Electric scooters, or e-scooters, arrived in Queensland in 2018 and have since taken the state by storm.
If you’ve walked or driven around the city, chances are you’ve been passed by one, or perhaps almost been run over by one — you might have even ridden one! However, with the rise in popularity, comes a rise in scooter-related injuries. This begs the question – can you make a personal injury claim for an e-scooter accident?
The rise in e-scooter-related injuries
In September of this year, 3 Australians died while riding e-scooters, with injuries on the rise across Australia.
A 2021 report by Queensland Health, in conjunction with local universities, found that, over a 3-month period, there were approximately 1.5 scooter–related injuries admitted to the RBWH ETC, with at least 25% involving alcohol and 10% not wearing a helmet.
So – e-scooter crashes and injuries are, unsurprisingly, rather common. But – what are the personal injury compensation claim rules around these injuries? Can you claim compensation if you have been injured on a scooter, or injured by a scooter? Well, the answer is not as clear as you might think. Let’s take a look.
Can you claim personal injury compensation for an e-scooter accident?
In theory, yes, you can claim for an e-scooter injury. However, there are several considerations to take into account when considering these claims.
First of all, most e-scooter companies have you sign a waiver when you use their service. This protects them against many public liability claims sought to be made against them.
Moreover, e-scooters are a highly unregulated industry and present a bit of a blind spot when it comes to accessing traditional forms of compensation.
E-scooters are considered personal mobility devices. This means they don’t need to be registered or have CTP insurance. If an e-scooter hits you, the at-fault rider might have to pay personal injury compensation themselves – and most are unlikely to be able to afford this out of pocket.
Where there is a malfunction with the scooter, or a negligent act by another party, I.e., a driver failing to give way, or council failures like footpath maintenance etc., you may have a right to claim against that party.
So, in reality, making a personal injury claim for an e-scooter accident is not straightforward at all and may be a bit of an uphill battle, but never hesitate to seek out advice early so we can point you in the right direction.
What to do if you’ve been injured in an e-scooter accident
If you have been involved in an e-scooter accident, the process follows much the same as any motor vehicle accident.
- Assess the situation – both your injuries and the injuries of anyone else involved in the accident. Make sure you do this away from the road and any oncoming traffic.
- If you or someone else is injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. For serious injuries, call an ambulance.
- If you are able to, take down the details of the other parties involved in the accident and take photos of the scene as best you can.
- Once you have sought medical attention, report the incident to the police.
- Contact one of our experts to discuss your circumstances so we can guide you in the right direction.
E-scooters are a convenient and easy way to travel short distances around the city. They do, however, come with several risks that other types of transport do not.
And, as we’ve discussed, seeking compensation for these types of accidents is very complicated.
So, our advice when it comes to e-scooters:
- Be aware of the risks when riding scooters.
- Do not ride e-scooters while intoxicated.
- Avoid riding on the road; rather stick to the footpath.
- While e-scooters can hit speeds of up to 25 km/hr, you do not need to travel at top speed! Hitting an uneven footpath at these speeds can see you tumbling over the front of the handlebars.
- Always, always wear the helmet provided. If there is no helmet available, do not ride the scooter.
- If in doubt, ask one of the team at Gouldson for advice – it’s what we are here for after all.