You may have recently read of an e-Scooter rider suffering a serious head injury after a collision with a motor vehicle in West London on 14 June 2021. This has reignited the debate around the rising use of e-Scooters, and its risks.
What is an e-scooter?
Electric scooters, otherwise known as e-scooters are much like the conventional two-wheeled scooters but have electric motors to propel them.
The scooters are usually do at least 15 mph and must have front and rear lights. Riders must have a full or provisional car or motorcycle license to be able to use them on a public road, and are recommended to wear a helmet, but this is not compulsory.
E-scooters are legal on British roads only if they are rented as part of government-backed trials. Privately owned e-scooters remain prohibited on public roads and cycle ways including pavements.
However, across the country more than 70 people have been injured in trials, including 11 who were seriously hurt.
What you need to know
If you have been injured by a motor vehicle whilst riding an e-scooter, you will be entitled to a claim for compensation, if the vehicle driver was at some fault. The compensation will be paid by the driver’s insurer, and even if the driver is not insured, you should still be able to obtain compensation from the Motor Insurers Bureau. However, the situation can be tricky for a pedestrian at the receiving end of an injury caused by a e-scooter rider.
If the e-scooter was rented as part of government-backed trials, then it should have insurance arranged by the rental operator. However, there is no requirement for privately owned e-scooters to be insured. If you are involved in an accident with a private e-scooter rider on a UK road, or pavement, the rider of the private e-scooter would be committing a criminal offence as they should only be using their e-scooter on private land. However, it may be very difficult to make a successful claim, as they are unlikely to be insured and the Motor Insurers Bureau schemes will not apply. Some riders may be covered by existing forms of insurance, but unfortunately they are likely to be the minority.
This will mean that an individual who is injured by a private e-Scooter rider may not be able to recover compensation, unless it can be shown that the rider in question has financial means to meet a compensation claim from their own resources. But as a pedestrian if you have been involved in an accident involving an e-scooter rider it is still advisable to ensure you take as much details as possible following the accident such as, name and address of the rider, insurance details (if applicable), photographs, and details of any witnesses.
E-Scooters are capable of inflicting life changing injuries and the law is ever-changing in this area, therefore, it is strongly recommended to seek help from appropriately specialist solicitors.