E-Scooter Accident Attorney in Missouri


Did you suffer serious injuries in an e-scooter accident? Whether your accident was caused by a scooter rider, the scooter rental company, a pedestrian, or another motorist, Sotiriou Wilmowski is here to help. Schedule a meeting with a dedicated personal injury lawyer to learn more.

Over the last several years, electric scooters (commonly known as e-scooters) have become a popular mode of transportation in many urban communities. They offer convenience, affordability, and eco-friendliness, making them an attractive option for commuters and leisure riders alike. However, with the rise in e-scooter usage, there has also been a notable increase in accidents and injuries associated with these vehicles.

Nationwide, accidents involving e-scooters have risen by an average of 23% every year since 2017. In Missouri, as in many other states, understanding the legal aspects surrounding e-scooter accidents is crucial to both riders and bystanders to ensure that both parties are aware of the risk involved so that e-scooter accidents can be mitigated.

In the sections below, we will explore the nature of electric scooter accidents, safety risks, and legal considerations. However, if you have a question that needs an immediate answer, don’t hesitate to call or text Sotiriou Wilmowski at 314-860-1644 to schedule a free case evaluation.

What Are E-Scooters?

E-scooters are similar to conventional scooters with a few important distinctions. The main difference between the two is the addition of an electric motor that allows the e-scooter rider to exceed typical scooter speeds. Unlike a typical scooter, the e-scooter rider isn’t required to use their foot to increase speed; they can accelerate by using an ignition lever located on the handle.

The braking device on both regular scooters and e-scooters is usually located on the back wheel. Although they don’t travel as fast as a car or bus going full speed, e-scooters classified as “motor vehicles,” meaning unless the e-scooter rider has a driver’s license, they are only permitted to ride the e-scooter on a sidewalk – not the street.

While many e-scooter riders own their own e-scooters, renting an e-scooter is an incredibly popular option in cities across Missouri. If you are a St. Louis resident, you’ve probably noticed an increase in e-scooter rental ports located on sidewalks throughout the city.

These services are offered commonly by companies such as Lime or Bird, which allow riders to unlock and pay for these scooters through an app on their phone. When they’re finished riding, e-scooter renters park them on a sidewalk and leave them for the next rider. Eventually, employees hired by the rental companies will collect the e-scooters, charge them, make needed repairs, and return them to the streets.

The Common Causes of E-Scooter Accidents

Because e-scooter rentals are such a new option, many people who take advantage of this service are new riders. They’re unfamiliar with how fast an e-scooter can travel, or the safest way to position their body to safely steer, brake, and accelerate or how to navigate potholes. Experience combined with accessibility has the potential to create many unsafe situations for riders, pedestrians, and motor vehicle drivers.

Because e-scooter rentals are more commonly available in urban areas as opposed to small towns, interested tourists may see e-scooter rentals as an alternative to more expensive ridesharing services. If they’re unfamiliar with the area they’re riding in, they may be unaware of local regulations regarding e-scooter ridership or local traffic laws, which can increase their risk of being involved in an accident.

The lack of regulation surrounding the e-scooters can also contribute to accidents. In most situations, renting an e-scooter is as easy as downloading an app, uploading a picture of an ID, and hopping on. There’s usually no requirement for riders to have a driver’s license or wear protective gear, and while the e-scooter rental service may have terms of use and safety guidelines for riders to refer to, they have no way of ensuring safety.

While plenty of e-scooter riders do follow the law, there’s nothing stopping riders from weaving through crowds of people at full speed, carrying multiple passengers, or riding them in areas where prohibited. These incidents have become so prevalent in St. Louis that in 2022, the city temporarily banned their use. This ban has since been repealed on a trial basis.

Types of E-Scooter Injuries

E-scooters have gained popularity as a convenient mode of urban transportation, but they also come with significant risks of injury, especially in accidents. Here are some common types of injuries associated with e-scooter use:

  • Head injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Road rash and abrasions
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Psychological trauma

An e-scooter accident can impact the e-scooter rider, bystanders, and even drivers. Abruptly stopping or swerving to avoid a reckless e-scooter rider can result in significant injuries for everyone involved. Below are a few types of electric scooter accidents our personal injury law firm has seen affect our community.

Pedestrian Collisions

Pedestrian collisions involving e-scooters are a significant concern in urban areas where pedestrians and riders share sidewalks and pathways. These accidents often occur due to the lack of awareness from both pedestrians and e-scooter riders. Pedestrians may not hear e-scooters approaching, especially if they’re distracted or have headphones on, making it difficult for them to anticipate potential collisions. On the other hand, e-scooter riders may not always yield to pedestrians or may maneuver unpredictably, increasing the risk of accidents.

Malfunctioning Equipment

Malfunctioning equipment is a leading cause of e-scooter accidents, putting riders at risk of injury or harm. E-scooters undergo regular wear and tear, and issues such as brake failure, accelerator problems, or steering malfunctions can occur unexpectedly. Riders may lose control of their e-scooters when faced with malfunctioning equipment, increasing the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents and injuries.

Defective or poorly maintained e-scooters present significant hazards to riders, bicyclists, pedestrians, and bystanders, increasing the likelihood of scooter accident injuries. Issues such as low battery power, loose parts, or worn-out tires can compromise the safety and functionality of e-scooters, leading to malfunctions or breakdowns during rides. E-scooter companies must prioritize regular maintenance and inspections to identify and address potential defects or maintenance issues promptly or they may be considered liable in certain injury cases.

Collisions With Vehicles

Collisions between e-scooters and vehicles pose a significant risk to riders due to the stark contrast in size and speed between the two modes of transportation. E-scooters are smaller and less visible than cars, making them susceptible to being overlooked by drivers, especially in busy urban environments. Drivers may not anticipate the presence of e-scooters or may fail to yield the right of way, leading to sideswipes, rear-end collisions, or more severe car accidents. The lack of designated lanes or infrastructure for e-scooters can also exacerbate the risk of auto accidents.

Distracting App Use Requirement

Many e-scooter rental services require riders to use mobile apps to locate, unlock, and rent e-scooters, which can be distracting and pose safety concerns. Riders may become preoccupied with navigating the app or inputting payment information while riding, diverting their attention from the road and surrounding traffic. Distracted riding increases the risk of accidents and collisions with pedestrians, vehicles, or stationary objects.

When Is Someone Liable for an Electric Scooter Accident?

Determining liability for an e-scooter accident involves a complex analysis of various factors, including the circumstances of the accident, applicable laws, and the actions of the parties involved. Liability may fall on different parties depending on the specific situation. Here are some scenarios where liability for an e-scooter accident may arise:

  • Negligence of the e-scooter rider. If the e-scooter rider‘s negligent actions directly contribute to the accident, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries or property damage. Examples of rider negligence include speeding, ignoring traffic signals, riding recklessly, or failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians or vehicles.
  • Negligence of other parties. Other motorists, pedestrians, or entities such as e-scooter rental companies may also bear liability for an e-scooter accident if their negligent actions or failure to exercise reasonable care contribute to the occurrence of the accident. For instance, a motorist who fails to yield to an e-scooter rider or a pedestrian who crosses the street without looking may share responsibility for the accident.
  • Manufacturer defects or malfunctions. In cases where the accident results from a defect in the e-scooter’s design or manufacturing, the manufacturer or distributor of the e-scooter may be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. Common defects include malfunctioning brakes, faulty accelerators, or defective batteries that cause the e-scooter to malfunction during operation.
  • Inadequate maintenance or inspection. E-scooter rental companies must ensure that their fleet of e-scooters is properly maintained and inspected for safety hazards. If an accident occurs due to the company’s failure to maintain or inspect the e-scooter adequately, the company may be held liable for negligence.
  • Violation of traffic laws or regulations: If the accident occurs because one of the parties involved violated traffic laws or regulations, such as running a red light or failing to yield, the party at fault may be held liable for the resulting injuries or damages.
  • Assumption of risk. In some cases, e-scooter riders may assume certain risks inherent in riding e-scooters, especially if they engage in risky behavior or knowingly ride in hazardous conditions. However, the assumption of risk does not absolve other parties of liability if their negligence significantly contributes to the accident.

Determining liability in e-scooter accidents often requires a thorough investigation and analysis of the facts surrounding the incident. If you need help determining liability in the case of an e-scooter accident, reach out to an experienced e-scooter accident lawyer for legal advice.

What Do I Do if I’m the Victim of an E-scooter Accident?

The most important thing to do in the event of an e-scooter accident is go to the emergency room. While you may think that your injuries are minimal at the time, you may come to realize a few weeks later that they are much more serious than you anticipated. A medical professional will not only make sure that you’re receiving adequate medical treatment, but they’ll also be able to initiate essential documentation should you have the option to pursue damages for the responsible party.

Once your immediate medical needs are met, the next step is to continue the documentation process. Our legal team can do this on your behalf while you’re healing. We’ll collect testimony from the parties involved and from law enforcement and begin to build your case.

Reasons to Hire an E-Scooter Accident Attorney

If you’ve ever experienced an injury due to the negligence of another person or entity, then you’re likely familiar with what’s at stake. An e-scooter crash can result in serious injuries and even death. At best you’ll be stuck with some minor medical expenses but in more serious scenarios, you may need lifelong care which could result in medical bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. Perhaps in your specific circumstance, you’re the surviving loved one of an e-scooter accident that turned deadly, and you’re trying to come up with viable funds for funeral and burial costs.

Fortunately for injury victims, there are several legal avenues for pursuing financial compensation. Sotiriou Wilmowski can help you collect evidence, communicate on your behalf, and organize your scooter accident case so that you can focus less on paying your medical expenses, and more on your healing. Fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.

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