Electric scooters are everywhere now! The swift uptake of electric scooters on our paths and laneways in Melbourne now present a new hazard and are responsible for an increase in injuries to pedestrians.
The one-year electric scooter trial by the City Councils of Melbourne, Port Phillip, and Yarra has seen 1,500 scooters appear on Melbourne’s streets recently. These Scooters from Neuron Mobility and Lime are orange and well, Lime, respectively, and have been distributed in the hope that they’ll make the city more accessible.
Scooter riders will be required to follow many of the same rules as bicycle riders including wearing a helmet and slowing down to give way to pedestrians on shared paths. “No go” and “go slow” zones will also be implemented using Geofencing technology, to show riders where they shouldn’t use the scooters and where they should be parked.
The scooters max out at 20 kilometres an hour and are meant to be limited to the bike lanes, shared paths, and low speed roads. These commercial operators have also been joined by an unknown number of privately owned electric scooters.
The hope is that data gathered from the trial will help the Council understand how the vehicles could be safely integrated into the city transport network in the long term and help reduce emissions by reducing short car trips.
What Do All These Scooters Mean for Pedestrians and Others?
Recent events have shown that the prevalence of electric scooters and poorly skilled, often unlicensed riders means more pedestrians injured in collisions. Just recently, a young boy was injured after being knocked down by an electric scooter riding illegally on the footpath in Bayside.
Similarly, research by Monash University has showed a 359% increase in scooter related accidents between 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021. This stark increase predating the current trial by some time.
Even without causing serious accidents, electronic scooters pose a danger on our shared paths and city laneways especially to the elderly, physically disabled and vision impaired who may lack the means to avoid carelessly driven scooters.
What Can I Do If I’m Injured by a Negligent Electric Scooter Rider?
Being struck by one of these electric scooters can cause serious injuries for those involved. Victims can find themselves hurt mentally, physically, and financially as they recover from their injuries.
As road users, scooter riders owe a duty of care to other users of the roads and shared paths, pedestrians included. Meaning a scooter rider must use reasonable care to avoid an accident with other road users. A negligent breach of this duty might include travelling faster than is reasonable in a busy area or failing to give way to a pedestrian at a crossing zone.
Thankfully, pedestrians injured by negligently driven scooter drivers do have the option to seek compensation if they’re involved in an accident with an electric scooter.
With the assistance of Henry Carus + Associates you can pursue compensation through two means.
Firstly, Both Neuron and Lime scooters come with insurance for riders as part of the trial, which can be viewed online or upon downloading the app. The companies are partnered with Agile Underwriting Services and Allianz respectively, which gives third party victims of electric scooter collisions access to compensation in the event of injury. It is important to note that both insurance policies are subject to the riders obeying the road rules, alongside other broad terms, and conditions.
Secondly, you can pursue this compensation through the negligent driver’s home and contents insurance policy. Many home and contents insurance policies today provide coverage for those injured in accidents with electric scooters provided it:
- was being driven legally at the time
- did not need to be insured under any compulsory third party insurance laws or motor accident injuries laws
If you are struck by a scooter, some of the things you can do include:
- Exchange your contact information with the rider
- Take photos of the scene, including of the scooter, your injuries, and the surrounding area
- Seek medical help and document your injuries
It is important to consult a skilled personally injury lawyer as soon as possible if you are injured. Your ability to claim for your medical and like expenses may vary depending on the insurance policy of the scooter driver. The exclusions in these policies can be quite broad and often depend on the driver obeying the law and road rules. Therefore, it is important to determine if you can pursue the rider at fault through their home and contents insurance policy.
Henry Carus + Associates are well-versed in the complexities of insurance compensation claims. We are committed to protecting the rights of pedestrians and pursuing full recovery for their losses.
If you were injured in an accident involving an electric scooter while on a shared pathway in Melbourne, You Deserve More. Our team will fully assess your current and future damages and make a strong claim on your behalf.
Please call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our highly skilled and knowledgeable injury compensation lawyers serve clients in Melbourne and throughout VIC.