Minneapolis Lawyers for Paralysis After a Dockless Scooter Accident

dockless scootersThe skilled and experienced Minneapolis dockless scooter accident attorneys of Robert Wilson & Associates represent individuals who have been hurt in accidents involving dockless scooters, either while riding one or being injured by someone else riding one. We have fought hard to hold individuals and the dockless scooter companies accountable for their actions if they cause harm to others.

In 2019, Minneapolis instituted a pilot program for dockless scooters, during which over 150,000 people took over one million trips. The scooters were billed as an alternative to commuting by car and helping to alleviate some of the city’s traffic challenges.

The program was a success, and the city planned to expand its two-wheeled vehicle fleet, nearly tripling its fleet in 2019. The service is now included on the Lyft rideshare app. However, while the program has gained popularity, the safety and regulatory measures have not quite caught up.

Dangerous accidents have led to severe injuries when scooters collide with each other, bicycles, or motor vehicles. Scooter riders experience the full force of a collision. Without restraint or protection, accidents can result in severe and devastating injuries.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a dockless scooter accident, you need an attorney at your side with the experience to negotiate this type of claim and proceed to a personal injury lawsuit when necessary. Our experienced attorneys have the skills and resources you need to fight for fair compensation. Call our office today at (612) 334-3444 for your confidential consultation and case evaluation.

Scooter Accidents

Although Minneapolis ranks as one of the best cities in the country for bicycling, with over 16 miles of on-street protected lanes for bikes and 98 miles of bike lanes, there remain areas where dockless scooters are used, and bike lanes do not exist.

Electric scooters are best used in bike lanes for the safety of motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and scooter riders. When a bike lane is unavailable, the scooter operator must use the road with other motor vehicle drivers. However, this places the scooter rider at a disadvantage and presents significant danger in the event of an accident.

Scooter riders must be familiar with hand signaling and the right-of-way rules. They are not allowed on the sidewalk since the vehicle can reach up to 15 miles an hour and seriously injure a pedestrian. With the high rate of usage, defective or damaged scooters may not be repaired as promptly as they should be, which could result in serious injury, including paralysis, if the scooter malfunctions.

Types of Paralysis

During a severe injury, damage may be done that disrupts the signals from your spinal cord to the muscle. This can result in paralysis, or the inability to make voluntary movements. Nearly 5.4 million people in the U.S. have some form of paralysis.

Since there are innumerable ways in which the spinal cord can be damaged, there are also many types of paralysis. Most fall into one of four main categories. These are determined based on the area of the body that’s affected.

Monoplegia: This is paralysis of one limb. In this instance, the person has control of other areas of the body but has lost sensation and movement in the affected limb.

Hemiplegia: This type of paralysis affects an arm and a leg, typically on the same side of the body. The degree of paralysis varies and can also change over time.

Paraplegia: Most often, paraplegia affects the area of the body from the waist down. This includes the function of the legs, hips, elimination, and sexuality. Again, the severity and degree of paraplegia will vary from person to person. It is not necessarily total or complete paraplegia, depending upon the nerves that are damaged and how much function can be regained.

Quadriplegia: This is also sometimes referred to as tetraplegia as it indicates paralysis in all four limbs and the torso. The degree of disability and loss of function can vary. In some instances, people will spontaneously regain some function.

Treatment and Recovery After Paralysis

physical therapyUnfortunately, there is no cure for permanent paralysis. While some people may spontaneously regain function in muscle movement or sensation, more frequently, the spinal cord does not recover. Initial treatment after an injury includes helping to reduce inflammation in the area of the injury to lessen further nerve damage from the inflammatory response.

After the inflammation has gone down, you will likely undergo physical, occupational, and speech therapy for exercises. You also learn how to use adaptive and assistive devices. Paralysis causes a dramatic change in your life, activities, and self-image. For many people, this leads to mental health issues and depression. With rehabilitation and support, many people learn to adapt to their situations.

Potential Complications

After an injury that causes paralysis, complications can result. These depend on the bodily functions that were affected by the nerve damage. Depending on the type of paralysis, you may be at an increased risk for:

  • Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Excessively high blood pressure called autonomic dysreflexia
  • Excessively low blood pressure called orthostatic hypotension
  • Difficulty breathing and an increased risk of pneumonia
  • Speech or swallowing problems
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pressure injuries also called bed source
  • Sepsis

Compensation Available After a Dockless Scooter Accident

After a spinal cord injury that leads to paralysis from a dockless scooter accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Every state in the U.S. limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. That time period is dictated by the statute of limitations.

In Minnesota, you have two years from the date of the accident to file the correct paperwork in court. If you do not meet this deadline, you likely relinquish your right to seek justice in court. When negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company are successful, you may receive economic and non-economic damages in your settlement.

Economic damages are compensation for verifiable costs related to the accident. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, and lost future earnings. Non-economic damages are compensation for non-verifiable losses that can include disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

If negotiations are not successful, you may choose to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit. If the court finds it in your favor, you will likely receive economic and non-economic damages.

Contact Robert Wilson & Associates for Help After a Dockless Scooter Accident

If you were injured in a dockless scooter accident that wasn’t your fault, you need an experienced and skilled attorney on your side. Robert Wilson & Associates has aggressively fought for the rights of accident victims since 1991. You can count on our skilled personal injury attorneys to fight for your rights, too. Call our office today at (612) 334-3444 for your initial confidential consultation and case evaluation.