The Law Does Not Require Helmets For Most Electric Scooter Riders, But Riding Without Them Is Very Dangerous
Much like golf carts, electric scooters exist in a legal gray area. Are they motor vehicles or are they not? Electric scooters which collect payment through a mobile app on a per ride basis, have become a common sight in many Florida cities, including Jacksonville. You often see adults and teens riding electric scooters in downtown Jacksonville and on Jacksonville Beach. Since electric scooters mostly operate on sidewalks, collisions with vehicles traveling at high speeds are rare. As with motorcycles and bicycles, though, electric scooters offer little protection to their riders in the event of a collision, increasing the risk of severe injury. If you have been injured in a collision while riding a rented electric scooter, contact a Jacksonville bicycle and pedestrian accident lawyer.
Jacksonville Electric Scooter Laws
Several companies offer electric scooters on a rent-per-ride basis, where customers use an app to pay a small fee to unlock the scooter and then pay several cents per minute until they return the scooter to one of the scooter corrals located around the city. In Jacksonville, you can ride electric scooters any time between 5:00 a.m. and midnight. The maximum speed is 10 miles per hour on sidewalks and 15 mph on streets. The law requires riders under the age of 16 to wear helmets when riding electric scooters, but no such law exists for riders who are old enough to have a driver’s license. Despite this, the various scooter companies have issued safety guidelines encouraging customers to wear a helmet whenever they ride an electric scooter.
In other words, wearing a helmet while riding an electric scooter is recommended, but not required. The risk of severe injury, including traumatic brain injury, is substantial for people who are not wearing helmets at the time of a motorcycle, bicycle, or scooter accident.
If you get injured in an electric scooter accident and file a personal injury lawsuit to seek damages for your medical bills and other accident-related losses, the court will try to ascertain what percentage of the negligence that led to the accident belongs to you. If you were not wearing a helmet even though the company that rented you the scooter recommended it, the court could assign you part of the fault for the accident. When injured plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits are partially at fault for causing the accident, the court might still order the defendant to pay damages; that is, you can still win your case, but the court will reduce the amount of money it awards you proportionally to your share of fault for the accident.
Contact Douglas & Douglas About Electric Scooter Accident Cases
The rights of people injured in preventable accidents apply regardless of the types of vehicles involved in the accident. A North Florida personal injury lawyer can help you if you suffered serious injuries in a collision between an electric scooter and a car. Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.