Earlier this year, the Indianapolis City-County Council met to discuss the new boom of electric scooters that seemed to appear in Indianapolis overnight. These electronic scooter companies migrated from the west coast to cities such as Cincinnati, Detroit, and Indianapolis and appear to be staying for a while.
Thinking about the safety issues and potential revenue that could be gained by the city, council members have placed a number of ordinances on these devices to protect their riders and the people enjoying downtown Indianapolis without a scooter.
To begin, each device is marked with a unique serial number, equipped with a bell or horn feature, and notifies users via an app that they must follow all traffic laws and wear a helmet. Another ordinance states that scooters must be parked at least six feet away from unobstructed passage on a public right-a-way and forbids parking that blocks ADA accessible ramps and entrances.
After establishing these ordinances, what concerned the council next was who would enforce these regulations. Companies Bird and Lime, the main competitors for the dock-free scooters, conceded that they would have representatives in the city for customer assistance, but ultimately the companies are not liable if the users choose not to follow the terms of their service. That leaves a big question: who is liable if you’re injured on a scooter?
Determining Who Is at Fault
Since Indiana is an at-fault state, the same rule applies in the case of these scooters. Already, there have been cases of device malfunction where riders have experienced their brakes locking up or have lost control of the scooter. More complicated cases like riders damaging vehicles and driving off before exchanging information has been reported. Pedestrian injuries are also a concern.
There are several ways to either be injured by a scooter or on one. What matters is who’s responsible. Even though all the details aren’t sorted out, all scooters do have records of who used what scooter at a certain time, and each scooter can be tracked. This is helpful if a person is injured by someone on a scooter and the rider leaves the scene, for example.
Ultimately, the scooter rider assumes some liability when using the device. This liability is for both property and bodily damage caused by the scooter if the device operator can be proven to be at fault and it wasn’t because of scooter malfunction. In the case of a malfunction, the company themselves may be liable for any injuries sustained by the rider or by someone not using the scooter.
Hire a Muncie Personal Injury Attorney
The scooters haven’t descended upon Muncie yet, but as a college town, it’s likely they’ll find their way to us sooner rather than later. If you’re injured on or by a scooter, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out today if you have a case by calling the experienced attorneys at Hensley Legal Group. Call or contact us online for your free consultation.
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