December of 2020 in Washington D.C. started off with new laws to help transportation benefit those who are utilizing electric vehicles of all kinds. Some laws were made to protect those from injury-causing accidents. As well as help push for a greener environment by encouraging purchases of electric cars. Now more than ever, electronic everything is becoming more popular.
First change of law to be made in D.C. enforces builders to construct more electric vehicle charging spots for cars. At least 20% of parking spots in new or renovated commercial and apartment buildings will need to have electric car charging stations by January 2022. That is the plan for the future, so building starts now.
Moreover, with building more charging stations for cars, laws have also allowed higher price rate changes to be a more flexible choice for parking lot management. These infrastructures cost about $900 a spot to build, among other costs. With that, lawmakers understand that there may need to be a higher cost for a greener environment.
A greener environment is the goal behind more charging stations. Lack of charging stations is one of the top 3 reasons why people don’t use an electric vehicle. The hope of D.C. lawmakers is to encourage electric vehicles. Nonetheless, this is not the only law that was recently passed in the District of Columbia in favor of electric vehicles.
Another example of change in electronic use are e-scooters. There has been an increasing use in this type of transportation. However, with an increase has come a jump in accidents. Surprisingly, most scooter injuries happen on sidewalks even though they are meant to be safe for ‘vulnerable users’. You may now be wondering, what are ‘vulnerable users’?
A vulnerable vehicle user is anyone who is not in a car or truck, for example. More specifically, this means someone using a sidewalk or even public highway who is more vulnerable when involved in a crash. Some of these may include pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicycles, dirt bike riders, skateboarders, along with e-scooter riders or similar vehicles. It would be different from cars or trucks because of the higher risk they have to extreme injuries.
Pedestrian injuries could have a higher chance at more serious injuries compared to a driver or rider in a car. For this reason, pedestrians along with scooter riders and other vulnerable road users need to be protected from the standard vehicle laws. In this case, Washington D.C. has made a huge step to positively impact the recovery of those who can be more severally injured in this way. Any law for compensation should depend on the injury, accident and person’s circumstance.
It is important to understand who are vulnerable users and know why this legislation change is vital to the safety of those who are on the streets.
In the District of Columbia, contributory negligence will not play a part in recovering medical bills after an accident for an e-scooter user, since this law has passed. Meaning, even if scooter riders are 1% at fault, they can still recover medical bills. On the contrary, this didn’t used to be the case and contributory negligence prevented vulnerable users from receiving any compensation.
Contributory negligence is an “old way” of law. In fact, most states use comparative negligence. Only in Alabama, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia do accident laws follow contributory negligence. In many cases, electric vehicles like scooters are more susceptible to extreme injuries. These people affected by negligence can now more freely receive justice and compensation.
Safety is important to any driver and pedestrian. Accidents may happen but the careless party can be held accountable. You may wonder, ‘do I need a car accident lawyer’? Remember after an injury-causing accident insurance companies may not have your back.
With these changes in D.C. law, getting recovery can make for a less painful process. Getting back to health may be less stressful but the help of an attorney can bring back maximum and not just what the insurance wants to offer. Our firm handles car and scooter accidents, whether electric vehicles or not. You have a right to have your medical bills covered after a negligent action. So take action and contact us.