Scooters and bicycles allow people to easily travel around Austin, but what happens if your mode of transportation malfunctions? This is a question more people are asking after a woman was injured on a Bird Scooter in Santa Monica, California. If you are renting a bicycle or scooter, you should be prepared for the unexpected—including injuries.
Out of Control Scooter
In May 2018, a mechanic was attempting to fix a Bird Scooter when brake failure sent her sprawling. Fahin Kamrany worked as an independent contractor who fixed scooters for Bird when she took a scooter for a test to diagnose its problem. The scooter quickly lost control, and Kamrany suffered multiple injuries, such as a broken arm and collarbone, as well as injuries to her head. Kamrany has retained legal counsel to pursue compensation against the company.
Soon after the collision, Kamrany learned that she was not alone. Over the years, dozens of Bird riders have complained about malfunctioning scooters that have lost control. There is no guarantee that Austin’s dockless scooter and bicycle sharing services, like GOAT, will be any safer for locals to use.
Liability in the Event of a Crash
If you suffer a collision, then you might end up hurting yourself or other people. Liability will be determined based on the following:
- If a bicycle or scooter malfunctions and you are injured, you can sue the manufacturer as well as the rental company for your injuries. Under Texas law, they can be held liable for putting a defective product into the stream of commerce.
- If your bicycle or scooter malfunctions and you injure someone else, then the victim might sue you. However, you can join the manufacturer and/or rental company as defendants if their malfunctioning product was the real cause of the accident.
In some situations, you can injure people not because your bicycle was defective but because you were careless. In these cases, you can be held liable for the accident since your own negligence led to the crash. The victim can sue you, just as they could sue you if you plowed into them with your vehicle. In these situations, no defective product is the cause of the accident; you are.
In the event you are sued for causing a crash, you should check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, which might cover you. Your policy can pay out a certain amount in compensation to the victim and, depending on your policy, might pay for a lawyer to defend you. If you have an umbrella insurance policy, that might cover a bicycle or scooter accident as well.
Injured by a Rental? We are Here to Help
As scooter and bicycle rental businesses continue to bloom in Austin, more residents might suffer an injury when their transportation malfunctions. At DC Law, we know how to get clients the compensation they need when careless companies release dangerous products onto the market. To schedule your free consultation with one of our Austin bicycle accident attorneys, please reach out to us today by calling 512-220-1800.