Unsafe sidewalk conditions such as uneven slabs and cracks can result in serious injuries from trip-and-fall, bicycle accidents and, it turns out, Segway accidents.
Recently in California, the San Diego Tribune reported the city council had agreed to approve a $1.5 million settlement with a woman who suffered a Segway accident injury while riding on a sidewalk. Her husband was also awarded $200,000 for loss of consortium. Segways, which can be rented across the Orlando area as well, are those two-wheeled motorized vehicles that can carry a single person standing upright. Plaintiff was reportedly injured when she drove a Segway over a large area of damaged and broken sidewalk in the summer of 2015. She suffered a shattered pelvis requiring emergency surgery and permanent metal plates. She still requires intense physical therapy and currently relies predominantly on a wheelchair for mobility now. She sought damages for pain and suffering and lost wages, while her husband sought compensation for loss of companionship.
The city initially defended itself, arguing in responses that plaintiffs were negligent, careless and the damage to the pavement was open and obvious and could have been avoided had they been using reasonable care. The city also filed a cross-complaint against the Segway tour guide business from which plaintiff rented the vehicle. Ultimately, that company didn’t contribute to the payout because the company lacked liability insurance at the time of the accident and the company had limited assets. The city is now working on an ordinance that would require Segway tour operators to carry liability insurance, as well as adhere to other safety regulations. Continue reading →