As scooter-sharing companies like Lime and Bird become more common in Tampa, people are able to choose from a wider range of transportation options, but this comes with a price. As scooters rise to prominence in cities across the United States, accidents involving scooters are rising as well. Cities are scrambling to keep up with legislation and traffic rules in order to protect the safety of both the scooter riders and the rest of the people that they are sharing the public roads with, meaning that an accident involving one may result in some legal grey area about determining fault, whether or not there were any traffic regulations violated, and more.
If you have been involved in an accident while riding on a scooter in Tampa, it is important that you begin working with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you through the claims process. Insurance companies work aggressively to limit the amount of money that they pay for any accident or claim, and in cases such as accidents involving scooters, they will use the lack of established precedent in order to cut their settlement amounts even more. With an attorney on your side, you can be confident that you are getting the legal support you need in order to get the money that you deserve.
Read more below to get a better idea of how these accidents are treated, how an attorney can help you through the process, and answers to some additional frequently asked questions about scooter accidents in Tampa. Contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to be connected with an attorney who is ready to take your case and fight for your rights through to the end.
How Common Are E-Scooter Accidents in Tampa?
As cities around the United States struggle to keep up with the recent boom of scooter-sharing companies, they are also struggling to make sense of the statistics regarding accidents and injuries owing to these types of transportation options. As of August 2019, Tampa had reported over 250,000 scooter rides across the city. Around the same time, Consumer Reports had determined that at least 8 people have died in scooter accidents since the fall of 2017 throughout the United States. While these numbers are lower than car accidents, the risk is non-zero and rising.
On June 26, 2019, a man was killed in Tampa while riding a Lime scooter after being hit by a commercial truck on South 20th Street, near Stuart Street. This is one concrete example of a serious scooter accident that has occurred in Tampa, which is why it is important to understand your legal rights if you choose to utilize this transportation option in the city.
What To Do After You Are In a Scooter Accident
Focus on Safety
The most important thing to do after an accident is to prioritize your safety, meaning that if possible, get out of oncoming traffic and to the side of the road, into a parking lot, onto a sidewalk, or into a median if possible. If your injuries are serious enough, do not attempt to move.
Contact 911 as soon as possible, so that EMTs, police, and the fire department can be dispatched to secure the area, divert traffic, and attend any emergency medical issues promptly. The police will compile an accident report after an on-site investigation, and this report will be extremely handy as you go through your claims process, as it should hopefully establish fault for the accident. At this time, attempt to get as much contact information as possible from eyewitnesses, who will help you to create a more comprehensive picture of the incident.
Get Medical Attention
Whether or not you need to take an ambulance to an emergency room for treatment, it is absolutely essential that you visit your doctor as soon as possible to address any injuries that you have sustained. This is obviously important because it maximizes your chances of a full recovery, but there is an additional benefit that it creates a paper trail that will be an advantage in your claims process. Each time you visit your doctor, there is more documentation about your injuries, and clearly connects these injuries to your accident.
Hire an Attorney
You will need to file an insurance claim as soon as you are able, and while there is no requirement for you to have a lawyer during this process, you will benefit greatly from their support. Each step of the claims investigation is essentially dedicated to finding every possible way to limit or reduce the amount of money that the insurance company will pay you for your claim, and an attorney will be able to navigate this process with the intention of getting you the money that you truly deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Scooter Accidents
Who is at fault for my scooter accident?
In order to establish fault for the accident, your attorney will gather police and accident reports, eyewitness accounts, and of course, your own statement about the situation. With all of this information, they will set out to establish fault for the accident. Florida has a policy known as “comparative fault,” meaning that there is a percentage of blame assigned to each person involved in the accident. The victim’s award will be reduced according to their level of fault in the incident, which is why it is so important to make sure that fault is clearly established before moving forward.
If you are found to be 10% responsible for an accident, then your award will be reduced by 10%. If your damages are calculated to $100,000, then you will receive $90,000 for a final amount.
Should I accept the insurance company’s offer?
Under no circumstances should you ever accept an initial offer from an insurance company without consulting with a personal injury attorney in Tampa. Even though the insurance company will attempt to position this offer as the best they can possibly do, this is simply the start of an ongoing series of negotiations about a fair settlement.
When you are not working with an attorney, the insurance company will use their experience in these situations to limit your settlement amount and block your attempts to get the money you deserve. When you are being represented by a qualified and proven lawyer, they know that you will fight for what you are owed.
Can I seek compensation for time away from work after my accident?
Lost wages, in the form of missed work, vacation days used, or paid time off cashed out to cover missed days at work are all included as part of the economic damages in your settlement amount. In addition, if you suffer from any type of disability as a result of your injuries you may be eligible for disability payments and possible job training to help you find a new career.
The specifics of these issues depend on a variety of factors around your accident, so working with an attorney is the best way to get a comprehensive idea of what you should expect in your own case.