Can You Sue E-Scooter Companies?
Many people consider renting an e-scooter to be an affordable option for an easy way to explore a city. However, these devices do not come without significant risks. Malfunctioning brakes or improper design could lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, bruises, cuts, and concussions.
If you suffered injuries from an e-scooter accident, you may be able to pursue a legal claim against the rental company or manufacturer with the help of a Kansas City personal injury lawyer. However, these suits require a great deal of research into the cause of the accident and examination of the company’s user agreements.
The Importance of User Agreements
In San Diego, California, a group of nine injured consumers faced a significant roadblock when attempting to file a claim against e-scooter companies. Lime and Bird both produced e-scooters that caused significant injuries to many of their users, including broken bones and abrasions. In addition, pedestrians hit by scooters also joined the suit.
The attorney representing clients in the class action lawsuit against Lime and Bird called their products negligent and unsafe for their intended purpose. Many riders reported failed brakes, which led to injuries to both pedestrians and e-scooter users. In addition, the attorney argued that the scooters are not properly designed for urban landscapes like San Diego.
However, the class action lawsuit ran into trouble when the court examined Lime and Bird’s respective user agreements. Before renting their e-scooters, both companies require users to agree to a lengthy legal contract. These contracts can allow consumers to unknowingly waive their legal rights to a class action lawsuit, limit the company’s liability, and effectively limit legal action unless the device malfunctions.
This type of agreement is not uncommon among e-scooter companies and other product liability cases. As a result, user agreements can make these lawsuits extremely difficult to litigate. Prior to taking legal action against an e-scooter company, contact a product liability attorney and ask him or her to examine the company’s user agreements.
Kansas City, MO Rules for E-Scooter Riders
E-scooter riders in Kansas City, Missouri are subject to rules imposed by the city government. If you want to file a lawsuit against an e-scooter company for injuries sustained in an accident, you need to make sure that you followed these rules during the accident. The company may attempt to hold you liable for the accident if they discover otherwise.
- Do not ride on sidewalks. This is a violation of a KCMO ordinance that prohibits electric or motor-powered vehicles on sidewalks, in parks, or on public property.
- Only ride in streets and available bike lanes.
- Follow basic traffic laws that other vehicles will follow, including stop signs, streetlights, speed limits, turn signals, etc.
Product Liability Lawsuits in Missouri
To file a product liability lawsuit against an e-scooter company in Missouri, you will need to contact an attorney to discuss the circumstances of your case and analyze the company’s user agreement. If the attorney believes that you have grounds for a product liability case, you can file a lawsuit in civil court.
You must file your lawsuit within five years of the accident that caused your injuries. In court, your attorney will need to prove that the company or manufacturers acted in a negligent manner in one of three areas.
- Marketing defects. Inadequate safety instructions, insufficient warranties or instructions, or improper labeling or advertising that lead to unsafe use.
- Design defects. Products that have a severe design flaw so that it renders the products unsafe to use.
- Manufacturing defects. Defects that appear during manufacturing or assembly.
Depending on your economic or non-economic losses, you can claim multiple types of damages from your product liability lawsuit.
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages for especially negligent behavior
If you believe you have grounds to file a claim against an e-scooter company, contact us today.