After purchasing a product, you expect that it will serve you well, to provide value for the money you spent. Therefore, the product manufacturer and sellers should ensure that each item on sale meets the required standard that buyers expect upon purchase. Additionally, maintaining high standards on the product before distributing it for sale will prevent any harmful eventualities that may cause severe bodily harm. Among the numerous locomotives on sale are electric scooters. The innovative electric design that made the scooters famous was that they were supposed to serve buyers by eradicating fuel costs and replacing energy with electricity. However, several models from different brands posed harm to the buyers, as numerous defects were present in the scooter designs. As a result, many users have suffered losses and severe damage from sudden defects when using scooters.
Upon facing the disadvantages of defective electric scooters, you may need to recover from the damages, mostly if the manufacturer’s designs were avoidable mistakes. Subsequently, reaching out to experienced legal professionals will help you understand the course of action that will benefit you. At Consumer Alert Now, you will receive professional guidance and assistance on legal matters related to product defects. With the help of our experienced team, you can learn how to join a class-action lawsuit against a defective scooter brand that caused you or your loved one severe damages and bodily harm.
Understanding the Functionality of Electric Scooters
Most people who choose to buy electric scooters do so to enjoy the easy mobility and cheaper transport option that they provide. Hence, owning an electric scooter may save you from the immediate costs of buying a car or spending extra money on gas. Also, younger beneficiaries who have not yet obtained a driver's license enjoy a fun way of moving for short distances using the scooter.
While the benefits provided by the scooters come in handy for the purchasers, major defects that expose users to safety hazards have become rampant, especially with two brands called Lime and Bird.
In recent years, the two companies have been defendants in class-action lawsuits against their electric scooters’ defectiveness. Moreover, come plaintiffs have brought individual suits in the complaint of the damages and physical harm they suffered from using the scooters.
As a result, you must learn of the various defects to look out for after incurring losses from a faulty scooter. In doing so, you will be aware of the legal issues in question if you decide to proceed with a class action compensatory suit. Moreover, obtaining information on the reported defects can help you or a loved one avoid suffering similar damages to reduce the losses.
Common Defects Reported by Electronic Scooter Users
When a scooter owner raises a formal complaint about a faulty design that led to a scooter accident, the records should be readily available for future reference to allow other users to identify whether they face similar problems with the same product. Since most of the electric scooters are available for purchase from online stores, an aggrieved customer may leave a negative review.
Alternatively, the affected person can contact the brand manufacturers to lodge a formal complaint. He/she writes a letter detailing the defects that caused an accident or personal injury damages. Using the letter, we can assess the possible causes of the fault and rule out any personal responsibility possibilities in causing the scooter’s defectiveness. The commonly reported faults include:
Loose or Detached Handlebars
The handlebars on any locomotive device, including an electric scooter, play a significant role in helping you steer it in the right direction. Additionally, the handlebars serve to help you avert danger easily by tilting them to a specific angle. Therefore, when the handlebars become too loose, you will have difficulty staying on track, meaning you could easily cause an accident.
Additionally, the handlebars on the scooter are prone to breaking, making them unfit for use altogether. The rider may also have to discard the scooter if it was damaged beyond repair. In most cases, the breakage on the handlebars occurs without any previous impact or friction. Therefore, you should be compensated for the cause of breakage from defective design or use of substandard raw materials to manufacture the scooter.
When you suffer a severe injury from loose, detached, or broken handlebars, reaching out to experienced legal experts should be a priority. With guidance from a professional team of attorneys, your product liability claim will set off smoothly.
Defective Battery Systems
Since the electric scooter sources its power from electric current, the design should include an efficient battery system to store sufficient energy for specified distances. The batteries should charge and discharge at reliable rates to provide enough power for movement, as indicated in the description. For example, if your electric scooter should include batteries to hold power for up to eight hours of use, the physical product you receive must correspond with the issued representation.
When the battery becomes defective, it is likely to discharge quicker than expected, so that your scooter may stop abruptly. The situation will become dangerous in sloped areas, where gravity can act against you, causing you to fall. Consequently, the battery’s lack of sufficient power may lead to severe injuries from the unexpected stalling or slowed-down movement rate.
If the batteries continue to stall and discharge quicker than they should, you want to report the incident as soon as possible to avoid possible accusations from the manufacturer. Among the allegations he/she may raise in defense of the product defect is your continuous use of the battery that may have contributed significantly to the low efficiency. If the defendants rely on the argument, your lawyer will produce sufficient evidence to show that the defect existed before any noticeable actions you took to continue charging or discharging the battery.
Uneven Tire Pressure
Moreover, the types of wheels that scooters run on are unique in that the manufacturers should fill them up with enough air to sustain long-term use. The need to fill the wheels with sufficient air is that you may not access services to repair or fill the tires up yourself after purchase. Hence, your scooter should not pose additional problems that require specialized services.
Additionally, tires with insufficient air pressure cause more defects, including slowed movement when you are on the scooter. Here, the slowed-down efficiency arises from the decreased pressure available to support your body weight as you use the scooter to move around. Since the deflated wheels are also under pressure from your weight, they are prone to wearing out quicker than expected.
Consequently, you may have to replace the scooter wheels, leading to more incurred costs that are avoidable, provided the manufacturer includes quality wheels with sufficient air pressure. In adverse cases, tires may burst completely, leading to unexpected stops as you move the scooter. With unforeseen circumstances, you or a loved one may sustain severe injuries, as the reaction time to avert danger may not be enough.
Unexpected Power Surges
When your electric scooter exhibits sudden power surges, there may be a problem with the battery and wiring system. The need to use electric power is fundamental to the scooter’s entire design because, without proper connection and proper storage of energy in the battery, the scooter will not function. Thus, when you experience problems related to sudden power charges, the electric scooter becomes ineffective and risky to use.
Sudden power surges may also indicate a problem with power distribution, meaning that the stored energy does not transmit as designed. The scooter may, therefore, stop suddenly or jerk forward when the surge occurs. Since the unexpected surge powers up the scooter to high levels, you may lose grip and balance, leading to a high-impact accident.
Alternatively, if the power surge occurs as you merge into the main road, you may end up colliding with vehicles. The result will be unexpected damage to the car ahead and to your scooter that could cost a lot of money to fix. In some cases, the power surges may be too strong, leading to burnt wires and battery systems. With the risks involved in electrical surges, the current can cause some sparks that pose safety risks to you and others around you.
Defective Brakes on the Scooter
A proper brake system is also essential for electric scooters, as it helps you avert dangers or slow down if you approach other vehicles. Additionally, brakes are necessary safety features to apply in case you experience a power surge when using an electric scooter. Therefore, you want a scooter with a proper brake system that promotes your safety at all times.
When the scooter brakes fail, they put you or our loved one at significant risk from losing control in slowing it down. For example, if you are riding the scooter in a sloped area, brake failure gives rise to a high impact accident because you may slam into a stationary object. Consequently, the injuries you face can be severe and life-altering, depending on your accident circumstances.
Further, faulty brakes may give rise to subsequent accidents that impose financial and legal obligations on you. Supposing you damage a motorist's rear end of the vehicle, he/she may elect to demand compensation for the damage. While you will present the motorist an option to sue the scooter manufacturers, you may still have to engage him or her in discussions to prove that you did not act carelessly or negligently.
Malfunctioning Software and Other Electronic Functions on the Scooter
The scooters’ electronic design includes software, including small display screens that indicate the remaining battery charge, time, and other vital details you need to keep track of as you ride the scooter. Additionally, some advanced designs include electric transmitters to sense oncoming barriers or obstacles, primarily if the user needs additional support to avert danger early.
All the software and electric appliances are necessary for running the scooter, as each function should present a simplified way to use the scooter. When the running software exhibits some malfunctions, you may become severely disadvantaged.
For example, if the small display system goes off or displays inaccurate information, you will continue riding under uncertainties, including when the electric energy supply may deplete. In this situation, you may have to deal with inconveniences like carrying the scooter home after a complete battery discharge before reaching your destination.
Other times, the software malfunctions may lead to inaccurate inputs into the system that affect speed and energy consumption. If a scooter’s software information commands the scooter to move faster, you may accidentally run into pedestrians and other motorists on the road. The result can cause severe injuries and damage to property, especially if you hit obstacles like mailboxes.
Stuck Throttle that Causes Improper Acceleration
A throttle works to control the amount of electric power supply your scooter receives when in motion to regulate the acceleration rate. Thus, the throttle should run efficiently, without getting stuck, as it could lead to unexpected acceleration. A faulty throttle can, therefore, cause severe accidents because it does not regulate power sufficiently.
Most cases related to power surges arise from a stuck throttle, based on the mechanics of regulating power output into the scooter’s locomotive system. Therefore, the effects of power surges cause similar products to cases where the throttle gets stuck, mainly from the uncontrollable power surges.
When you decide to seek compensation for the defective scooter, you will need to provide specific evidence to show that the throttle’s defects were the primary cause of the subsequent accident or damages that occurred. To do this, you want to include a professional mechanic’s services specializing in electric scooters to attest that the stuck throttle was the reason for the accident you got involved in.
Preparing for a Class Action Lawsuit For a Defective Electric Scooter
Choosing to sue the faulty electric scooter manufacturers is an excellent step towards receiving compensation for the harm and injury caused. However, it is essential to remember the crucial details and requirements to fulfill when going in on the case to avoid giving the defendants an easy way out of liability for the product defect.
You also need to remember that class action lawsuits involve many people affected by one product, meaning that the court will handle numerous complaints about a single product. Hence, your case’s facts should be similar to other aggrieved parties before joining the lawsuit to ensure that you present the same class of complaints against the manufacturer.
Mostly, cases related to product failure will include the element of negligence from the defendants. With a claim in negligence, you can present all four aspects that touch on different acts or omissions that the defendant engaged in. Depending on the situation, the negligence elements give rise to the facts and issues for the court to determine.
Hence, you and your product liability lawyer should analyze the facts on your case and determine whether you have an acceptable claim in the tort of negligence. Suppose the attorney finds that your matter deserves to proceed under the claim of tort in a class-action suit. In that case, he/she will then advise you to provide all relevant evidence that can provide the required information on the scooter’s defects.
The four elements for your lawyer to prove in a claim of negligence are:
The Existence of a Duty of Care
Usually, all manufacturers are under an obligation to create and distribute high-quality products for sale. Therefore, the manufacturing company must conduct several checks on the final product’s standard before approving it for sale. Moreover, manufacturing companies should use quality raw materials in assembling electronic scooters in the interest of the consumer’s safety.
Manufacturers should also recall any defective products in the market before buyers sustain losses and severe injuries from their use. The recall should happen expeditiously to prevent the occurrence of any severe incidents from avoiding complications.
The Breach of Duty of Care
The second element that you may have to prove is that the scooter manufacturing company breached care duty. Usually, you will establish the breach by sourcing enough information on the omissions that the company made. For example, if the braking system had insufficient lubricant to keep the system running, you can present the scooter as evidence to show the exact problem that caused subsequent losses.
Breaches also arise from the failure to conduct quality checks and receive approvals to release the market product. While most manufacturing companies will provide documents to show that the product underwent all the necessary examinations before the sale, it will breach the product release into the market before official approval.
Causation of Damages and Losses
Thirdly, you should provide sufficient proof to show that your grievances have a clear link to the scooter’s defects. Often, proving causation involves a ‘but for’ test that places full liability on the defendant's actions. For example, but for the manufacturers installing substandard battery systems on the scooter, you would not have stopped suddenly, leading to injuries.
Since your claim is likely to fall within strict liability negligence, your burden of proof shows that factual and legal causation elements existed may not be overwhelming. In strict liability cases, the defendant will be answerable for the harm despite having no indulgence or active malpractices that caused the dysfunction.
The Damages Sustained
Lastly, you should provide proof of damages suffered from using the faulty or defective scooter. In giving the evidence, your lawyer will encourage you to provide medical documents that show the type of treatment you received and the medical expenses you incurred.
Therefore, we recommend storing all your medical receipts, X-Ray images, and other scans safely before the class action lawsuit proceeds into the hearing stage. Additionally, any records of your inpatient status will also corroborate your oral testimony of receiving advanced medical treatment if your scooter accident was severe. You can include doctor's notes that recommended you to seek inpatient treatment and the prescribed treatment you underwent.
Also, suppose your claims include damages to the scooter. In that case, it helps to provide proof in the form of photographs, video footage, and testimony from the professional who fixed or replaced broken parts on the scooter to affirm the price you claim in damages.
In a class-action lawsuit, you will have to link your grievances with accurate facts that occurred. For example, your injuries must arise from a scooter defect that made it difficult to control. Nevertheless, since most product liability lawsuits involve strict liability, you may succeed in holding the defendant liable for the flaws, provided you prove that you suffered loss or injuries. The harm arose from the defendant’s product.
Contact a Defective Product Attorney Near Me
Nothing beats the excitement of trying out a new product, especially if you have high expectations concerning the quality and efficiency of use. When you buy an electric scooter for you or your loved one, you expect it to provide a fun and simplified means of transport over relatively short distances. However, if you suffer significant losses and personal injury from a defective scooter, you become entitled to receive compensation for the harm. Since most defects point faults during manufacture, you may face similar problems with many other electric scooters’ purchasers. Hence, it becomes easier for you to join a class-action lawsuit seeking justice for the losses and inconveniences.
While working on your case alone is an option, we recommend partnering with an experienced team of defective product liability professionals who will help point out critical issues in your case. Moreover, with professional legal experts’ help, you stand a better chance of presenting persuasive evidence that will advocate for rightful compensation. We at Consumer Alert Now propose to provide countrywide services to assist parties aggrieved by defective products. With our years of experience in the legal field, you can count on us to provide sound advice and assistance as you prepare to join a class-action lawsuit against a defective electric scooter manufacturer. Call us today at 800-511-0747.