E-Scooter Accident Compensation Solicitors

The Complete Injury Guide to Electric Scooter Compensation 2024

Introduction to the Law on E-Scooters

Electric scooters, or ‘E-Scooters,’ have swiftly become a ubiquitous sight on city streets, providing a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation. The term ‘micro mobility’ has been used offering an alternative method of transport to motor vehicles and help with Government climate targets. However, with their increasing presence, a myriad of legal complexities has emerged.

But there has been a marked rise in E-Scooter accidents and claiming compensation. This comprehensive guide aims to navigate the evolving laws, risks associated with E-Scooters, and the intricate process of making compensation claims after an E-Scooter accident.

E-Scooter Accidents Mirror Cyclists Claims

Naturally as expert cyclist injury solicitors with decades of experience representing motorcycle and pedal bike victims on the road it has been a natural progression to assist scooter riders who have also been involved in accidents on UK roads. E-scooters are classed as a ‘motor vehicle’ under the Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988.

Many of the accident circumstances and the law applicable are similar to cyclists as well as e-scooter riders.  The following links will be of help to electric scooter riders:

  1. Motorbike Overtaking Stationary Line of Traffic
  2. Motorbike filtering and weaving –  who is at fault?
  3. Car Performs ‘U Turn’ and causes accident with cyclist – Who is at Fault? 
  4. Car Pulls Out of a Side Road
  5. Motorcyclist undertakes a car – who is at fault?
  6. Bike Swerves to Avoid Car

Therefore the laws on overtaking, undertaking, weaving or filtering through stationary or slow moving traffic are similar. The compensation amounts for the injuries also mirror cyclist injuries as all are particularly vulnerable road users.

E-Scooter Compensation Payouts

We have provided a comprehensive guide on making a claim for compensation following an E-Scooter accident.  The information is invaluable and will help you provide an informed decision on the possible value of your claim. However please be aware that it is only a guide as every case is decided on its own particular facts where expert advice from accident solicitors will be required.  Please also remember that claims for financial loss such as loss of earnings, expenses, medical bills can also be claimed in addition to the injury award.

Below is an extract of some compensation awards for scooter riders injured on UK roads.  A full list and valuations of quantum awards can be obtained by clicking on the link: Cycle Accident Compensation Payouts

E-Scooter – Statistics on Injuries in the UK

The following information has been produced by UK Government on National Statistics relating to teh use of E-Scooters road casualties on UK Roads

Statistics of Injuries on UK Roads to E-Scooter Riders

As can be seen there are many serious electric scooter accidents recorded 67 serious head injuries and 48 fractured or broken legs.  Each case will result in severe pain and suffering.  There is no record of who was at fault for the accidents.

Electric Scooters Accidents by Time of Day

and

As expected most electric scooter accidents happen during commuter rush hours.

 

Understanding E-Scooters:

E-scooters are a relatively recent addition to the urban landscape, blending the features of a traditional push scooter with an electric motor, enabling speeds of up to 30mph. Particularly during the pandemic, they have proven invaluable for their small size, easy storage, and quick maneuverability.

The legal framework surrounding e-scooters is still in flux, with the regulations continually adapting to their integration into public spaces. Initially, riding privately-owned e-scooters on public roads, cycle lanes, or pavements was strictly prohibited. However, government-backed trials were initiated to test the feasibility of e-scooter rentals in certain UK areas.

Under current laws, privately-owned e-scooters remain restricted to private land with the landowner’s permission. In contrast, e-scooters available for rent in specified locations as part of government trials must adhere to stringent criteria, including a maximum speed of 15.5mph and the inclusion of two braking systems. Importantly, users of trial e-scooters must possess a full or provisional driving license and are obligated to ride on roads, complying with motor vehicle laws such as tax, license, registration, and MOT requirements.

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Assessing Risks and Legal Requirements

E-scooters, whether privately owned or part of rental fleets, present inherent risks. While trial e-scooters have conditions to minimise risks, privately owned ones can reach speeds exceeding 30mph with limited braking capabilities, posing a substantial risk of injury. Distinctively, riders are not legally obliged to wear helmets or any safety equipment, amplifying the potential severity of injuries sustained.

Making E-Scooter Compensation Claims

Determining eligibility for compensation post an e-scooter accident involves multifaceted considerations. Individuals found violating rental terms or using e-scooters in prohibited areas may find themselves subject to compensation claims. Conversely, those injured while responsibly riding may be eligible for compensation, especially if the at-fault party was operating a motor vehicle with mandatory insurance.

For accidents involving privately owned e-scooters, where the owner is likely uninsured due to the illegal use on public roads, the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) could play a pivotal role in facilitating compensation for injuries sustained. The MIB essentially acts as an insurer for uninsured drivers, stepping in to handle claims in such scenarios.

How to Start an E-Scooter Compensation Claim

The Official Injury Claim (OIC) Portal classifies e-scooters as motorcycles, categorising users as vulnerable road users. Current challenges include the difficulty in determining liability, especially when private e-scooters, which cannot legally be used on roads, are involved. Non-compliance often leads to hit-and-run scenarios, complicating the identification of responsible parties. While the Motor Insurers’ Bureau’s Untraced Drivers Agreement statement on electric scooter riders offers a remedy, it may become obsolete if e-scooters cease to be classified as vehicles. Moreover, the inability to insure private e-scooters for road use raises concerns about the reliance on the Uninsured Drivers Agreement, which may no longer apply if insurance is not mandatory.

‘Hit and Run’ Electric Scooter Accident

‘Hit and run’ electric scooter riders can be come a prolematic area and expert legal advice from E-Scooter solicitors should be sought. This is what the MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) say:

The MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) supports the Department for Transport’s trials and indeed the potential legalisation of e-scooters for use on the road, but we stand with 80% of the British public in calling for compulsory insurance of these motorised vehicles.

We welcome the fact that operators during the trials will be required to have Motor Third Party Liability (MTPL) insurance. However, it’s important to remember that e-scooters (and other e-mobility devices) not used as part of the trials remain illegal for use on roads and in other public places.

As it stands there has been no announcement on insurance requirements should e-scooters become legal.​ The government’s failure to implement relevant EU law since 2014 has left the MIB  bearing the costs for compensating victims who are hit by e-scooters. These claims are effectively funded by premium paying motorists and result – completely unfairly – in increased motor insurance premiums for all decent road users. This situation continues after the transition period ends, as this EU law requirement remains in UK law until the government legislates to remove it. So far, they have not committed to doing so.

The MIB believes there are potentially catastrophic consequences for legalising e-scooters beyond these trials without the requirement for some form of compulsory insurance. There is a high risk of accidents – presenting a dangerous threat to the safety and security of pedestrians, children and other innocent road users. This increases the likelihood of victims enduring life-threatening and life changing consequences with no hope of compensation for the victims. This also poses a major risk to e-scooter users without insurance, who could be forced to pay out thousands of pounds in liability if they have an accident.

The only thing you can do at this stage is:

  • Get details of any witnesses,
  • If it is a council E-Scooter scheme obtain the number of the scooter,
  • Enquire as to any CCTV in the local area, shops, houses, flats nearby,
  • Report the incident to the police,
  • Instruct E-Scooter expert solicitors.

Why are E-Scooter Riders Classed as Vunerable Road Users?

Electric scooter riders are road users placed as an elevated risk of accidents and prone to more serious injuries in road traffic incidents are considered ‘vulnerable road users.’ In 2022, a modification to the Highway Code was implemented, focusing on safeguarding these vulnerable road users. This legal update aims to enhance accountability for individuals operating vehicles with a greater potential for causing harm on the road.

Highway Code – Rule 204 provides:

The road users most at risk from road traffic are pedestrians, in particular children, older adults and disabled people, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists. It is particularly important to be aware of children, older adults and disabled people, and learner and inexperienced drivers and riders. In any interaction between road users, those who can cause the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they pose to others.

As advised in this article, in most cases, electric scooter riders are classed as a cyclist when interpreting the common laws on road traffic accidents and the Highway Code.

Steps to Take After a E-Scooter Accident:

In the aftermath of an E-Scooter accident, certain steps are paramount to ensure the protection of one’s rights and the establishment of a factual record. These include:

  • Notification to Police: Promptly inform the police of the incident
  • Gathering Details: Collect comprehensive details of the responsible party, including insurance and registration information.
  • Witness Accounts: Obtain information from any witnesses present during the accident.
  • Scene Documentation: Photograph the accident scene and document any damages incurred.
  • CCTV Footage: If applicable, request CCTV footage from surveillance areas around the accident site.
  • Legal Assistance and Expert  E-Scooter Solicitors:

Seeking legal counsel after an e-scooter accident is imperative. The legal landscape concerning e-scooters is intricate and rapidly evolving, necessitating expert guidance. At Simpson Millar, our solicitors specialize in road traffic accidents, offering comprehensive advice on navigating the complexities surrounding e-scooters. Whether you are a rider seeking compensation or an injured party, understanding your rights and potential compensation avenues is crucial in these evolving circumstances.

Council Run E-Scooter Schemes

There are various E-Scooters for hire schemes that are being piloted usually in urban cities such as Liverpool, London and Manchester.

One of the providers for Liverpool City Region are Voi  On their website Voi provide some basic safety know how when any prospective rider wishes to hire an E-Scooter, it provides:

‘Be sure to know the local rules of the road before you set off. Stick to the bike lanes or close to the side curb, and stay off pavements as well as roads with speeds over 50 km/h (30 mph). Be aware of surrounding traffic, especially at intersections.

Start off slowly while you get used to the accelerator and brakes. Oh, and put down your phone until you reach your destination.’

It is important to note that only official E-Scooter hire regions legally allow these E-Scooters on public UK roads.  No private E-Scooter can be used.

One of the key advantages of being involved with the E-Scooter scheme too is that they have complimentary insurance in the unfortunate circumstances that an E-Scooter rider is involved in an accident. The cost of the insurance in in-built into the payment of hire.

Conclusion on the Laws of E-Scooter Accidents

As E-Scooters become an integral component of urban mobility, understanding the dynamic legal landscape is paramount. Stay informed about the evolving laws, and in the unfortunate event of an accident, consult with our expert cyclist and scooter solicitors  to ensure you receive the guidance needed to navigate the intricate legal intricacies of E-Scooter compensation claims. Contact us today to discuss your situation and explore the possibilities for compensation in this rapidly changing environment.

 

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