E-scooters are an increasingly popular way of getting around. People are turning to e-scooters as a cheap and eco-friendly form of transport. This surge in popularity is also creating an increase in e-scooter injuries. The Belfast Telegraph reports 223 pedestrians were injured after being hit by e-scooters in the UK in 2021.
While e-scooters can be used in test zones in England and Wales and will be made legal for road use throughout England and Wales, the law is different in Northern Ireland. Here e-scooters should only be used on private land.
E-Scooters and the PSNI
Since it is illegal to ride e-scooters on Northern Ireland’s roads and pavements, their use on public footpaths and roads often results in PSNI involvement. There are several courses of action available to police including:
Formal Warning: The PSNI has confirmed that as a minimum, anyone using an electric scooter in public places will be given a formal warning.
Hefty Fines: Repeat offenders can be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
E-scooter Seizure: Police also have the option of seizing the e-scooter as an uninsured vehicle.
Prosecution: In the most serious cases, e-scooter riders may be reported to the Public Prosecution Service and face prosecution.
E-Scooter Accidents and Injuries
With speeds of up to 40mph involved, it’s no surprise that e-scooter accidents often result in injuries. The fact that there are no age restrictions on buying or riding an e-scooter, the ambiguity around regulations, and those high speeds increase the likelihood of crashes.
E-scooters may have:
Accidents Involving Poor Road Conditions – The rider loses control due to dangerous road surfaces or a pothole.
Accidents Involving Motorists – A vehicle collides with an e-scooter at a junction, while overtaking or when opening a door.
Accidents Involving Cyclists – The e-scooter rider collides with a bicycle.
Accidents Involving Pedestrians – The e-scooter rider collides with a pedestrian or a pedestrian causes the rider to lose their balance.
Depending on the speed involved and other factors, e-scooter accidents can result in injuries of various degrees of severity. Common e-scooter injuries include:
Soft Tissue Injury – Damage to ligaments, muscles and tendons, usually sustained due to a strain, sprain or overload caused by a fall.
Bone Fractures – Broken arms, legs, collarbones, and other bones, usually as a result of impact with the ground.
Lacerations – Tearing or splitting of the skin as a result of the blunt trauma of the collision.
Road Burn or Road Rash – A friction wound to the skin caused by sliding across the road or pavement.
Brain Injury – Traumatic injury caused by impact to the head during the collision.
E-Scooter Accident Claims, Northern Ireland
The different types of e-scooter accident claims in Northern Ireland can be placed into two broad groups depending on who owned the scooter involved in the collision. Was it a privately-owned e-scooter or a rental e-scooter?
Private E-Scooter Accidents If you’re injured in an accident involving a private e-scooter, it’s highly unlikely that the rider has insurance. We can still pursue your claim via the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), the same body that deals with claims involving uninsured drivers.
Rental E-Scooter Accidents If you’re injured by a rental e-scooter, the rider should have insurance in place as part of their rental agreement. That means we can pursue your compensation claim through the insurance company, just like you would if you were injured in a collision involving a car or motorbike.
Who Can Make An E-Scooter Accident Injury Claim?
If you’ve been injured in an incident involving an e-scooter, you might be wondering whether you’re entitled to make a claim. You can make an e-scooter accident claim if you’re:
Riding a hired e-scooter or riding an e-scooter on private property (but not if you’re using a private e-scooter illegally in a public space)
A motorist involved in a collision with an e-scooter
A cyclist injured in an accident involving an e-scooter
A pedestrian struck by an e-scooter
E-Scooter Accident Claim Process
Making an e-scooter accident claim is a very straightforward process, especially with our team of specialist solicitors to guide and support you. We’ll handle every stage of the claim from gathering all the information to arranging your compensation payout, which means you can focus on your recovery. Let’s take a quick look at what you can expect.
Step 1: Contact Reid Black The crucial first step is to pick up the phone or send us an email to arrange a free consultation. We’ll build our understanding of your e-scooter accident and offer some initial legal advice on your claim.
Step 2: Gathering Information Next, we’ll start gathering the information that will form the basis of your claim. This will include your account of the accident, as well as any other relevant evidence to support your claim.
Step 3: Medical Assessment We’ll then arrange for an independent occupational doctor to assess your injuries. This will help to prove the lasting impact the e-scooter accident has had on your life.
Step 4: Compensation Negotiations Drawing on our vast experience of carrying out negotiations in similar claims, we will help you to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Having our solicitors in your corner alleviates any worries you may have about being offered less than you’re entitled to.
Step 5: Compensation Payout With the compensation amount agreed upon, we’ll oversee the payout process to ensure you receive the full amount promptly.
How Long Do I Have To Make An E-Scooter Accident Claim?
You have three years after an e-scooter accident in Northern Ireland in which to make your claim. This does vary slightly depending on your age:
If you were 18 or older at the time of the accident, you must claim within three years of the date of the accident
If you were under 18 at the time of the accident, you must claim within three years of your 18th birthday
Mitigating circumstances — such as if your injuries prevented you from making a claim — occasionally allow these deadlines to be extended. But it is always better to start the process as soon as you can. With that in mind, please get in touch with us for a free consultation as soon after your accident as possible.
How Much Can I Claim For An E-Scooter Accident?
The amount of compensation you can claim for your e-scooter accident will depend on the circumstances and seriousness of the incident. In broad terms, the more serious your injuries, the larger the compensation payout you can expect.
There are two key types of damages for which you can claim compensation:
General Damages You can claim general damages for the injuries you sustained in the e-scooter accident. This might include physical and psychological injuries. Things like the amount of pain you’re in, any short-term or long-term suffering, and the impact on your quality of life are all considered.
Special Damages Special damages can be claimed for the knock-on effects the e-scooter accident has had on your finances. This could include things like care costs, medical expenses, travel costs and loss of earnings.
Why Choose Reid Black?
We’ve been helping people in Northern Ireland get the compensation they deserve since 1993. In that time, we’ve become widely recognised as legal experts in road traffic accident claims. We will use all of that know-how to take a constructive and effective approach to your e-scooter accident claim.
E-scooter accident claims can take longer than standard road traffic accident claims because they often involve tracing insurers or pursuing someone who is uninsured. This makes it important to start your claim as soon as possible.
If you’ve suffered injuries in an e-scooter accident, you should attend A&E or your GP. After that, we will arrange for a medical assessment by an independent occupational doctor as part of your claim process.
No win no fee is not allowed in Northern Ireland like it is in England and Wales. That means no solicitor in Northern Ireland can legally offer a no win no fee arrangement. What we do instead is provide you with a no fee initial consultation to discuss your injury claim.
Yes, apportionment of liability is common in e-scooter accidents. It can be decided that an accident was partly your fault or there can be a dispute over who was at fault and you will still be able to get money.
Let Us Take Care Of Your E-Scooter Accident Claim
Take the first step towards the compensation you deserve by getting in touch with our solicitors today.
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