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scooter injuries Indianapolis

New Scooter Liability Confusion; Bill is seeking Clear Regulations

Just one day after Indianapolis scooter riders were warned that they would no longer be permitted to scoot on sidewalks, a man broke that rule and nearly broke his neck.

Since rental scooters offering a timed ride for paying a small fee, started appearing in Indianapolis, more than 60 people have been transported by ambulance after they were injured in scooter accidents. Injuries range from cuts and broken bones to facial and upper body injuries.

Surveillance video went viral after a helmetless William Brown was struck and cast into the street by a pickup truck pulling out of an Indianapolis parking garage. According to his attorney, Jeff Mendes, Brown sustained a slight concussion and received 15 staples in the back of his head after landing on his back.

“This could have been a lot worse,” Mendes said. “He could have been killed.”

Although no lawsuit was filed and the matter ultimately settled out of court, Mendes said letters of representation seeking damages for the incident were sent to insurers of the truck driver and the security guard directing traffic at the scene. He believes both were liable in the accident.

But Brown wasn’t wearing a helmet as recommended by the city, nor was he riding in the street as required by city ordinance. Mendes said he doesn’t think his client was aware of the Indianapolis ordinance regulating scooter use at the time of the accident, but regardless, the question remains: who was at fault?

Electric scooter companies Lime and Bird unexpectedly dropped thousands of scooters in Indianapolis and Bloomington this year. With them came confusion, concern and a little bit of chaos. The scooters were pulled from city streets and an ordinance was eventually enacted, but more scooter crashes ensued.

Indianapolis EMS said it has transported more than 60 people with scooter-related injuries since the beginning of September, 15 of which occurred in November alone. IEMS spokesman Brian Van Bokkelen said the types of injuries have varied, ranging from scrapes and cuts to broken bones. Most, he said, are facial and upper body injuries, impacting collarbones and jaws.

Signaling potential wider regulation, Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, on Friday announced filing House Bill 1036. It would make scooter companies liable for damages caused by the devices and require the companies carry liability insurance. The bill also would require scooter companies to have a toll-free number to respond to concerns and complaints.

Who is liable?

The person liable depends on the circumstances of the case. The question is who failed to obey the traffic rules?

Some of the traffic rules for scooters typically include riding in the street alongside other vehicles, wearing helmets and parking the scooters upright on the edge of the sidewalk, leaving sufficient room for pedestrians and doorways. Those rules vary in each city, and what may be permitted in one place may not be in another

The Indiana Personal Injury Attorneys at Glaser & Ebbs are skilled at representing clients and their family members injured in personal injury accidents. It often takes legal action to receive fair compensation in these cases.  Contact Glaser & Ebbs to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Source: The Indiana Lawyer