According to the
National Association of City Transportation Officials, over 38.5 million e-scooter rides were taken in 2018; that number is
expected to be higher at the end of 2019.
Bird are the two biggest e-scooter manufacturers in the United States and both
have scooters in Indiana. In their rental agreements, Bird and Lime place
the responsibility for accidents on riders. Bird says riders are fully
insured for anything that might happen as a result of a faulty Bird scooter;
Lime indicates its insurance policy offers at least $1 million in liability
coverage for each covered claim. Unfortunately, however, there’s
no way to know if a claim is covered until after an accident is investigated.
Despite Lime and Bird’s liability insurance, officials say that responsibility
for damages in an e-scooter accident will most likely fall on the riders’
shoulders according to the fine print in the “terms and conditions”
users agree to when they download the app. Because e-scooters are brand
new, courts have not yet had a chance to weigh in on any of the liability
issues regarding e-scooter accidents. But as more and more cases are heard
in the country’s courtrooms, more issues of liability in e-scooter
accidents will have to be ironed out so people riding know what to expect
should an accident occur.
Many people who ride e-scooters believe their auto insurance would cover
an accident, but car insurance generally doesn’t cover vehicles
with fewer than four wheels. Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
may cover an accident that occurs on a traditional bicycle, but at this
time, most of those policies do not cover motorized scooter incidents.
That is likely to change as e-scooters gain popularity.
Some tips to protect yourself: Call your car insurance agent or company
and ask how you can get coverage if you’re going to be a frequent
e-scooter rider. If you have a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
policy, you may be able to add what’s referred to as an “umbrella
policy,” which covers more scenarios and includes higher limits
for coverage than typical policies for homeowners and renters.
The best advice regarding e-scooters is to read the terms and conditions
offered on the app prior to signing off on it. While it’s exciting
to hop on an e-scooter and cruise around Indianapolis, you have to realize
you are operating a motor vehicle and your body is exposed and vulnerable
to injury. The safety of others walking, riding, and driving around you
is also an issue. If you cause injury to a person or damage property,
you will be held liable, so it’s important to under liability issues
with e-scooter accidents before you sign off on the manufacturer’s
Talk to Our Attorneys at Tabor Law Firm, LLP
Our firm understands the complexity of insurance cases, and we want to
help those who suffered damages as a result of one. If you are in Indianapolis
and are finding it difficult to gain compensation for an accident of this
type, please get in contact with us. We have the resources, practice,
and skill to help you with a case of this intricacy.
Call us today at (317) 236-9000 or contact us online for a free consultation.