Scooter Accident Attorneys in Columbia
Modern-day scooters are often powered by either electricity or gas, and can be an efficient mode of transportation. In Columbia, students and commuters alike use scooters every day, traveling to and from work or class. There are even smartphone-based rental services, from which you can rent an electric scooter instantaneously.
If you have been injured in a scooter accident, no matter the severity, contact a Columbia scooter accident lawyer today to have your case examined.
Alongside scooters are similar products, such as hoverboards, Segways, and other recreational transportation devices.
While scooters are fun, as well as economical and eco-friendly, options for traveling around town, they come with clear risks. Many of those risks are similar to those that a motorcyclist might face on the roads. Riding a scooter does not provide the same protection as riding in cars and trucks, and means that those who are involved in accidents may suffer severe injury.
Responsible Parties Must Pay for The Injuries They Cause
As personal injury lawyers, the attorneys at Strom Law Firm believe that when another person or company is responsible for your injuries, they should be required to compensate you for all of the damage that those injuries cause.
Along with scooter popularity, scooter accidents have grown more prevalent in and around Columbia over the past decade.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of a scooter accident or a micro-mobility device accident, contact our Columbia injury lawyers today to take a look at your case.
E-Scooter Use and Rental Is Trending Upwards
What are E-Scooters? The term Scooters does not mean what it used to. They are no longer toys that require the user to propel themselves with a kick and a push. Scooters today are full-fledged modes of transportation, some powered by gas motors and others by electric battery power.
As an example of the growth in popularity of e-scooters, in recent years, in college towns and big cities, we have seen the rise of app-enabled scooter rentals. To rent a scooter, one simply needs to locate an unmanned kiosk, similar to a bike rack. The renter then logs-in to an app, entering a virtual contract and renting a scooter, which is unlocked remotely. And, off you go! It seems great, right? Not when you get in an accident.
Scooter Accident and Injury Statistics
According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study of the scooter riding population of Austin, TX, it is estimated that 14.3 accidents occur every 100,000 trips on a scooter. Accidents can be caused by street defects, such as potholes and cracks, as well as negligent or reckless driving by the scooter rider or other drivers. According to the same CDC study, 52% of accidents occurred while operating on the streets, and 29% of scooter accidents involved first-time riders.
Injuries sustained in scooter accidents include:
- Road Rash
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Head fractures
- Broken bones and shattered bones
- Damage to muscles, tendons, or ligaments
- Neck and back injuries
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injury
Due to the lack of protection provided by scooters, accidents can often be serious and can result in extensive medical expenses and lost wages.
Who Can Be At Fault for Scooter Accidents and Resulting Injuries?
When involved in a scooter accident, it is important to determine who is at fault. This will depend on the facts of the incident. Some parties that may be responsible for the accident include
- Cars and trucks on the road: As with any car accident, the vehicle that causes the accident that leads to injury is generally responsible for compensating injured parties. Car drivers and truck drivers have a duty to keep a lookout for other vehicles on the roads, including scooters.
- Scooter or Rental Company: Sometimes scooter companies do not properly maintain their scooters. In addition, Scooter companies may be responsible for ensuring that drivers have proper understanding of how to operate a scooter. If the lack of maintenance, lack of training, or education, causes injury, the company should be held liable. There are other scenarios in which a scooter company may be held liable, as well.
- Manufacturers: If a scooter is defective, the manufacturer may be held liable for any damages caused by the defect.
To what type of compensation might a catastrophic injury victim be entitled?
A scooter accident injury plaintiff may receive compensation of two types: economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages are intended to help with financial loss caused by the scooter accident, examples include medical expenses and lost income.
- Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for other losses and difficulties like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Different types of scooter accident compensation might include:
- Compensation for bills paid for medical treatment. This may include ER visits, follow-ups, or physical and occupational therapy. This often includes the costs of future medical treatment.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Lost income and wages. You may receive compensation for income that has already been lost, as well as income that you are expected to miss out on in the future.
- Wrongful death.
- Loss of consortium.
A jury may also award a plaintiff punitive damages, which punish the behavior of a defendant that caused an injury through reckless or intentional behavior, and act to deter future wrongdoers.
When Should I Contact A Columbia Scooter Accident Lawyer After A Scooter Accident?
You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your scooter accident. Along with contacting a personal injury attorney, you should follow these steps to protect your rights:
- Seek Medical Care Immediately: The symptoms of certain injuries may slowly appear, but the sooner you see a physician, the more quickly he or she can diagnose these hidden injuries. Seeing a doctor also helps ensure that proper records are kept of your injuries for future insurance claims or litigation.
- Preserve Any Evidence: Your scooter is probably a vital piece of evidence in a potential legal claim. You should always preserve your scooter, if possible, and any other evidence to allow your attorney to evaluate its condition. It could prove crucial in proving liability and securing you compensation for your damages.
How Long Will It Take To Be Compensated For A Columbia Scooter Accident Injury Claim?
Unfortunately, sometimes settlement or recovery following a trial can take longer than an injury victim might hope. The length of time between filing your insurance claim and receiving compensation depends upon a variety of factors and differs from case to case:
- First and foremost, the facts of your case. Depending upon the liability questions, it can be difficult to establish fault
- The extent of your injuries and needed medical treatment. It may take time for the extent of your injuries and the required medical treatment to be fully known. It is imperative to include both current and future medical expenses in any settlement or judgment.
- The willingness of the insurance company to negotiate a settlement and make reasonable offers of compensation.
- Whether a trial will be needed. If the insurance company never offers a reasonable and fair settlement amount, we may need to take your case to trial. As you might imagine, this can add a significant amount of time to your waiting, but this is sometimes the only appropriate route to take.
Columbia Scooter Accident FAQ
Do you have questions after a scooter accident? Do you want to know more about your legal rights, including your right to compensation? The experienced Columbia scooter accident attorneys at Strom Law Firm LLC can help evaluate your case and give you a better idea of what you should expect from your claim. Contact us as soon after your accident as possible to ask any specific questions you might have about your right to seek compensation.
1. What type of vehicle counts as a motorized or electric scooter in Columbia?
Electric scooters have become increasingly popular as a means of transportation over the past several years. Electric scooters can offer their riders a quick ride while helping them avoid expensive cab fares or rideshare fees. Typically, electric scooters have two or three wheels and a motor under 50cc / 2 horsepower (combustion), or between 750 and 1500 watts (electric). They usually cannot go faster than 30 miles per hour and hold only a single passenger.
South Carolina does not have specific rules classifying electric scooters, so users generally must follow the same rules as mopeds on South Carolina’s streets.
2. What happens if I get into a scooter accident in Columbia without insurance?
Scooter riders, like moped riders, follow a different set of rules than motorcycle riders and other drivers in South Carolina. You do not have to carry liability insurance to operate an electric scooter, which, because of the scooter’s size and internal limit on its top speed, will not typically cause substantial damage or injury to others or their property in an accident.
Often, scooter accidents involve additional vehicles, most often passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicle drivers may fail to note the presence of a scooter and its rider in an intersection, for example, leading to substantial injuries for the scooter rider. If you get in an accident due to a passenger vehicle driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim for compensation through that driver’s auto liability insurance.
3. What happens with my medical bills following a Columbia Scooter Accident? ?
Following a scooter accident, especially one involving a passenger vehicle, you may have substantial injuries that require significant medical care. Medical bills can add up quickly, leaving you struggling to figure out how to manage them. Who has to pay those bills?
After a scooter accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may have grounds to file a claim, which can help you receive the compensation you need for scooter injury-related expenses. A Columbia scooter accident lawsuit usually will not require the liable party to pay your medical bills directly. Instead, the lawsuit will help you seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer for your bills and losses. You can then use those funds to cover the cost of medical bills and other expenses that may have added up following your accident. An experienced attorney from Strom Law Firm, LLC can evaluate the facts of your case and help you understand the Columbia scooter accident claim process.
4. What happens if I suffer a traumatic brain injury in a Columbia scooter accident, but I did not have a helmet on at the time of the accident? Can I still file a compensation claim?
Mopeds and motorcycle riders under the age of 21 in South Carolina are legally required to wear a helmet while riding. South Carolina law does not require riders over the age of 21 to wear a helmet while operating these types of vehicles. Your lack of a helmet does not change your right to file a claim after your scooter accident, even if you need to seek compensation for a traumatic brain injury or head and facial injuries. The attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC can help you understand how to deal with the particular details of your case if this is your situation.
5. How long do I have to file a claim after a Columbia scooter accident?
You have until the statute of limitations runs out to file a claim that will help you seek compensation for injuries suffered in a scooter accident. This timeframe can vary, and is one reason to consult an attorney if you are considering a claim.
6. How soon do I need to start working with an attorney after a Columbia scooter accident?
Ideally, you should get in touch with an attorney as soon after your accident as possible. It takes time to gather evidence to support a claim and the more time that has passed, the more likely it is that valuable evidence will have been deleted or lost and witnesses’ memories will fade over time.
From the early days after your accident, an attorney can help with your claim.
- An attorney can evaluate the compensation you deserve. Many scooter accident victims end up accepting low settlement offers because they do not know how much compensation they really deserve for their injuries. An experienced scooter accident attorney can evaluate your injuries and the circumstances that led to your accident, and give you a better idea of the compensation you really deserve for those losses. Schedule a free consultation with a member of our attorney team at Strom Law Firm, LLC to get a preliminary estimate of the value of your case.
- An attorney can help collect evidence. What caused your scooter accident? Did you suffer serious injuries because a driver turned in front of you or hit you as you crossed the street? Did a scooter malfunction cause your scooter to spin out of control, resulting in severe injuries? An attorney can look over the circumstances that led to your accident and collect evidence that will help establish your grounds for a Columbia scooter accident claim.
- An attorney can deal with insurance agents for you. Following severe injuries in a scooter accident, you may receive regular calls from the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance company may ask for reports about the accident, your recovery, and your continuing medical challenges. Dealing with insurance agents can leave you stressed out, frustrated, and overwhelmed. An attorney can take over many of those interactions for you.
7. What should I do if the liable party’s insurance company offers me a settlement?
The liable driver’s insurance company may accept that their insured caused the accident and may want to settle with you quickly. Or perhaps the scooter manufacturer has multiple lawsuits pending against it because of a serious mechanical error in the scooter and wants to make sure that it deals with each claim as soon as possible. In these types of situations, the insurance company will often contact you soon after your accident to offer a settlement.
Talk to your lawyer before you accept, no matter how tempting the offer may seem. Often, insurance companies will start by issuing a settlement offer that is far less than the compensation you really deserve for your injuries.
An attorney can help you accurately estimate the compensation you really deserve for your injuries and help you decide whether a particular settlement offer reflects a fair and reasonable resolution.
8. How long will it take to settle a scooter accident claim in Columbia?
You will need to go through several important stages during your claim.
- Investigation. First, your attorney and the other party’s insurance company will go over your accident and determine what circumstances led to it. During the investigation, your attorney will collect evidence showing who caused your accident and what factors contributed to it. Your attorney will also look into your injuries and estimate the compensation you deserve for them.
- Healing. Some injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and incomplete spinal cord injuries, do not heal on a standard timeline. Your doctors may not know how fully you will recover or what your medical bills will look like until some time passes. Your attorney may advise you to wait until you reach the end of this period, often referred to as “maximum medical improvement,” to determine how much compensation you should seek.
- Negotiation. Many claims, including scooter accident claims, must go through multiple rounds of negotiation in an effort to reach an agreement. If the insurance company tries to prove that you caused part or all of your scooter accident, or the insurance company tries to hold out on the compensation you deserve, this can significantly extend the time needed for negotiation.
- Court. Some scooter accident claims may need to go to court. If you need to take your claim to court, an experienced attorney is critical. An attorney can present your evidence, argue on your behalf, and make sure you meet all filing deadlines to reach a final resolution on your claim.
Strom Law Firm, LLC Can Help
Our experienced scooter accident attorneys are ready to help you explore your legal options for obtaining compensation and to provide answers to your questions about the process. Contact Strom Law Firm, LLC today for your free case evaluation.
Columbia Scooter Accident Lawyers for Injured Scooter Riders
Strom Law Firm is experienced in representing victims of Columbia scooter accidents and other traffic accidents. Our lawyers are ready to meet with you in person at your convenience. You can also contact us online or by phone at 803-252-4800 to schedule a time to talk with a member of our team.
Here’s what Greg A. said about us on Google:
“Very professional and courteous staff, always willing to help and they will do what it takes to get things done!”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Check out all of our Google reviews!