Rentable electric scooters have become a global phenomenon. Millions of riders use e-scooters for fun, convenient and low-cost rides. Riding an e-scooter around a busy city such as Fairfax, Virginia, however, could be dangerous. Distracted and reckless drivers could collide with e-scooter riders and cause catastrophic injuries.
In other cases, the scooters themselves may contain defects that make them unreasonably dangerous to ride – or the roadway may have a problem that causes a collision. The party that may be financially responsible for your electric scooter accident in Fairfax will depend on the circumstances of your case.
Virginia is an add-on no-fault state. Unlike traditional no-fault insurance states, Virginia gives the option to drivers to pay extra to add personal injury protection (no-fault insurance) to their plans, if desired. If a driver purchases this insurance, the injured party will seek recovery from his or her insurance provider after an accident, no matter which party was at fault. If a driver chooses not to add personal injury protection, the insurance claim will use fault rules, meaning the person at fault for the accident will be responsible for damages.
Since Virginia is not a true no-fault state, injured crash victims may file lawsuits to get money for their injuries and other damages. After an electric scooter accident, you may be able to bring a negligence claim against the at-fault driver. If you have evidence of the driver causing your collision, such as the driver running a red light or failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection, the driver could owe you compensation for your damages.
If the at-fault driver hit you and ran, or if you were at fault for the e-scooter accident, your insurance provider may pay for the damages. Auto insurance companies often cover their clients for accidents even if they were not driving at the time, such as in bicycle and scooter incidents. Your homeowner’s insurance or health insurance policies may also cover your damages. Talk to your insurance providers to see if you qualify for coverage after an accident.
Drivers are not the only parties that could be liable for electric scooter accidents in Fairfax. If you suffered an injury because your e-scooter had a defect while you were riding, such as a battery bursting into flame or the e-scooter abruptly braking, you could have a lawsuit against the manufacturing company. Lime, Bird or Spin could be legally responsible for your defect-related damages. To be eligible for compensation through a product liability lawsuit in Virginia, you or your attorney would need to establish that the e-scooter contained a product defect and caused your accident.
If your electric scooter accident happened when you struck something in the road such as cracked asphalt, loose rubble, construction debris, a fallen branch or piece of trash, the city could be liable for failing to maintain reasonably safe roads for riders. The city’s duties of care depend on the situation. If the city knew or reasonably should have known about the defect and the threats it posed to riders, yet failed to do something to remedy the issue in a timely manner, the city could be responsible for damages.
Filing a claim against the local or state government in Virginia takes issuing a notice of claim within one year of your e-scooter accident. You must submit your written notice with the agency you plan on holding responsible. Virginia has nine different districts overseeing transportation matters such as roadway maintenance. Submit your claim with the chairman of the district that had control of the road where you crashed your e-scooter. Fairfax falls under the jurisdiction of the Northern Virginia District. A lawyer can help you with your e-scooter accident claim in Fairfax.