If you are someone who has discovered the pleasure, convenience, and efficiency of riding an e-scooter, you are not alone. These innovative little machines have cropped up everywhere in the past few years, and are forecasted to continue growing in popularity. Unfortunately, they have also become a “real and growing problem” in terms of the injuries riders can sustain. Scooter accident reports reveal everything from minor scrapes, cuts and bruises to life-changing traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
An e-scooter, short for electronic or electric scooter, looks much like the device most people rode as children. It has two wheels, a narrow bed on which to stand and a handlebar mounted on a long swiveling pole in front so you can steer while standing up. The adult version, however, comes with a small electric motor that allows you to reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.
Massachusetts law treats e-scooters the same as it treats mopeds. You must have a driver’s license to drive one, must always wear a helmet when riding, and must obey all speed and other laws applicable to mopeds.
National E-Scooter Statistics
By 2021, e-scooter riders logged 52 million trips on their machines, an increase of greater than 50% in one year alone. Only 87 U.S. cities had e-scooter systems in place in 2019, but this had nearly doubled to 158 cities by July 2022.
As you might expect, this almost meteoric rise in what has been called micro mobility comes at a price. The number of reported e-scooter injuries rose by 222% between 2014 and 2018. In 2019, over 14,651 e-scooter injuries were reported in the U.S.
Additional nationwide statistics include the following:
- Falls account for 80% of e-scooter injuries.
- Collisions with objects account for 11%.
- Collisions with other motor vehicles account for 9%
- Of the reported injury cases, 28% resulted in severe injuries; 54% resulted in moderate injuries and 19% resulted in mild injuries.
- At least 29 e-scooter riders have died from their injuries since 2018.
The problem with e-scooters is two-fold: other drivers may well not see you when you’re riding your e-scooter, and your machine provides you with no protection whatsoever in the event of a crash.
Massachusetts E-Scooter Statistics
Massachusetts is not immune from e-scooter accidents and injuries. Some of the most recent are profiled below.
July 27, 2023: A Jeep struck an e-scooter in Malden, pinning it underneath. One of its two passengers was killed, the other was seriously injured.
June 9, 2023: An e-scooter rider was seriously injured in Salem after being hit by a truck after it first hit a guardrail. The truck driver died.
June 7, 2023: An e-scooter rider suffered life-threatening injuries in a Boston crash.
April 20, 2023: A box truck making a right turn in a Boston intersection hit an e-scooter, leaving its rider with serious injuries.
E-Scooter Injury Types
As you can see from the above, riding an e-scooter can be hazardous to your health. It can even take your life. Since you and your scooter are smaller than all other vehicles, their drivers may not see you in time to prevent a crash, especially if lighting is poor or they’re driving while distracted.
With the e-scooter market forecasted to reach $15.41 billion by 2029, it is only reasonable to assume that the number of accidents and injuries involving these machines will likewise increase.
E-scooter injuries run the gamut from minor to major to life-changing and life-threatening. Some of the most common are:
- Sprains and strains
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Let’s look at these injuries in more detail so you can better understand the effect they can have on you.
A laceration is a deep cut or gash somewhere on your body. The deeper the cut, the more blood you can lose, to the point where you may require a blood transfusion to survive. Deep or long gashes invariably require stitches, either in the emergency room or in the hospital, and may leave disfiguring scars.
Sprains and Strains
A sprain means that the ligaments that connect your bones and joints have become torn. These soft tissue injuries can be exceedingly painful and take weeks to heal. A strain, on the other hand, is an injury to a muscle or tendon that produces pain, swelling, bruising, and muscle weakness or even spasms. Most strains occur in your hands, elbows, legs or ankles.
Broken or Fractured Bones
Even with the best of medical care, a broken bone can take up to a year or more to completely heal. If the break is a compound fracture, i.e., pieces of the bone break through your skin, generally require surgical repair and take even longer to heal properly.
Internal Organ Injuries
Your internal organs, especially your kidneys, liver and spleen, are at particular risk in any accident, including an e-scooter crash. Both blunt force trauma and a penetrating injury can cause these organs to bleed internally, causing abdominal pain, swelling, dizziness or even loss of consciousness. You need to seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms after your accident. You may well require surgical intervention to stop the bleeding.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is one of the most serious injuries you can sustain if you become involved in an e-scooter accident. If you break one or more of the vertebrae in your back, thus injuring your spinal cord, the result could be partial or total paralysis depending on the precise location of your injury. In either event, you could find yourself depending on a wheelchair for the rest of your life in order to get around.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A TBI is another extremely serious injury that you could sustain in an e-scooter accident. Even if you follow the law and wear a helmet when you ride, this does not completely protect you if your head violently hits a hard stationary object such as the pavement, sidewalk, guardrail or another vehicle. A TBI could disable you for life by impairing your vision, hearing, speech, mobility or cognitive function.
Filing a Lawsuit
All in all, riding an e-scooter is a dangerous activity despite its fun and perceived freedom. If the worst happens and you sustain injuries in a crash, you have the right to sue the party whose negligence or wrongful acts caused the accident and therefore your injuries. These types of personal injury lawsuits, however, can quickly become complicated due to the masses of medical information they require. You therefore need an experienced personal injury lawyer in your corner.
The experienced and dedicated team of attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers practice only personal injury law and stand ready, willing and able to help you get the compensation you deserve when you need it most. As one of the premier personal injury law firms in Massachusetts, we serve injured clients throughout the state.
So if your e-scooter accident occurs anywhere in Massachusetts, our tagline says it all: Better Phone Stone. You can contact us 24/7 either by phone or by filling out and submitting the convenient case consultation form on our website. Not only is this consultation free, but we never charge you an attorney’s fee unless and until we successfully resolve your case.