Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz

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E-scooters placing more users at risk of serious injury

You may have noticed more e-scooters on the streets and sidewalks around town lately. Perhaps you even rented one yourself to run errands, get to class or just for fun. Undoubtedly, you found the experience exhilarating and carefree -- that is, unless you suffered an injury.

With only a handful of ordinances governing the safe operation of scooters, you may be in danger of injury whether you rent one or are merely a pedestrian who encounters a careless or inexperienced scooter operator. More emergency rooms in Texas and across the country are seeing serious and life-threatening injuries, including those suffered when the scooter malfunctions.

Should manufacturers offer better training?

You need little training beyond watching a video on the e-scooter app before climbing on the low footboard and rolling away. The scooters can reach speeds of 35 mph, and that sudden jolt of speed may be just enough to eject a novice rider, causing serious injury. More hospitals are treating traumatic head injuries, broken bones and blunt force trauma from scooter accidents.

In Texas, you may ride your scooter on the sidewalk or in the street, but local ordinances may be stricter. If you happen to be a pedestrian, you may not appreciate the risk you face when a scooter crosses your path. Pedestrians have suffered serious injuries when scooters have hit them from behind, clipped them in passing or tripped them when riders left their scooters unattended on the sidewalk.

More claims of poor scooter design

While some e-scooter riders claim the manufacturers are grossly negligent by failing to provide appropriate training for new riders, others are charging that the scooters are defective. For example, one model of e-scooter has a battery that reportedly smolders and catches fire. Another model is apparently responsible for numerous injuries after the baseboard snaps in two or breaks into pieces after hitting a hard bump.

You may welcome the scooter craze because it is convenient, cheap and easy on the environment. However, the rapid rise in popularity of e-scooters makes it difficult for lawmakers to regulate their safe use. If you suffer an injury due to a scooter's poor design or the reckless use of another operator, you have the right to know your options for seeking the appropriate compensation for your injuries.

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