Jason Stephens | July 15, 2023 | Texas Law
E-scooters are popular in Fort Worth. Unfortunately, e-scooter accidents can cause devastating injuries for riders and others involved in the collision. Therefore, the State of Texas and cities like Fort Worth have enacted regulations and laws to help make e-scooters safer to use around the city.
What Is an E-Scooter?
E-scooters are defined by Texas Transportation Code §551 as motor-assisted scooters. An e-scooter has:
- At least two wheels in contact with the ground during operation;
- A braking system;
- An electric or gas motor that does not exceed 40 cubic centimeters;
- A deck designed to allow a person to sit or stand; and,
- The ability to be powered by human power alone.
Under Texas law, an e-scooter is distinct from a mini motorbike or a pocket bike.
Fort Worth E-Scooter Regulations
Fort Worth allows electric scooters to be ridden on public roads with a speed limit below 35 mph. You can also ride e-scooters in bicycle lanes and on the sidewalk in Fort Worth.
However, riding an electric scooter on a sidewalk is dangerous because of the risk of pedestrian accidents. Also, cracks, holes, and uneven surfaces in sidewalks can increase the risk of an e-scooter accident.
You do not need a driver’s license to operate an electric scooter. However, many e-scooter rental companies have rules about renting scooters to teenagers who do not have a driver’s license. Riders are not required to wear a helmet, but wearing helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries in a scooter accident.
Common Causes of E-Scooter Accidents in Fort Worth, TX
A Fort Worth electric scooter accident can happen for many reasons. Common causes of accidents involving e-scooters include:
- Riding in traffic
- Distracted operation
- Operator inexperience
- Dangerous road conditions
- Scooter defects
- Operating an e-scooter on a busy sidewalk
- Failing to obey traffic laws
- Operating a scooter under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Riding an e-scooter at night
If a person disobeys Fort Worth e-scooter laws, their negligence could be used to hold them liable for damages caused by the e-scooter accident. Other parties that could be liable for damages caused by an electric scooter accident include pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, government entities, rental companies, and e-scooter manufacturers.
Determining the cause of the e-scooter accident is crucial. The party responsible for causing the accident is liable for injuries and damages.
E-Scooter Accidents Cause Severe Injuries in Fort Worth, TX
An electric scooter does not offer any protection in an accident. Scooters are small and difficult to see, which increases the risk of being hit by a car.
Riders wearing helmets and safety gear can reduce their risk of serious injuries. However, there is no way to prevent all injuries from an e-scooter accident.
Common injuries riders suffer in an e-scooter crash include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injury
- Back injuries
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Knee injuries
- Internal organ injury
- Wrongful death
Electric scooter injuries can lead to permanent impairments and disabilities. The lifetime damages from a scooter accident could total millions of dollars if the person cannot work or needs skilled care.
What Damages Can I Receive for an Electric Scooter Accident in Fort Worth?
If you are injured in an e-scooter accident, you could receive compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the accident (non-economic damages). You can also recover compensation for your financial losses (economic damages).
The types of damages recoverable for an electric scooter accident claim include:
- The cost of your medical bills and expenses
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income, including lost wages, benefits, and earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Impairments and disabilities
- Skilled care
- Rehabilitative therapies
- A decrease in quality of life
The value of your damages depends on the facts of your case. For example, catastrophic injuries usually increase the value of damages because these injuries cause more suffering, increased medical bills, and substantial loss of income.
On the other hand, sharing the blame for causing an e-scooter accident could reduce the value of your claim. Texas contributory fault laws reduce your compensation if you are partially to blame for causing your accident.
You receive nothing for your claim if you are 51% or more at fault. Otherwise, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault (i.e., 25% fault equals a 25% reduction in the amount of money you receive).
Contact an Experienced Fort Worth E-Scooter Accident Attorney
An experienced Fort Worth e-scooter accident lawyer can help you fight unjust fault claims or help you get compensation if you were hurt in a crash. An attorney also understands e-scooter laws in Fort Worth and how those laws apply to your case. Seeking legal advice before talking with an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement offer can improve your chance of recovering fair compensation for an e-scooter accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107