Fayetteville Scooter Accident Lawyers
Electric scooters have become increasingly popular in Fayetteville, Arkansas since they were introduced in 2019. The city’s efforts to provide more micro-mobility options to residents have resulted in a growing scooter ridership. Scooters are a convenient and affordable form of transportation that allow anyone to hop on and start riding via a smartphone app. However, there are numerous safety hazards involved when using scooters, putting riders at risk of suffering serious injuries in scooter accidents.
If you have been injured in a scooter accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills and related costs from the negligent party that caused your crash. The Fayetteville scooter accident lawyers at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield are ready to assist you with your personal injury case.
Scooter Companies Operating in Fayetteville
Arkansas legalized electric scooters in July 2019 with the passage of the Electric Motorized Scooter Act. The City of Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas work together to approve, and issue scooter vendor permits.
As of 2022, Spin and Veo are the two scooter vendors operating in Fayetteville. They each have a fleet of 500 scooters available to rent in a 20-square-mile service area in the city. In 2020, Spin and Veo reported 370,000 total rides, each with an average distance of 1.9 miles. By 2021, those numbers increased to 496,000 total rides with an average distance of 2.6 miles.
Fayetteville’s electric scooter program is continuing to grow. In May 2022, a new trail connection allowed scooters to expand into west Fayetteville. Spin and Veo started operating in a 3-mile area west of Interstate 49.
In January 2023, the Fayetteville City Council announced plans to introduce electric scooters to downtown and other parts of the city amid the further expansion of its micro-mobility transportation system. Bird and Spunk Scooter are two vendors who have expressed interest in operating in Fayetteville.
Fayetteville Scooter Rules and Regulations
City of Fayetteville Ordinance 6205 lays out regulations for scooter companies and riders.
- Fayetteville scooter riders must be at least 16 years old.
- While scooters have a permitted top speed of 20 mph, riders are not allowed to travel faster than 15 mph.
- Only one person can ride a scooter at a time.
- Helmets are not mandatory under Arkansas law, but they are strongly recommended to prevent head injuries.
- Scooter riders are required to yield to pedestrians and be extra cautious at crosswalks and driveways.
- Riders on the University of Arkansas campus are required to pay attention to designated “slow zones” where scooters are programmed to slow down to 6 mph.
Because Spin and Veo scooters are dockless units, they can be parked just about anywhere. However, parked scooters must not block sidewalks, ramps, driveways, entrances, loading zones, transit stops, or accessible areas. Additionally, they must be upright when parked.
What Causes Scooter Accidents in Arkansas?
Scooters provide an eco-friendly alternative to driving and come with many other benefits. Yet cities are still trying to navigate the safety issues that arise from this relatively new mode of transportation.
One of the leading causes of Fayetteville scooter accidents is driver negligence. The intermingling of scooters with motor vehicles on roads can be a dangerous mix. Scooter riders have little protection when they are traveling alongside cars, buses, and other motor vehicles. Scooters lack basic safety features, such as seat belts and airbags, that are present in other types of transportation.
Here are some common causes of Fayetteville scooter accidents:
- Distracted driving: A driver who is checking their smartphone, eating or drinking, adjusting the music, or talking to passengers may not notice a scooter that is sharing the road. Driver inattention can be especially risky in areas that do not have bike lanes, forcing scooters to use the road instead.
- Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs affects a driver’s ability to make sound decisions behind the wheel. It hampers their judgment and slows down their reaction time when they suddenly come across a scooter rider.
- Tailgating: Fayetteville scooter riders have the right to share the road with other cars. Sometimes drivers are disrespectful to scooter users, who travel at slower speeds than cars. They may get road rage and tailgate scooters or even try to run them off the road.
- Speeding: Speeding is a form of reckless driving. When drivers are speeding, they are more likely to lose control of their vehicle. They have less time to react to avoid a crash if they suddenly encounter a scooter.
- Visibility: Because scooters are small, drivers may fail to notice them. Many motorists do not check for scooters at intersections or while making turns. Additionally, scooters can be hidden in a driver’s blind spot, or objects in the roadway may obstruct them from view.
- Poor scooter maintenance: Rental scooters have multiple riders each day. Scooter companies are responsible for making sure their fleet of scooters is properly maintained and reasonably safe to use. A unit may need to be remotely disabled if a problem is detected. Faulty or worn-out parts may cause a scooter to malfunction, leading to crashes. For example, brake failure can throw a rider off and result in serious injuries.
- Road hazards: Debris, potholes, and uneven surfaces can create hazards for scooter riders. Because scooters are not stable, any bumps in the road can cause a rider to lose control and dangerously enter traffic.
If you were injured in a scooter accident, an experienced Fayetteville scooter accident attorney can investigate what happened. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield is ready to help you hold negligent auto drivers accountable for your crash-related losses. We can also determine whether other parties, such as a scooter company, were liable for your injuries.
Common Types of Electric Scooter Injuries from Fayetteville Car Accidents
Many electric scooters lack basic safety features. Although scooter vendors encourage riders to wear helmets, they may not always be available.
A study by Henry Ford Health System found that nearly 28 percent of scooter accidents nationwide result in head and neck injuries. Other types of injuries may include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head trauma
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Arm injuries
Are Fayetteville Scooters City-Owned or Third-Party-Owned?
The two main scooter vendors in Fayetteville are Spin and Veo, which are third-party operators. Fayetteville requires all scooters operating within city limits to carry liability insurance. Under Arkansas law, private scooter vendors must carry liability insurance coverage.
Suing a third party for a scooter accident involves proving negligence. You must show that they owed you a duty of care. Their breach of that duty, in turn, caused you compensable harm such as financial losses and emotional distress.
For example, motorists have a duty to drive their vehicles safely. If they get behind the wheel of a car while drunk and strike your scooter, they are liable for your injuries and other scooter accident-related costs. Negligent drivers can be held accountable through a personal injury lawsuit.
In some cases, scooter vendors may be liable for your accident injuries. Scooter rental companies have a responsibility to train and educate riders on how to use their scooters. They should also provide helmets to riders and ensure their scooters are safe to use. Sometimes scooter companies cut corners and trade safety for profits, putting scooter riders at risk of crashes that result in painful injuries and expensive medical bills.
The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield can help you determine liability in your scooter accident case. We will gather evidence and find out who was at fault for your injuries, whether it is a negligent driver or a scooter company. In some cases, multiple parties may be liable for your injuries. Our Fayetteville scooter accident lawyers are not afraid to stand up to big companies that may be reluctant to admit responsibility for a crash.
How Electric Scooters and Cars Can Collide in Fayetteville
According to Fayetteville regulations, scooter riders are required to yield to pedestrians and avoid using busy sidewalks with heavy walking traffic. Additionally, scooters are not allowed on city sidewalks that are adjacent to building entrances. For example, scooters are not permitted on Dickson Street, where a pedestrian exiting a shop may find themselves in the path of an oncoming rider. As a result, scooter users may end up riding on Fayetteville streets, which puts them at risk of being struck and injured by motor vehicles.
Similar traffic rules apply to both bicycles and scooters. In Fayetteville, electric scooters are allowed on bike lanes, paved trails, and streets. Among the most popular areas where scooter rides originate include downtown W Dickson Street, the University of Arkansas campus, and Fayetteville Square.
Fayetteville regulations require scooters to obey the same traffic laws as other motorists when using the city’s roadways. Scooter riders must yield to vehicle traffic at crosswalks and intersections. They should ride on the right side of the road and never travel against traffic. However, even when scooter riders observe all the required rules, there is no guarantee that other motorists will not behave negligently, such as running a red light or texting while driving.
Because scooters are smaller than other types of vehicles, they can be less visible to drivers. Collisions between scooters and cars can easily occur when a driver fails to spot a scooter rider passing by or suddenly enters a busy intersection.
Scooter riders are at risk of serious injuries when they collide with a car, particularly if they are not wearing helmets. The force of impact from a car can be catastrophic for riders as scooters lack the protective features that are common in vehicles, such as an outer body, seatbelts and airbags. Injured scooter accident victims can recover damages from the insurance company of the negligent driver.
Types of Scooter Accident Damages
Those who are injured in a Fayetteville scooter accident can file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation from the negligent party. The damages you receive should account for all your scooter accident-related losses:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Time Limit for Filing a Scooter Accident Claim in Fayetteville
In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is typically three years from the date of an accident. Once you miss this deadline, you may no longer be entitled to recover compensation for your scooter accident injuries. The Fayetteville scooter accident lawyers at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield can help you start the recovery process as soon as possible so that you do not give up your right to obtain damages from the negligent party.
Contact a Fayetteville Scooter Accident Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you were injured in a Fayetteville scooter accident, reach out to the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield to find out about your legal options. Our Fayetteville scooter accident lawyers are ready to provide you with experienced legal representation in your personal injury claim. We understand the struggles you are likely to face in the aftermath of an accident. You deserve full compensation for the medical costs associated with your painful injuries, as well as other losses that arise from your scooter accident.