Electric scooters are becoming an increasingly common scene on Colorado streets, sidewalks and bike lanes. Although some e-scooters are privately owned, most belong to rental companies like Bird and Lime. In Denver, Bird and Lime work in a partnership with the city to permit a large number of their scooters to occupy streets and sidewalks. Bird and Lime scooters can be rented through their respective apps for a fee. At the end of a user’s ride, the electric scooter is left at the destination where another user may rent it. Or it may sit until a company operative picks it up for charging and placement at an appropriate setting.
But what happens when electric scooters are abandoned in unsafe locations? They can cause injuries to pedestrians, other scooter riders, bicyclists, motorcycle riders and car drivers. If you have been injured by an abandoned electric scooter, contact our Denver scooter accident lawyers for a free case review.
How electric scooter rentals from Bird and Lime end up abandoned on Denver sidewalks and streets
Bird, Lime and other electric scooter rental companies champion the convenience of picking up scooters when you need them and leaving them where you end your ride. The idea of a convenient, low pollutant mode of transportation certainly sounds great. In practice, things are not so picture perfect.
Often, Bird and Lime scooters are left in inconvenient locations. It is not difficult to find them laid down on sidewalks, in wheelchair ramps at intersections, in parking lanes or bike lanes, and sometimes even in the middle of the street. Although electric scooters have kickstands to park them upright, many riders throw them down or do not secure an upright electric scooter in an appropriate location.
All over Denver you can find electric scooters blocking sidewalks, bike lanes and roads.
Why abandoned electric scooters are dangerous
Abandoned electric scooters are more than just an unsightly nuisance on Denver sidewalks and streets. They present a danger to other people using the sidewalks and streets–even other electric scooter riders.
Abandoned e-scooters on sidewalks are especially dangerous for pedestrians who may trip and fall over the flat or improperly secured scooter. They can be particularly dangerous for people who require mobility assistance, including walkers, canes and wheelchairs. Electric scooters can easily get caught in the legs of somebody tripping over them and cause a worse fall. Fall injuries accidents can result in serious injuries including:
- Head injuries
- Wrist and elbow fractures
- Arm and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Hip and knee injuries
The abandoned electric scooters become more dangerous at night due to their coloring. Most Bird and Lime scooters are primarily black in color, making a fallen e-scooter difficult, if not impossible, to see at night.
Similarly, abandoned electric scooters pose danger to other vehicle riders and occupants. Electric scooters abandoned in bike lanes can land in the way of other scooters or bicycles who, trapped between passing and parked cars, may have no way to avoid crashing into an abandoned scooter. Electric scooters abandoned in roads or parkways can end up in the path of a car and cause damage to the car. It could even cause the car to lose control and cause a car accident.
Other occupants on sidewalks and roads are not required to clean up abandoned scooters or to maintain an extreme lookout for random electric scooters in their paths. The riders, and the e-scooter owners, have a duty to safely operate and store the scooters in appropriately to avoid causing injuries and accidents to others.
Can I sue if I’m injured in Colorado by an abandoned electric scooter?
You may have a claim if you are injured by an abandoned electric scooter. For a personal injury claim, you generally must show negligence or intentional bad acts by another person. Leaving an electric scooter in a random location either on its side or unsecured where it can fall over, may be a negligent act under Colorado law. Leaving them in unauthorized locations like roads, wheelchair ramps and bike lanes may make an easier case for negligence.
An injury claim arising from an abandoned electric scooter may involve:
- The electric scooter rental company
- The rider who placed the e-scooter
- The property owner
- Another vehicle owner who struck an abandoned electric scooter and then hit you or your vehicle
- Some combination of these parties
If you suffered injuries caused by an abandoned electric scooter, you should talk to our scooter accident lawyers about your case. Our lawyers can evaluate your situation and help you understand your rights to recover against one or more responsible party for a scooter accident.
Colorado law is not clear what duty of care electric scooter companies or their riders have when abandoning an electric scooter. There are many lawsuits around the country arguing Bird, Lime and others have a duty of care to the community where they leave their electric scooters. These include class action lawsuits in California and Florida.
What should I do if I am injured by an abandoned electric scooter in Denver, Colorado?
If you suffer injuries due to an abandoned electric scooter, you need to act quickly to protect your claim. Lime, Bird and their insurance companies will try to deny your claim at every opportunity. You need evidence to support how their equipment caused your injuries and the damages suffered as a result.
- Call 911 or the police to report the location of the injury. If you require emergency medical attention, advise them so they can send an ambulance to your location.
- Gather evidence at the scene. Take photos of the location and the placement of the scooter. Make sure you have photos identifying the owner of the scooter and any identification label or serial number on the e-scooter. If there are any witnesses, make sure you get names and contact information from them.
- Obtain medical care. You should seek medical evaluation at an emergency room or urgent care for your injuries. You need to take care of your health and an emergency physician is capable of evaluating your injuries. If you do not require emergency medical care, they can provide you with a treatment plan for who to see next.
- Call a personal injury lawyer. The insurance companies will not make your claim easy to pursue. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Denver, Colorado can help you navigate the insurance claim process and advocate for fair compensation on your claim.
If you have been injured by an abandoned electric scooter owned by Bird or Lime, contact Front Range Injury Attorneys for a free case review. We can help you understand your rights and what compensation may be eligible on your claim.