On July 27, 2018 I wrote about Portland's Electric Scooters and the dangers they pose. I wrote "I have no doubt that someone in Portland, Oregon will eventually suffer a serious injury due to an electric scooter incident." As predicted, it happened. On Friday night, an E-scooter was hit by a car in NE Portland. This tragic incident did not have to occur, and I am sure litigation will ensue as a result due to the e-scooter companies are enablers of negligent conduct.
Oregonlive reports that the male rider was hit by a car that was turning right. I have previously written about the dangers of the "right hook" with cyclists, but this appears to be the first publicized incident in Portland with an electric scooter. As predicted, the rider was also not wearing a helmet. The e-scooter companies are accomplices to the rider's negligent behavior by providing a vehicle that can travel up to 15 MPH, is hard to see, and is required to ride on the street. The e-scooter companies do not require any formal training, but instead are most likely relying on their "disclaimers" and "waivers" on their app when riders sign up. To compound the issue helmets are legally required, but there is not easy access to helmets. (Bird does say they have a free helmet program that will ship a helmet to a rider) The Companies know this and make them available without helmets. I fear that this unfortunate incident is just the beginning. Hopefully regulators, policy makers, and industry will be able to collaborate to make a safer riding experience. Until them it will be left to the lawyers and courts to sort out the liability issues.
If you or someone you know has been injured on an e-scooter read my blog what to do if injured in a crash with a shared scooter. Then call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation. Jeremiah Ross is a Portland Personal Injury attorney with experience litigating motor vehicle cases, bicycle cases, and other vulnerable road use cases. Please note that this blog can be considered Attorney Advertising.