Electric scooters are a fun and affordable way to tool around town, especially if you rent rather than purchase your own. Rental scooters have become an increasingly popular transportation option in many major cities, as you don't need to pay for car maintenance, struggle to find a parking spot, or sit in miles of traffic for hours on end.
However, electric scooters can also be dangerous, and they result in many serious accidents per year. Many of these accidents are caused by negligence on behalf of car drivers, who might swerve into a bike lane, open a car door in the path of a scooter rider, or back up into a scooter. Others are the result of scooter failure, such as dying batteries, faulty brakes, or uneven surfaces causing the scooter to skid out from under the driver.
If you're injured while riding an electric scooter, follow these three steps as soon as possible in order to get help for your injuries and exercise your rights.
Get help right away
Even if you don't think you've been seriously injured in an accident, you should always seek medical treatment and pay close attention to what the healthcare professionals suggest. Common injuries from scooter accidents include broken bones, whiplash, and head injuries, any of which could result in long-term disability or even death. You might need surgeries, medications, and physical therapy to regain your strength, and the sooner that you start this process, the better your outcome is likely to be.
Getting treatment also starts a paper trail, which will be incredibly helpful should you choose to pursue legal damages against the other party in the accident.
Know the laws around electric scooters
After you've been treated for your injuries, you need to understand the laws around electric scooters, as this will be relevant if you want to seek legal representation for your case.
Electric scooters are interesting, because the laws surrounding them are a mix of those controlling bicycles and cars. In Illinois, a scooter operator can only ride in the bike lane, like a bicycle, but they need to hold a valid license like a car driver. They also can't be ridden on highways like a bicycle, but they also must have lights and brakes like any motor vehicle.
Chicago laws around rental scooters indicate that the operator must be over 18, hold a valid license, and abide by all traffic regulations like a bicycle. This means that they have to stop at stop signs and red lights, as well as use hand signals to indicate to other drivers which way they are turning. While it's not legally required, scooter riders should also wear a helmet and reflective gear for their own safety; this can not only protect you during an accident, but it can also be relevant should you decide to pursue legal damages against the other party in an accident.
Consult a lawyer
If you have mounting medical bills and need help getting justice, hiring a law firm is the smart choice. While you can always represent yourself in a court of law, this isn't a good idea: the average person simply doesn't have enough experience in legal matters to effectively argue their case, and they have far less resources than a law firm does to prove fault in an accident.
When selecting a lawyer, choose a Chicago personal injury law firm, especially one with experience in scooter accidents, to take on your case. You can almost always schedule a free consultation with a law firm to go over the facts of your accident and learn exactly what you'll need to prove in order to get compensation for your injuries, such as medical documentation, police records, and financial statements related to the accident.
Personal injury attorneys can not only represent you in court, but they can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and they can gather all the documentation necessary to prove your case, saving you a lot of hassle. Right now you need to focus on healing, and with a personal injury lawyer on your case, you can put all your attention on caring for yourself and managing the recovery process.
Electric scooters can be a great option for a quick drive to a friend's house or to get groceries, but they can also result in serious, even life-threatening injuries.
If you've been injured in an accident, you need to get help right away, understand the laws around e-scooters, and consult with an attorney to seek damages for your accident. Taking these three steps can vastly shorten your recovery time, as you'll be taken care of by consummate professionals, and you'll know that you took all necessary precautions to prevent your accident.
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