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Injuries Rise after Norfolk Legalizes Limes and Other Scooters

In the initial weeks since Norfolk legalized the use of electric scooters, medical professionals have seen an uptick in accident injuries connected to the vehicles. An orthopedic trauma surgeon with Sentara Healthcare stated that at least 10 people were admitted to their Virginia Beach hospital with scooter injuries during the first month following legalization, and six of those patients needed surgery.

Many factors have contributed to this new danger to e-scooter users and the walkers and bicycle riders who wind up in their path:

  • Uneven sidewalks and street surfaces — Technology and the profit motive usually move much more quickly than government repair of infrastructure. The Sentara surgeon, Dr. Richard Myers, notes that Limes and Birds often can’t handle bumps, cracks and uneven ground on area sidewalks and streets.
  • Failure to wear a helmet — Data from a CDC study in March 2019 shows that only a tiny fraction of riders wear helmets while on these vehicles, so it’s no surprise that a substantial portion of the incidents requiring emergency care involve traumatic brain injuries. Though many doctors throughout the country oppose any use of the vehicles, the City of Norfolk recommends that if you are going to ride one, you should wear a helmet at all times. Wrist guards and proper shoes can also help limit the possibility of serious harm.
  • Young riders — To operate a Lime, Bird or some other type of motorized scooter legally within Norfolk, you must be at least 18 years old and in possession of a valid driver’s license. This is in line with the recommendations of manufacturers. However, minors do get access to these vehicles and a California study showed that more than 10 percent of e-scooter injury victims were under 18.

In addition to head trauma, people hurt in scooter accidents can suffer ankle, wrist, arm and leg fractures as well as pelvic and knee injuries. Whether you’re a scooter rider or just a bystander, you could face high medical bills, lost income and other damages associated with a crash.

The experienced personal injury lawyers at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban represent clients throughout Virginia and the Carolinas in all types of vehicle accident cases. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your issue, please call (888) 351-1038 or contact us online.

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