E-Scooter Accident Lawyers Serving Melbourne and All of Victoria
Melbourne’s most vulnerable are at risk of serious injury amidst the current e-scooter trials. If you or someone you love suffered injury on foot or on a scooter due to the carelessness of another, you should speak to an electric scooter accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Henry Carus + Associates have been monitoring the e-scooter trial in Melbourne, and we have serious concerns about the risk of injury to pedestrians and riders alike. Children, the elderly and the disabled are at the greatest risk, but all pedestrians can be seriously hurt if they are hit by an e-scooter. Similarly, riders may be injured due to the negligence of motorists.
Please call 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our electric scooter accident lawyers serve clients in Melbourne and other cities in VIC that have launched e-scooter trials.
How Common Are E-Scooter Pedestrian Accidents in Melbourne?
Starting 1 February 2022, the City Councils of Melbourne, Yarra, Port Phillip and Ballarat all launched electric scooter trials in an effort to improve accessibility and explore alternative transportation options that are cheaper and more sustainable than motor vehicles. Almost overnight, 1,500 e-scooters appeared on the roads and pathways of these VIC cities.
The Victorian Government partnered with Lime and Neuron. As you would expect, Lime’s electric scooters are bright green in colour while Neuron e-scooters are neon orange.
After the e-scooter trial began, we started seeing an increase in pedestrian accident injuries almost immediately. Though electric scooters can only travel at a maximum speed of 20 km/h, this is still fast enough for serious injuries to occur.
Five months into the electric scooter trial, pedestrian accidents are a daily occurrence. The head of Royal Melbourne Hospital’s emergency department told A Current Affair that victims of pedestrian scooter accidents represent ‘a new addition to [the] trauma workload’.
The Herald Sun, meanwhile, reports that nearly 50 pedestrians have been injured in e-scooter accidents from 1 February 2022 to the end of July 2022. Riders’ disregard for safety is the most common cause of accidents in which pedestrians suffer injury.
Hit by a Scooter? Take These Steps
- Get the driver’s name, contact information and insurance information (personal (i.e., home and contents) and through the scooter company).
- Document the accident and your injuries by taking photos with your mobile.
- Talk to any witnesses who saw the accident and get their names and contact information.
- Call 000 and/or seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible.
What Are the Most Common Pedestrian Scooter Accident Injuries?
Pedestrian accidents are always serious. Individuals who are on foot have little to no protection in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle or other mode of transport.
Although a Lime or Neuron e-scooter may not be as dangerous as a car or truck, pedestrians can still get hurt if they are hit by an electric scooter. Some of the injuries pedestrians can suffer in scooter accidents include:
- Broken bones, particularly fractures of the wrists, arms, legs, knees and ankles
- Injuries to the shoulder
- Soft tissue injuries (i.e., damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.)
- Road rash injuries
- Head and brain injuries
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you have been injured in an accident with an e-scooter. Our pedestrian scooter accident lawyers will review your medical records and seek maximum compensation for the damages you have sustained.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered for a Pedestrian Scooter Accident?
Insurance is provided to riders who rent electric scooters as part of the trial programme. Lime riders are insured through Allianz while Neuron riders are insured via Agile Underwriting. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident with an e-scooter, you may be able to make a claim against the insurance provided through Lime or Neuron. However, this is a difficult process which is best undertaken with the assistance of an expert legal team.
In addition, you may be able to make a claim against the rider of the e-scooter through his or her home and contents insurance. Compensation through the rider’s home and contents insurance may be available if it can be shown that (a) the scooter was being operated legally when the scooter accident occurred and (b) no additional third-party insurance was required.
Finally, one or more third parties can be held liable if their negligence contributed to the e-scooter accident. This may include the owner of a public space or City Council that fails to maintain a roadway or other path.
An e-scooter accident lawyer can help if you or a member of your family suffered injury in a transport accident while riding an electric scooter in Melbourne or another VIC city hosting an e-scooter trial. It is important to recognise the harm that can occur when e-scooter riders who follow the rules are injured by the negligence of motorists.
Your right to benefits and other compensation from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is contingent on proving that you sustained injury as a result of the driving of a motor vehicle accident in Victoria.
Henry Carus + Associates have unparalleled experience with TAC accident claims. Our lawyers can help you lodge a claim and fight to maximise your compensation. Call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Are E-Scooter Accidents Considered Transport Accidents?
Section 3 of the Transport Accident Act 1986 defines a transport accident as follows:
‘“transport accident” means an incident directly caused by the driving of a motor car or motor vehicle, a railway train or a tram’.
Electric scooters do not meet the requirements to be considered a ‘motor vehicle’ (see Road Safety Act 1986 S. 3(1)). However, the riders of electric scooters in VIC have the same rights as pedestrians and cyclists. That is, if the TAC determines that the accident was directly caused by the driving of a motor vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation if you were operating an e-scooter lawfully.
What Are the Rules for E-Scooters?
It is illegal to operate an electric scooter on footpaths, and their use of public roads is limited to the following:
- Riders can only use e-scooters on roads and other public areas if they are rented from an approved operator (Lime or Neuron).
- E-scooters may only be operated within the trial areas in the Melbourne Metropolitan and Ballarat areas (see map).
- Riders may only use electric scooters in designated bike lanes, shared paths and roads with speed limits not in excess of 50 km/h.
- A maximum speed of 20 km/h is allowed.
- Riders must be at least 18 years old to operate an electric scooter.
- Helmets are required when riding.
- Riders may not use drugs or alcohol when riding an e-scooter.
- Distracted driving behaviours (such as using a mobile) are prohibited.
- Riders may not carry passengers on an electric scooter.
- E-scooters must be ridden in single file.
Unfortunately, you can follow all of these rules and still end up in an accident. Electric scooters face many of the same risks as pedestrians and the riders of bicycles and motorbikes.
Drivers often claim they ‘didn’t see’ the pedestrian or rider until it was too late. In reality, negligence on the part of the motorist (such as speeding, distracted driving, aggressive driving, etc.) is a common issue in transport accidents.
In addition, riders of electric scooters may still have a TAC claim and a common law claim even if they have not abided by all the rules detailed above. This can become a complicated claims process that is best placed in the hands of a specialist personal injury firm like Henry Carus + Associates.
Are You Entitled to TAC Benefits?
The key to lodging a successful TAC claim after an electric scooter accident is proving that your injuries are the ‘direct result of the driving of a motor vehicle’; the definition of the quoted phrase is one best addressed by experienced TAC compensation lawyers.
If your accident falls within the definition of that phrase, TAC is likely to accept a claim and provide the following benefits:
- Medical care and supports
- Loss of earnings benefits
- Return to work support
- A lump sum impairment benefit, if it is determined that your injuries constitute a ‘permanent loss of function and movement’ of 11% or more
- Support for eligible family members
These benefits are provided on a ‘no-fault’ basis. You do not have to prove that the driver of the motor vehicle was negligent for the TAC to pay these benefits.
If the evidence shows that the motorist was at fault for the accident (e.g., the driver failed to stop or yield and negligently collided with you while on the electric scooter), you may also be entitled to common law damages. This includes compensation for your loss of future earnings, as well as pain and suffering.
Your right to common law personal injury compensation is dependent on whether or not you suffered a serious injury as defined by the TAC. An e-scooter accident lawyer can help you lodge a claim for common law compensation, including guiding you through the process of obtaining a Serious Injury Certificate.
Finally, even if you are uncertain as to whether the accident does directly arise from ‘the driving of a motor vehicle’, a TAC claim should be submitted to protect your interests. A failure to do so within a year or within 3 years with reasonable explanation will permanently bar you from any TAC benefits and any common law claim.
The e-scooter trial in Melbourne has had more than its fair share of unintended consequences. What was presented as a new and exciting way to get around has left pedestrians and e-scooter riders in the CBD and other areas vulnerable to accidents.
Henry Carus + Associates are proud to support those who have been hurt in e-scooter accidents. If you or a member of your family suffered injury in an accident with an e-scooter, we can explore all of the available options for pursuing compensation.
Or, if you or a member of your family suffered injury while riding an electric scooter, our lawyers and staff can help you lodge a claim with the TAC. You may be entitled to no-fault benefits as well as common law personal injury compensation.
Please call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Our electric scooter accident lawyers serve clients in Melbourne and throughout VIC.