Who is Liable When There’s an Electric Scooter Accident?
Electric scooters are a new method of transportation. However, we’ve all seen reports about head injuries, traffic accidents, and even deaths that are a result of electric scooters. Although we hope this isn’t a situation you ever have to face, what happens when there’s an electric scooter incident? Who is held liable?
If the rider is injured, his or her health insurance (if they have one) could help cover the cost of their own medical bills. However, when a scooter rider hits and injures a pedestrian, damages someone else’s property or causes a car accident, things get a bit more difficult. The rider may be held responsible in each of these situations and most insurance policies will not cover those expenses.
The two largest scooter organizations in the nation, Bird and Lime, typically place the responsibility for accidents on riders by listing in their rental agreements that riders relieve the companies of liability. Customers must agree to those terms before they are able to ride. Although both offer some liability coverage for the rider, there’s no way to know whether a claim is covered until an investigation is carried out, and each claim is unique.
Electric scooter riders may believe that their auto insurance can help them if they get into an accident, however most auto insurers will not cover vehicles with less than four wheels. Homeowners and renters insurance may cover an accident that occurs on a traditional bicycle, but it does not cover motorized bike or scooter trips.
These new modes of transportation appear to still be finding its feet. If you have more questions about insurance coverage and how to stay protected, contact the team at Hoffman Brown Company. We are happy to help.