In the metropolitan city of Phoenix, you may have become familiar with the motorized scooters seen around town. Not only have they become an accessible, fast, and easy way to get around, they can also be highly dangerous. Here you can learn about their treatment under Arizona law and what to do if you find yourself injured from an accident.
All over the valley, especially in areas of high traffic such as Old Town and Tempe, e-bikes and motorized scooters are available for short-term rent by just through an app on your phone for as little as $0.15 a minute. However, due to an increase in accidents and subsequent injuries, the state of Arizona has begun to set regulations on their use.
For starters, these modes of transportation are only legal to ride in certain areas depending on which type of vehicle you are using. For example, e-scooters are characterized as such under Arizona law because the weight of their electric motor does not exceed 75 pounds and the speed does not exceed 25 mph. They are only legal to ride on roads and bike paths. On the other hand, mopeds require a driver’s license and insurance and reach higher speeds and are therefore only legal to ride on a road and not a sidewalk. Regardless of where the vehicle is being operated on the road, the individual operating the vehicle must follow all traffic laws and rules of the road. If the rules of the road are not properly adhered to, you may find yourself in an accident.
There are a few ways an accident can occur if you are operating an e-bike/e-scooter. You could hit another pedestrian, lose control and hit a tree/wall/lampost, or another car may hit you causing significant injury. Depending on the type of accident and the facts surrounding your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For this to happen, it is extremely important to identify who is at fault for the accident as soon as possible. You could be riding a defective scooter/bike, in which the manufacturer could be liable. You could also have been hit by a distracted driver in which the driver could be at fault.
Either way, negligence has to be proven and it is important to note that Arizona law follows pure comparative negligence. This means that you can be found partially negligent. If this occurs, you are only entitled to reduced compensation based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found 15% at fault, you are entitled to recover only 85% of the total dollar amount of your damages.
Regardless, here are some quick pointers to do after a scooter accident:
- Call the police
- Obtain driver and witness contact information
- Take a photograph of the involved parties license and insurance information
- Document evidence at the scene by taking pictures
- Seek immediate medical treatment even if symptoms aren’t immediately evident
- Keep track of your medical expenses
- Document your damages
Technology moves faster than the law and if you find yourself involved in an accident with an e-scooter/e-bike, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney- especially if you are a pedestrian who has been hit by an e-scooter or bike since insurance is not required to operate most of these devices. Contact an attorney to advise you on the best legal avenue.