E-Scooters Accidents and Liability

April 7, 2021
E-Scooters Accidents and Liability

Electric scooter use has increased tremendously in recent years, with scooter-sharing services springing up all over the world. Electric scooters are common because they are inexpensive, simple to use, and also environmentally friendly. But, as a result of this expansion, there are several growing pains. Cities are still deciding how to regulate electric scooters, and both riders and non-riders are figuring out how to share the road safely (or the sidewalk). Electric scooters are potentially harmful to pedestrians and can contribute to car accidents. Here are a few things to consider before jumping on an electric scooter.

What is LIME?

Lime is a rental transportation company that offers “smart mobility for the urban world” in the form of Lime-E electric-assist bikes and Lime-S electric scooters, according to their mission statement. Lime was founded in early 2017 and began selling e-scooters the following year. They quickly gained popularity, with crowds clogging sidewalks and streets, particularly in heavily populated areas. They were marketed to a fun-loving, spontaneous audience because they were inexpensive, easy to access, impressive, and efficient.

Users can install the Lime app on their mobile phones, scan their driver's license, and link their bank accounts. They then use their GPS to determine which scooters are nearest to them and then scan the barcode on the top of the handlebars to attach to and unlock the scooter. During the ride, the app and scooter link to monitor the user's position and length in order to charge them appropriately. To slow down, these scooters have either hand brakes or a back brake that you step on. When the user is finished with it, they will simply end the ride, which locks the scooter and leaves it somewhere for the next person to find.

Many e - scooter companies such as Lime have their own set of rules for use, which usually include the following:

  • be over the age of 18
  • abide by all traffic regulations
  • not allowing any passengers to fly, and
  • must have a valid driver's license.

Liability for Accidents involving E-Scooters

When it comes to accident liability, the at-fault party is normally financially liable for any losses or injuries that occur as a result of the accident. This is a fundamental principle of personal injury law, and accidents involving electric scooters are no exception.  However, what makes e-scooters unique is that there may not be traditional avenues of financial recovery.

If you're in a car accident with another vehicle, you will be able to recover monetary benefits from the other driver's insurance policy, as well as from your own (if you caused the car accident).

If you are involved in a car accident while driving a rental vehicle, you may be able to recover under an insurance policy provided by the rental company. However, things can be very different with e-scooters.

Some e-scooter companies such as Lime expressly state that they are not liable for any accidents that occur as a result of using their scooters or services. Although this can or may not hold up in court, it does provide a legal stumbling block for someone who thinks an e-scooter manufacturer is at least partly to blame for an accident. What if the e-scooter malfunctions and causes an accident, for example?

There's still the matter of insurance to consider. If you're in an e-scooter crash and there's no scooter rental business to blame, you might be liable for any or all of the accidents and other costs (damages), even if you weren't the cause of the accident.

If you or your loved ones are involved in e-scooter accident, contact the Personal Injury Attorney in New Haven, CT

All people are equal before the law. A good attorney.