Dockless Scooter Use And Injuries: Who Pays?

4 April 2019
 Categories: , Blog

As dockless scooters have spread across the country, more accidents and injuries associated with the scooters have occurred. This is to be expected simply due to numbers; the more you use a mode of transportation, the greater the chance that an accident could occur. However, people injured in scooter accidents are finding that the actual insurance and legal processes associated with getting medical costs reimbursed are much different and sometimes nearly nonexistent — especially when it comes to who pays medical bills and related costs.

For Riders, Remember the User Agreement

If you were riding a scooter and got into an accident, no matter the cause or result, the user agreement could block attempts to get compensation from the scooter company if you think they're at fault. For example, say you crashed the scooter because turning it was too awkward, and you thought the scooter might be defective or the training video ineffective. The user agreement usually has an indemnity clause that absolves the scooter company of problems, and this could stop you from suing the scooter company.

Now, it is possible that the scooter was highly defective and that the company knew but did nothing about it. That could be a hard case to take on, but it might be worth it; a personal injury attorney would be able to discuss that further with you.

Pedestrians Have Options, But There Are Few Precedents

Pedestrians who are hit by scooters have a few more options because they did not sign a user agreement to walk down the street. They can sue the rider, assuming the pedestrian was not at fault, and the scooter company could be liable as an accomplice of sorts if the training video wasn't clear or if it was easy for new riders to skip the video. But even these options aren't guaranteed simply because there are no prior cases to act as models.

Car Damage Is Another Animal Entirely

If you were driving and were in an accident with a scooter (where the scooter rider was at fault) and you were injured by flying glass, for example, you could seek compensation from your own car insurance company and your health insurance. Seeking damages in court from the scooter rider might be possible if you can get security video from nearby stores that shows what happened. However, you need to have a good lawyer working with you to untangle the maze of laws that surround scooters.

It's unknown in most cases how far liability can go. Lawyers are still testing the waters, and each case now is going to set precedents for later cases. That does not mean you should give up, however. If you were injured, you need compensation, and your case could be a trend-setter.