Consumers trust that the products they purchase have gone through some degree of testing and evaluation to ensure their safety. When this doesn’t happen— either because of the negligence of the manufacturer or seller— it can lead to preventable, but serious injuries. Below, the product liability attorneys at KBA discuss the nature of some of the recent defects in electric scooters and how they can lead to injuries.
Types of Scooter Defects
Whether it is the fleet of e-scooters that can be found on most city streets or the personally owned scooters that some commuters zip around on regularly, people all over are using e-scooters commonly today. Increased use is not without increased risk, however.
Recent lawsuits against e-scooter vendors allege that malfunctioning brakes, sudden accelerations, and faulty throttles, handlebars, and wheels have all caused dozens of riders to be thrown off the devices and injured, some seriously. Indeed, various entities have reported problems with e-scooters. See, e.g., CSPC, Injuries Using E-Scooters, E-Bikes and Hoverboards Jump 70% During the Past Four Years (Sept. 30, 2021); CPSC, E-Scooter-Related Injuries Are on the Rise; CPSC Releases New Study and Public Service Announcement (Sept. 16, 2020); Consumer Notice (July 2020).
The Case of Handlebars that Collapsed
One of the most striking dangers of e-scooters is handlebars that fail. Many e-scooters are foldable. There is a joint on the stem of the handlebars connecting the base upon which riders stand and the handlebars they hold to steer and control the speed. This joint can malfunction.
This was the case in Pennsylvania when a woman who purchased a defective e-scooter from the online sales platform eBay was thrown off after a faulty locking mechanism caused the handlebars to collapse. The e-scooter she received from eBay was defectively designed, causing it to be unreasonably dangerous at the time it left eBay’s possession. The failure of the locking mechanism, which improperly became unsecured and permitted the handlebars to collapse while the e-scooter was in use, caused her to suffer serious and permanent injuries. KBA has the privilege of working on this case with our co-counsel Lawrence Guerra of Gurrera Law in Pittsburg, PA and Thomas Keilty of Keilty Bonadio. We believe there are viable claims against eBay concerning the defects at issue.
Some of the most common scooter defects include:
- Loose, broken, or detaching handlebars
- Sticky throttles
- Faulty brakes
- Batteries that burst into flames
- Baseboard breaking in half during a ride
- Software malfunctions
How Scooter Defects Can Lead to Injuries
An accident due to an electric scooter malfunction can result in a variety of injuries. In a 2018 study in Austin by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 271 people were identified as having e-scooter-related injuries within just an 87-day study period. Of those who confirmed their injuries to researchers, 45 percent suffered head injuries, 27 percent dealt with upper extremity fractures, and 12 percent had lower extremity fractures. Some of the most common injuries sustained from e-scooters include:
- Head injuries
- Fractured arms or collarbones
- Sprained ankles, ligaments, or tears
- Fractures of the skull, face, and neck
- Soft tissue injuries
- Dental injuries
If you have experienced any injury due to a defective electric scooter, a personal injury attorney can help you file a claim.
Seek Additional Help With Experienced Counsel from KBA Attorneys
Figuring out whether someone is responsible for compensation after a traumatizing accident can be overwhelming. Seeking the help of professionals is extremely beneficial. Personal injury attorneys such as those at KBA Attorneys have decades of experience navigating the many intricacies of personal injury claims and how they affect every aspect of your life. To learn more about our team and see how we can guide you through the bankruptcy process, contact our office by clicking here.