New York Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer
The use of electric scooters has sharply increased in New York over the past few years, with numerous scooter-sharing companies currently active in the state. Electric scooters are popular in New York because they are an inexpensive alternative to vehicles when commuting and traveling in high-traffic areas. They are affordable, environmentally friendly, and convenient to use.
Electric scooters pose a danger for pedestrians and occasionally play a part in car accidents. Unfortunately, scooter accidents are not uncommon in parts of the country. Most states have different regulations for electric scooters, including New York. Here is everything you need to know about these state-specific laws and how a New York electric scooter accident lawyer can help if you’ve been injured.
What Is an Electric Scooter?
Electronic scooters work much like traditional non-powered scooters. These devices are comprised of a narrow platform, handlebars with a throttle, hand brakes, two wheels, and a front and rear suspension system. The majority of models are foldable and light, making them easy to store and transport.
While scooters are often used for recreational purposes, more people use them to commute to and from work. New York is notorious for traffic, and scooters are an attractive alternative for people who do not want to deal with busy roads or expensive parking. While these devices are a convenient form of transportation, there are safety considerations to consider. These safety considerations are why many states are adopting rules to regulate their use.
New York Scooter Laws
New York’s government adopted legislation in 2021 to regulate electronic scooter use. Under this new law, electronic scooters and bicycles are divided into three groups. These groups depend on the unit’s top speed and how many people live in the area. For instance, all electronic bikes and scooters in New York City are considered Class 2 units.
The law dictates that individuals must be 16 years of age or older to operate an electric scooter or bicycle legally. Helmets must be worn by those under the age of 18. Helmets must also be worn with Class 3 electric bicycles. Operators cannot go above 15 miles per hour on sidewalks and they must always be driven in marked zones.
Electronic scooters can only be used on roads with less than 30 miles per hour speed limits. It is illegal to operate a device while under the influence of alcohol. Local cities may impose fines and jail time for those found driving an electronic scooter while intoxicated. Specific municipalities can choose to adopt additional rules for electronic scooters. Cities can choose to outlaw the use of electronic scooters and bicycles altogether. For now, scooters are allowed in New York City.
Liability Electric Scooters Accidents
When it comes to personal injury cases, establishing liability is a top priority. The at-fault party is typically responsible for paying damages to the injured party. Electronic scooter accidents work similarly to other types of personal injury cases. The only difference is that the avenues for financial compensation vary from different personal injuries.
If you collide with another scooter or a vehicle, the other driver may be liable. If a third party is responsible, you may get money from the other driver’s insurance carrier. Your insurance company might cover your medical costs if you cause the accident. Car rental agencies often provide financial compensation if you get into an accident in a rented car. However, companies that rent electronic scooters, such as Revel, typically do not offer this benefit.
Many electronic scooter companies make renters sign a liability agreement before riding. While these liability waivers may not hold up in court, it will make it difficult to recover any financial damages. However, there are instances when the rental agency can hold responsibility. For example, the company will be responsible if a scooter malfunction causes an accident.
Possible Sources of Insurance Protection
If you’re injured in an electronic scooter accident, several types of insurance may offer financial compensation. Remember that insurance coverage varies by the type of accident and who is responsible. However, it is best to explore all options to get the money you need after an accident.
Health insurance: Your health insurance carrier may pay for some of your medical bills if you are injured in a covered accident.
Car insurance: While most types of automobile insurance do not provide liability coverage for scooter use, some carriers may allow you to add scooter coverage for an additional cost.
Renters’ insurance: Some types of homeowners’ or renters’ insurance may provide liability coverage for accidents outside of the home. However, there are likely exclusions to this insurance, so make sure you check with your carrier before making a claim.
Personal liability insurance: Some people have personal liability umbrella insurance. These plans kick in when other policies are maxed out or do not provide any coverage. Depending on the terms of your policy, you may have liability protection for a scooter accident.
Some companies offer independent scooter policies. If you plan to use an electronic-powered device to commute regularly, you may want to look into this coverage.
How a New York Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer Can Help
New York electric scooter accident lawyers can assess your case and determine which party is liable to pay the damage. Here is a list of the services personal injury lawyers can provide:
1. Gathering Evidence
A personal injury lawyer will assess your claim and gather evidence to support your claim. The evidence-gathering phase is necessary for your lawyer to determine if you have a case that will stand up in court. Once a legal team agrees to take on your case, they may file an incident report, gather medical paperwork, take witness statements, and gather accident photos or camera footage.
Evidence is vital to establish the extent of your injuries and who is responsible for the accident. Your lawyer may also work with your medical team to gather the proper paperwork to verify your injuries.
2. Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies negotiate with accident victims to pay as little money as possible. Dealing with your carrier without the help of an attorney can result in an unfair settlement. Personal injury lawyers know how to confer with insurance adjusters. They can review policy details and help determine which compensation is available based on your circumstances. Your lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance companies so you can focus on recovering.
3. Sending Demand Letters
Your legal team may send a demand letter to your insurance carrier after gathering evidence for your claim. These letters state the facts of the case and the extent of your injuries. A demand letter will also request a certain amount of compensation.
4. Preparing Pleadings
Your lawyer will prepare a case against the defendant if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement. A complaint outlines the facts of the case and requests a certain amount of financial compensation. Defendants typically have 30 days to respond to a complaint formally.
5. Representing You at Trial
If the defendant does not agree to a settlement, your case goes to court. A personal injury lawyer will prepare a claim and represent you in court. Lawyers are familiar with court regulations and know how to present your case in a way that the judge will receive favorably.
This is not a comprehensive list of New York electric scooter accident lawyer services. A car accident attorney will investigate your claim and take the proper course of action, depending on the circumstances.
Work With Hill and Moin
Were you injured in an electronic scooter accident in New York? You need to retain an attorney who will work to get you the money you deserve. Hill and Moin LLP has over 40 years of experience in personal injury law. Contact us today to set up an appointment with a member of our legal team.