Electric scooter accidents are a growing problem in Melbourne and other cities that have launched e-scooter trials. Hospitals throughout Australia report that electric scooter casualties are now a daily occurrence.
Studies show that the incidence of electric scooter accidents is roughly equivalent to the number of crashes involving motorcycles. According to The Guardian, that’s approximately 115 accidents for every million e-scooter trips.
This might seem like a minimal risk. In reality, however, e-scooter accidents can lead to serious injuries and even death. Pedestrians and cyclists are also at risk when the riders of e-scooters fail to follow the rules.
It is important to know your rights if you were injured while riding an e-scooter or a loved one suffered injury or was killed. Call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.
Why Are Electric Scooter Accidents So Common?
Summer means more people outdoors. In Melbourne and other areas with e-scooter trials, the nice weather combined with the novelty of these devices will probably mean more electric scooters on the road. Unfortunately, this will also lead to more accidents.
E-scooter accidents vary in their seriousness. Issues contributing to electric scooter accidents where the victim ends up in hospital include:
1. Not Wearing a Helmet
Riders are required to wear a helmet when operating an e-scooter in Victoria. Unfortunately, many riders make the fateful decision not to wear a helmet. According to ABC News, data from one Australian hospital show that 50% of casualties in electric scooter accidents weren’t wearing helmets.
In Victoria, it is illegal to ride an electric scooter with a BAC of 0.05 or higher. And yet, hospitals in Australia report that anywhere from one-quarter to three-quarters of riders admitted to hospital after e-scooter accidents were intoxicated at the time of the crash.
3. Excess Speed
The speed limit for electric scooters in Victoria is 20km/h. A significant portion of e-scooter accidents occur when riders exceed the speed limit. The faster they are travelling, the greater the likelihood of serious injury.
4. Operating Out of Bounds
Although it is illegal in VIC, many people ride electric scooters on footpaths and public roads. This poses a significant danger to pedestrians, especially vulnerable individuals such as the disabled and the elderly.
Read More: The Rise in Electric Scooter Crashes
5. Failure to Share the Road
Riders are not to blame for all electric scooter accidents. As with any road user, those who obey the rules are still put in danger when motorists are careless. Issues such as speeding, distracted driving, illegal manoeuvres and more can all lead to accidents in which e-scooter riders may be seriously injured or killed.
How Is VIC Handling Electric Scooter Accidents?
VicRoads has a comprehensive online resource on the e-scooter trials in Victoria. This webpage includes information about the rules for riding an electric scooter, maps of the trial area and more.
Meanwhile, Victoria Police have announced an effort to educate the public on the use of e-scooters. The rise in electric scooter accidents may also lead to an increase in citations for offences while riding an e-scooter. As an Acting Inspector of Victoria Police told ABC News, ‘given the seriousness of the collisions we are seeing we are not going to hesitate to issue fines for blatant disregard of the rules.’
Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of riders, motorists, pedestrians and other individuals on the road to use common sense and follow the law. Failure to do so can have devastating consequences.
Do I Have a Claim?
Riders, pedestrians and others can take legal action if they are injured in an electric scooter accident. The process of obtaining compensation depends on the circumstances.
E-scooter riders can file a TAC claim if their injuries were caused by the driving of a motor vehicle, a tram or a train. Such claims, once accepted, provide the person injured with no-fault benefits under the TAC scheme and, if someone is responsible, the opportunity to seek common law compensation if seriously injured.
If the accident does not arise out of the driving of a motor vehicle, a tram or a train, then compensation can still be sought on a common law basis if someone else is responsible for the accident, such as a pedestrian, property owner or a local Council.
Finally, if you were injured by reason of some fault in the e-scooter itself, you may be able to seek compensation from the insurance company for the commercial hire operator.
All of these claims are complicated, and it is best to consult a knowledgeable lawyer.
Injured in an Electric Scooter Accident?
Henry Carus + Associates have been keeping a watchful eye on e-scooter accidents since the trials began in Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra and Ballarat. We are committed to protecting the rights of those injured on electric scooters, as well as pedestrians and other individuals harmed by the careless operation of these devices.
At Henry Carus + Associates, we prioritise obtaining the maximum compensation for your losses. You Deserve More, and we will explore all options for achieving a favourable outcome on your behalf.
Our lawyers are well-versed in Victoria’s compensation schemes. We can help you navigate transport accident claims, public liability and any other legal potential legal matters you might have.
Contact Henry Carus + Associates today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Our lawyers serve the victims of electric scooter accidents in Melbourne and throughout VIC.