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Chicago scooter injury lawyerOver the last two years, the city of Chicago has been experimenting with electric scooters as a form of public transportation. During the pilot program, which took place over four months in both 2019 and 2020, scooters were placed in various areas of the city for riders to rent via a smartphone application. Each iteration of the program saw Chicago residents take more than 640,000 rides, as the city attempted to determine if and how the scooters could be added to the local infrastructure permanently.

Of course, with any mode of transportation comes the risk of accidents and injuries, and this is definitely true with e-scooters. Careless riders can cause traffic accidents, and scooters parked haphazardly on sidewalks can lead to trip-and-fall injuries to passing pedestrians or other riders. However, there are other ways in which e-scooters can cause serious injuries, including at least one that might surprise you.

Fire Linked to E-Scooter Battery

Last month, New York City firefighters were called to a blaze on Watson Avenue in the Soundview section of the Bronx. According to news reports, the fire started on the fifth floor of the seven-story apartment building. Officials from the FDNY said that it took about 30 minutes to get the fire under control, but the blaze left a dozen people injured. Four of them, including a 4-year-old little boy, were critically injured. Firefighters had to use their tower ladder to get people out of the burning apartment, as well as the adjacent apartments.

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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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