Minneapolis Lawyers for Muscle Strains from Dockless Scooter Accidents
The electric scooter has become one of the fastest-growing modes of transportation in big cities like Minneapolis, and entrepreneurs like Bird and Lime have taken advantage of the need by providing racks of scooters at strategic points around the city. But with convenience comes risk, and these scooters are no exception.
Accidents are frequent with these small, light vehicles, and although they may not seem to be serious, if they are due to another person’s negligence or faulty maintenance, you may have a right to compensation. If you have been involved in any kind of electric scooter accident, contact the Minneapolis dockless scooter accident lawyers of Robert Wilson & Associates at (612) 334-3444 and let us evaluate your case.
Causes of Scooter Accidents
Scooters are small, seatless, battery-powered vehicles, resembling a skateboard with a steering column and sturdier wheels. The lack of protection for the rider means that any fall or impact will cause injury. Electric scooters have a top speed of 15 miles per hour, and helmets are encouraged but not required.
Since most people who use these scooters are unlikely to have helmets or safety equipment in their pockets when they grab one for a quick trip from the bus stop to their house, they are at risk for road rash on knees and elbows, head injuries from falls, and various injuries to joints and limbs.
What Is a Strain?
Unlike a broken bone, a muscle strain, or a “pulled muscle” is any injury to the soft tissue of the muscles or tendons. A strain is caused by overstretching or partial tearing of the muscles, leading to pain, swelling, and bruising. The most serious strains can require surgery to repair.
A strain can be mild to severe, depending on the mechanism of injury. Although we commonly think of something as “just a strain” and treat it accordingly, repetitive strains can lead to chronic inflammation and damage to the area.
The difference between a strain and a sprain is that a strain involves the muscles and tendons, which connect the muscle to the bone; a sprain involves the ligaments, which connect two bones at the joint.
Causes of Strains
There are two basic types of strains: acute and chronic. An acute strain is caused by a sudden injury or impact. In the case of a scooter accident, it could be caused by:
- Falling at low speeds and attempting to catch yourself with your arms or legs. This could cause strains in the large muscles as you fall.
- Swerving or turning with the scooter. Unfamiliar movements with the upper and lower body can cause strains in the back and upper leg muscles.
- Low-speed impacts. Whiplash is a type of strain, as the muscles of the neck are stretched too far in multiple directions.
- Lifting or moving the scooter. This is something people might not think of, but lifting the scooter out of its rack or parking it by your house could be an unusual movement at the end of a day. That lower back pain might not be from a long day at the office, but from a short ride on the scooter.
When Should You Worry About a Strain?
Muscle strains can be serious when they result from acute impact or unusual exertion. For instance, if you fell from the scooter and twisted your knee, you might be tempted to walk it off or put some ice on your knee and wait till morning.
A strain can take three to six weeks to heal properly if diagnosed and treated correctly. If you don’t do the right things right away, you risk reinjuring the same muscle, and the strain could become chronic.
If you have symptoms of a strained muscle after riding on a rental electric scooter or were injured by a fall or accident while riding one, you should see a doctor right away for a medical assessment of your injury. Even if the doctor says it is “only” a strain, proper treatment is necessary to ensure it heals correctly and does not recur.
What If the Scooter Caused My Strain?
Most scooter accidents are no different than any bicycle, skateboard, or pedestrian accident, and the liability is that of the person who caused the accident. If you were hit by a car while riding a scooter, it will not matter if you were riding your own scooter or one owned by a rental agency.
However, suppose you were riding a rental scooter, and suddenly the front wheel fell off. The scooter comes to a sudden stop, you fall forward, and wrench your knee. Now the question of liability hinges on the maintenance of the scooter.
If you believe you were injured due to the scooter itself, you should try to get certain information about the scooter and the company:
- The name of the rental company, including a local contact number.
- The ID number and serial number of the actual scooter.
- Photographs of the scene, including how the scooter failed, if possible. For instance, in this example, you would want a picture of the scooter without the wheel, and where the wheel came off.
- The specific make and model of the scooter, if that can be determined. Scooter rental companies don’t always use a particular model of scooter, and different models can look very much alike.
With this information, your attorney can obtain maintenance records to see when the scooter was last in the shop, and whether it had any history of wheels falling off before. For instance, if the previous user reported that the wheels seemed loose, but nothing was done, this might indicate there had been a problem before it was placed back in the rental rack.
How We Can Help
If you have been involved in any kind of accident on an electric scooter, you should seek legal advice on the best way to proceed. At Robert Wilson & Associates, we keep up-to-date on the most recent developments in this branch of law and will evaluate your case and help file your claim. Contact us at (612) 334-3444 if you have suffered any kind of scooter injury that wasn’t your fault.