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New scooter program in Chicago opens legal questions

When it comes to accidents that may have been caused by other people, our only recourse as victims may be the ability to get financial damages. This may seem petty or loathsome when malice or damage was clearly not a person's intent, but victims may need to consider the parties at fault.

That is one of the nagging questions in Illinois' largest city at the moment, as it is planning a pilot program for electric scooters. The small two-wheeled motorized devices have caused controversy in Los Angeles and Denver as a possible public menace. Now Chicago is getting its turn to decide.

"The terms of service for the scooter companies that are coming to Chicago specifically say that they bear no responsibility for injuries. We find that troublesome," said an attorney connected to Chicago's new electric scooter program.

If these contracts are honored, the injuries or damages in a collision with a scooter would be the legal responsibility of the rider if the scooter was the cause. However, similar contracts have been contested in personal injury lawsuits.

The first lawsuit in Chicago regarding the scooters may end up making the decision. Precedents on how these contracts and the responsibilities they detail are often the determination for future cases, leading companies to be more willing to offer settlements once the legal landscape is clearer.

Injured victims of others' actions have the right to sue multiple defendants for the losses related to an accident for which they have legal liability. The best guide for this complicated process in civil court is often an attorney.

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