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Chicago personal injury attorneysOnce upon a time, an injured person’s lawsuit died with them. This might be shocking, but it meant that someone whose negligent or wrongful conduct ended up killing someone could not be held liable in civil court for that death. At Livas Law Group, a Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we are happy to report that the law has changed.

Now, Illinois recognizes wrongful death cases. Surviving family members can receive compensation when a loved one is killed by the wrongful conduct of another person. Doing so, however, generally requires the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney.

What is a Wrongful Death?

The relevant statute is the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180). It states that a wrongful death is one caused by the default, neglect, or wrongful act of another person so that, if the person had lived, he or she could have brought a personal injury lawsuit.

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Chicago personal injury attorneysLarge commercial trucks can be seen driving in and out of Chicago, carrying goods from our city to distant points in the nation and back again. If you have been injured in a collision with one of those trucks, however, you should contact a personal injury lawyer at Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz.

According to the Department of Transportation, Illinois sees over 11,000 tractor-trailer accidents in an average year. If you have been injured in such a crash, we recommend that you take the following steps to preserve your ability to collect compensation.

Call the Police

You should report the accident as soon as possible so that the police can come out to the scene. The responding officer should write a police report, which you will want a copy of for your records. This report helps lock in key details of the accident, such as the date, time, location, and involved parties.

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Chicago personal injury lawyersUnder Illinois law, anyone registering a vehicle must have adequate insurance. Currently, our state requires that you have at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, up to a maximum of $50,000 per accident (when two or more people are injured). The state also requires at least $20,000 in property damage insurance. At Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we want to notify the public about the importance of uninsured motorist coverage, which is included in every car insurance policy sold in Illinois.

What UM Covers

Uninsured motorist coverage kicks in if you were struck by someone who lacks insurance. It is fault-based coverage, meaning you cannot use it if you were to blame for the collision. But if someone else is at fault, then UM coverage can pay out benefits up to the policy limit for:

  • Medical care
  • Lost income or lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

About 13 percent of all Illinois motorists lack coverage. This means that if you are hit by such a driver, you will not be able to make a claim with their insurer. UM coverage, however, can step in and provide benefits in this unfortunate event.

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Chicago premises liability attorneysThe basic concept of premises liability means that a property owner can be held liable for injuries occurring on his or her property. In most personal injury cases involving premises liability, however, the injured party must show the owner or occupier of the property was negligent or committed a willful act that caused the injuries. Such cases often hinge on the idea of foreseeability and whether the owner of the property should have reasonably expected the consequences that occurred as a result of his or her negligence or actions.

Understanding Foreseeability

In a retail setting, for example, if a store employee mops a floor and fails to place “wet floor” warning signs, a slip and fall injury would almost certainly be foreseeable. Slip and fall accidents are common on wet floors, and store employees are expected to take precautions to prevent injuries. The responsibility for the injury would likely extend to store management or ownership for unsafe practices.

Conversely, consider an example in a grocery store that carries a particular brand of salad dressing containing peanuts. The dressing is packaged in glass bottles. A child running through the aisles of the store knocks a bottle of the shelf, and it explodes on the floor, splashing dressing into the eyes of nearby shopper who happens to have a severe peanut allergy. If the shopper then experiences an allergic reaction and is injured, he or she may try to hold the store owner liable. However, the store owner would certainly be able to argue that there was no way to foresee such an unusual combination of circumstances and that the shopper’s injuries were not due to negligence or actions on the part of the owner.

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In this unprecedented time, Livas Law Group remains committed to putting its clients first. As government officials recommend social distancing, limitation of in-person meetings and travel, and practicing self-quarantine, we are adjusting how we go about the practice of law. Out of an abundance of caution to our employees and to the public, the leadership of the firm decided it was best for now that all employees work from their homes. The firm was properly prepared to have its office fully operational on a remote basis.

Our technology allows the firm to be in contact with each other, to be in contact with clients, and to continue working on their behalf. Our highly skilled technology staff allows for the confidentiality of client information with all security measures in place while allowing full access for those working on your files. Although lawyers and staff are working uninterrupted remotely, our fully equipped virtual desktop permits our entire staff to handle all matters that arise, despite the courts throughout the State of Illinois and across the nation being closed for the upcoming month and possibly longer. Most courts have now extended the discovery deadlines, so we expect some delays with depositions and hearings, but many judges are hosting video teleconference hearings and adjusting to these changing times.

Our expert witnesses still are hard at work reviewing files. Attorneys are answering and issuing interrogatories, motions are being drafted, cases are being filed, and telephone calls and voicemails are being answered and returned. We are using all means of communication necessary to ensure that your case is moving forward. Should you need to contact your lawyer, please call us at 312-804-6102 or email us directly. 

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Chicago personal injury attorneysSpring may be right around the corner, but in the greater Chicago region, it is still winter. In fact, the next big winter storm is poised to blanket the area with snow as the last weekend of February approaches. With such weather, obviously, comes a number of related hazards and dangers, many of them related to road travel and highway safety. Winter storms can also cause serious problems for those on foot, making getting from the car to the house rather treacherous. There are, however, some things you can do to reduce the danger of a slip and fall accident and the resulting injuries that such a fall can cause.

Choose the Right Shoes

As you make your way into the office, do you wear your dress shoes or heels? Consider carrying your fancy footwear with you or leaving them at your desk and trade them for winter-appropriate boots. Be sure to find something that fits properly, with an aggressive tread that will grip slippery sidewalks better.

Alight With Caution

A large number of slip and fall accidents occur while trying to get out of the car, as a single foot on icy pavement can leave you quite vulnerable. Take your time when you reach your destination to exit your car carefully, placing two feet firmly on the ground and a hand on the vehicle before attempting to stand. If you can only put one foot out, for whatever reason, be sure to keep both hands on your vehicle to help maintain your balance.

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Chicago personal injury attorneysHere in the greater Chicago area, winter weather ranges from mild and wet to very cold and very icy—a pattern that can create some serious hazards getting around. Whether you are travelling on foot or by car, one of the most dangerous of these conditions is black ice. With over 150,000 car accidents happening every year due to ice on the road—over 500 of which result in at least one death—it is easy to see why black ice is something every driver should take very seriously.

What Is Black Ice?

At its most basic, black ice is a transparent coating of ice that takes on the color of whatever surface lies beneath it. Most often, the surface is a roadway, and roadways usually have a black asphalt surface, hence the name “black ice.”

Black ice generally forms when temperatures warm up, and snow and ice starts to melt, leaving the surface wet and slick. Then, it gets cold again, and the ice-melt refreezes. It can happen anywhere along a road, but it often starts on bridges and overpasses because, unlike the regular road, these structures are exposed to freezing temperatures from top and bottom.

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Chicago personal injury attorneysFor many individuals, the sight of snow can create an unparalleled feeling of joy and happiness. Due to the events and breathtaking sights that transpire in Chicago every holiday season, people from around the world will come to visit. Although this time of year is often associated with enjoyable experiences, the negligent or reckless actions of another individual can lead to serious injuries and unintended fatalities taking place. At Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, our team of knowledgeable personal injury attorneys understand the legal system, and can work with you to hold negligent party members responsible for their actions.   

Slip and Fall Injuries

One of the more prevalent ways of sustaining a wintertime injury is the possibility of slipping and falling. Weather conditions such as snow, ice, and slush can make any street or sidewalk a serious hazard. Although this form of injury does not seem crucial, the possible outcomes can be significant. For instance, a loss of footing caused by snow, ice or slush can lead to:

  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • TBI (traumatic brain injury)
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Torn ligaments
  • Sprained muscles 

If a slip and fall accident resulting from inclement weather conditions does take place in Chicago, the owner of the property may be held responsible. According to the City of Chicago Municipal Code, every person that is in charge of a building or lot of ground is required to remove snow and ice from their sidewalk. 

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Chicago personal injury attorneysAs ice, snow, and slush starts to become more common throughout the city of Chicago, pedestrians are at a higher risk of suffering a personal injury. While there are steps that individuals traveling by foot can take to reduce the chances of being injured, it is impossible to control the negligent actions of others. For instance, a sliding vehicle can create a dangerous situation for everyone in the general area. At Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we are knowledgeable on the topic of pedestrian accidents and we are here to help. If you or a loved one has suffered because of the reckless actions taken by a motorist, financial compensation may be awarded.   

What Can Cause a Winter Car Accident?

In a city that accommodates millions of individuals on a daily basis, the roads and sidewalks of Chicago are often filled with people trying to get from one location to another. First and foremost, it is important for motorists and sidewalk users to understand the rules of the road. According to Chicago Ordinance 9-24-030, a pedestrian will have the right-of-way at a crosswalk or intersection that is clearly marked and has stop signs in place. Similar to a motorist, however, a pedestrian will also have to follow traffic-control signals at an intersection or crosswalk. With the prevalence of snow, ice, and black ice, the possibility of a car making contact with a pedestrian that is crossing the street can dramatically increase. Most commonly, a collision would take place due to:

  • Decreased vision of the motorist
  • Slippery road conditions, increasing the amount of time it takes to stop
  • Poor vehicle conditions, such as inadequate tire traction, broken windshield wipers, or non-functioning headlights

If the individual on foot was injured in an area that he or she was legally allowed to be, fault could be placed solely on the motorist.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_winter-walking-city-park-safety.jpgThroughout the winter season, inclement weather conditions such as snow, ice, and slush can become prevalent on our roads and sidewalks. Although the sight of snow can be appealing to look at, both pedestrians and motorists should be aware of the hazards that can result. At Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we understand that the negligent actions of an individual or business can lead to life-altering injuries. Before venturing out in the wintertime, there are several preventive measures that can be utilized to limit the possibility of suffering an injury.

Dress Appropriately

Paying attention to the weather conditions and understanding how clothing and footwear could affect your safety is crucial during the wintertime. A pedestrian that is traveling by foot should consider wearing clothing that increases their visibility and shoes that can help maintain traction. For example, clothing that blends in with the environment (white coats and non-reflective items) and footwear that limits your ability to move safely (dress shoes and high heels) should be avoided for outdoor use.      

Walk Cautiously

It is important to be aware of the movement restrictions that wintertime weather can cause. Due to the likelihood of slippery streets and wet pavements, every action should be well thought out. Even if a surface looks safe, black ice can be prevalent. When out and about, pedestrians should remember to:

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Chicago personal injury attorneysWintertime can be a beautiful season throughout the city of Chicago due to the snowfall and holiday decorations. Although the sights can be breathtaking, it is imperative to understand the risks that are often associated with winter weather conditions. Falling chunks of ice can strike an individual, causing severe injuries and even death. Before simply accepting or dismissing the incident as happenstance, a victim should seek legal help from Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can work with a victim or their family to help recover compensation linked to negligence.   

How Does a Falling Ice Injury Occur?

As the skyline of Chicago continues to grow with additional buildings, pedestrians should be aware of the possible hazards that can result. Once snow on a roof begins to melt because of sunshine or building heat, water will flow down from the top of the building. If temperatures are below freezing, that melted water will form into icicles. The accumulation of additional water molecules will increase the size and weight of an icicle. Although the build-up of frozen water may be interesting to look at, there is a chance that it could fall to the ground. Warmer weather dramatically increases the probability of an icicle detaching.  

How Can Icicle Injuries Be Avoided by Pedestrians?

For Chicago citizens and tourists alike, there are several things that can be done to limit the possibility of an icicle injury. During the winter season, pedestrians and motorists should be aware of their surroundings. If possible, avoid walking under a roof overhang with ice buildup. In addition, a person traveling on foot should never stand still underneath or near an icicle formation. If ice begins to fall from a structure, it is important to get as far away as possible. 

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Chicago personal injury attorneysAs winter weather becomes more prevalent in the city of Chicago, citizens and property owners alike are preparing for the season. Unpredictable weather conditions coinciding with the lake effect can cause an unsafe environment. Sleet, snow, and ice can lead to pedestrians sustaining serious injuries, such as broken bones, sprains, and head trauma. At Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we understand the challenges that a slip and fall injury can cause an individual and their family. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to the weather conditions, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney.

Who is Responsible for Snow and Ice Removal in Chicago?

Many people rely on public transit or walking as their primary method of travel in Chicago. As snow, sleet, and ice start to accumulate on the ground, streets and sidewalks can become a dangerous place for pedestrians and motorists. According to the Municipal Code of Chicago (4-4-310 and 10-8-180), the responsibility of snow and ice removal falls on property owners and occupants. Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person that has authority of a building or property is required to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk. 

Can a Business or Property Owner Be Liable for Injuries?

Negligent and careless snow, ice, or water removal can leave a property owner liable for any resulting injuries. Premises liability holds an owner responsible for maintaining and securing the safety of their property. For example, if a business owner left massive amounts of snow near the entrance of their property that later melted and turned into ice, the company may be responsible for any slip and fall injuries. Furthermore, if a faulty design or maintenance technique led to a slip and fall injury, the owner may also be liable.  

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Illinois personal injury attorneysAt the Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we understand that a motor vehicle accident can happen to any person, at any given time. Regardless of your actions, a personal injury may result due to another individual’s negligence. Even if inclement weather conditions caused a car crash to happen, the driver may still be liable for the resulting damages and injuries. While factors such as rain, wind, sleet, ice, and snow may lead to a driver wanting to avoid the road, that might not always be possible. Driving in Chicago can already be a stressful scenario for many motorists; it is important to take extra precaution and remember these tips before driving in the winter: 

Prepare for Ice

Winter car accidents are commonly linked to vehicles sliding on icy roads. Throughout the city, ice can be prevalent and lead to devastating damage and injuries for both motorists and pedestrians. 

In an effort to avoid sliding on ice, motorists should:

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Chicago e-scooter injury attorneysAfter four months of testing a new form of transportation in the city of Chicago, the e-scooter experiment has reached its conclusion. Ranging from June 15th to October 15th, roughly 800,000 e-scooter trips were registered in the defined pilot area. The test program prompted a lot of positive and negative feedback from both riders and pedestrians. The determination of whether or not e-scooters are going to stay or leave is still ongoing. Many factors will be taken into consideration before a decision is reached. 

A Summary of Chicago’s E-Scooter Test Program 

Looking back to the details of Chicago’s test program, the city allowed 10 different companies to distribute a total of 2,500 e-scooters throughout the designated area. These motorized scooters can reach speeds of roughly 15 mph and were governed by the same legal statutes as any other motor vehicle. Varying from company to company, the average cost associated with an e-scooter was the initial fee of $1.00 to unlock the vehicle, accompanied by 15 cents for every minute used. E-scooters were accessible from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and could be left at any pickup location upon the riders’ completion.  

What Will be Considered?

Whether or not e-scooters will remain in Chicago is the decision that must now be made. Key topics such as safety, popularity, and financials will all be taken into account during deliberation. To coincide with those areas of concern, the following topics may be considered by the city:

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Illinois e-scooter injury attorneysSerious and life-threatening injuries can affect e-scooter operators as well as pedestrians going about their day. Injuries sustained can have an adverse effect on a person's life, resulting in pain and suffering, reduced income, accumulation of medical bills, and loss of freedom. E-scooters have gained popularity throughout the United States due to their availability, low price, and expectations of a fun experience. Unfortunately, injuries linked to these vehicles can leave their victims with traumatic injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered from an e-scooter accident, compensation may be entitled. 

Who Is at Risk of E-Scooter Injuries?

A growing concern in cities that have e-scooters are the injuries associated with these devices. Whether it be from falling off an e-scooter, crashing into another person, or tripping over a discarded e-scooter, injuries can be prevalent. Although everyone is at risk, there are certain demographics that are more likely to suffer an injury. A three-month study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the city of Austin, Texas, concluded:

  • 192 individuals visited the emergency-room after an e-scooter accident (190 were riding an e-scooter, the remaining two were pedestrians). 
  • 55% of the injured riders were male. 
  • The age group ranged from 9-79, with 48% of the injured riders being 18-29 years old.
  • 65% of the injured parties were Caucasian, and 22% were Hispanic/Latino.

Furthermore, the study concluded that 33% of the interviewed riders were injured during their first experience on an e-scooter. This suggests that there is a learning curve associated with these vehicles that users might not have expected. 

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Chicago e-scooter injury attorneysRideshare businesses are growing at an exponential rate in the United States, specifically in our major cities. Adding to the many forms of transportation in Chicago, electric scooters are currently in a test program. Suppose an individual had a couple of alcoholic beverages at a bar and is trying to go a couple blocks down the road. Although an e-scooter could provide a very quick form of transit, the individual might not be informed on the regulations related to operating these new devices after drinking.. If you have been the victim of an alcohol-related personal injury due to an e-scooter accident, the experienced lawyers at the Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, can educate, coach, and assist you in seeking damages.  

E-Scooters Are Motor Vehicles

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/1-146), a motor vehicle in Illinois is defined as any vehicle that is either self-propelled or is powered by electricity gathered from overhead trolley wires. Not included are vehicles on rails or vehicles moved only by human power. Furthermore, motor vehicles are divided into two divisions:

  • First Division: Motor vehicles that are intended to carry 10 or fewer people
  • Second Division: Motor vehicles designed to carry more than 10 people, pull freight items, used as a place of residence, or First Division vehicles remodeled for use of the second division

E-scooters would fall into the first division because they are classified as a low-speed electric mobility device that is powered by an electric motor, capable of accelerating to speeds of 15 mph without human assistance and are designed for only one person.

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Chicago scooter injury attorneysA new and different form of transportation is arriving in Chicago, and it is innovating people’s movements in a major city setting. Electric scooters, more commonly known as e-scooters, are the newest craze in an effort to reach a demographic of consumers who are looking for a quick, easy and fun way of getting around. Just like a bicycle or any other form of transportation, there is a learning curve associated with these scooters that most users are not aware of. Citizens and visitors of Chicago have dealt with nightmarish outcomes because of e-scooter injuries, sustained as both an operator and pedestrian. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury caused by an e-scooter, the knowledgeable attorneys at the Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, can provide guidance in seeking compensation.

Top Causes for E-Scooter Injuries

E-scooters are accessible to any patron who downloads the company’s smartphone app and is at least 18 years of age with a valid driver's license. Knowing the laws of the road is critical to the safety of everyone involved with e-scooters. A common misconception with these motorized scooters is that they can be operated on any surface. The truth is that e-scooters are actually meant for streets and bike lanes only; they should never be used on a sidewalk. E-scooters can typically reach speeds of 15 mph, which makes them extremely dangerous to pedestrians and motorists that do not know how to safely operate them. 

There are many possible scenarios in which a person could be injured in regard to e-scooters, but a majority of such incidents can be attributed to:

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Tips for Avoiding Electric Scooter Accidents Electric scooter use is gaining popularity among people in larger cities due to their small size and easy operation. Many people like them since they are environmentally friendly compared to vehicles. They also provide a relaxing ride since the user does not have to exert much physical effort. Chicago has started a pilot program where residents or visitors can rent e-scooters within a designated mileage area. The Livas Law Group, a Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, has handled many different types of personal injury cases, including those involving electric scooters. Our experienced attorneys can secure compensation for you if you have been injured in an electric scooter accident

Safety Precautions While Riding an E-Scooter

Some electric scooter accidents simply cannot be avoided, even if you are alert and aware of your surroundings. The following are a few practical safety tips for riding: 

  • Wear protective gear: Always wear a helmet. A mouthguard can be helpful to protect your teeth. Elbow and knee straps protect from scrapes and bumps if you fall off and hit the pavement. Gloves help improve your grip on the handles. 
  • Check the tires: Inspect the tires for any holes and make sure they have adequate pressure before heading out for a ride. If the tread is worn, they can be slippery and should be replaced. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Constantly be on the lookout for pedestrians, oncoming traffic, and other obstacles in the road. Stay in designated bike paths. 
  • Be conscious of obstacles: Watch out for debris and defects in the roadway such as potholes, rocks, bumps, and puddles. 
  • Avoid slippery surfaces: Practice caution when riding a scooter on wet or slick surfaces such as marble, wet streets, metal surfaces, and muddy sidewalks. 
  • Travel slowly: Ride at a slow, even pace. Do not go so fast that you lose control and hit someone or something. 
  • Do not ride in severe weather: Rain, hail, or even snow will make pavement or concrete slippery. Lightning storms are very dangerous, and you risk electrocution if you do not seek refuge immediately.

Contact an Illinois Electric Scooter Injury Lawyer

A ride on an e-scooter may not seem like it would be dangerous, but accidents do happen. It is always best to take safety precautions before operating any motorized vehicle, but a rider can still sustain injuries if he or she falls off of the scooter. If you are involved in an accident while riding an e-scooter, you may be able to seek compensation for your pain and suffering. A Chicago personal injury attorney will review the circumstances of your accident to determine liability so you can receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 312-804-6102. 

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Chicago electric scooter injury lawyer

Electric scooters, also known as e-scooters or motorized scooters, are a fun and easy mode of transportation, especially for getting around town if someone does not want to drive a car. An electric scooter is a powered stand-up scooter using a small internal motor. The scooters have surged in popularity with the implementation of ride-share companies that allow users to rent the scooters by the hour using a convenient app on their smartphones. As with any motorized device, the potential exists for something to go wrong. In some cases, e-scooter accidents can result in injuries to both riders and pedestrians. At the Livas Law Group, a Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, our experienced attorneys have extensive knowledge of seeking compensation for all types of personal injury cases, including those involving electric scooters. 

Chicago’s E-Scooter Share Pilot Program 

The city of Chicago recently launched an e-scooter share pilot program scheduled to run from June 15, 2019 through October 15, 2019. The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection issued permits for 10 scooter companies, including Bird, Lyft, and Lime, to name a few. Users can access the scooters in public areas, and they can use a smartphone to unlock and ride the devices within the designated zone.

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