Electric Scooter; the potential for accident claims

Reprinted below is an article by Lauren Martin of Nub News. Focuses on how an E-scooter user might make a compensation claim for a non-fault accident with a motor car but not the more probably circumstances where a scooter rider collides with a car. "Until recently, if you were using an e-scooter (a scooter with an electric motor) on any public property, to include roads and pavements, you would be committing an illegal act. This is still very much true, you can only use a privately owned e-scooter on private land for which you have permission or own.

However, in a post lockdown bid to encourage commuters in larger cities to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID 19 on cramped public transport, the Department of Transport gave the green light for trials of e-scooter rental across the country and including Bristol and Bath.

The rules of renting an e-scooter

During the 12 month period of the trial (from 4 July 2020) it is mandatory for any person renting an e-scooter to be above the age of 16 with a provisional or full driving licence.

E-scooters are banned from pedestrian pavements and pedestrian only areas and are limited to a top speed of 15.5 miles per hour, and as e-scooter users will be mingling with drivers on the roads it is also strongly recommended that a helmet should be worn.

Where is this trial heading?

It is hoped by many that the trial will lead into wider laws where private scooters will be able to legally use the roads or that, at the very least, e-scooters will become widely available and accessible for those not just in cities, but also in towns and rural areas as a less expensive and cleaner environmental alternative to motor vehicles.

It will be interesting to see whether e-scooters will become a mainstay of inner city commuter transport after 4th July 2021.

Potentially risky business

As with any motorised method of transport, there are risks carried by using an e-scooter on the roads and in public.

If you choose rent an e-scooter have little knowledge of how roads work and the Highway Code and you are responsible for causing an accident then you could find yourself out of pocket If someone makes a claim against you for compensation, especially if you breach the terms of the contract of hire that you would be required to agree to with the rental company.

The same is true if you were to use an e-scooter in a prohibited area (such as on pavements, through underpasses, etc) and you accidentally drove it into a pedestrian.

How do I sue for an accident that wasn’t my fault?

If you have used an e-scooter in line with the terms of service and you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

This is especially likely if it the party at fault was driving a motor vehicle such as a motor scooter, motorbike, car or any other engine based vehicle where insurance is mandatory.

If you are unfortunate enough to be injured in an accident it is important that you:

Notify the Police

Request (or have your legal representative request) CCTV footage if the accident occurred near surveillance cameras or traffic light cameras and take the details of the person who caused the accident (such as name and licence plate number)."

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