Will The Rise Of E-Scooter Accidents Lead To A New Wave Of Personal Injury Cases?

The Windy City is known for its long history of bicycle and micromobile culture. Lately, the city of Chicago has seen a significant increase in the use of e-scooters.

E-scooters, popularized by affordable rentals from Lime, Bird, and Spin, have become a common city transport option.

Unfortunately, the rise in e-scooter use has led to more accidents, sparking safety concerns and triggering new personal injury lawsuits.

CPSC data reveals that 46% (nearly half) of all e-scooter incidents between 2017 and 2022 occurred in 2022 alone.

Let us take a look at e-scooter accidents and talk about what to do if one occurs in Chicago, Illinois. 

The E-Scooter Addiction of Chicago

Electric scooters are becoming increasingly common in Chicago.

After pilot programs in 2019 and 2020, the city introduced a full e-scooter program with 3,000 scooters in spring 2022. Of those, half had to be used in “equity priority areas”. 

According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, a booming 1.5 million e-scooter trips were made last year.

Since last May, Chicago has seen more than 2.1 million shared scooter trips with Lime, Spin, and Superpedestrian. 

By the end of June, the Divvy scooters, which were incredibly popular, had completed one million trips overall.

In the year since their launch, they have recorded 875,000 trips. By 2030, the e-scooter market is anticipated to grow to $41.98 billion.

The Inevitable Upshoot in E-Scooter Accidents

Recent data indicates that the number of e-scooter injuries increased by 127% between 2017 and 2021.

The increasing use of e-scooters and other micro-mobility devices has led to an increase in injuries in Chicago as well. 

The head and neck, as well as the upper and lower limbs, are the most commonly injured body parts.

These injuries can be anything from small bumps and bruises to more significant ones like neck and traumatic brain injuries.

In Chicago, e-scooter accidents have increased due to several significant factors, including:

  • Riding under the influence of alcohol, ignoring traffic laws, and using devices while riding are examples of behaviors by riders.
  • Risks on streets and sidewalks that are hard for cyclists to notice in time.
  • Issues with e-scooters, such as sudden stops due to seizures in the motor.
  • Limited safety regulations and guidelines for e-scooter use in the city.

What Action Is Taken by the Chicago Authority? 

Chicago has imposed e-scooter limits, including a 15 mph speed limit and designated operating zones, to address safety concerns. Additionally, there is a cap on the total number of permitted scooters. 

According to TorHoerman Law, e-scooters must not block sidewalks or roads and should be parked upright.

They require at least 6 feet of clearance from any obstruction. However, more comprehensive safety measures may be needed to curb the rise in accidents.

The Impact On Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases have increased as a result of the rise in e-scooter accidents.

Claims for medical costs lost wages, and pain and suffering compensation are common in these cases. In certain cases, wrongful death lawsuits may be brought if the accident claimed a life.

An experienced personal injury attorney in Chicago, IL, can assist in establishing responsibility and pursuing just compensation.

It can be difficult to establish culpability in e-scooter accidents, though. Proving fault often involves showing someone else’s carelessness, like a driver failing to yield the right of way. Alternatively, a scooter company may not have maintained its equipment properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Common Are E-scooter Accidents In Chicago?

According to the U.S. CPSC, e-scooter injuries increased significantly in Chicago and nationally in 2022. This increase aligns with the rising popularity of micromobility devices.

From 2021 to 2022, the CPSC observed a 21% surge in injuries linked to micromobility devices. E-scooters had a major share of the said injuries.

Are E-scooters Legal In Chicago?

Yes, e-scooters are legal in Chicago. In Chicago, Illinois, they are considered low-speed electric scooters, governed by rules similar to bicycles.

Riders must be at least 16 years old and have a driver’s license, instruction permit, or state identification card.

While Illinois does not have a statewide helmet law, some local areas may require helmets for minors.

Are E-scooters Insured In Chicago?

Chicago does not mandate specific insurance or registration for e-scooters. However, in Chicago, electric scooters must weigh under 100 lbs and adhere to a city-specific 15 mph speed limit.

They need a white front lamp, a red rear light or reflector, and effective brakes, but they cannot have sirens.

Can I Claim For An E-scooter Injury In Chicago?

It is possible to file a claim for an injury sustained while using an e-scooter. However, most e-scooter companies require you to sign a waiver when using their service, which may affect your claim.

The rise in e-scooter accidents in Chicago, Illinois, has increased personal injury claims. As the city integrates e-scooters into its transportation system, it’s vital that riders understand the risks.

The city is tasked with implementing safety measures to prevent accidents. Meanwhile, Chicago’s personal injury attorneys continue to provide essential legal support, helping victims recover compensation for injuries and losses.