If you live in Brisbane you will no doubt have seen Lime scooters sitting on the sidewalks or being used by commuters. These e-scooters, as they are known, are fast becoming a popular mode of transport in an increasingly busy city. Accessible via an app on your phone, these e-scooters are available to rent for short periods of time. Thanks to a recent Brisbane City Council deal we will be seeing more of these scooters around than ever before with Neuron Mobility getting the licence to the largest number of scooters in Brisbane. In addition to these rentable e-scooters, Brisbane residents can also hire e-bikes in a similar fashion. Along with these new, convenient forms of transport, there is the question of what happens if and when people are injured? Who is liable, and what should you do if you are injured?
If you suffer an injury when you are riding an e-scooter or e-bike and the crash was your fault then you will, unfortunately, be liable for any injuries which you suffer. If the crash is the fault of the company who owns the devices, through some form of negligence, then you may be able to commence an action against the relevant company for compensation.
Note that if you are hit by a car while you were using an e-scooter or e-bike in an appropriate and reasonable way, and the driver of the car was negligent, then you may be able to make a claim against the at-fault negligent driver.
If you are riding your e-scooter or e-bike and you are involved in an accident with someone else who is injured, it is possible that you will be liable for their injuries or any damage to their vehicle. The current user agreement which Lime has available on their website states that riders are responsible for any damage so long as the company has not been negligent.
Due to the limited liability that e-scooter and e-bike companies have it is important that you ride or use devices responsibly. Current road and police rules dictate that helmets must be worn, and that use while intoxicated is not permitted. It is important not only for your own safety but for the safety of others, that these rules are adhered to.
It is helpful to consider each scenario, in turn, to identify where the liability for injuries or damage lies. At present, you will be liable for any injuries that you suffer while riding an e-scooter or an e-bike if you are the one responsible for the accident.
The area of e-scooter and e-bike hire is a new area of law. As such it is important to seek legal advice if you have been involved in an accident where the fault is unclear.
If you are involved in an accident it is vital that you get as much information from the other party as you can, especially if you believe that they were responsible for the accident. Take pictures of the accident and be sure to get the contact details of any witnesses. If you are unsure about the fault of any of the parties involved it is worth contacting a legal personal injury firm who can advise you about your position and what you may need to do next.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
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