A Kent lawyer specialising in personal injury claims has warned that the victims of electric scooter accidents could face difficulties in claiming compensation, while the riders of illegal e-scooters will not be covered under personal motor insurance policies.
While Canterbury is one of a number of English cities that is hosting a trial rental scheme, it remains illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter in the UK, except on private land.
However, Kent Police has seen a surge in their usage, seizing 23 illegally ridden e-scooters on Kent streets in the first half of 2021, compared to five in the whole of 2020.
The current government-backed trial schemes allow e-scooters to be ridden on designated public roads when they have been rented through a licenced hire scheme. These rental e-scooters are restricted to speeds of 15.5 mph and require the rider to hold a full or provisional driving licence.
Kelly Richardson, a Chartered Legal Executive specialising in personal injury cases at Kent law firm Furley Page, said: “The government-backed trial schemes ensure rental companies must provide an insurance policy for users of their vehicles. However, it is not currently possible to get appropriate insurance for privately owned e-scooters, meaning it is illegal to use them on the road or in public spaces.
“The first thing you must do if an e-scooter rider causes you injury is get the rider’s full name and contact details. This will enable you to trace the person responsible after the event, which can often prove difficult because these vehicles don’t carry number plates.”
While this process of claiming compensation could be arduous for a victim of an accident involving an e-scooter, the illegal rider could face far more serious problems, including a Fixed Penalty Notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points. They would also be unlikely to receive full compensation if they are injured themselves as private e-scooters are illegal.
If you have been in an accident involving an e-scooter, contact Kelly Richardson or a member of Furley Page’s Personal Injury team for a free consultation on 01227 763939 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org