In November 2018, Queensland was the first state to trial electric scooters. Anyone over 16 could hire an e-scooter and ride up to 25 km/hr on footpaths with a helmet. At this time, council e-bikes were already very popular around the streets of Brisbane.
However, Brisbane’s experience with these mobility devices hasn’t been drama-free, particular e-scooters. With at least 3% of Queenslanders using e-scooters regularly (double the national average), injuries have increased dramatically.
Many people have asked us if you can claim compensation if you’re injured by an e-scooter. The answer is yes, but it’s not necessarily simple.
Common injuries from e-scooters
Scooters are allowed on shared pathways, bike-only pathways, some roads and local streets. At 25 km/hr, this is leading to collisions with cars, pedestrians, poles and other riders.
In particular, people with vision impairment and other disabilities are getting hurt after being knocked over or tripping over scooters left lying on the footpath.
In the 18 months up to May 2020, 797 people were hospitalised after being injured on or by hired and privately owned e-bikes, e-skateboards, Segways and hoverboards – 624 of these were from hired e-scooters.
On the Gold Coast, 100 people were hospitalised with e-scooter-related injuries in 2021.
Common injuries are:
- Head injuries
- Fractures to arms, wrists and legs
- Contusions (internal bleeding)
- Lacerations (blood loss, nerve damage)
- Road rash (some needing skin grafts)
- Torn ligaments
Can you claim compensation for an e-scooter accident?
As a rider or pedestrian injured by an e-scooter or other mobility device, you can claim compensation. The extent to which you were responsible for the accident will determine any compensation payout.
Depending on the circumstances, you could make a claim for personal injury or public liability compensation against the:
- Device manufacturer
- Sharing service company
- Local council
- Owner of the property where the accident occurred
- The ‘at fault’ party’s CTP or public liability insurer (if it exists).
Unfortunately, this compensation may not be easy to obtain. As they’re considered ‘personal mobility devices’, e-scooters and e-skateboards don’t need to be registered or have CTP insurance. So if an e-scooter hits someone, the rider at fault may have to pay personal injury compensation themselves. Most riders don’t have insurance for this and may be unable to pay it.
Additionally, sharing services may be protected by user agreements that limit its liability or put the liability onto the rider. And if a mechanical fault causes the injury, you may be able to claim compensation from the manufacturer, but your injuries might not be covered.
As you can see, claiming compensation for an e-scooter or e-bike injury is not simple – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The process is just more complex and you’ll need guidance from a legal professional.
Have you been injured in an e-scooter accident?
At Main Lawyers, we specialise in helping people who have been injured either on or by an e-scooter, e-skateboard, e-bike or hoverboard. We will analyse the situation and give you all your options. Our team will make claiming compensation for e-scooter and e-bike Injuries as simple as possible.