In September 2018, electric scooter-share operator Lime prompted an uproar when it unleashed 100 of its rental scooters onto Reno’s midtown streets without first alerting local officials or having regulations in place to govern the scooters’ use.
Things went downhill from there. Reno immediately struggled with the shared scooters getting left in random locations around the city, and with riders who had little or no experience with the devices causing sometimes-catastrophic accidents in collisions with vehicles and pedestrians (consistent with a national trend of such accidents). Within six months, Reno‘s local government had banned Lime’s scooters, and so far the service has not been permitted to return.
Recent state legislation empowers cities to create ordinances to govern scooter use, so Lime may yet return. In the meantime, Reno has also had to grapple with accidents involving another kind of “scooter”—more commonly known as a “moped” or a “Vespa”—for years. These and other forms of alternative transportation devices all pose risks of serious injuries to their riders, other motorists, and pedestrians.
If you have sustained injuries in a Reno scooter accident because of someone else’s poor decisions or negligent actions, Nevada law entitles you to take legal action seeking compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the scooter accident lawyers at Benson & Bingham today at (775) 600-6000 to tell us your story to receive a free case evaluation.
The committed, diligent legal team at Benson & Bingham has extensive experience in the negotiation, settlement, and litigation of personal injury claims, including those involving scooter accidents. Our firm’s dedication to client advocacy and professional excellence has led to the recovery of tens of millions of dollars in damages for our clients over our more than 15 years of law practice.
Recent personal injury verdicts and settlements range from $100,000 to $3.3 million for clients injured because of someone else’s careless actions.
These outcomes do not guarantee specific financial results for any particular scooter accident claim, of course, but our clients can rest assured that Benson & Bingham has the resources and experience to build the strongest possible cases to give our clients the best chance to recover the compensation they deserve.
When we talk about scooter accidents, we are really referring to two totally different types of vehicles. The first is an adult version of the child’s toy you can imagine a kid in your neighborhood zooming around on—only, instead of using your feet to propel you, an electric motor does all the work. Electric scooters like these are the type scooter-share companies like Lime and Bird have placed in cities—to much public consternation—across the United States, including Reno. These scooters travel at speeds up to 20 miles per hour, and their riders generally must follow bicycle laws in operating them.
A second kind of vehicle also gets referred to from time-to-time as a “scooter.” Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles refers to these vehicles “mopeds.” They resemble small motorcycles, have a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour, and (by Nevada law) cannot have an engine larger than 50cc or 1500 watts. Moped riders must have a driver’s license (but do not need a motorcycle endorsement), and they must wear helmets. Nevada permits mopeds on the road, but drivers must follow the traffic laws the same as any motorist or motorcyclist.
Many different scenarios might lead to a scooter accident and the potentially-devastating injuries that follow. In many cases, the scooter driver will be at fault. Yet, other times a third party can be fully or partially liable for an accident.
Below are some examples of situations that lead to scooter accidents and injuries.
Inexperienced riders. Laws for electric scooters in Reno haven’t been created, but it’s likely the city will follow suit and require drivers to be at least 16, the same requirement for gas-powered mopeds. In either case, drivers have little training or experience making it difficult for them to control the scooter, especially in hazardous situations or when they need to make a quick maneuver.
Drinking and scooting. Alcohol impairs a person riding a scooter in the same way it does for someone driving a car or motorcycle. Scooting safely requires significant manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination, in particular. Riders who use alcohol and scoot put others on the roads and sidewalks at risk for an accident and potentially devastating injuries.
Careless riders. Perhaps people who own scooters take care to ride them safely and use them responsibly. If Reno’s experience with Lime is any guide, however, riders who rent scooters seem somewhat inclined to make careless and reckless choices while using scooters. Maybe that is because they do not have much experience with the devices and fail to recognize the dangers. Or, perhaps it is because they see scooters as something closer to a toy than a form of transportation, and they want to joyride, do tricks, or test to see how fast the scooter goes or how well it maneuvers. Whatever their reasons, scooter and moped riders often make careless choices, such as by weaving around pedestrians on crowded sidewalks, or carrying a passenger on a moped built for just one rider.
Defective scooters. Like all motor vehicles, defective scooters can cause severe accidents and sometimes fatalities. In fact, Lime had to initiate two global recalls of their electric scooters in 2018. One recall occurred because handlebars broke away from the riding platform and another recall was for their Segway models because they had fire risks. If you suffered injuries on a defective Lime scooter before Reno kicked the company out of the city, you might be eligible for compensation.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a Reno scooter or moped accident, let an experienced personal injury lawyer go to work to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Contact the skilled scooter accident legal team at Benson & Bingham at (775) 600-6000 or online for a free consultation about your accident and injuries, and to learn about your options going forward. We also serve clients in Lake Tahoe, Sparks, and Carson City.
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