Our Fort Lauderdale Scooter Injury Lawyer Explains the Legal Process for Your Accident Claim
When you signed up to rent an electric scooter (or eScooter) through an app on your phone, you probably clicked through the Terms of Service without reading a word. As a result, you probably are not aware that any claims you may have against the rental company (i.e. Bird, Lime, Lyft or Skip) are subject to mandatory arbitration. winning in arbitration is not impossible (in fact, consumers can win arbitration awards), and not all mandatory arbitration clauses are legally enforceable. Furthermore, not all scooter accident claims are subject to the rental company’s Terms of Service. If you have been injured in an accident, you owe it to yourself to seek help, and you should speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale scooter injury lawyer as soon as possible to best prepare your claim.
Companies that offer consumer services routinely include mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts. The reason for this is simple: While arbitration is ostensibly a neutral venue that offers equal benefits to both parties, in practice, large corporations have far more to gain from compelling their customers to resolve “any and all” disputes through arbitration. The proceedings are private, the costs to initiate a claim can be higher than the cost of filing a lawsuit in court, and the outcome will not be determined by a jury of your peers. The process also moves more quickly, and standard arbitration clauses also typically include a class action waiver. In other words, in arbitration, it is you versus the company, and the cards are – to a certain extent – stacked against you if you don’t have an experienced attorney at your side.
Scooter Accident Claims that May Be Subject to Mandatory Arbitration
As a general rule, mandatory arbitration clauses apply to claims that eScooter riders have against the rental companies. So, examples of claims that may be subject to mandatory arbitration include:
- Claims related to scooter malfunctions (such a brake failure or the throttle getting stuck in the open position).
- Claims related to dangerous scooter functionalities (such as programs that automatically reduce your speed in “geo-fenced” areas and then immediately increase your speed once you pass through the area without warning).
- Claims related to inadequate eScooter maintenance (such as failure to replace work brake pads or broken standing platforms).
Electric Scooter Accident Claims that are Not Subject to Mandatory Arbitration in Florida
Claims that eScooter riders have against third parties are not subject to mandatory arbitration. Likewise, if you were injured and you did not agree to mandatory arbitration (i.e. if you were injured as a pedestrian), then you can take your case to court. Examples of claims that are not subject to mandatory arbitration include:
- Scooter riders’ claims against negligent motor vehicle drivers.
- Scooter riders’ claims against other negligent scooter riders.
- Scooter riders’ claims against public entities and contractors responsible for creating dangerous road or sidewalk conditions.
- Pedestrians’ claims against negligent eScooter riders (including claims related to scooter parking violations).
- Pedestrians’ claims against electric scooter rental companies.
Companies That Face Scooter Accident Claims
Numerous electric scooter rental companies operate in major cities across the country. While some cities have banned electric scooter (or eScooter) rentals due to safety concerns for riders and pedestrians, new rentable scooter brands seem to be popping up in cities like Fort Lauderdale on a near-daily basis.
If you have been injured in an electric scooter accident, there are various parties that could potentially be responsible for your injury-related losses. Our Florida eScooter accident firm represents scooter accident victims and their families in cases against rental companies including (but not limited to):
Bird was an early pioneer in the rentable electric scooter market. Bird’s dockless electric scooters are currently available for rent in more than 100 cities around the world, including Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and numerous other U.S. locations from Washington, D.C. to Santa Monica, California.
Reportedly backed by Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, Bolt Mobility is a Miami-based electric scooter rental company that also operates in Atlanta, Nashville and Portland.
Lime currently offers electric scooter rentals in 27 states. It operates in more than 80 cities, including Fort Lauderdale, Key Biscayne, Miami, Miami Lakes, Miami Shores, Miami Springs, North Bay Village, North Miami, Orlando, Southern Miami and unincorporated Miami Dade in Florida alone.
Ridesharing company Lyft now offers electronic scooter rentals as well. Lyft conducted its initial launch in 15 “select areas” of the United States, including Alexandra, Arlington, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Mesa, Miami, Nashville, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Monica, Scottsdale and Washington D.C.
Well-known scooter brand Razor has launched an eScooter rental program that it calls Razor Share. Razor encourages its riders to, “ride in bike lanes, wear a helmet, ride safely and park by bike racks and out of the right of way. DO NOT ride on sidewalks, with minors, with more than one person on a scooter, or park in pedestrian walkways, wheelchair accessible paths, driveways, crosswalks or loading zones.”
Skip is a San Francisco-based electric scooter rental company. It promotes “a responsible approach” to eScooter rentals and offers free helmets to active riders (with a $10 shipping charge). Skip currently operates in San Francisco and Washington D.C.
Owned by Ford Motor Co., Spin is quickly expanding to cities across the country. It offers “dockless mobility systems in cities and campuses around the [United States].”
Vacation Rental Companies
In addition to these types of eScooter rental companies, many local vacation rental companies offer hourly and daily scooter rentals as well. Regardless of where (or from whom) you rented your scooter, if you were injured in an accident, you owe it to yourself to speak with a scooter injury attorney about your legal rights.
Were You Injured in an eScooter Accident? Let Our Fort Lauderdale Scooter Injury Lawyer Help
If you have been injured in an eScooter accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney about your legal rights. To find out if you are entitled to seek financial compensation in arbitration or in court, please call 954-764-4849 or request a free initial consultation online today.