E-Scooter Accidents and Injuries

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Dallas permitted electric scooter (e-scooter) rideshare companies Bird and Lime to release about 1,000 rental e-scooters into the city in July 2018. Since then, dozens of victims have suffered road rash, facial lacerations, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries in e-scooter accidents. E-scooters can go up to 15 miles per hour. This can surprise many new riders and contribute to accidents. Negligent drivers are another major threat riders face in Dallas.

E-Scooter Injuries and Deaths in Dallas

In the first three months after rideshare scooters’ debut in July 2018, Dallas police received four motorized scooter accident reports. Not all victims called 911, however, since Dallas paramedics recorded 13 scooter accident patients in the same time period. Parkland Memorial Hospital identified 37 cases involving scooters in the last half of 2018, with a major spike after the release of rentable e-scooters. Baylor University Medical Center says at least seven scooter patients required major surgeries since July.
The first confirmed rentable e-scooter death happened in Dallas, Texas. The rider was not wearing a helmet, and suffered a fatal head injury when he crashed the scooter, potentially in a hit-and-run. The victim, Jacoby Stoneking, took a Lime e-scooter home from a restaurant on September 1st. He soon called a friend to request a Lyft, saying he had crashed and hurt his foot. When the driver arrived, however, Stoneking was lying near the broken Lime scooter and sadly, was unresponsive.
Although the details of this fatal e-scooter accident remain unknown, authorities say the scooter had broken in half when they responded to the scene. While Stoneking’s family always suspected a hit-and-run because of the severity of his injuries, another answer could be that the scooter snapped in half during use. Other reported cases of e-scooters breaking in half have surfaced around the world, making many question a possible product defect. If this is the case, Lime could be liable for victims’ damages.

What Causes E-Scooter Accidents in Dallas?

Electric scooters pose many risks to riders. They expose riders to many potential personal injuries in a crash, with no metal shell to protect the rider from hazards. Although Bird and Lime recommend riders wear helmets, no law in Dallas forces riders to do so. (The law does require helmets, however, to ride mopeds in Dallas.) Lack of helmet use, new riders who underestimate the speed of the scooter, and negligent drivers can all result in e-scooter accidents and injuries.
Drivers in Dallas are still growing used to seeing dozens of electric scooters on roads and bicycle paths in the city. Many do not understand or respect the rights of scooter riders. They may tailgate scooters in traffic, pass too closely, honk, shout, ignore the right-of-way, or otherwise threaten the safety of scooter users. This can cause serious and fatal collisions. Drivers speeding and breaking other roadway rules can also cause e-scooter accidents.

What to Do as an Injured E-Scooter Rider

If you recently rented a Bird or Lime scooter in Dallas and suffered personal injuries in a crash, you may have grounds for a claim against one or more parties. An at-fault driver could be liable for your damages, as could the scooter company, a product manufacturer, or a property owner. More than one party could share fault for your accident depending on the situation. It is up to you as the victim to protect your rights and pursue compensation through the civil system.
You are not the first person to suffer a serious injury on an electric scooter. Resources are available to help you recover fair compensation. Discuss your case with an attorney to find out if your case has merit. You may be eligible to recover money for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the at-fault driver or e-scooter company.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:40 pm

Dallas Ride-Share Accident Lawyer

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft have transformed shared transportation – but not to everyone’s benefit. Hundreds of ride-share users have suffered serious personal injuries and the deaths of loved ones in preventable ride-share vehicle accidents.

Negligent Uber and Lyft drivers can cause major injuries and cost victims thousands of dollars in hospital bills.

If you or a loved one suffered damages in a Dallas ride-share accident, contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation about your case. You could be eligible for a settlement or judgment award from the at-fault party.

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Common Causes of Ride-Share Accidents

Dallas ride-share accidents happen for many of the same reasons as other car crashes. Some of the most common contributing factors are driver negligence, distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, and breaking other roadway rules.

Distraction is a significant risk when taking an Uber or Lyft, as ride-share drivers must stay logged into the apps on their phones for the duration of the trip.

They must manually respond to new ride requests while they drive. Cellphone distractions can lead to collisions with other vehicles, objects, or people.

Other potential causes of a ride-share accident are dangerous premises and defective vehicle parts. A dangerous premises, such as an unsafe roadway construction zone, could cause a collision by creating hazards.

Potholes, debris in the road, and loose nails could all cause a ride-share accident in Dallas. In these cases, the property owner or city may be liable. Other crashes could come about because of auto part defects or lack of proper vehicle maintenance.

Am I Covered By An Insurance Policy?

You might be new to using these ride-share apps, but Texas law is not. If you suffer injuries while using the ride-share app, such as riding in an Uber, there are three insurance policies that could help.

These policies may cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages you might incur.

  1. The other driver’s liability auto insurance, if a third-party motorist caused the accident
  2. Uber’s $1 million liability policy effective any time there is a rider in the vehicle, if your Uber driver is at fault for the crash
  3. Uber’s $1 million uninsured/underinsured motorist policy, if the driver who caused the crash did not carry liability insurance

It may sound like insurance has got you covered, but even with a $1 million liability policy, ride-share companies do not like to spend them. Both you and your Uber driver should report the accident to Uber, as well as police and any other insurance parties.

This is available online and in the app. After filing the claim, immediately contact a lawyer. These companies will try their hardest to avoid liability, but a personal injury attorney will work even harder to protect your legal rights.

Is the Ride-Share Company Liable?

The two largest ride-share companies, Uber and Lyft, often escape liability for accidents involving their drivers and vehicles. They do this by classifying drivers as independent contractors rather than employees – thus avoiding vicarious employer liability.

Even without proving negligence, however, ride-share riders can qualify for benefits under each company’s $1 million insurance policy. Both policies cover riders for the duration of ride-share trips.

A ride-share driver’s personal auto insurance policy may have to cover damages if the driver was not signed into the app at the time of the collision. In these cases, the company will not be liable since the driver was off the clock.

Determining whether a victim falls into one of the covered categories under Uber or Lyft’s insurance plan can be difficult. A personal injury attorney can help a ride-share accident victim understand his or her rights.

"The attorney you want to fight for you."

Is a Ride-Share Driver Always at Fault in an Accident?

If you are an Uber driver in Texas, does not mean you are automatically the defendant, if the crash was caused by a third party.

In the event that a third party caused the accident, their liability coverage should take care of your medical bills and other expenses.

As an Uber driver, report this type of accident to Uber as well. Contact a personal injury lawyer to help you file the right claim and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

If you caused the accident however, claiming that you are not financially responsible is a complicated process. Still, anytime you are involved in a crash using a ride-share app, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss these circumstances and exactly what you were doing when the crash occurred.

Not on the App

In the event that you were not logged in and legally working, Uber’s liability policy will not cover you. Instead it will be your own personal auto liability policy that covers the damages you caused to the other vehicle(s) and injured person(s).

Logged into the App Without a Rider

Even without a rider in the vehicle, your personal auto liability policy should still be the primary payer in the event that you caused an auto accident. If your insurance company tries to deny claims in this situation, Uber is required to provide contingency coverage for the individual’s injuries.

Logged into the App and With a Rider

The moment you are matched with a rider through the app, Uber’s $1 million liability coverage becomes effective. If you are in an accident on your way to pick up the rider, the policy is still in effect. In this scenario, and even without a rider in the car, the policy will cover the damages for the other driver’s injuries.

Other individuals can still file a personal injury claim, in which you would be held civilly responsible in court.

As an Uber driver, you still need to have your own auto insurance policy to cover damages to your own vehicle. Uber will not pay for any of these damages. Consequently Uber also will not allow you to be a driver until the damages are fixed.

Why Choose Us?

  • We have a track record of success achieving positive results for clients.
  • We have over a decade of experience handling personal injury accident claims.
  • We commit to high standards of ethics and a passion for justice in each case.
  • We believe in providing personal attention from a lead attorney on every case.
  • We do not charge attorney’s fees unless we win.

Why Do You Need an Attorney?

Dealing with Uber or Lyft’s insurance company during an accident claim can prove difficult for victims. Insurance claims adjusters often try to take advantage of clients when they see they do not have attorneys. They may offer much less than the case is worth, or deny a valid claim.

Hiring a Dallas personal injury attorney can make sure no one infringes upon your rights as a victim. While you spend time recovering from your injuries, your personal injury attorney can help with complicated legal processes. An attorney can fight for maximum available compensation on your behalf.

Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Ride-share accidents can happen because of drunk Uber or Lyft drivers, poor vehicle maintenance, or driver distraction.

Whether you were a rider, a pedestrian, or another driver at the time of your injuries, you could be eligible for compensation from the at-fault party.

An attorney from Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. could help you determine the defendant in your case and fight for fair recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation in Dallas.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 12:01 pm