Injured electric scooter driver will be tested for compensation claims
An electric scooter driver claiming compensation after sustaining serious injuries when being passed by a London bus should be a test case for the estimated 750,000 two-wheelers used on public roads.
The man, in his 50s, suffered multiple rib fractures, a dislocated right shoulder and a collapsed lung, followed by pneumonia, when he was cut by the exterior mirror of the bus on a summer morning last year.
He has spent an extended hospital stay, still has limited arm movements and chest pain, and now his team of lawyers are claiming tens of thousands of pounds in compensation from the bus company’s insurers.
However, as private electric scooters are only legally allowed on private land, anyone who sustains an injury while driving a on a public road might not be able to sue a motorist, even if they can prove the driver’s fault. driver involved.
Ben Pepper, associate attorney at Bolt Burdon Kemp (BBK), a London law firm, argued that his client, who was wearing a high-visibility jacket and helmet when the collision occurred, “took precautions reasonable and rode his e-scooter safely ‘.
He said The temperature: âIf he had ridden a bicycle instead, it is likely that he would have suffered similar injuries.
“Why should his claim for compensation be less valid than a cyclist’s claim?” “
Mr Pepper said his client’s claim showed there was “a lack of adequate laws to keep people safe” with regard to electric scooter riders on the roads.
He added: âWe hope this case will help clarify the legal situation of those injured in electric scooter accidents where the private electric scooter was traveling on a public road.
âBut we really urgently need new legislation and we call on the government to implement laws to make electric scooters safer for drivers and other road users and to allow injured people to drive. access compensation. “
The latest claim comes after police reported a huge increase in electric scooter crashes, with at least one a day in London, down from just nine in 2018.
The latest figures show that there were 258 crashes in the capital in the first six months of last year.
By comparison, there were only nine in 2018, rising to 38 in 2019.
As the popularity of electric scooters took off, 2020 saw 266 accidents. But that figure is likely to be eclipsed by the final 2021 total.
There have also been a series of serious accidents across the country in recent months. Most recently, a retiree was killed after crashing into parked cars on New Years Day in Tameside, Greater Manchester.
Great-grandfather David Ackers lost his balance and collided with two vehicles the day before his 75th birthday, dying at the scene of a suspected brain hemorrhage.
Weeks earlier, an investigation learned that a teenager was listening to music through his headphones when he closed a footpath and hit an oncoming car in Portsmouth. George McGowan, 19, died of a brain injury.
According to the Department of Transportation, electric scooters are classified as “motorized carriers” and meet the legal definition of a “motor vehicle”.
They must therefore meet a number of requirements to be used on the road, including being insured and complying with “technical standards”.
Private electric scooters are considered illegal to use on the roads in Britain.
Metropolitan Police said runners risked a fine or even penalty points added to their license. Drivers are also at risk of having their electric scooters seized by police.
The Department of Transport said electric scooters are covered by the Road Traffic Act 1988, which also includes Segways, hoverboards, go-peds (combustion-engine scooters), electric unicycles and wheels. U.
The ban does not apply to electric pedal-assisted bicycles.
Electric scooters are not allowed on public roads unless they are rented through government-backed test programs and available in certain areas.
They were involved in 460 crashes in 2020 in the UK and there were 484 victims, one of whom died and 128 were seriously injured.
Transport for London has banned private electric scooters on its network after one caught fire in the underground at Parsons Green tube station.
Last week Labor’s London Assembly Police and Crime spokesperson Unmesh Desai – who obtained the latest figures – said: ‘The use of illegal electric scooters on our roads and sidewalks exposes Londoners to significant damage, especially to the most vulnerable in our communities. ‘
In July 2020, the UK government introduced legislation testing the use of electric scooters, through local authorities, for a period of 12 months through licensed rental companies. Vehicles are capped at 15.5 mph. Some 32 sites are involved in the trial. Private electric scooters cannot be used in the test areas.
Private electric scooters can be used on private land with the permission of the owner.