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E-scooters may present unexpected danger to inexperienced riders

Electric scooters are all the rage in various cities across the nation -- but those tiny little modes of personal transportation can be quite dangerous. There have been insurance claims for everything from broken bones to head injuries and deaths related to e-scooters.

Until now, however, there were no definitive studies on how e-scooter injuries happen. As it turns out, the majority of accidents seem to be related to falls.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) conducted a study of e-scooter injuries that occurred in a one-year period between 2017 and 2018. The study found 249 incidents of people who sought medical treatment at two hospitals during that time. Here are some of their findings:

  • Falls by riders accounted for 80.2 percent of injuries.
  • Collisions -- where an e-scooter struck someone or struck an object -- were behind 11 percent of accidents.
  • Only 8.8 percent of injury victims were struck-by something, like a passenger car.
  • The vast majority of injury victims -- 91.6 percent -- were e-scooter riders themselves, rather than pedestrians.
  • Nearly a third (32.5 percent) of the injuries were serious enough to require an ambulance.
  • Two-fifths of the injuries (40.2 percent) that required hospitalization involved head trauma.
  • Fractures were involved in 31.7 percent of injuries.

What do these statistics imply? Essentially, they indicate that some people may seriously overestimate their ability to use e-scooters safely -- and they might be helped along in that assumption by the way the devices are marketed for use.

Several major companies, like LimeWire and Bird, make the scooter readily available to anyone who can afford them. Many people may confuse e-scooters for the much friendlier (and easier to operate) scooters they remember as children.

Manufacturers generally have a duty to warn consumers when a product on the market is dangerous -- even when used as directed -- if the danger isn't obvious to the reasonable user. That may open the door, say insurers, to liability for injuries caused by e-scooters.

If you've been seriously injured using an e-scooter, it's smart to find out more about your legal options for recovery. An attorney can help you understand more about the possibilities.

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DelVecchio & Miller, LLC

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