Downtown Scooters Seen as New Frontier for Personal Injury Law

Personal injury lawyers are gearing up for what promises to be a new line of work...dealing with accidents involving those new 'dockless scooters' that are appearing in large numbers downtown, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Attorney Jeff Rasansky says cities which have had the scooters in their downtown areas for longer than the three weeks or so they have been in place in San Antonio are reporting significant numbers of injuries.

"People are going to get on these things and not really know how to operate them," Rasansky said.  "Whether we see a whole bunch of lawsuits is another thing."

The problem is...the City has done absolutely nothing to regulate or establish parameters for the scooters, including determining things like whether people who ride on them need insurance, and whether they can be operated on the sidewalks, streets, or on street bike lanes.  

There is also no determination about where liability lies for accidents to people who ride on the scooters.Another potential problem is what to do with several scooters who are left at popular destinations like the Convention Center, and hotels, blocking sidewalks and creating an unsightly mess.

"Not only are they placing themselves at risk, and other people at risk, but if they cause an injury that injuries someone else, they may have a financial burden that they never anticipated," he said.

A woman suffered serious injuries when the scooter she was riding on hit a pothole on Broadway south of the Pearl early Friday.  She was thrown off and hit her head on the pavement.In that case there was no allegation of improper use of the scooter or allegation that anybody put anyone else in danger, but Rasansky says that is inevitable as scooters collide with cars, pedestrians, and other scooters, as has happened in other cities.

The electric scooters are set up so people sign up for the service using an app and pay with a credit or debit card.

You pick up a scooter wherever you find one and drop it off wherever you are done, where another person picks it up and rides on it.

The scooters are gathered up and recharged overnight, and then placed at convenient locations downtown, near the Pearl, the downtown UTSA campus and Southtown early the next morning.

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