Over a year ago, the electric scooter company Bird dropped around 100 dockless scooters on the streets of Milwaukee without warning. This sudden invasion not only took local officials by surprise, it opened a floodgate of legal issues. This led to the removal of dockless scooters from the entire city, but new developments could return these scooters to a street corner near you. Here are a few facts and updates from our South Milwaukee injury attorneys to help you learn more about this situation.
Dockless scooters are the latest ride-sharing craze to hit the nation. Equipped with special technology, these little electronic scooters allow users to rent and use them by downloading an app. With such convenient transportation options at your fingertips, e-scooters are on every corner in large cities across the country. In some instances, like here in Milwaukee, these devices have appeared overnight. However, they have stirred more legal controversies in our state than transportation solutions.
Wisconsin state law prohibits riding electric scooters on sidewalks or public streets. In fact, police can give people caught riding these vehicles a $100 ticket for riding an unregistered vehicle on the streets. Bills introduced in the State Assembly and the State Senate seek to change this, but for now, all dockless scooters are technically illegal in Wisconsin.
In the past few months, thousands of e-scooters have appeared in cities all across the U.S., but this new transportation solution comes at a cost. Scooter accidents are on the rise as hospitals report more scrapes, broken bones, head injuries and worse. In May, a man in Atlanta lost his life after a scooter crash. In March, a tourist in San Diego lost his life after crashing while riding a dockless scooter. These incidents may have happened hundreds or thousands of miles from Milwaukee, but they may serve as a warning of what’s to come.
In many scooter crashes, obstacles present a heightened danger to riders. Curbs, sand and rocks often pose a serious threat because the wheels on these scooters can jam easily or slide due to their small size. The fact that few dockless scooter companies give riders helmets and safety gear also contributes to the severity of these crashes. Distracted driving and negligence behind the wheel have also resulted in many serious and fatal scooter crashes. Riders have very little protection when hit by motor vehicles.
However, it may shock you to learn that defective scooters are one of the leading causes of scooter crashes. Lime recalled thousands of its scooters after riders reported crashing due to handlebars breaking off mid-ride. Reports of brakes failing, throttles sticking and baseboards shattering have also contributed to e-scooter injuries.
When it comes to scooter crashes, having an attorney by your side is an important part of your recovery. Our attorneys help the injured recover compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages and other accident-related costs. We can help you face a negligent driver’s insurance company or aid you in holding a company responsible for their defective scooter. Call (414)856-4010 or fill out our online contact form today to find out what our attorneys can do to help with your dockless scooter accident.