E-scooter injuries abundant in Queensland

Date:Mar 14, 2019

The burgeoning popularity of e-scooters has allegedly resulted in Brisbane medical centres being inundated with injuries relating to their use.

What is a Lime scooter?

California based ride-share company Lime has distributed hundreds of e-scooters across the streets of Brisbane, transforming commutes for thousands of people. The scooters operate on a pay-as-you go system monitored through an app, allowing for a convenient mode of transport. With a maximum speed of 30 kilometres per hour, the scooters are a great way to minimise road traffic and reduce carbon emissions. While the scooters have been implemented with positive intentions, debate has emerged across the country and abroad as injuries relating to the scooters continue to rise.

Over a two month period, there were 88 alleged e-scooter related injuries across three Brisbane Hospitals. These injuries ranged from minor grazing and bruising, to broken jaws and shattered arms. A number of these injuries were reported to have been the result of the front wheel of the scooter locking up, causing the rider to fall at speed. Despite the risk of injury, the Brisbane City Council is extending the trial period of these scooters.

I have been involved in a Lime scooter accident - can I claim compensation?

While you may be able to lodge a claim against an e-scooter manufacturer in response to a product fault, general use injuries may not be covered. As part of the terms and conditions of use, Lime reserves the right to hold users personally responsible for any damage involved in use, including personal injury or harm to another party. If you are at fault in a Lime scooter accident, you'll need to either seek cover from your own insurance policy, or pay damages yourself. However, if a Lime scooter driver collided with you or caused injury to you while riding, you may be able to seek liability.

Whether you're a pedestrian or a vehicle driver, all users of a road have a legal obligation to maintain a high standard of care to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them. In Brisbane, there are laws around the safe use of e-scooters to protect not only the rider, but other pedestrians and road users.

While a helmet isn't legally necessary for recreational transport such as skateboards and foot scooters, those riding devices with an electric motor need to wear a helmet. Riders aren't allowed to drive on roads with speed limits over 50 kilometres per hour, and must keep to the far left side of a road or footpath to avoid being a traffic hazard. If these rules are breached, riders may need to pay a fine or pay damages if another party is injured in their negligence.

If you have been involved in an e-scooter injury, and believe you are entitled to compensation, get in touch with the legal experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners.

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