E-scooters are a new popular way of getting around in many towns and cities in the UK. However, e-scooter riders are one of the most vulnerable road user groups and are prone to injuries such as fractures, head and brain injuries and spinal cord trauma.
In 2021, there were 1,352 accidents involving e-scooters, leading to 1,434 casualties, of which 421 were seriously injured, and ten were killed. Common causes include lack of experience, speeding, collisions with cars and other road users, potholes and other road hazards. If a third party caused you to suffer an injury by acting negligently, you might be entitled to claim compensation for your pain, suffering and related financial losses.
If you want to find out if you have a valid scooter accident claim, use our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 today for a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will assess your case, let you know whether you are entitled to compensation, and answer any questions you may have.
What is the law on e-scooters?
It may be surprising, but in the UK, rental e-scooters can be ridden on public roads and cycle lanes, but only by individuals who hold a valid UK driving licence. Currently, the permitted licence categories for riding e-scooters include AM, A, or B, all of which encompass entitlement for category Q. A category Q licence is for two and three-wheeled vehicles up to 50cc without pedals, which would include electric scooters.
If you have an overseas driving licence, you can use an e-scooter if you:
- Have a valid full licence from an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country;
- Have a valid full licence from another country that entitles you to drive a small vehicle, and you entered the UK within the last 12 months.
On the other hand, privately-owned e-scooters are only allowed on private property and are illegal to ride on public highways. If you break this rule and are caught by the police, you risk a fine, penalty points, and the e-scooter being seized.
Other rules regarding the use of scooters in the UK include:
- Operators of rental e-scooters are obliged to provide an insurance policy as part of the rental agreement with the rider;
- E-scooters do not need to be registered, display registration plates or pay vehicle excise duty (road tax);
- According to Government regulations, rental e-scooters have a speed restriction of 15.5 mph;
- E-scooters should only be used by one person at a time.
If you have suffered an injury while riding a scooter or because one collided with you, an experienced solicitor could help secure scooter accident compensation from the operator’s insurance policy.
Can I make a scooter accident claim?
As a general rule, you might be able to start a scooter accident claim if:
- The party you hold liable for your injuries owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- Their negligence has led to a scooter crash
- You suffered injuries and other damages as a result within the last three years
Your solicitor will refer to the relevant UK legislation, such as the Highway Code and The Road Traffic Act 1988 to prove a legal duty of care and negligence. Your solicitor will identify the party who might be liable in your electric scooter accident claim and inform them of your intentions to pursue damages. If they admit liability, your solicitor will conduct negotiations on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
To find out if you have a valid scooter accident claim, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Otherwise, you can fill in our online claim form to get a call back, during which you can ask any questions you may have about the claims process and our no win no fee service.
What should I do if I was involved in a scooter crash?
If you were involved in a scooter accident, your health and well-being should be your top priority, and the first thing you should do is get medical assistance. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is still crucial to get a medical evaluation to ensure there are no underlying or hidden injuries. That will provide a medical record of the type and extent of your injuries, the treatments you received and your recovery prospects that will serve as essential evidence in your claim.
If you do not need immediate medical assistance, you should gather as much evidence at the scene as possible, such as:
- Photographs or video footage of your injuries and the accident scene before anything is moved;
- Take photos of any identifying marks on the scooter and the operator’s name;
- Ask any witnesses for their names and contact details so your solicitor can contact them later for a statement to support your e-scooter accident claim;
- If there is CCTV or dashcam footage of the events, ask for a copy of the recording as soon as possible;
- Get the e-scooter rider’s details and the details of any other road users involved in the accident;
- Report the accident to the e-scooter operator by sending them an email including details of what happened and when the incident occurred;
- Report the accident to the police, your insurer and/or rental operator.
Regardless of how much evidence you have managed to collect, you should contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. They can assess the details of your case, help determine liability, collate further evidence to support your claim and guide you through the legal process. If necessary, they will also arrange a free visit with a medical specialist to determine any long-term effects of your injuries and your future needs.
Types of scooter accident compensation claims
Three main types of accidents involving scooters that may lead to a personal injury claim:
You were injured as an e-scooter rider
If you suffered an injury while riding a scooter due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. Here are some examples of how you could be injured as an e-scooter rider due to someone else’s negligence:
- If a motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian acts negligently and collides with your e-scooter, causing you injuries, they may be held liable for the accident;
- Poorly maintained roads, potholes, uneven surfaces, or debris on the road can cause you to lose control of your e-scooter and suffer injuries. If these hazardous conditions were known or should have been known by the responsible party, such as the local council or property owner, they may be held accountable in a scooter accident claim;
- If your accident was due to any defective parts, such as faulty breaks or a malfunctioning accelerator, the manufacturer or distributor of the e-scooter may be held responsible.
You were injured by an e-scooter as a pedestrian
E-scooter riders may collide with pedestrians if they are riding at excessive speeds, riding recklessly, or failing to yield the right of way. These collisions can result in injuries to pedestrians, ranging from minor bruises to more severe injuries like fractures or head trauma. You may also be able to make a pedestrian accident claim if you were harmed due to tripping on a poorly parked scooter.
You were injured by an e-scooter as another road user
A negligent e-scooter rider can cause a wide range of accidents involving other road users, such as cyclists or motorists. In this case, the injured person could claim scooter accident compensation from the scooter operator’s insurance policy. As with any type of road traffic accident claim, you should swap details with all the parties involved in the incident.
No matter your circumstances, it is essential to gather evidence of the accident, including witness statements, photographs, or video footage. You should also consult a personal injury lawyer who can let you know if you have a valid scooter accident claim and help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
Common causes of scooter accidents
Various circumstances and hazards can lead to a scooter accident, including:
While electric scooters accessible for public use are typically capped at a maximum speed of 15mph, hitting a pothole at this speed can still result in substantial injuries. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, occupiers of public premises, such as private business owners and the local council, must ensure the safety of visitors. Otherwise, they may be liable for a scooter accident caused by a pothole.
Poor road conditions, such as uneven surfaces, debris or slippery surfaces, can cause you to lose control of a scooter and may lead to an accident. Insufficient signage or inadequate lighting can also contribute to accidents. The Highways Act 1980 sets out the obligations of local authorities in regard to dealing with road hazards.
Another road user
All road users are expected to follow the rules and guidelines set out by the Highway Code to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road. If another driver, rider or pedestrian caused you to suffer injuries in a scooter accident by acting negligently, they might be liable to pay you compensation. Examples include speeding, driving under the influence and failure to yield.
Poor weather conditions
Adverse weather conditions, including rain, snow, ice, or strong winds, can decrease traction and visibility, making it more challenging to control a scooter and increasing the risk of accidents. If you had a scooter accident due to poor weather conditions, it is unlikely you can make a successful compensation claim.
Lack of experience
Lack of experience and proper training in operating a scooter can make riders more vulnerable to accidents, especially in handling unexpected situations or manoeuvring at high speeds.
Travelling at excessive speeds reduces your ability to react to sudden obstacles or hazards on the road, increasing the likelihood of a scooter accident.
Distractions while operating a scooter, such as using a mobile phone, eating, or adjusting controls, can divert your attention from the road and increase the risk of an accident.
Although not all accidents may lead to a valid electric scooter accident claim, you might be entitled to compensation if you have suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence. The easiest way to find out if you have grounds to claim is through a free consultation with a legal adviser.
Common injuries caused by a scooter accident
Scooter accidents can result in various injuries, ranging from minor to severe. Some of the most common types of traumas seen in a scooter accident claim include:
Impact with the ground, collision with objects or being ejected from the scooter can lead to a forceful impact that may result in a broken bone. The most commonly affected body parts include the arms, legs, collarbone, ribs and pelvis. The severity of fractures can vary, ranging from hairline fractures to complete breaks that require surgical intervention.
Head and brain injuries
If your head comes into contact with the ground, a vehicle or another object during a scooter crash, you might sustain head injuries. These can range from superficial cuts and bruises to more severe trauma, such as concussions, skull fractures or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Failing to wear a helmet or other protective gear significantly increases the risk of such injuries in a scooter accident and may result in a reduced compensation award if you make a successful claim.
During an accident, your face might come into contact with various objects, such as the scooter handlebars, the ground or stationary objects. The force of the impact or flying debris can result in different injuries, including a broken nose, cuts, bruises, lacerations, or facial fractures. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, medical treatment may be required, including stitches, sutures, or surgery and may lead to permanent scarring.
Soft tissue injuries
Falling off a scooter or colliding with another vehicle or object can result in bruises, contusions and other injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Sudden and forceful movements during an accident, such as twisting or jerking, can strain or sprain the soft tissues. Common examples include sprained ankles, wrists, or knees. Soft tissue injuries can vary in severity, from mild strains and bruises to more severe tears or ruptures that need surgery.
In scooter accidents involving collisions or sudden stops, your body may be subjected to rapid deceleration or changes in motion. That can cause the head and neck to snap forward and backwards, resulting in a whiplash injury. Whiplash affects the soft tissues of the neck, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and can lead to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
Road rash and abrasions
If you fall or are thrown off a scooter, the friction between the skin and the road or pavement can lead to abrasions and road rash. The speed and force of the accident can determine the severity of these injuries, ranging from minor scrapes and superficial skin abrasions to more severe injuries that involve deep tissue damage. Depending on the severity, they may require ongoing wound care, pain management, and monitoring for signs of infection.
Spinal cord injuries
Landing on the back or neck during a high-impact collision or fall from a scooter can result in damage to the spinal cord. The severity of spinal cord injuries can vary, ranging from mild to severe. They can result in loss of sensation, motor function, and control below the level of damage. Severe spinal cord injuries may lead to paralysis, affecting both limbs (paraplegia) or all four limbs and the trunk (tetraplegia).
A sudden and forceful impact between the body and an object can cause damage to internal organs such as the liver, spleen or kidneys, resulting in contusions or internal bleeding. In rare cases, a scooter accident may involve sharp objects or debris that can penetrate the body, leading to internal injuries. The symptoms of internal injuries may not be immediately apparent but can be life-threatening if left untreated.
These are just some of the injuries for which you could claim e-scooter accident compensation. Whatever harm you have suffered, if it was due to another party’s negligence, an experienced solicitor could help you claim damages for pain, suffering and financial losses.
E-scooter accident compensation awards
The compensation awarded in an e-scooter accident claim can vary significantly from case to case, depending on various factors, such as the type and extent of the injuries suffered. Following a successful claim, your settlement will include two types of damages:
General damages are compensation awarded for the actual physical injury or injuries suffered and their non-economic effect on your life, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental distress
- Psychological trauma leading to anxiety, depression or PTSD
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of amenities like the ability to pursue a hobby or social event
- Impacts on your quality of life and your prospects for the future
Special damages are awarded for the financial losses and expenses directly caused by the scooter crash. These damages are quantifiable and can be calculated based on receipts, bills, and other relevant documentation and might cover:
- Current and future medical expenses, such as prescription costs, medications, and other treatments
- The cost of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost earnings due to the inability to work during the recovery period or any long-term disabilities
- Transportation costs related to medical appointments, therapy sessions, or any other necessary travel resulting from the accident
- The cost of hiring caregivers or assistance during recovery
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
- The cost of repairing or replacing property destroyed in the accident
General damages are more difficult to calculate and are based on historical cases and the recommendations offered by the Judicial College. For example, you could receive:
- £1,760 to £32,210 for a head injury with no significant brain trauma
- £1,880 to £379,100 for injuries to the brain, depending on the severity and long-term effects
- £1,960 to £151,070 for a back injury
- £5,630 to £122,860 for arm injuries ranging from minor fractures to injuries causing long-term disability
- Up to £67,410 for very severe leg injuries causing permanent symptoms
Is there a time limit to start an e-scooter accident claim?
The time limit to claim is typically three years following a scooter accident. That means you will have three years to talk to a solicitor, gather all the necessary evidence, prepare your claim and start legal proceedings. If you miss the deadline, your case will be statute-barred under the Limitation Act 1980.
Thus, it is not advisable to wait around even if three years might seem like a long time. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to gather evidence and remember details related to your accident. Witnesses may not remember details about the event, or they may move or change their telephone number, making it harder to build a strong case.
There are a few exceptions to the limitation date to start an electric scooter accident claim:
- If the injured person is a minor, the time limit does not start until their 18th birthday, and a parent or legal guardian could claim on their behalf during this time. Afterwards, they will have until their 21st birthday to start legal proceedings themselves.
- There is no time limit for a litigation friend to seek damages for someone who lacks the mental capacity to handle a claim. The three-year countdown begins if the injured party recovers from their disability.
- If an injury does not become immediately apparent after a scooter accident, the three years start to run from the date of knowledge. That refers to the date you knew or should have known that you were injured due to someone else’s negligence.
- If a loved one passed away after a scooter crash, you could claim compensation within three years from the date of their death.
- Different time limits might apply if you were involved in an accident abroad, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to find out what your legal rights are.
Scooter accidents abroad
The laws regarding the use of e-scooters can be much different abroad compared to the UK. Each country has its own rules and regulations, so it may be more difficult to know whether you have a valid scoter accident claim if you were injured overseas. Furthermore, the legal situation has been more complex since Brexit, even if you were involved in an accident in the EU.
A personal injury lawyer experienced in international claims can help you navigate these complexities and determine your eligibility for compensation. Usually, different countries have specific time limits within which a claim must be brought, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Your specific circumstances will determine whether you can make your claim in the UK or you must go through legal proceedings abroad. Claiming in another country, such as the US, can sometimes be beneficial, as it may result in more scooter accident compensation. If you have to claim abroad, your solicitor will still likely be able to represent you.
Can I claim e-scooter compensation on behalf of a loved one?
Yes, you might be able to make an e-scooter accident compensation claim for a loved one if they are unable to handle a claim themselves. In this case, a suitable adult must apply to the court to be appointed as their litigation friend. That is usually the case if the injured person:
Is a child under 18
Children are not considered to have the well-formed judgements necessary to make decisions about the case and will need an adult to represent them. In child injury claims, a parent or legal guardian will usually seek damages on their behalf. Any settlement secured for a child must be approved by a judge during an Infant Approval Hearing in court. The compensation awarded will be kept in a court bank account or a personal injury trust and released to the child on their 18th birthday.
Is an adult who lacks mental capacity
Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, an adult who lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings is considered a protected party and cannot make an e-scooter accident claim. Examples of claimants who might need a litigation friend to represent them include those suffering from:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- An intellectual or learning disability
- A mental health condition or severe sleep deprivation
- A stroke or traumatic brain injury
- Anyone deemed incapable of making decisions due to age or other factors
If the claimant recovers their intellectual abilities, the litigation friend is no longer needed, and the injured person can proceed with the claim themselves.
Has passed away due to the scooter crash
In the UK, there were ten fatal accidents involving e-scooters in 2021, according to the Department for Transport. If you have lost a loved one due to a scooter accident that was not their fault, you are entitled to seek compensation for any losses incurred between the date of injury and their death, as well as funeral expenses. If you were counting on the deceased’s income and help, you could also claim for financial dependency and loss of services under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
If you want to start a scooter accident claim on behalf of a loved one, you should speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. They will explain your duties and responsibilities and help you file the necessary documents with the court to be appointed as their litigation friend.
No Win No Fee scooter accident claims
If you have a valid claim for a scooter crash, you will be able to claim compensation on a no win no fee basis. The solicitors we work with will offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which means that:
- They are taking on the risk of the case;
- You do not have to pay any upfront fees for legal representation;
- You have access to justice regardless of your financial situation;
- Your solicitor will handle all the communication and legal aspects of the claim;
- You can focus on your recovery and your loved one throughout the legal process;
- Your solicitor will keep you updated on the progress of your case;
- If your claim is unsuccessful, you do not have to pay anything to your solicitor;
- The service reduces the stress of litigation and provides peace of mind knowing you will not be left out of pocket in the event of a loss.
Under a Conditional Fee Agreement, you only pay the solicitor a success fee upon receiving scooter accident compensation. This fee is capped at 25% of your award for general damages and past financial losses, and it is agreed upon from the beginning.
If you make a successful scooter accident claim, the other side will pay for most of the legal costs and expenses incurred during the claims process. If your case fails, they will be covered by the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy, which is part of the no win no fee service. The cost of the ATE premium will depend on the specifics of your case, and you only have to pay for it if and after you receive compensation for the scooter crash.
To find out if you are eligible for a no win no fee agreement, call 0800 678 1410 today to speak to an experienced legal adviser. Alternatively, you can request a call back by entering your details in our online claim form.