Electric scooters can be a fun, quick and convenient way to travel as they allow you to skip traffic delays and travel short distances.
Unfortunately, this rise in popularity has also seen an increase in the number of electric scooter injuries – for both riders and pedestrians around them. Currently there are no concrete protections in place for riders or pedestrians who have been injured and no Compulsory Third Party scheme equivalent for riders.
Here we talk you through what to do in an accident, what you may be entitled for in an electric scooter injury claim and how we can help.
Are electric scooters legal in Australia?
In Australia, there are currently no regulations preventing the sale or hire of electric scooters within any state or territory. However, despite being available for purchase nationally, the rules for riding differ within each state:
- In Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory the law allows the use of electric scooters in public spaces and road related areas.
- In New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania the laws are more restricted; namely that electric scooters cannot be ridden on public property and there are limits on the acceptable maximum power of the motor.
The safety of these mobiles are of focus for suppliers and operators with electric scooter trials being rolled out across the nation. Operators have partnered with the Police on these trials to encourage responsibility and safety for all involved. This means it may not be long before you can enjoy the perks of riding an electric scooter despite your location.
Our tip: before taking a joyride, ensure you know the rules around riding electric scooters in the state or territory you are in. You can find this information on the relevant state government’s website.
How many accidents are caused by electric scooters?
The number of injuries from accidents caused by electric scooters is increasing each month, according to an Emergency Department Specialist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
The most common electric scooter injuries are upper limb fractures and head injuries, with 18% of those hospitalised. The majority of these injuries were from electric scooters that had been hired, with 54% of people requiring medical treatment due to not wearing a helmet.
What to do if I've suffered an electric scooter injury?
Whether you've been hit by a scooter or injured on an electric scooter you may be wondering what your rights are to claiming compensation for your injuries.
It’s important to note that regardless of how the accident occurred or who was at fault, there are things you can do to protect your rights. Our checklist linked below details the key information you should record after a crash. You can save it to your phone to make sure you take note of essential details.
Click to open our "at the scene" checklist
What to do at the scene
- Remain calm and assess your injuries
- Record details like the date, time and location
- If possible get details of the parties involved and any witnesses (including names, contact information, and details of the vehicle if there was a car involved)
- Take photos of the accident from multiple points of view (as this will help to illustrate exactly what has happened and determine who was at fault)
- Report the accident to Police. This is especially important if you weren’t able to gather the details of the other parties involved as this will mean there is a record of the incident. If Police attend, ask for the report number, name of the officer and their station.
Seek legal advice
If you’ve suffered an injury after being hit by a scooter or injured on an electric scooter, it’s important to seek legal advice to find out your options. A lawyer can help you to understand your entitlements through compensation, as well as whether you’re able to make a claim through your superannuation insurance.
Do I have a claim?
Whether or not you are eligible to make a compensation claim following an electric scooter accident depends on a number of things, like the circumstances of the accident and extent of your injuries. Even if you signed a waiver, that doesn’t mean you are no longer able to make a claim.
Unfortunately there is no secure way of identifying scooters and riders who have been involved in accidents. On top of this, the insurance and compensation schemes for electric scooter riders is unregulated. As a result, making a claim can be complicated and time consuming without the correct help of a legal expert.
A legal expert, like our motor vehicle compensation claim lawyers can explain your rights and help you to make a claim under the correct area of law.
What can I claim for?
If you have sustained an injury after being hit by a scooter or been injured on an electric scooter, you may be able to claim for things like:
- Medical and hospital expenses (including at home care)
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
We recommend seeking legal advice as every case is different, and there may be things unique to your situation that you can claim for. Once your lawyer knows the specific circumstances of your case, they will be able to give you a good idea of what you are entitled to claim.
Shine Lawyers – we’re here to help
If you have been injured on an electric scooter or suffered an injury after being hit by a scooter, Shine Lawyers may be able to help.
Our experts may also discover that you are eligible to access benefits through your superannuation. This is where our team are skilled in providing you with the tailored advice you need to achieving the best outcome.
Call us today to organise an obligation-free discussion of your claim.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: February 16, 2022.