CNN recently reported that the increase in e-scooter usage is creating a corresponding climb in the number of personal injuries. This comes on top of the City of Miami’s decision to ban E-scooters earlier this year. But do E-Scooters actually cause more personal injuries? Plus, what happens if you do get injured? Will you receive any compensation? This blog post aims to answer these questions.
Put simply, an E-scooter is an electric scooter. They are considered to be environmentally friendly (so long as the electricity they use was generated via sustainable means, such as by solar or wind power). Plus, they are reported to be a quick and convenient way to get around town. Companies such as Bird provide a network of E-scooters which can be rented through the use of an application, making it a simple and affordable way to travel from A-B around cities.
Some ER’s, such as the Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, has reported an increase in patients who have been injured on or by E-scooters. Critics may argue that any increase in a use of transport will lead to an increase in injuries: With more people using E-scooters, there are bound to be more injuries. However, the E-scooters in particular have been singled out, perhaps because in many states and cities wearing a helmet is not mandatory. With less protection, it stands to reason that the severity of injuries is likely to be (on average) greater.
As a result of these risks, some cities, such as Miami, have even banned or restricted scooter usage. However, statistically speaking, E-scooters only represent a fraction of all road accidents. Cars remain the leading contributor of road accidents.
In the state of Florida, you only need a driving license and to be above 16 years of age in order to ride an E-scooter. However, you do not need insurance. This means that, in the event of an accident which is your fault, you are not covered. However, if you are injured by a car (for example) and the car’s driver is at fault, then you may be entitled to compensation under the driver’s insurance.
With regards to being compensated by E-scooter rental companies, such as Bird, their terms and conditions explicitly state that you are in no way insured or covered by them. In other words, if you have an accident, you are on your own.
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