Have you seen those lime green scooters that are popping up everywhere all over Miami and Fort Lauderdale? Well if you have, I’m sure you have wondered what they are all about. They are owned by a company called Lime. They have electric scooters and bikes that you can rent. They are the ride share of scooters. Essentially what you have to do is download their app. Once you approach one of their scooters, you plug in the code numbers, select how long you want it and bam, the scooter is unlocked and you are free to scoot your way around town. Being a personal injury attorney, in Kendall, FL, I’ve often wondered about the liability of renting one. Who is responsible if you crash it? What happens if you get hurt on one? Do they just rent it to anyone?
The idea is different and maybe even a little innovative. The problem comes with the injuries that their scooters are causing. There have been more than 125 accidents since December in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Before you ride the scooter, the app prompts you to agree to their waiver. The agreement is over 50 pages long. If you were to sit and read it, it would take the better part of an hour to get through the agreement. The agreement is very unfair to the person renting the scooter. The agreement states, in part “reserves the right to you (the rider) fully responsible for all damage, losses, claims and liability.”
A 27-year-old South Florida woman named Ashanti rented a Lime e-scooter in order to get home work last December. She suffered a traumatic brain injury after colliding with a car. She has since been unresponsive. Ashanti was driving the scooter on the road, as per the app’s instructions. Since then, Lime has reworded the instructions. Her mother, Tracy said that her daughter did not have health insurance and has since accrued millions of dollars in medical bills. Ashanti signed Lime’s wavier when she rented the scooter. The problem is that almost no consumers understanding what they are signing. The waivers are almost never in plain English and tend to be extremely long. The probability of a consumer reading and understanding it is unlikely.
Lime will likely face some serious liability as more and more accidents like these start to happen. “These aren’t just toys,” said Dr. Jason Mansour from Broward Health Medical Center. “You could potentially get very seriously injured.” The probability of just hoping on an e-scooter and driving it with any ability is low. One has to practice and learn the necessary skills to operate the e-scooter. Lime provides absolutely no training to their consumers. They don’t even provide a helmet! You wouldn’t rent a car to someone that doesn’t have a driver’s license, so why would rent a motorized scooter to someone with no experience?
In my opinion, as a personal injury attorney in Kendall, FL, I believe that Lime is negligent. I wrote an article on what negligence is here. They either need to provide safety gear, like a helmet, with the rental or some type of class that one has to pass before they can rent an e-scooter. The risk is too high. If you have been involved in a scooter accident or if you have any questions, please feel free to call our office. Our personal injury law firm is located in Kendall, FL. We are always available to meet with clients to discuss your rights.
Law Office of Christopher Tsitos