Electric scooters are becoming an increasingly popular form of transportation for many people, especially in crowded Oregon cities like Portland. As electric scooters – also called e-scooters – have become more popular, though, the number of e-scooter-related injuries has risen, and people have suffered major injuries in some cases. These injuries can be painful and costly to treat, especially if you’re struck by a car or other vehicle while riding a scooter.
An electric scooter accident attorney can help you pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries. Jeff Siefman and his team at Siefman Law LLC have more than a decade of experience and have defended the rights of hundreds of accident victims. We can go over your case to determine who’s liable for your injuries, what compensation you may be eligible for, and what the best strategy is to get you the money you need.
Contact our Portland office today for a free consultation with an Oregon electric scooter accident lawyer.
Oregon Electric Scooter Laws
According to information from the Oregon Department of Transportation, an electric (or gas-powered) scooter is defined as a two-wheeled, self-propelled vehicle with certain speed and power limitations. Under state law, no e-scooter can have an engine that allows the vehicle to travel faster than 24 mph on level ground, though e-scooter riders are not allowed to go more than 15 mph. Electric scooter engines can generate a maximum of 1,000 watts of power, while gas-powered scooters can have a maximum engine output of 35 cc.
There are a handful of other electric scooter laws to be aware of in Oregon, including:
- Electric scooter riders must be at least 16 years old
- All electric scooter riders are required to wear helmets
- Electric scooter riders are not allowed to carry passengers
- Electric scooters are not allowed on sidewalks, though they are allowed in bike lanes
- Electric scooter riders can be cited for DUI if they’re found to be riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- In Portland, electric scooters are not allowed on most parks or trails
- Electric scooter riders should park their vehicles in designated scooter parking areas or on the sidewalk as close to the curb as possible
Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents in Oregon
The increasing number of scooters in cities across the country has led to a corresponding rise in electric scooter accidents. One news report found that from 2014-2018, there were around 40,000 electric scooter accident injuries treated at emergency rooms nationwide. Some of the most common causes of electric scooter accidents include:
- Dangerous road conditions – Potholes, uneven road surface, debris in the roadway, and other road hazards can all cause electric scooter accidents. E-scooter riders who lose control after hitting a road hazard can end up colliding with a pedestrian or another vehicle. In other cases, the e-scooter rider might be violently ejected from their vehicle and suffer major injuries.
- Visibility issues – Electric scooters are considerably smaller than most other vehicles, even when you compare their size against things like bicycles and motorcycles. The small size of electric scooters means it can be hard for pedestrians and people in other vehicles to see an electric scooter, particularly if there’s a lot of other traffic. Another driver could easily run into an electric scooter rider if they aren’t paying attention to the environment around them.
- People opening doors into traffic without looking – A major safety hazard for bicyclists is people opening car doors into traffic without looking, and the same is true for electric scooter riders. If someone opens their door without checking to see if an electric scooter rider is approaching, the rider could end up running into the door, injuring themselves and damaging the vehicle as well.
- Other forms of negligence by pedestrians, other vehicles, etc. – Many electric scooter crashes are caused by negligence on the part of other drivers, pedestrians, and others. This can happen if someone other than the driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol, overly fatigued, or distracted, causing them to miss a nearby electric scooter rider.
- Negligence by electric scooter riders – Sometimes electric scooter riders themselves are the cause of a scooter crash. This can happen if the rider is distracted, fatigued, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent.
Compensation for an Electric Scooter Accident in Oregon
If you were injured in an electric scooter caused by someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, Oregon law allows you to pursue compensation for the injuries and related losses you’ve suffered. This potentially includes compensation for:
- Damaged personal property, such as the value of the damaged e-scooter
- Lost income and diminished future earning capacity
- Your medical bills and related expenses
- The pain and suffering caused by your injuries
- Emotional distress caused by the accident
What to Do If You Are Involved in an Oregon Electric Scooter Accident
Here are the main steps to take if you end up in an Oregon electric scooter accident:
- Call 911 and don’t leave the scene until police and medical personnel arrive
- Get the names, contact information, and insurance information from any other parties involved in the crash
- Use your phone to take pictures and videos of the accident scene, which you can use as evidence later on
- If there are any eyewitnesses to the accident, try to get their names and contact information
- Don’t talk to any insurance companies until you’ve had a chance to speak to an electric scooter accident lawyer
- Hold on to your medical records, pay stubs, and other documents that can help substantiate the losses you’ve suffered in the crash
- Talk to an Oregon electric scooter accident attorney right away
Contact a Portland Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hurt in an electric scooter accident in Oregon, you deserve a chance to recover fair compensation for your injuries. A Portland electric scooter accident lawyer from Siefman Law LLC can help with your case, so contact us today for a free initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.