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E-Scooter and E-Bike Injury Compensation in Queensland

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.

E-Scooter accident

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. However, the popularity of two-wheelers is causing the rise of injuries such as fractured skulls, concussions, and lacerations. Hence, 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?

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If you are injured when you are riding an e-scooter or e-bike, who is responsible?

Person recovering from skull fracture

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.  

  • Some Lime scooters riders were injured when their scooter wheels locked up at high speed due to a malfunction. In cases such as this, any injuries would be suffered due to the fault of Lime, which means that the company would likely be liable for any injuries that arose. 
  • If you crash or injure yourself riding an e-scooter or e-bike while intoxicated, or if you injure yourself due to your own carelessness or negligence then any injury sustained will not be claimable. 

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 hit by a car and injured while obeying the road rules and using your e-scooter or e-bike reasonably then you may be able to claim for your injuries. This kind of claim is similar to a claim you might make as a pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle. Even if the driver is not insured you would be able to claim under their CTP insurance which protects injured parties.

What happens if you injure someone else while using an e-scooter or e-bike? 

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. 

  • If you have caused damage or injury when using an e-scooter or e-bike then you will be responsible for the costs of any damage or injury caused.
  • Even though you may think that the company should be liable given that they will have insurance they will not get involved with your accident.

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. 

Where does this leave you if you are injured, or if you injure someone else?

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. 

Estimating liability on e-scooter or e-bike accident
  • If your injuries have been suffered because the company’s scooter or bike had a fault, the company may be liable due to negligence. 
  • If you injure someone else due to your own negligence you may be liable for their injuries. 
  • If you have been hit by a vehicle while on an e-scooter or e-bike and injured due to someone else’s negligence you may be able to claim under the at-fault driver’s insurance. 

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. 

What to do if you are involved in an e-scooter or e-bike accident

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. 

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Last update on:
June 1, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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