A recently introduced pilot program to allow electric scooters to be used as a rideshare alternative on Chicago streets may actually increase the danger for riders, pedestrians, and drivers alike. According to a recently published news report, at least ten people were sent to the emergency room during the first six days of the pilot program. As more and more Chicagoans use electric scooters, dangerous accidents may become more common.
According to the article, several factors have contributed to the accidents. Some accidents are caused by riders who fail to ride in the proper lane, either riding on sidewalks, on the wrong side of the road or in the middle of the street. When a rider uses the scooter on the sidewalk, it can threaten pedestrians, and riding a scooter on the wrong side of the road or in the middle of the street presents a danger to both the riders and other drivers, who could get into an accident while trying to avoid a scooter.
The article also suggests that the scooters are popular with people who have been drinking, and intoxicated riders present an even larger threat to themselves or others. Illinois DUI laws apply to scooter riders, however many scooter users appear oblivious or indifferent to the fact that it is illegal to operate a scooter on a public road while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol over the legal limit.
Who is Responsible for Accidents Involving Electric Scooters?
In the event that a scooter user negligently or criminally causes an accident that results in injuries or death, recovering damages from the negligent party can be more difficult than with other Illinois car accidents. Most rideshare scooter companies try to avoid liability by requiring their riders to release the company of liability for any accident caused by the rider’s negligence, and most riders do not carry valid liability insurance with coverage for their negligence while riding on a scooter. A negligent rider can be held personally accountable through an Illinois personal injury lawsuit if they cause injuries to another, although collecting a settlement or jury award from an individual scooter rider may be difficult.
In some cases, an insurance company or the rideshare scooter company may be on the hook for injuries or deaths resulting from a scooter accident. In the event of an equipment malfunction in which the scooter company is found to be grossly negligent in maintaining the scooters, they may be held accountable for damages. Additionally, an insured automobile driver who is injured in an accident caused by a scooter may be able to recover damages from their own insurance company’s uninsured motorist protection policy. Homeowner’s insurance may also cover injuries suffered on a sidewalk or private property. If a scooter user is injured in an accident that is the fault of another driver, they may be entitled to compensation from that driver’s liability insurance coverage.
Have You Been Injured in a Chicago Scooter Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of an Illinois car accident, you might have a claim for money damages to compensate you for your loss. The Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are experienced and dedicated to collecting the compensation that our clients deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation and case review to see if we can help. If you have been injured, call 312-924-7575 or contact us online to schedule a no-obligation consultation today.