in the aftermath.

A wrongful death claim is a claim brought after a person’s death that was caused by a defendant’s wrongful act. Under Maryland’s Wrongful Death Act, a family member may be able to recover financial compensation due to their family member’s untimely death. A wrongful death claim is meant to compensate grieving family members, allowing them to recover for acts that would have entitled the decedent to recover compensation if they had survived.

A Maryland wrongful death claim is generally filed by a primary beneficiary. Spouses, parents, and children are considered “primary” plaintiffs under the Act. In a case where the decedent has no spouse, parent, or child, a wrongful death claim may be filed by another person who was substantially dependent upon the decedent and was related to the deceased person by blood or by marriage. These plaintiffs are considered secondary beneficiaries, which is why they can only recover if no primary beneficiary exists. Only one wrongful death claim can be filed based on the death of one decedent. Normally, the wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the death of the decedent.

In a wrongful death case, a defendant can, and often will, argue that the decedent is partially at fault for their death. Because Maryland follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, a plaintiff may be barred from recovering altogether in a wrongful death case if the decedent is found to have been partially responsible for their death.

Electric scooters have popped up in cities across the U.S. over the past few years. Several electric scooter rental companies operate in Maryland. However, concerns and confusion over electric scooter laws, insurance policies, and liability have also been flagged. These issues may affect those who have been injured in Maryland scooter accidents in the state.

A Consumer Reports survey found that electric scooter riders were confused about whether to ride e-scooters on streets or on sidewalks, and 27 percent were not sure of the traffic laws they should follow. Although generally riders are supposed to ride in the street, many streets are not built to accommodate them, and it can be dangerous. There is also a question of whether scooters are covered under the insurance policies of the rider and/or the injured person. Electric scooters typically are not covered under auto insurance policies, though they may be able to be added to auto policies or other insurance policies. Maryland enacted MD HB748 in April 2019, establishing that a low-speed electric scooter is considered equivalent to a bicycle under the Maryland Vehicle Law. The scooter must meet the state’s definition, including only being capable of operating at a speed of up to 20 miles per hour.

Severe Eye Injuries Seen in E-Scooter Emergency Rooms Visits

A small study from the University of California San Diego reviewed instances of facial injuries caused by electronic scooter accidents over the course of a year. According to one news source, the rates of hospitalization and surgery were high among such cases. The researchers involved in the study were surprised by “both the severity and incidence of the injuries.” After an e-scooter accident, over 90% of the patients had facial fractures, and 24% needed surgery. About 75% of the patients required to be hospitalized. About 20% had intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding beneath the skull. Injuries included eyelid lacerations and retinal hemorrhage. None of the patients had been wearing helmets.

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In 2018, U.S. electric scooter riders took 38.5 million trips on shared scooters, according to the National Association of City Transportation officials. As electric scooters become more prevalent in cities in Maryland and across the country, accidents involving electric scooters are also becoming more common. Riders can be injured, and can also hurt others while riding the scooters. In the event of an injury or even a death in a Maryland electric scooter accident, more people are questioning whether electric scooters are covered under their insurance policies.

Electric scooters rental companies usually place liability on riders in their rental agreements or carve out coverage for specific instances. Generally, electric scooters are not covered under an auto insurance policy. Electric scooters also are not generally covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. Some insurance policies may allow an insured to add coverage for an electric scooter onto their auto, homeowner’s, or renter’s insurance policy.

At Least 29 Killed in Electric Scooter Accidents Since 2018

The duty to properly maintain a Maryland roadway generally rests with the city, county or state government office that owns and controls the roadway. State and local governments in Maryland are responsible for keeping their roads in good repair and in a reasonably safe condition for travel by Maryland motorcycle riders as well as others.

The government entity tasked with maintaining a roadway may fail to do so, causing the roadway to be unsafe for drivers and pedestrians. In these circumstances, an injured person can sue the government for the government’s failure to maintain roads in safe condition. In claims against local governments in Maryland, the government is generally immune from tort liability when engaging in functions of a “governmental” nature, but not when engaged in functions of a “proprietary” or “private” nature.

Maryland courts have long held that local municipalities are not immune from lawsuits arising out of the maintenance of public streets and highways, and that they have a duty to maintain them in a reasonably safe condition. Local governments may be held liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition in the road caused by the government’s negligence. In claims against the state government, under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA) the state expressly waives immunity in some circumstances. One such circumstance is in an action for damages caused by a defective, unsafe, or dangerous condition of a street, sidewalk, alley, or highway controlled and owned by the State, if constructive or actual notice of the condition existed.

Earlier this year, the City of Baltimore approved four companies to operate scooter shares in the city: Lime, Jump, Spin, and Bolt. According to a news report at the time, the city selected these four companies out of the seven companies that applied for permits. Scooter shares are growing in popularity in Maryland and across the United States, especially in urban settings. Currently, scooter shares are located in well over 100 cities across the country. However, some are concerned that the presence of a scooter-share will drastically increase the number of Maryland scooter accidents.

A scooter share is a service that provides users the ability to rent an electric scooter on a short-term basis. While the concept is somewhat similar to bike shares in that users can pick up and drop off the scooters at whatever location is convenient for them, scooter shares are unique in that they are dockless. This means that they can be left anywhere, and users can open up the company’s app to locate the nearest scooter. The companies pay individuals to locate and charge scooters at their homes or businesses, keeping overhead costs low.

By allowing four scooter-share companies to operate, Baltimore seemingly embraces the scooter-share concept. To be sure, electric scooters provide a convenient way for many commuters and tourists to get around. They also do little to contribute to traffic and pollution, and are seen by many as an excellent supplement to public transit for those not within walking distance of a bus stop or train station. However, scooter shares also present some valid concerns.

Although most Mayland drunk driving accidents involve cars, trucks, and motorcycles, they can also occur in other contexts. For example, as the use of electric scooters and electric bikes continues to rise, reports of incidents involving alcohol are on the rise as well. Many people use these convenient modes of transportation to get around cities, but too often fail to use proper signals or wear a helmet. The lack of safety precautions and general rider inexperience raises concerns, particularly as e-scooter accidents involving alcohol use increase.

These days, electric scooters are increasingly being used throughout the U.S. Tourists and commuters use the scooters as a cheap way to get around, particularly in cities. Yet with this increased use, comes increased risks. A recent study found a rise in electric scooters accidents tied to alcohol. Many scooter riders also weren’t wearing helmets when they crashed.

The study investigated 103 incidents of people who were admitted to major trauma centers due to a scooter accident. About 42 percent of the people had moderate to severe injuries. Most injuries included fractures to the legs, ankles, forearms, collarbone, and shoulder blades. Half of those with fractures required surgery. There also were injuries to necks, kidneys, and spleens. Ninety-eight percent of people were not wearing helmets at the time of these incidents.

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