What Should I Know About Electric Scooters and the Law?
Electric scooters are quickly increasing in popularity due to their relatively low cost, ease of traffic congestion and eco-friendliness. However, because electric scooters haven’t been around for very long, the laws surrounding their use are unclear – and undefined in many states. On a federal level, electric scooter riders don’t need licenses, registration or insurance. So, if somebody gets into an accident involving an electric scooter, who’s to blame–and can you claim compensation?
As electric scooters continue to grow in popularity, so does the number of accidents that involve them. Also, most states are yet to categorize what type of vehicle an electric scooter is. Some people classify them as electric bicycles while others call them scooters. Unfortunately, accidents involving electric scooters can affect riders, motorists and pedestrians, especially given that – in most states – electric scooters can be used on the road and in bike lanes.
Common Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents
Accidents that lead to injuries as a result of electric scooters can occur due to several reasons, including:
- Young or inexperienced riders
- Riders using mobile devices while moving
- Mechanical malfunctions
- Potholes, loose debris, road bumps, and litter
- Pedestrians walking in the way of scooters
- Motorists failing to pay attention
- Improperly parked scooters
- Riders falling as a result of swerving
As you can see, there are many ways in which electric scooters can cause accidents, and injuries can range from minor bruises to severe head injuries. The problem with determining who’s liable for the accident lies with the lack of regulations surrounding this relatively new mode of transportation, which is why you might need to ask an attorney for advice should you sustain an injury as a result of an accident with an electric scooter.
Determining the Liable Party
Deciding who is liable to pay compensation to anybody injured by an electric scooter comes down to finding out who caused the accident.
- The scooter rider
The rider may be to blame for accidents involving their scooter if they used it in crowded areas, failed to wear a helmet or operated a mobile phone while riding. If you get hit by an electric scooter user, they’re likely to blame, and you may have grounds to claim compensation.
- The scooter company
Electric scooter manufacturers have a legal obligation to make their products safe for use. If a mechanical or electrical failure causes an accident, it’s likely that the manufacturer is liable to pay compensation to the injured party.
- Other road users
Because electric scooters can be used on roads with designated bike lanes, collisions with other vehicles are increasing. Whoever is found to be the negligent party will likely be to blame for the accident in this kind of scenario.
Making a Claim
As mentioned above – the laws surrounding the use of electric scooters have yet to be defined in most states, which is why you need a legal expert to help you claim compensation if you have an accident. Our attorneys know how to navigate the legal landscape to secure the best outcome for you. If you’ve sustained an injury due to an electric scooter and need advice, don’t hesitate to call us.
Corradino & Papa, LLC is a personal injury law firm based in Clifton, New Jersey.