Electric scooter sharing is growing in cities throughout the country. Similar to ridesharing, these scooters have become an alternative mode of transportation. There are hundreds of scooters in some cities, which has ultimately resulted in injuries and insurance complications for consumers. A study done by the Public Health and Transportation departments in Austin, Texas reports that on average 20 individuals are injured per 100,000 e-scooter trips taken, and with over 38.5 million trips taken on shared scooters across US cities in 2018, that means that roughly 7,700 riders were injured in 2018 alone. Even worse, the e-scooter boom has caused at least 11 deaths since the beginning of 2018. So, it is important to know that if you are injured by or while using an e-scooter, are you covered?
Unless the company policy indicates otherwise, assume that you are not covered in the case of an accident. It is unlikely that your own automobile insurance will apply to scooter rentals, as many policies exclude coverage for injuries that occur through the use of motor vehicles having fewer than four wheels. Although most homeowners’ policies provide some liability coverage, it may be limited or excluded because the scooter is a rental or considered a motor vehicle. Like any new trend, these issues may not be directly addressed in your policy, and coverage will depend on the carrier and the specific language in your policy. You should use your health insurance for any medical injury you sustain.
If you use these scooters, remember to wear a helmet. Make sure you know the rules for your city concerning scooters; some only allow them on streets, while others only allow them on sidewalks. If you are required to ride in the street, operate the scooter in right-hand lanes and bike lanes where possible.
Because they are a new form of transportation, electric scooter crashes can involve tricky legal issues. For example, if you were injured on a Lime electric scooter, and are considering making a claim against Lime, you probably don’t realize that the user agreement that you signed when you downloaded the Lime app contains a waiver of liability that protects Lime. Also, the agreement limits the deadline to file an injury claim from the typical two years to one year. Unless you read Lime’s long user agreement, you wouldn’t know this. An electric scooter crash can result in serious injuries that can affect you for the rest of your life. If someone else was at fault, they should pay for your medical bills, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering. You want a diligent personal injury lawyer on your side to demand fair compensation for your losses. If you have been injured in an e-scooter incident, make sure to call Paradowski Law.