This past summer, council members from the City of Dallas gave the green light to rental scooters in the city. With rental scooters beginning to share the roads with cars, trucks, buses, bicycles, and motorcycles, attorneys say Texas laws are not quite prepared for accidents involving rental scooters.
As evident from the experience of several cities in California, people riding the two-wheeled transportation get into accidents… a lot. And it would not be such a big deal if Texas laws were adjusted to handle accidents involving rental scooters. After all, establishing liability in accidents involving rental scooters can be quite problematic if there are little to no regulations for bike share companies.
Rental scooters are poorly regulated in Dallas
“Even though council members from the City of Dallas did pass certain regulations for bike share companies in Dallas this past June, state laws do not give a comprehensive explanation as to how liability must be established in the event of a motor vehicle crash involving rental scooters,” says our Dallas bicycle accident attorney at the Law Offices Of Dorothy Hyde.
Council members from the City of Dallas agreed to a six-month trial run for electric rental scooters in the city. Currently, the city permits electric rental scooters to travel up to 15 mph after the rider pays a fee, but the city could revisit the electric scooters by the end of 2018. For now, personal injury claims involving rental scooters start piling up, and only an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Dallas can help victims establish liability and recover damages.
Rules for riding a rental scooter in Dallas
Currently, if you are riding a rental scooter in Dallas, you are not allowed to ride on sidewalks in the Central Business District, including Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas. Also, you are banned from taking your rental scooter for a ride on streets where the speed limit exceeds 35 mph.
In the cities where rental scooters have been available for months, it is evident that things can get very confusing when someone is injured in an accident involving a rental scooter. An increasing number of people want to lawyer up, because determining liability in accidents involving rental scooters is definitely not a piece of cake.
Rental scooter accidents in Dallas: What’s the big problem?
Statistics show that a large percentage of road accidents involving rental scooters occur due to a scooter malfunctioning, accelerating and not stopping. There are many complaints that brakes are not functioning properly in scooters. Many such accidents happen when the scooter rider is crossing an intersection, which is especially dangerous.
Rental scooters is a new territory for personal injury attorneys in Dallas and insurance companies. The situation is quite similar to when Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies started gaining popularity in U.S. cities.
Such bike share companies as Bird and LimeBike are legally required to carry at least $500,000 per accident in liability coverage in the City of Dallas. However, if you have been in an accident involving a rental scooter, you will be entitled to compensation from the bike share company only if you can prove that the accident was caused by a scooter malfunction or the company was in any other way negligent in providing its services.
Can you sue the city of Dallas for a scooter accident?
“Many people in Dallas think that they have a right to sue the city when they get injured while riding a scooter on a poorly maintained street or sidewalk,” says our Dallas bicycle accident attorney. “But this is not the case considering that Dallas has sovereign immunity.”
However, you might still be able to hold other at-fault parties liable for your injuries when, for example, your scooter accident occurs near a construction zone and there is insufficient or inadequate signage or warnings.
Also, do not forget that if you have been in injured in a scooter accident due to your own negligence, you may not have any coverage at all. That is because auto insurance policies typically do not cover accidents that occur on a scooter when you are the at-fault party.
If you are considering taking a rental scooter for a ride in Dallas, do not underestimate the importance of consulting with an experienced lawyer from the The Law Office of Dorothy Hyde. Schedule a free consultation by calling at 214-883-1700 or fill out this contact form today.Read More