September 30, 2019
Pitts Carr and Alex Weatherby
Can You Sue a Scooter Company like Bird or Lime?
There have been a major rise in serious scooter accidents in Atlanta, Georgia, over the past year. Apparently unannounced, large scooter companies, like Bird and Lime, brought tons of scooters to Atlanta and placed them in public locations. People downloaded the app and began scooting around town. We can understand why too: Atlanta’s streets are congested and scooter riding can be fun.
The downside, though, is that a scooter crash is almost always serious. There is no protection between you and the ground. The scooter’s go really fast (over 20 mph) in some places. Although they advise wearing a helmet, the scooter companies know that hardly anyone carries a helmet around so they can ride a scooter. This has tragically resulted in numerous fatal scooter accidents.
The CDC has issued a study on scooter related injuries. In less than three months in Austin, TX, the CDC identified 271 people with potential scooter related injuries. Of these people, 190 were confirmed to have a scooter injury. Many of the injuries were severe: “almost half of the injured riders in this study sustained an injury to the head. Of these injured riders with a head injury, 15% reported or had evidence suggestive of a traumatic brain injury.”
As Atlanta Brain Injury Lawyers, we know just how horrific a traumatic brain injury can be. This year, we settled a case for the Policy limits of $700,000 which included a traumatic brain injury for a child. These are serious cases with real world implications.
That brings us to the key question: Can you sue a scooter company like bird or lime after an accident? Like many things in law, the answer is: it depends. The scooter companies have very lengthy contracts which serve to benefit them and not their riders. Most likely, your best bet at a successful lawsuit against the company themselves is if something is defective with the scooter which was not readily apparent to a user. For example, if the brakes stop working, the ignition sticks, the wheels fail, etc. In these instances, the scooter company would be hard pressed to argue that you assumed the risk of equipment. It will be a fact intensive determination.
Even if you cannot sue a scooter company, you may have recourse if you are involved in an accident with another person. This type of lawsuit would proceed under the negligence standard. This means that you would need to prove that the other person caused the accident by acting in a manner not up to the standard of care.
A knowledgeable Georgia attorney, like us, can help you navigate all aspects of your Atlanta Scooter Accident, including these. We specialize in Atlanta truck accidents, bike accidents, brain injuries, spine injuries, and other catastrophic injuries.