E-scooter driver seeking compensation after being seriously injured in London set to be test case

An e-scooter rider seeking compensation after being seriously injured when overtaken by a London bus is set to be a test for the estimated 750,000 two-wheelers in use on public roads.

The man, in his 50s, suffered multiple fractured ribs, a dislocated right shoulder and collapsed lung, followed by pneumonia, when he was pinched by the rear-view mirror outside the bus one summer morning last year.

He had a long stay in hospital, still has limited arm movement as well as chest pain, and now his team of lawyers is seeking tens of thousands of pounds in compensation from the bus company’s insurers .

However, as private e-scooters are only legally permitted on private land, anyone who sustains an injury while riding one on a public road might not be able to sue a motorist, even if they can prove the driver’s fault. implied.

An e-scooter who suffered multiple fractured ribs, a dislocated right shoulder and a collapsed lung, followed by pneumonia, after being cut off by an overtaking London bus, is seeking compensation from the bus company’s insurers ( stock picture)

Ben Pepper, a partner solicitor 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 happened, “took precautions reasonable and rode his e-scooter safely’.

He told The Times: ‘If he had cycled instead, he probably 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 complaint shows there is “a lack of adequate laws to keep people safe” when it comes to e-scooter riders on the roads.

He added: “We hope this case will help clarify the legal position of those injured in electric scooter accidents where the private electric scooter was driven on a public road.

“But we really need new legislation urgently and we are calling on the government to implement laws to make electric scooters safer for drivers and other road users and to enable injured people to access to compensation.”

Ben Pepper, a partner solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp (BBK), a London law firm, which represents the injured electric scooter driver, said his client’s claim shows there is “a lack of adequate laws to ensure the safety of people”. comes to electric scooter riders on the roads

The latest claim comes after police reported a huge rise in electric scooter crashes, with at least one a day in London, compared to just nine for the whole of 2018.

Latest figures show there were 258 collisions in the capital in the first six months of last year.

In comparison, there were only nine in 2018, dropping to 38 in 2019.

As the popularity of electric scooters took off, 2020 saw 266 accidents. But that figure is likely to be dwarfed by the final 2021 total.

There have also been a series of serious accidents across the country in recent months. More recently, a pensioner 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 bleed.

Weeks earlier an inquest heard how a teenager was listening to music on his headphones when he left a footpath and hit an oncoming car in Portsmouth. George McGowan, 19, died after suffering a brain injury.

According to the Department of Transport, electric scooters are classified as “motor transporters” and meet the legal definition of a “motor vehicle”.

They must therefore meet a number of requirements in order to be used on the road, including having insurance and complying with “technical standards”.

Private electric scooters are considered illegal to use on the roads in Britain.

The Metropolitan Police said riders risked being fined or even having penalty points added to their licence. Drivers also risk having their electric scooters seized by the police.

The Department for Transport said electric scooters are covered by the Road Traffic Act of 1988, which also includes Segways, hoverboards, go-peds (combustion engine scooters), electric unicycles and U-wheels.

The ban does not apply to electrically assisted pedal bicycles.

Private e-scooters are only legally permitted on private land, meaning anyone who sustains an injury while riding one on a public road might not be able to prosecute a motorist, even if they can prove the driver’s fault involved (stock image)

Electric scooters are not permitted on public roads unless rented from government-backed trial programs available in certain areas.

They were involved in 460 accidents 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 on the tube at Parsons Green tube station.

Labour’s London Assembly policing and crime spokesman Unmesh Desai – who obtained the latest figures – said last week: ‘The use of illegal electric scooters on our roads and our sidewalks puts Londoners at significant risk of harm, especially the most vulnerable in our communities. .’

In July 2020 the UK Government introduced legislation testing the use of e-scooters, through local authorities, for a period of 12 months through licensed hire companies. Vehicles are capped at 15.5 mph. Some 32 locations 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 permission from the owner.

Can you legally use an e-scooter on the road or on the sidewalk?

According to the Department of Transport, electric scooters are classified as “motor transporters” and meet the legal definition of a “motor vehicle”.

They must therefore meet a number of requirements in order to be used on the road, including having insurance and complying with “technical standards”.

Private electric scooters are considered illegal to use on the roads in Britain. the The Metropolitan Police said riders risked being fined or even having penalty points added to their licence. Drivers also risk having their electric scooters seized by the police.

In May 2019, the Metropolitan Police carried out an operation in London to seize electric scooters that were being used illegally on city streets.

The Met has warned electric scooter users not to drive their machines on the road

The Department for Transport said electric scooters are covered by the Road Traffic Act of 1988, which also includes Segways, hoverboards, go-peds (combustion engine scooters), electric unicycles and U-wheels.

The ban does not apply to electrically assisted pedal bicycles.

According to the Department for Transport: “For motor vehicles to use public roads legally, they must meet a number of different requirements. These include insurance; compliance with technical standards and usage standards; payment of tax on vehicles, registration and registration; driving tests and driving licenses; and the use of appropriate safety equipment.

“If the user of a motor carrier could meet these requirements, he could in principle be allowed to use public roads. However, it is likely that they will have great difficulty complying with all of these requirements, meaning that using them on the road would be a criminal offence.

In July 2020 the UK Government introduced legislation testing the use of e-scooters, through local authorities, for a period of 12 months through licensed hire companies. Vehicles are capped at 15.5 mph. Some 32 locations 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 permission from the owner.

Earnest L. Veasey