Minneapolis Head Injuries from Dockless Scooter Accident Attorneys
If you took advantage of the scooter rental companies that are popping up all over Minneapolis, rented a scooter for fun or to do some errands, and were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, you might be entitled to compensation. You’ve probably had medical treatment because of your injuries. You might not have been able to go back to work right away, so there could be regular household expenses mounting up in addition to the medical bills arriving seemingly every day.
The Minneapolis dockless scooter accident attorneys of Robert Wilson & Associates have decades of experience helping people like you who were injured through the careless actions of others. When you call our office at (612) 334-3444, we can schedule a confidential consultation for you. We’ll discuss the circumstances of your case, and we’ll advise you on the next best steps for you to take to pursue compensation from the person whose actions injured you.
Common Head Injuries
Because of lax scooter laws, including few requirements for helmets, the infrequent use of the scooters, and their use in traffic, scooter accidents are on the rise nationwide. Fewer than five percent of scooter riders regularly wear helmets, even though the most common injuries are to the head, neck, and upper and lower limbs. Before you hop on that convenient dockless scooter, be mindful of some facts.
Your skull is intended to protect your brain from the typical bumps and impacts you would receive in the course of the day. It is not meant to protect you from the effects of landing on pavement at 20 miles per hour, which is the speed that some scooters can travel.
Inside your skull, your brain is cushioned and protected by layers of tissue called dura and a network of blood vessels. As with the skull, this cushion can protect your brain against the minor traumas of the day. It isn’t as effective against the impact of a car’s bumper against your head.
When you receive an impact greater than the bones’ ability to withstand, you can suffer head injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening.
- Concussion—What used to be thought of as a “minor” injury is now recognized as a serious shock to the brain. In a concussion, your brain is “bouncing” inside your skull. The effects can range from mild headache and dizziness to coma.
- Skull fractures—like any bone, the skull can be broken by a powerful blow. How serious the break is depends on the strength of the impact and the location of the fracture.
- Linear fractures are the most common. These fractures crack but do not penetrate the skull. These fractures are not serious, provided there is no bleeding associated with the break.
- Depressed skull fractures occur when the force is strong enough to push bone or bone fragments into the brain. These fragments can tear the dura and blood vessels below the skull and cause bleeding. In the most serious cases, bone fragments can penetrate the brain and cause damage to the brain itself.
- Basilar skull fractures are caused by a massive blow to the top or sides of the head. There is almost certain to be shearing damage to the brain and bleeding caused by the fracture.
- Hematomas—When there is bleeding between the skull and the brain, there is a limited space for the blood to pool and clot. The blood flow puts increasing pressure on the brain. If the pressure is not relieved, damage to the brain can result, similar to the effects of a stroke.
- Diffuse axonal injury—When the impact causes the brain cells themselves to be stretched and damaged, it is called a diffuse axonal injury, or DAI. This can be a serious injury because the brain itself is damaged, and the cells cannot repair themselves.
- Lacerations—A simple fall can result in cuts, bruises, and “road rash” on every part of the body, including the head. Although not as severe as damage to the brain, these can be painful and disfiguring, especially if they involve the face.
The use of a helmet is no guarantee that you will not suffer a head injury in a fall from a scooter, especially if you are struck by a larger vehicle. But it can reduce the degree of injury and protect you from life-threatening damage.
What to Expect After a Scooter Accident
If you have been involved in any type of dockless scooter accident, you should always seek medical attention immediately. One of the most dangerous things about any head injury is that the effects may take hours or even days to appear. It is possible for you to leave an accident feeling fine and then suffer the delayed effects of a concussion or hematoma hours later.
If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence or carelessness, then you should be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Because of the nature of head injuries, you may need more than the usual compensation for your injuries. You may need compensation to cover:
- Medical bills and costs, including long-term care, rehabilitation and therapy, in-home treatment, and medical devices and equipment.
- Lost wages and income. This may include job retraining if you are unable to work at your current job or loss of future income if you become disabled because of the injury.
- Pain and suffering. Minnesota does not have a cap on pain and suffering damages. A multiplier method is used based on your total costs and the duration of your disability.
Minnesota treats scooters as bicycles for legal purposes. This means that after you’ve exhausted your own PIP coverage, you might be able to file a claim with the other driver’s no-fault insurance in an accident. In order to do so, your injuries must meet the serious injury threshold. This is something you need to confirm with an attorney.
However, you must keep in mind Minnesota’s comparative fault rule. If you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you cannot recover any damages for the accident. You must be found to be 50 percent or less at fault. This is where wearing a helmet becomes so important. You do not want to give the insurer or their attorneys the opportunity to argue you would have been just fine if only you had had a helmet on.
If you or a loved one have had an accident with a dockless scooter that wasn’t your fault and suffered a head injury, you should seek legal assistance immediately. At Robert Wilson & Associates, we want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Call us at (612) 334-3444 for a confidential consultation today. We are here to help you get the compensation you need.