E-scooters are fast becoming a popular way to travel, as they’re cost-effective and eco-friendly. Over 100 rental e-scooter schemes are in operation in cities around the world. Rental e-scooter schemes are currently available in UK cities such as London, Liverpool, Salford and Newcastle, with Glasgow set to trial a rental e-scooter scheme this year.
However, there has now unfortunately been a fatality involving an e-scooter. TV presenter Emily Hartridge was involved in a collision with a lorry when she was riding an e-scooter. Sadly, she died as a result of her injuries, which has triggered questions on the safety of e-scooters on roads.
On 4th July 2020, the law changed so that rental e-scooters were legal for use on roads. But it’s still illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter, unless it’s on private land. So, what are the current rules for e-scooters and how do you know if you can claim compensation for an e-scooter accidents?
The current e-scooter laws
As with all vehicles, there are certain rules you’ll need to follow when riding a rented e-scooter:
- You must be aged 16 years or over
- You need a provisional or full driver’s license
- 15mph speed limit
- Wearing a helmet is strongly advised
- Rented e-scooters can be used on cycle paths or roads
- You can only ride rental e-scooters on roads and cycle paths
- You cannot ride a privately owned e-scooter on a road or cycle path
Do I need to insure my e-scooter?
When it comes to insuring an e-scooter, it depends whether the e-scooter is rented or privately-owned. Rental e-scooters must have motor insurance, but this should be arranged by the rental company.
What about personal e-scooters? Insurance provider, LV, commented: “Personal use electric scooters are not currently road legal in the UK and are subject to the same rules as other motorised vehicles, meaning they can’t be insured or used on pavements. Rental e-scooters are legal as part of government trials.”
How do I know if I have a claim?
Firstly, e-scooter riders owe a duty of care towards other vehicles on the road, as well as cyclists and pedestrians. This simply means staying vigilant and following the rules of the road. The same goes for anyone else driving vehicles on the road – they owe the same duty of care to all road users, including e-scooter riders.
Ideally, e-scooter riders will wear brightly coloured clothing and a helmet. The e-scooter itself should have working lights suitable for all seasons and all times of the day. If you have had an collision on an e-scooter and you followed all the necessary safety precautions and practised a duty of care towards other road users, then it is very likely the crash wasn’t your fault.
Typical minor e-scooter injuries may include bruising, scrapes, bumps and whiplash. We also help clients who have experienced major injuries such as broken bones, nerve damage, head injuries and loss of limbs. At Birchall Blackburn Law, we believe it doesn’t matter how severe the injury may be – if it affects your day-to-day life in any way, we are here to help secure compensation and the right practical and emotional support to help you in the future.
Can I still claim compensation for my e-scooter accident if I didn’t wear a helmet?
Although it’s strongly advised to wear a helmet while using an e-scooter, it isn’t a legal requirement. However, if you didn’t wear a helmet at the time of your collision, this may lead to a deduction in the damages you might otherwise receive for your personal injury.
If you didn’t wear a helmet while using a privately owned e-scooter, you may not be entitled to any compensation. It’s currently illegal to operate a privately owned e-scooter on the road, public pavements and cycle paths. But we would always recommend that you speak to an experienced and specialist traffic collision personal injury solicitor.
Evidence you need to claim for an e-scooter accident
As with most personal injuries, you’ll stand a much better chance of securing damages if you secure the right evidence of the incident.
If possible, you should provide your solicitor with:
- Video footage of the collision (dash cam, CCTV and so on)
- Photographs of your injuries
- Photographs of damage to your e-scooter
- Medical reports
- Pay slips to show loss of earnings
- Police reports
- Witness statements
An experienced traffic collision solicitor will also be able to help you gather this evidence and other relevant evidence to support your case for compensation.
How much compensation could I get for my e-scooter accident?
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to give a ball park figure when it comes to compensation for e-scooter injuries. This is simply due to the fact that all personal injury claims are unique to each person. There are many factors our lawyers will take into account when calculating the amount of compensation you could be eligible for.
- The severity of the injury in particular your pain and suffering
- Whether you have suffered a single injury or multiple injuries
- Whether you have experienced a psychological impact
- The amount of any financial losses that you have suffered as a result of the accident
- Whether you are likely to suffer any future financial losses
- Who was at fault and whether you contributed to the accident
However, if we can speak to you to find out more information, we may be able to provide an estimate of how much compensation you could be owed if you were injured while riding an e-scooter. Just send us an email or request a call-back for a free, no-obligation assessment.
Of course, if you have a minor injury, you’re entitled to a smaller amount of compensation than a major injury. Saying that, minor injuries can affect your day-to-day life in a number of ways – so when we calculate your compensation, we always account for any changes you have to make to your daily routine because of your injury, as well as any lasting psychological damage.
Can I still claim compensation if I was riding pillion on an e-scooter while it was driven illegally?
While legally ridden e-scooters have all the usual protection afforded to road users, e-scooter riders injured whilst driving illegally may still be able to claim. However, this is much more difficult as the law suggests that you should not benefit from committing a crime. This is known as an ex turpi causa defence.
Chris Bolton, Partner and Personal Injury Specialist at Birchall Blackburn Law, explained: “The ex turpi causa of defence is a difficult one to establish. In the Court of Appeal case of McCracken v Smith & Others for example, the claimant was riding pillion on an un-plated, unregistered, stolen, off-road motorcycle being driven dangerously in a cycle lane when it was struck by a car. The Court found that the fact that the claimant was travelling in breach of the law had nothing to do with the negligence of the driver who collided with him. While we never condone knowingly driving or riding pillion on a stolen e-scooter, we do recognise that sometimes the passenger may not know the e-scooter has been stolen in the first place.”
Who do I call at Birchall Blackburn Law if I have been involved in an e-scooter collision?
Chris Bolton, Partner and Serious Injury Specialist, has almost 25 years’ experience in the legal profession. He has dealt with a number of successful claims involving brain injury, spinal injury, chronic pain and fatal accidents. He has nearly 25 years’ experience in the legal profession. Call Chris on 01772 552 271 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.