A recent addition, many cities across the country is the availability of electric scooters for rent. These small, agile, and affordable modes of transportation make getting around a city much easier but also have created a new negative scenario that is on the rise – electric scooter accidents.
Because the riders of these new scooters may not be experienced on these speedy little two wheeled vehicles, and the other pedestrians and drivers may not be used to navigating around them either, accidents are bound to happen and the number of scooter accidents are on the rise and more and more cities allow their presence. This begs the question, who is liable for injuries sustained in a rented electric scooter accident?
First and foremost, like any other type of accident, the one who is liable is the one who was negligent in some way. For instance, if a scooter rider slams into another person who was walking and that person is injured, then the scooter operator is very likely at fault. Likewise, if a scooter operator is using the scooter in a lawful manor and then is hit by the driver of an automobile who just ran a stop sign, then that driver is likely at fault. Because all applicable laws in place must be followed by anyone who is riding a scooter, then all accidents would be treated the same as if it were a bicycle, a motorcycle or even another vehicle. As such, the one party who will likely never be at fault in the case of a scooter accident is, the owner/company who offers the scooter for rent.
Many of the scooter accidents that have occurred involve someone who has been injured filing a claim or lawsuit against the scooter company itself. But the scooter rental contract is quite extensive, and it very securely legally protects the scooter rental company from just about any liability. The one exception is if the scooter itself was found to have been broken in some way so as to have contributed to the cause of the accident. Think of it this way…if you ran a red light in your car and struck another vehicle, would you or the other party try to sue the dealership who sold your vehicle, or the rental agency if the vehicle was a rental? No. But, if the car was sold with defective brakes, it COULD be liable. In general, however, the person liable for an accident involving an electric scooter will be either the scooter operator or the other individual involved in the accident.
Because these scooters are so new to the general population, when an accident occurs, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do or who to contact in order to file a claim or a lawsuit. Therefore, if you are involved in an electric scooter related accident, it is recommended that you secure a law firm who has experience in dealing with similar cases. They can work to establish fault and if you have been injured, help to secure you the financial compensation you deserve.