Electric scooters are experiencing booming popularity across the country; but San Antonio, in particular, is almost like a hot spot for them. Rental dockless scooter companies have emerged as giants in response to our desire to get around quickly without the expense or danger associated with traditional vehicles. Read on to know what your recovery options are after suffering injuries on one of these devices from our San Antonio scooter accident lawyer.
With companies like Lyft and Bird jumping into and dominating the local scooter scene, it’s more important than ever for scooter users to understand their rights and responsibilities on San Antonio’s roadways. Using a scooter presents some unique risks and benefits that may not be immediately obvious. We believe that one of the key steps we can take to protect our clients (and readers) involves education.
The Law Offices of George Salinas: Supporting San Antonio Scooter Accident Survivors
It can be difficult to figure out what steps you should take after experiencing a scooter accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in a scooter crash, you may need support. The Law Offices of George Salinas can help.
Our team of skilled attorneys has extensive experience litigating scooter accident cases for San Antonio residents. Call us to speak with an experienced scooter accident attorney for a FREE initial consultation and case evaluation today.
Common Types of Scooter Accidents
If you’ve ever been in any sort of road accident, or if you know somebody who has, you’re probably already aware of their total unpredictability. Virtually anything can happen when high-speed vehicles, humans, and narrow roads are combined. That said, some types of scooter accidents do tend to be a little more common than others.
We regularly serve clients who have experienced:
- Flips, crashes, and collisions caused by potholes or uneven roadways;
- Collisions with inanimate objects; and
- Strikes by other motorists, including:
- Drunk drivers;
- Aggressive drivers; and
- Negligent drivers (such as those who fail to signal or observe their surroundings before turning or performing similar operations, etc.).
Another type of accident that often injures scooter riders as well as motorcyclists is doorings. Doorings occur when a motor vehicle passenger opens their door into an oncoming scooter’s path. This can result in damage to the vehicle and the scooter. It can also seriously injure a scooter rider. Even a minor dooring can cause significant injury.
Recovering Damages: What Will I Receive Compensation For?
Most accident victims are deeply concerned about accessing the compensation that’s available to them after a crash. We can hardly blame them; between medical bills, time out of work, physical damage, and more, the cost of paying for someone else’s mistake rises quickly.
Our experience indicates that many scooter accident victims are eligible to collect compensation for:
- Past, present, and future medical bills – The term “medical bills” is a broad one. These may include emergency transport or medical attention at the scene of the accident, long-term physical therapy, specialized mobility equipment, and more.
- Reduced earning capacity or diminished income – Some accidents take victims out of work for days, weeks, or months. In these instances, victims may be eligible to recover some compensation for loss of income. Other accidents are severe enough to permanently alter someone’s ability to earn money. When this occurs, the victim might receive damages for reduced earning capacity.
- Emotional suffering and/or physical pain – While the legal system is mostly concerned with absolutes, it’s been structured with an understanding that most of us grapple with intangible problems after traumatic experiences. If you’ve experienced extreme physical pain or emotional suffering as a result of your accident or injuries, you might receive some additional compensation to account for it.
Determining Liability in Scooter Accident Cases
Generally speaking, we can trace most scooter accidents back to one of three responsible parties.
Possibly the most obvious of these is a negligent driver. If you’re navigating San Antonio on a scooter and a driver strikes you due to their own negligence or carelessness, they are likely to be found liable for the accident. Some examples of behaviors that may render a driver liable for your accident include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Distracted driving (eating, talking on the phone, turning to check the back seat, etc. while driving); and
- Making left turns without signaling or appropriately checking surroundings.
But remember: two other entities might be held liable for a scooter accident, too. Can you guess what they might be?
- The city – Yes, in some cases, the City of San Antonio itself is found liable for scooter accidents. We find that this surprises some of our clients, but consider this: If you were to get into a near-fatal scooter accident because of a pothole or a poorly designed crosswalk, whose fault would it be? If we were representing you, our team would likely investigate the city.
- The scooter company – Unfortunately, sometimes nothing a driver does can prevent a scooter accident. Some even transcend the city’s ability to keep road users safe. Sometimes, scooter companies themselves are liable for accidents. They may fail to perform maintenance, rely on defective parts, or engage in other practices that put users’ lives at risk
Scooter Accidents in San Antonio: Frequently Asked Questions
There are no two ways about it: scooter use is on the rise. As more and more of us start thinking about making more environmentally friendly choices, some commuters have started to wonder how they can get around without relying on a vehicle. Public transportation makes for a great alternative; but if scheduling doesn’t line up, where does that leave you?
Possibly with a scooter! In San Antonio, lots of us are keen to beat the heat or hop over to our next destination on a San Antonio rented scooter. Scooter riders, however, need to understand their rights on the road. Some local laws and longtime state statutes might dictate your legal rights and responsibilities after an accident. You need to know what our laws have to say about scooters.
What types of scooters are available for San Antonio residents to rent?
Here in San Antonio, we have a variety of scooter rental agencies. Bird, Lime, and Lyft are some of the most popular, but we also speak with clients who use:
- Blue Duck;
- Spin; and
What rules do scooter users need to obey to stay on the right side of the law?
San Antonio passed an ordinance to keep scooters and other road users safe almost immediately upon scooters’ entry onto the city’s streets. It states that all scooter users must:
- Yield to pedestrians;
- Obey traffic laws;
- Use bike lanes when possible;
- Maintain a minimum distance of two feet from pedestrians when traveling on a sidewalk;
- Ride alone (carrying passengers is not allowed);
- Never drive on trails or in parks, creek ways, or plazas; and
- Never use a phone or other electronic device while driving.
Scooter users also need to obey some special rules when they park. Scooters should always be parked in an upright and orderly fashion to allow easy pedestrian access, leave a minimum of three feet of clearance on sidewalks, and not be parked in bike racks.
What are some examples of common types of scooter accidents?
Scooter accidents occur for a variety of reasons; outside of the most immediately obvious (like being struck by another vehicle), many scooterists are injured due to:
- Road hazards – Plenty of road hazards present enough risk that, if a scooter struck them, they can lead to a serious accident. Potholes, tree branches, and even random objects in the road all may lead to a crash.
- Swerving – If you’re riding a small scooter, you’re definitely likely to swerve to avoid an oncoming risk. But even though you swerve in hopes of maintaining your safety, the maneuver itself can lead to a crash.
- Doorings – Doorings wind up injuring scores of motorcyclists and scooterists every year; they occur when vehicle riders unknowingly open doors into oncoming scooterists.
Who may be held liable for my accident?
Several parties may be found liable following a scooter accident:
- A driver – If a negligent driver struck you while you were using a scooter, they are likely to be found liable for the crash.
- The scooter company – Sometimes, scooter accidents are actually traceable to scooter companies themselves. These crashes usually involve maintenance problems or malfunctions.
- The city – Some scooter accident cases even result in the city being found liable. One common example of this might involve potholes or similar road damage (or defects) leading to a crash.
What damages can I recover?
No one can ever predict with certainty what damages a scooter accident victim will recover in court. Compensation depends on a myriad of factors and while some—like the total of medical bills—are relatively easy to calculate, others are less clear.
There are a host of damages that often crop up in scooter accident cases. Your attorney will be able to offer deeper and more personalized insight into your case, but compensable damages may include:
- Past, present, and future medical bills (some scooter accidents necessitate hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical care);
- Physical damage to your property in the accident;
- Emotional pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Reduced or lost earning ability;
- Disfigurement; and
What evidence might help my case?
Before you start to worry about evidence, let us ease your mind: Some of the most valuable evidence in accident cases comes from the scene of a crash. That means that sometimes, if an accident is severe enough, victims and other involved parties do not have time to gather airtight evidence. This is perfectly okay. Our legal system understands the hectic nature of vehicular accidents and you will not suffer if the circumstances prevented you from collecting evidence at the scene.
With all of that said, there’s little doubt that some evidence can go a long way in helping determine a case’s outcome. If you’re able, try to acquire:
- Photos or videos of the scene of the crash (injuries, property damage, skid marks, etc.);
- Other drivers’ names and license numbers, contact information, and insurance information;
- Witness names, numbers, and statements;
- Cell phone records;
- Police reports; and
- Doctors’ chart notes and other medical reports.
How long do I have to file my scooter accident claim?
Texas allows scooter accident survivors two years from the date of their accident to file a claim. If you did not notice your injuries right away, the date you discovered them marks the beginning of the two-year timeframe. The bulk of cases become invalid after two years.
Do I need an attorney after my scooter accident?
Let’s err on the side of caution: Yes!
We believe that any victim of personal injury—be it from an auto or scooter accident, a slip and fall, or any other incident—deserves legal support and guidance. Experienced accident attorneys have the knowledge required to help scooter accident victims bring their cases in court. If you’re seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or any other losses you’ve experienced, a lawyer may help you.
Remember: Attorneys seek to empower their clients during the legal process. The traditional image of a hard-nosed or inconsiderate legal pro is out. Lawyers work diligently to help support and represent their clients the best they can.
If You Were Injured in a Scooter Accident, Call the Law Offices of George Salinas for Help
If you or somebody you love were injured as the result of a scooter accident, you deserve legal support. Our court systems are complex, and the time that accident victims spend pursuing legal justice can feel like an expense in itself. That’s just one reason why our team of personal injury attorneys works diligently to support, educate, and empower each of our clients. We help save our clients the time and headache of stepping too far into the legal world while consistently keeping them in the loop on the progress of their cases.
Contact us today to find out more about our legal representation services. Curious readers can also reach our team at (210) 225-0909. If you have a question about your scooter accident, you can take advantage of a FREE initial consultation for a case evaluation with a legal professional.
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