E-Scooter Accident Claims and Insurance Issues

Claims for injuries arising out of electric scooter accidents in Queensland are generally more complex than ordinary road accidents. Here, we explore some of the issues that a personal injury or insurance lawyer will consider when acting for a party involved in an e-scooter collision.

Home and contents or other insurance

A key consideration for whether a claim for personal injuries against an e-scooter operator is viable, is whether the operator of the e-scooter is covered by a policy of insurance or, capable of satisfying a judgment. The majority of individuals faced with uninsured personal injury claims are judgment proof.

So, it’s important to identify whether the at-fault operator was covered by a policy of insurance and if they were, whether that policy will respond to a claim. Such cover is event based and the insurance arrangements in place at the date of the accident are relevant. 

Some major insurers have, or have had,  liability cover as part of home and contents insurance policies which responds to claims involving electric scooters. 

By way of example, prior to November 2020, Suncorp’s legal liability cover under its home and contents policies did not exclude electric scooter accidents.

New electric scooter providers in Brisbane

Recently, two (2) new companies were awarded tenders for e-bikes and e-scooters by the Brisbane City Council: Beam and Neuron Mobility.

Neuron Mobility is the first provider to offer third-party rider liability insurance cover to operators and this insurance was reported as key to their successful tender. However, Neuron’s cover is subject to the policy terms and it is necessary to consider whether those terms may exclude a particular claim. For example, the policy (in its terms current as at the date of this article) does not cover operators under the age of 16 or, if the operator fails to wear a helmet. 

Comments

For people involved in an e-scooter accident, it is necessary for a lawyer representing a party to identify:

  1. the names of the parties involved in the accident
  2. the circumstances of the accident
  3. the date of the accident
  4. all potential respondents to a claim
  5. the scheme which regulates the claim
  6. any insurance held by the operator at-fault or, at least, the name of their insurer

For the risk-averse among us, it would be wise to investigate the availability of third party liability insurance before jumping on an electric scooter (or allowing your kids to operate one) or just avoid the devices altogether. E-Scooters are fun but most people can’t afford to pay a personal injury claim (and legal costs) out of their own pocket.