Scooter Accidents and Insurance Claims
Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Scooter Insurance and Accidents
Scooters offer a unique solution to affordable and accessible transportation, however, they can pose some issues concerning insurance in the case of an accident. Different scooters require different insurance needs. Below, our experienced team of scooter accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers break down the various types of scooters and scooter insurance that exist, the insurance issue with electric scooters, and what happens in the case of a scooter accident.
Types of Scooters and Scooter Insurance
There are an array of different scooters that people use to transport to their destination. They range from being motorized, electric run, powered by the pedaling of a foot, rented, or personally owned. The type of insurance a scooter rider has depends largely on the rider’s own insurance, whether they rent the scooter or not.
The following are four types of scooters.
- A motorized scooter is a vehicle that has two wheels, handlebars, floorboard, and motor that powers the vehicle. In California, you are not required to have insurance when using a motorized scooter. Those who operate a motorized scooter must have a driver’s license or a learner’s permit.
- Mobility scooters are used to assist those who struggle to walk or are disabled. Mobility scooter insurance is not required by law, however, it is recommended. If you are interested in acquiring insurance for a mobility scooter, you can select liability insurance and/or accidental damage insurance.
If you are planning to use your mobility scooter in public, it would be ideal to get liability insurance. Many scenarios can occur, such as accidentally backing up your scooter and slamming into another vehicle or unintentionally rolling over an individual’s foot. The other party may try to sue you for damages, which is why it is good to have protection under these types of circumstances.
For accidental damage insurance, you will receive financial assistance when it comes to expensive repairs. However, it could come with a cap on the extent of repair expenses. You should familiarize yourself with the limit your insurance coverage offers you so you will not be shocked with any charges you were unaware of.
- Manual scooters are those that are pedaled by foot, and are typically not insured.
- Rented electric scooters are those available in urban areas offered by companies, such as Lime and Bird. Insurance coverages are available for riders, depending on the company. We will go more into detail of these insurance coverages in the next section.
Insurance with Rented Electric Scooters
Lime offers its riders two types of insurance coverages. This includes:
- Rider’s Personal Accident Coverage. This will insure riders who suffer any bodily injuries while they are riding a Lime or JUMP vehicle, regardless of whether or not it is the rider’s fault. The individual must be at least 18 years old, registered to the Lime Application, and rent a Lime Unit for transportation purposes.
- Rider’s Liability Coverage. This covers a rider for damages they cause to another individual or the individual’s property.
Bird does not provide coverage to its riders. In the company’s user agreement, liability for injuries caused by a defective scooter will be waived. Bird also enforced arbitration to settle injuries that were caused by their e-scooters. Basically, riders must arbitrate their claims instead of taking them to superior court. Riders are forced to waive their right to partake in a class action, as well. A rider can opt-out of this arbitration by sending a written notice to the address below:
Bird Rides, Inc.
406 Broadway, #369
Santa Monica, California 90401
If the rider does not submit the form, then it can become difficult to acquire compensation from Bird for damages caused by their e-scooters.
The company also goes over automotive insurance. In the rental agreement, it states that your automotive insurance policies may not cover for accidents resulting in damages done to a Bird e-scooter. To determine whether coverage is provided, you must reach out to your insurance company or agent. If you do have automotive insurance or another type of insurance that would cover any claims, you must agree that your insurance would be primary and noncontributory.
What Happens When You Get in a Scooter Accident?
If you are involved in a scooter accident, you are required to stay until police and paramedics arrive. However, if it was a minor incident that had little to no injuries or damages involved, public authorities are not obligated to be contacted.
In a circumstance where the accident was severe, the parties involved are expected to exchange important details with one another, such as contact and insurance information. It is highly recommended for individual’s to collect evidence that can be used later to determine who was at-fault for the accident.
California is a fault state, meaning that somebody needs to be held responsible for causing an accident. California is also a comparative negligence state, meaning that more than one party can be found at-fault. Sometimes, scooter accidents might have been caused by the scooter rider themself, other times, not.
Since scooter accidents tend to occur with people who are uninsured, they are more prone to hit and run accidents. Hit and run accidents are illegal and all scooter accidents should be handled just as any other form of accident, following proper procedures and protocols. Here is what to do if you get into a scooter accident.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. Remain at the premises and speak to the other parties involved. Make sure they are okay.
- Call 911. If there are any damages or injuries, you should contact the police. They will arrive and complete an official police report. You may request a copy of this report to use as a piece of evidence in your claim if you choose to file a lawsuit against the other party involved. Paramedics may also arrive at the scene of the accident to provide immediate medical attention to those who need it.
- Exchange information. Make sure you acquire the other party’s contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license (if a vehicle was involved).
- Gather evidence. Make sure to take photographs of your injuries, damages, and the location of where the accident took place. If any witnesses are around, you should ask for their consent to acquire their contact information. Witness testimonies can strengthen your claim.
- Contact an attorney. An attorney can help determine who is at-fault in an accident, guide you through the process of filing a claim, and get you compensation to cover for damages.
Need a Scooter Accident Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help
If you are injured in a scooter accident, our expert scooter accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses, which include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There are no financial risks involved in our services.