Step onto the sidewalk in any major city during the last year and you may feel you’ve entered a brave new world. People whir past on brightly colored e-scooters from all directions—in the street, over bike paths, and on sidewalks. Not only are their electric motors nearly silent, but this new type of urban transportation moves surprisingly quickly and is often piloted by an inexperienced rider. So who is responsible when someone gets hurt on or by an e-scooter? Like most new services and technologies, the answer is not straightforward. Insurance Journal recently published an in-depth report on the subject.
Injuries due to faulty scooters
When someone is injured as a result of a faulty scooter—if the brakes fail or, less likely, the wheels suddenly fall off—the scooter companies will more than likely be held responsible. Bird and Lime, two of the largest scooter services, both offer fairly generous coverage for people injured as a result of faulty scooters.
Injuries due to rider action (or inaction)
Here’s where it gets more complicated. What if you’re riding your scooter down the sidewalk—where you’re not legally supposed to ride—and you accidentally hit Patty Pedestrian? Or, from the opposite perspective, what if you’re walking down the sidewalk—where you have every right to be—when you suddenly get blindsided by Scotty Scooter? Who pays?
If you answered, “Scotty Scooter’s car insurance,” you are, unfortunately, not correct. Most car insurance plans will not cover scooter accidents. Patty Pedestrian’s health insurance might help her mitigate the cost, but, ultimately, Scotty Scooter is going to be on the hook for Patty’s expenses, any lost income, and other potential damages. But to get that settlement, Patty will likely need to hire a personal injury attorney.
Personal injury attorney services for Torrance and Los Angeles County
Pursuing a claim against someone’s personal finances is almost always a longer process than filing a claim with an insurance company. While insurance companies generally try to get away with paying as little as possible, they are ultimately in the business of covering claims and have the resources to do so. An individual may not necessarily have the finances to cover your claim, so getting a fair settlement can prove challenging. For that reason, it is essential that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney if you are injured in any circumstance where the responsible party is not covered by insurance. Torrance personal injury attorney Brian A. Newman has been serving Southern California clients for over 40 years and can help you get the settlement you deserve. Call (424) 275-4014 today to set up your complimentary consultation for your personal injury.