E-scooters, or electric scooters, are a popular mode of transportation due to their speed, convenience, and ability to bypass traffic delays, especially for short distances. However, the surge in their use has also resulted in a rise in the number of injuries sustained by both riders and pedestrians in their vicinity. Despite this, there are currently no established measures to safeguard the well-being of these individuals or any Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme in place for riders.

However, if an individual who was using an electric scooter sustains injuries in an accident with a motor vehicle and the e-scooter rider was not at fault, the general Compulsory Third Party provisions and regulations are available to the injured person using the e-scooter. This means that the person operating the e-scooter may be eligible to file a CTP claim against the CTP insurer of the at-fault driver.

Laws in Queensland:

In Queensland, riding an e-scooter without supervision requires a minimum age of 16, whereas riding with adult supervision permits a minimum age of 12. The maximum speed limit for e-scooters is 25km/h. In Queensland, electric scooters can be used in the following public places:

  • Shared pathways;
  • Local streets with a speed limit of 50km/h or less, these roads must not have any dividing lines or median strips;
  • In limited circumstances, on roads, such as crossing a road or avoiding an obstruction on a path; and
  • Bike-only pathways and green streets.

While some areas may not require helmets for e-scooter use on private property, it is mandatory to wear a helmet while riding an e-scooter in Queensland, unless one has medical reasons, physical limitations that prevent helmet usage, or belongs to a religious group that traditionally wears headgear that makes it impractical to wear a helmet.

The above is not comprehensive and does not cover all the roads and restrictions on e-scooters in Queensland. Rules governing electric scooters vary and are continuing to evolve as cities address safety concerns, traffic management and the increasing demand for e-scooters. It is therefore important you seek legal advice from a motor vehicle claim expert to assist you in determining whether you have any right to make a claim for compensation.

Am I eligible to receive compensation for an accident involving an e-scooter?

The scheme for which compensation may be payable to an e-scooter rider, or a person injured by the rider of an e-scooter, will depend on the circumstances and cause of the accident.

In some circumstances, an e-scooter manufacturer, lessor (e.g., e-scooter sharing services), the relevant local council, the property owner where the e-scooter was being used, or the rider may potentially be held liable for injuries based on the circumstances leading to the accident. Additionally, a claim could be made against the third-party or public liability insurance policy of the at-fault party if available.

Cars, motorbikes, and mopeds are subject to compulsory third-party insurance in Queensland, while bicycles have public liability coverage in many home and contents insurance policies. However, there is no mandatory injury insurance scheme for e-scooters, and public liability insurance policies are not easily accessible to individuals.

In the case of e-scooters, blame for accidents typically falls on the rider’s careless or reckless driving, but e-scooter riders are unlikely to have any insurance coverage for injuries they cause. In situations where a mechanical fault in the vehicle or a poorly maintained road causes the accident, fault could potentially be placed on a party other than the rider, although these cases are less common. In the absence of an insurer, the at-fault rider would be responsible for paying any compensation owed, and they may not be financially capable of covering significant compensation for serious injuries.

Even if e-scooter sharing services could be held liable for injuries resulting from e-scooter use, user agreements often limit or shift liability onto users.

However, in circumstances where an e-scooter rider is injured by a collision with a motor vehicle accident which was not the e-scooter rider’s fault, they will likely be eligible to make a claim against the CTP insurer of the at-fault driver.

What can I claim for?

If you sustained an injury after being hit by an e-scooter or been injured using an e-scooter and are entitled to make a compensation claim, you may be able to claim the following damages: –

  • Medical and hospital expenses (past and future);
  • Economic loss (past and future); and
  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenities.

It is important you seek legal advice from a specialized personal injury lawyer as each case can be different depending on the unique aspects of the events and your circumstances that are claimable.

If you have been injured using an electric scooter or by being hit by an electric scooter, our expert motor vehicle team at Littles Lawyers may be able to help.

Contact Ellie White to organize a free no-obligation chat to see what entitlements you may have available to you.

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