What Do I Do If an Electric Scooter Hit My Car

What Do I Do If an Electric Scooter Hit My Car

what do i do if an electric scooter hit my car

Rentable electric scooters have become progressively more common in Maryland. These scooters are a great solution for convenient travel, as they enable riders to avoid congested traffic.

accidents with scooters

Because these compact vehicles are becoming common, accidents involving scooters are steadily on the rise. Scooter riders can cause serious accidents by breaking traffic laws, riding while distracted, or not paying attention.

Even if you practice defensive driving, a scooter rider could crash into your vehicle, or you may need to swerve suddenly to avoid one of these riders, causing a crash in the process.

The injuries you sustain in an electric scooter crash can be expensive and can also impact your well-being in other ways. You may have a hard time working while in recovery, or your accident could even cause you to sustain permanent disabilities.

Unlike standard motor vehicle accidents, the question of liability can be complicated with motorized scooters. If a scooter rider crashes into your vehicle, are they financially responsible for your medical bills and vehicle damages? Or is their car insurance company or the e-scooter company liable?

Fortunately, we’re here to clarify the question of liability in these crashes, and we’ll unpack what you should do if you’re involved in an electric scooter crash.

Have additional questions? Contact the Maryland car accident lawyers at Zirkin & Schmerling Law by calling 410-753-4611. We can answer any questions you have regarding unclear liability and help you recover fair compensation for your medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs.

Maryland Electric Scooter Laws

what do i do if an electric scooter hit my car

Maryland doesn’t feature unique laws for e-scooters, but these vehicles must abide by the same rules and regulations as bicycles. MD Transportation Code § 11-104 states that those using electric scooters must follow all standard traffic laws.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Following all traffic signs and signals
  • Riding in the bike lane when available
  • Yielding to others who have the right of way
  • Not riding with earbuds and headsets
  • Riding in the correct direction of traffic
  • Never riding while under the influence of drugs and alcohol

Those who violate traffic laws while riding an e-scooter may receive a ticket. They may also be liable for any damages they cause when breaking traffic rules.

What Should I Do After an Electric Scooter Accident?

If a scooter rider crashes into you or causes you to crash, you need to take action to protect yourself and prepare your accident claim due to the other person’s negligence.

Call Emergency Services

If you or the rider suffer a serious injury, you should call 911 immediately and receive emergency medical treatment if necessary.

Most of the time, the rider will sustain more severe injuries than the motorist. Scooters don’t offer the same bodily protection as standard motor vehicles. Additionally, when a vehicle hits a scooter, the impact may throw the rider from the two-wheeler, further increasing the likelihood of a severe injury.

Contact the Police

You should always call the police after a crash regardless of whether it’s a scooter accident or another type of accident. In Maryland, you’re legally obligated to call the police if the accident involved injury.

Further, you must contact the police if:

call 911 in an accident
  • A vehicle needs to be towed
  • The other driver is intoxicated
  • They don’t have a driver’s license
  • They refuse to exchange necessary information, such as their insurance, phone number, and driver’s license number
  • The driver flees the scene

Contacting the police is important for your accident insurance claim because you can use the police report as evidence of fault. The police’s accident report will include first-hand accounts of the collision and the officer’s opinion of who’s liable.

After calling the police, wait for the responding police officer to arrive at the scene and answer their questions honestly.

Exchange Information

While waiting for the police, exchange information with the scooter rider if possible.

Be sure to exchange:

  • Insurance information
  • Full legal names
  • Drivers license numbers
  • Contact information

Although you should communicate with the rider to gather important information, avoid engaging in further conversation. Anything you say could potentially be used against you and weaken your claim. If you instinctively say “sorry” out of politeness, the rider’s attorney could use your words as proof of liability.

Take Pictures and Videos at the Accident Scene

Photographic and video evidence can help you strengthen your accident claim.

Make sure to photograph:

  • The overall accident scene
  • Property damage
  • Road conditions
  • Traffic signals and signs
  • Any other details that may be relevant to the accident

You should also note any other cameras that may have captured your accident or its aftermath. For instance, a private residence security camera could have recorded the events.

Interview Eyewitnesses

Eyewitness testimony can be critical in proving an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit. Witnesses can corroborate the events that occurred and that the other party was at fault.

When speaking with eyewitnesses, make sure to write down their testimonies including specific dates pertaining to the accident and their contact information.

Seek Medical Treatment

If you didn’t receive emergency medical treatment at the scene, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. You may not think that you require medical attention, but you may not yet know the full extent of your injuries. A doctor can diagnose the severity of your injuries so that you can recover as soon as possible.

Getting prompt medical attention and maintaining medical records is also important for proving that the scooter accident caused your injuries. If you delay your treatment and discover an injury later, you’ll have a much harder time proving that the car crash caused your affliction. The at-fault party’s attorney or insurer may argue that you sustained the injury at a different time and deny liability.

Call a Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s vital to contact a personal injury attorney after a crash because they can greatly increase your likelihood of recovering compensation. An experienced attorney can help you collect valuable evidence, and they’ll negotiate your claim to ensure you receive the most money possible.

Depending on your specific accident and injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for damage to property, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Liability and Determining Fault in an Electric Scooter Accident

Because scooter drivers usually suffer more substantial injuries than motorists, many assume that the driver’s insurance company and PIP insurance are responsible for damages.

In reality, liability has nothing to do with who was more injured. Instead, it depends on who caused the accident.

Let’s unpack examples of when the driver, rider, and scooter company are responsible for damages.

The Driver Is at Fault

E-scooters are often challenging to spot on the road, as they’re much smaller than standard vehicles. Unfortunately, this means that operators may accidentally hit riders.

For instance, let’s say that a man driving a car changes lanes and fails to see an e-scooter rider in his blind spot. The rider had the right to be in his own lane, and the car driver caused the accident.

In this scenario, the driver’s liability coverage would likely cover the e-scooter rider’s damages, including medical bills and other out-of-pocket costs.

The Rider Is at Fault

The unfortunate reality of electric scooters is that riders usually have to pay for damages themselves. To use one of these rentable scooters, you must sign liability waivers stating that the e-scooter company is not responsible for any damages you cause.

Further, the rider’s car insurance or homeowners insurance will likely not cover the damages. Riders are typically responsible for any damages they cause in e-scooter accidents, such as car repairs needed and medical costs.

Let’s say that a man driving a car approaches a vacant four-way stop. After coming to a complete stop, the motorist passes through the intersection. At the same time, an e-scooter rider speeds through the stop sign. The motorist has no time to react and accidentally hits the scooter. Both the rider and the driver suffered injuries as a result.

In this scenario, the operator of the electric scooter will likely be held liable for the damages the motorist sustained.

Maryland Contributory Negligence

One essential note in Maryland scooter accident cases is that you can’t recover compensation if you were partially responsible for the crash.

Suppose you are texting at the wheel, and a scooter driver hits your car. Although the rider is primarily at fault, your distracted driving contributed to the accident. You may have been able to avoid the electric scooter if you refrained from texting.

When both parties are considered partially responsible, neither driver can collect compensation from the other drivers. If you’re partially at fault, you’ll need to file a claim with your own insurance company.

When Can the Scooter Company Be Held Liable?

Although the e-scooter company will deny responsibility for an accident caused by a rider, there are some situations in which the company may be liable.

The scooter company or manufacturer may be responsible for damages if a scooter defect or malfunction caused the collision to occur, such as faulty brakes or steering.

Personal injury cases become incredibly complex when a company is involved. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about liability and someone else’s negligence in electric scooter accidents.

Contact an Electric Scooter Accident Attorney

If you were injured in an electric scooter accident, you should get in touch with a personal injury attorney who specializes in scooter and car accidents.

Here at Zirkin & Schmerling Personal Injury Attorneys, we have many years of experience helping injured Baltimore residents with scooter and other accident claims, and we can assist you with your injury claim.

We have a proven track record of securing injured victims the money they deserve for property damage and personal injuries.

You can schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer today online or by calling 410-753-4611.