Earlier today, after winning his fourth 200-meter title and his 10th overall gold medal at the world championships, Olympic legend Usain Bolt was taken out by a cameraman on a runaway Segway. While Bolt walked away unscathed, victims of runaway Segways aren’t always as lucky. With their increased popularity, Segway personal injuries are becoming more and more common on our streets and sidewalks. In popular tourist areas like South Beach and the Florida Keys, it’s not uncommon to see visitors enjoying the beautiful scenery atop a Segway. Unfortunately, few of those users are properly trained in operating them and are not aware of the danger involved to themselves and people nearby. Segways are dangerous by their very nature: they’re heavy machines requiring careful balance and coordination to ride. They can also be difficult to control for first time users. Add to that careless rental companies neglecting to properly instruct customers on the proper operation and potential dangers, and you have the recipe for disaster. This is where a Florida personal injury lawyer may help a victim of a Segway accident when serious injuries are occur due to a Segway rider and rental store negligence.
Most people that rent Segways are not only unfamilliar with how to safely operate them, they are unfamilar with the streets, sidewalks and traffic patterns. They pose a hazard to themselves and any pedestrians and vehicles they may encounter. Whether it’s the result of an inattentive rider, like the cameraman focusing on Bolt instead of the track before him, or the result of an inexperienced driver, Segways continue to cause accidents all over the world at an alaraming rate. The accidents, where a Segway operator fails to properly keep control of the Segway, goes to fast for conditions, fails to properly judge distances between themselves and pedestrians or is just goofing around, are based in negligence. When the negligence causes a serious injury to someone else, they may have a case against the Segway operator or the store that rented it to the operator. Many cities are adopting legislation to ban Segways from certain busy ssidewalk and streets due to the rise in reported injuries. For example in Miami Beach, Florida, the city has instituted new restrictions on where Segways may be ridden. After numerous complaints of careless and negligent Segway drivers causing accidents and disturbances, Segways are no longer permitted on Ocean Drive sidewalks and many other sidewalks throughout South Beach. Segway rental companies are now also required to carry insurance or face fines. Insurance coverage for rental companies may help when a person is injured by the negligence of a Segway operator and has medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, so that there may be insurance dollars to pursue. However, it is unclear if the law in Florida, as currently written, will necessarily allow for these rental outfits to be held legally liable for the Segway operator. This is because a Segway is not currently considered a motor vehicle in Florida under its financial responsibility laws and Dangerous Instrumentality doctrine that allow for vicarious liability of the owner of a motor vehicle. Even if the financial responsibility laws are not expanded, arguments can be made under theories of negligent entrustment, negligent training, negligent supervision and that Segways are inherently dangerous.
Earlier this year, Miami personal injury lawyer Alex Perkins of Perkins Law Offices, P.A. successfully represented an elderly Miami Beach resident who was severely injured after being hit by an inattentive Segway driver. The crashin Miami Beach happened very much like what you see in the Bolt video. The Segway driver failed to pay attention ahead of him causing the wheels of the Segway to hit an obstacle and for the Segway to careen into the elderly client who was walking on the sideway. Mr. Perkins obtained judgment for $794,680 after a four-day jury trial, helping his client obtain the money she needed for her costly medical care and for the the past pain and suffering she endured due to the Segway driver’s negligence in colliding into her from behind.
If you have been injured by a runaway Segway and weren’t as lucky as Bolt, the Miami personal injury attorneys at Perkins Law Offices, P.A. can help you obtain compensation for injury-related medical costs, pain, and suffering. Call the Perkins Law Offices at (305) 571-5297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.