Pittsburgh has seen the arrival of Scoobi scooter rentals this year. These two-wheel scooters similar to Vespa have a top speed of 30 miles per hour and cost of $5 for the first 15 minutes and .25 cents for each additional minute. While it is great to have eco-friendly, affordable and on-demand electric scooter rental here, emergency rooms across country have seen a surge in injuries related to renting on-demand urban transport vehicles offered by other companies similar to Scoobi.
According to multiple news reports, the injured are showing up with broken wrists, head injuries, facial lacerations and blunt head trauma that can potentially have live-altering consequences to the injured. According to the Washington Post, there are no official numbers of accidents and severe injuries involved, but anecdotal evidence from medical staff confirms the surge.
Potential to inflict injury
These scooters may look like toys, but they have the potential to hurt riders as well as others who get in their way. These services require a minimum age as well as a standard driver’s license, but the drivers (like reckless bicyclists) may look at user guidelines and rules of the road as optional. As renters, these riders also pose a danger to themselves and others because they may not have experience operating the scooters.
Do victims have recourse?
Users of these on-demand services must sign user agreements that can prevent them from seeking compensation from the companies for their injuries. If there is potential for compensation because of vehicle malfunction, the industry standard for on-demand bike shares, e-bikes and e-scooters is binding arbitration, which critics believe put the consumer at a disadvantage.
If the rider causes an accident that injures others, the victims can still take action against the rider. This is little consolation for victims blind-sided by an out-of-control rider – even at less than 30 miles an hour, the injuries will be substantial.
The injured should always seek medical help immediately. If there are severe injuries or injuries with dizziness or concussion-like symptoms, it wise to consult a personal injury attorney with experience handling accidents and injuries. An attorney can then help victims explore their options for gaining compensation for the damages.