Lots of Chicagoans are looking to make eco-friendly shifts in their daily lives. When you combine a green change with the ability to downsize and do away with car payments or public transit costs, it’s easy to see why scooters are so popular in Chicago.
Scooters provide a quick, cheap, and easy way to hop from one spot in the city to the next. They also present some unique risks. Did you know that 1,500 Americans are injured or killed by e-scooters each year—a 222 percent increase over four years? In Chicago’s first pilot program with scooters, 192 people reported injuries. Complaints involving scooters resulted in 39 citations going to nine of the 10 e-scooter companies that participated in the first pilot program.
Scooter riders should understand their rights on and off the road. If you’re curious about your legal options following a scooter accident in Chicago, you will want to understand a few key points. You can start by calling the Chicago scooter accident lawyers at Abels & Annes.
About Our Chicago Law Firm
Since 2008, Abels & Annes’s award-winning lawyers have fought for the rights of injury victims in Chicago. Along the way, we have collected millions of dollars in compensation for their clients and garnered praise from clients and peer attorneys alike, earning high marks from Super Lawyers, AVVO, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
The recent cases we’ve brought to successful conclusions include $3 million, $375,000, and $100,000 settlements or judgments for Chicago motorcycle accidents that left our clients seriously and even catastrophically injured.
We can’t promise similar results in your situation—the facts of each case will dictate the outcome—but we can promise that if we take your case we will work tirelessly to recover as much compensation for you as the law allows.
Causes of Chicago Scooter Accidents
It’s impossible to list every single potential cause for a scooter accident. If you were injured while operating a scooter, contact our Chicago scooter accident attorneys regardless of the cause (or apparent cause). With that said, the cause of a scooter accident can have an impact on an accident case.
Lots of things can cause scooter accidents, including:
- Doorings | Doorings occur when a vehicle operator or passenger unknowingly opens their door into an oncoming scooterist.
- Changing Lanes | When a motorist changes lanes, they may fail to observe someone riding a scooter, especially since they’re operating much smaller vehicles than car drivers are—but changing lanes or swerving has the potential to lead to a crash.
- Failure to yield | Like pedestrians and bicyclists, scooter riders often sustain injuries due to a driver failing to yield the right of way. Drivers of passenger vehicles tend to notice other cars and trucks, and sometimes fail to keep a lookout for smaller vehicles on the road.
According to a study, the top risk factors for severe and lethal scooter crashes included:
- Alcohol and drug use
- Unpaved roads
- Major roadways with four or more lanes
- Poor lighting conditions
What Rules Should Chicago Scooterists Follow to Stay Safe?
Scooter users should take certain actions to protect themselves while driving. It’s no different than operating a passenger vehicle.
If you’re about to drive a scooter in Chicago, you must follow our city’s basic rules:
- Use bike lanes whenever possible—never the sidewalk
- Obey all local, state, and federal traffic laws
- Yield to pedestrians
- Ride solo (you may not carry passengers on a scooter)
- Never drive on plazas, creek ways, parks, or trails—including the 606
- Never use a phone or any other electronic device while driving
- Park your scooter near a bike rack if possible; never obstruct a Chicago sidewalk with a scooter
Obeying these basic rules of the road helps keep everybody safe—including you. Nobody can prevent an accident that someone else’s negligence caused. You can, however, help lessen the risks you face.
I Was in a Scooter Accident, and I Don’t Understand Who to Hold Liable
Nobody can tell you, with certainty, who was liable for your scooter accident before knowing all the facts. That’s the reason our Chicago scooter accident attorneys thoroughly investigate our clients’ cases.
Nevertheless, we find that scooter accident liability tends to come down to one of three common parties. Keep in mind that these are far from the only potential defendants in a scooter accident case.
That said, we see these most commonly:
- Another driver | Many scooterists are struck by other drivers on the road. Whether they were driving a sedan, a semi-truck, or some sort of specialized vehicle, he or she could be held responsible for your accident. When negligent drivers cause accidents, injured scooterists can hold those drivers responsible.
- The scooter company | A lot of the general public doesn’t think of this when they think about accident liability, but the scooter company itself could have caused your accident. Scooter companies can neglect the maintenance of their scooters. Some may overlook expensive malfunctions or wear issues in favor of keeping scooters in service and making money for them.
- The city | In some cases, we can even hold the city liable for a scooter accident. When this is the case, we can often trace the accident’s cause back to maintenance or defect problems (like a construction hazard or other road defects).
Recovering Damages: What Can Injured Scooterists Anticipate?
When you bring a case, you do so to collect damages. This compensation should account for the harms (and expenses) caused by your crash.
Our team, for example, helps scooterists recover damages for:
- Past, present, and future medical bills | Including those for emergency transport, specialized services, custom medical equipment, and more
- Physical damages | To your property
- Pain and suffering| These damages account for exceptional emotional or physical pain caused by an accident
- Loss of wages or earning potential | Scooter accident victims may temporarily lose their ability to work and earn a wage after their experiences; in some cases, a crash can even permanently alter somebody’s earning potential for the rest of their life. When this occurs, scooter accident victims can pursue compensation for lost earning potential in court
Evidence That May Benefit Your Case
Sometimes, Chicago scooter accident victims can document some evidence at the scene of the crash. This is not always the case: Lots of crash survivors are too seriously injured to collect information.
If this describes you, don’t worry. Our scooter accident attorneys are used to it and often must collect information and evidence later.
It could help your case, however, if you can:
- Take photos or videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any other damage
- Collect other drivers’ and witnesses’ contact information
- Get other drivers’ license and insurance details
- Request a copy of the police report that was filed on-scene
Chicago Scooter Accident FAQ
Electric scooters are popular enough in Chicago that at least three companies—Lime, Spin, and Bird—all offer shared e scooters to the public.
Accidents, however, can inflict serious injuries on the riders who take to the streets on them.
Chicagoans injured in scooter accidents often have many questions about their legal rights. Below, we answer some of the most common of those questions. For answers to your specific questions about a Chicago scooter accident that injured you or a loved one, contact the experienced scooter accident injury lawyers at Abels & Annes today.
Who is liable if I’m injured in a scooter accident?
Every Chi-town scooter accident has unique facts and circumstances, of course, so no single answer will cover who has a legal liability to you if you get injured in one. However, generally speaking, victims of Chicago scooter accidents can take legal action for damages against anyone whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or conduct caused their accident and injuries.
Parties meeting that description often include:
- Motorists – Drivers of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and any other type of motorized vehicle on Chicago streets can face legal liability to a scooter accident victim if their imprudent actions (changing lanes and not noticing a scooter is already in the lane, for example) or failures to obey traffic laws (ignoring right-of-way rules, which apply to scooters just as they do to other vehicles, for instance) lead to a crash.
- Bicyclists – Bicyclists can face legal liability for causing a crash in the same manner as drivers of motor vehicles.
- Pedestrians – A pedestrian who causes an accident by, for example, stepping into the path of a scooter without looking, can face legal liability for causing the scooter rider’s injuries.
- Scooter manufacturers – If a defect makes a scooter unreasonably dangerous to ride, then the scooter’s manufacturer can face legal liability for any resulting accident.
- Scooter-sharing companies – Companies that provide scooters for public use have a basic responsibility to inspect, maintain, and repair their fleets of scooters. Failure to take these essential safety measures can saddle companies with liability when a scooter breaks down and causes an accident.
- City government – Our tax dollars are supposed to go, in part, toward keeping Chicago streets safe for the public, including scooter riders. In rare cases, if a government agency fails in its responsibility to repair or warn about unreasonably dangerous street conditions, then it could face legal liability for a scooter rider’s injuries.
These are just some of the parties who could face legal liability to you. To identify the specific parties who you can hold financially accountable for your injuries, contact an experienced Chicago scooter accident injury lawyer.
How do I get compensation?
Again, every case is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. However, typically, Chicago scooter accident victims can obtain compensation for their injuries by taking some sort of legal action against the parties with legal liability to them.
An experienced lawyer can assess your situation and plan a strategy for the best way to get you the money you deserve.
That strategy may involve:
- Investigating to identify all parties who have liability to you, and how much money the law permits you to seek;
- Negotiating with those parties and their representatives to achieve a favorable settlement of your claim, if possible; and
- Litigating in Chicago courts, if necessary, to convince a judge and jury to award you damages in the event negotiation settlement alone does not produce results.
Get started by speaking with an experienced scooter accident injury lawyer right away.
What is my scooter injury claim worth?
Every claim has unique characteristics that determine how much money a victim has a right to seek as damages. The value of Chicago scooter accident injury claims can range from thousands to millions of dollars, if there are catastrophic injuries. In general, scooter crash victims can often sue for:
- Medical bills and
- Lost income, both past and estimated for the future;
- Lifetime value of earnings, if the accident caused disability (inability to work at a former occupation); and
- Property damage, if your personal property sustained damage in the accident.
- Pain and suffering;
- Harm to personal relationships; and
- Diminished quality or enjoyment of life.
The amount of each of the categories of damages listed above varies widely from case-to-case and victim-to-victim. The severity of the injury, the prognosis for recovery, and the victim’s age, income, and the overall state of health all play a role.
Keep in mind, too, that how much money you have the right to receive, and how much money you can realistically expect to receive, can also vary. First, there is no guarantee that you will get paid—that depends on the strength of your case. Second, the financial resources of the parties with legal liability to you matter a great deal. Generally speaking, you have a better chance of obtaining maximum compensation from a well-insured party than a party with no insurance and no assets.
How much do the Chicago scooter accident lawyers at Abels & Annes cost?
It costs you nothing to meet with an experienced lawyer for an initial consultation about your Chicago scooter accident. That meeting is always free, and gives you the chance to size-up the lawyer’s skills, reputation, and working style.
If you and the lawyer agree to work together on your claim, then in virtually all cases the lawyer will agree to represent you on contingency. That means you pay nothing to the lawyer as an up-front fee, and the lawyer does not charge you for specific services or by the hour. Instead, you and the lawyer agree to a percentage of any money the lawyer obtains on your behalf that the lawyer gets to keep as a fee.
In other words, it costs nothing to get our experienced, skilled scooter accident injury lawyers working on your case, and you pay the lawyer a fee only if the lawyer gets results. That way, you have access to an experienced injury lawyer, and you and the lawyer share the common goal of getting you paid as much money as possible, as soon as possible.
For answers to your questions about a Chicago scooter accident that injured you or a loved one, contact the experienced attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free consultation today.
Our Chicago Scooter Accident Attorneys May Help
Did another motorist injure you while riding an e-scooter in Chicago? Call Abels & Annes today.
Our Chicago scooter accident lawyers can:
- Listen to your story
- Clarify confusing aspects of your case
- Collect and document evidence
- Fight for your rights (in settlement negotiations, and, if necessary, in court)
“I highly recommend Abels & Annes, P.C. they are an outstanding firm! who thrive in success and care about their clients. Eric did an amazing job working on my case. He would provide updates on daily and made this a smooth process. If you seek a firm that shows professionalism, quality & trust Abels & Annes, P.C. is it! Thank you Eric and staff!” -Vanessa V.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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