Injured by an E-Scooter Rider? Get Free Legal Advice

Who is Responsible for an E-Scooter Accident?

Britain is set to see considerably more electric scooters in public areas in the near future, due to the surging popularity of the vehicles and signs that the government is set to legalise their personal use in the next 12 months. This means that the risk posed by irresponsible, inexperienced and incompetent e-scooter riders to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists will increase dramatically.

One of the current issues is the lack of clarity about where e-scooters are allowed to be ridden. For example, it is illegal to ride privately-owned e-scooters on roads, in cycle lanes and on pavements, but rental e-scooters can be used on roads and in cycle lanes. Under current legislation, e-scooters are limited to 15.5mph, however, thousands of people are flouting the law by riding privately-owned e-scooters that can easily exceed the speed limit, and also by riding them in prohibited public areas like roads, roundabouts, pavements, footpaths and shopping centres.

  • E-Scooter Accident Statistics
  • E-Scooter Accident Injuries
  • Legal Liability for E-Scooter Accidents
  • E-Scooter Accident Compensation Claims
  • Solicitors Advising About Who is Liable for an E-Scooter Accident
The latest provisional UK government data shows there were nine deaths and 390 serious injuries caused by collisions involving e-scooters in 2021, and the number of accidents that go unreported or unrecorded for whatever reason is likely to be running into the thousands annually. With sales of the vehicles surging by 71% during the pandemic and police confiscating thousands of personal use e-scooters, these statistics are likely to get significantly worse before they get better as the country adapts to routine e-scooter use in public areas.

You can find out more about government figures estimating the number of personal injury road traffic collisions involving e-scooters in 2021 on our blog.
The latest data available shows that the three most common types of injury sustained in collisions involving e-scooters (to both e-scooter riders and other road users) are:

1) Shallow cuts/lacerations/abrasions
2) Bruising
3) Sprains and strains


These injury types are classified as slight in terms of severity, however, the next five most common injury types, all classified as serious injuries, show the true level of risk for those involved in e-scooter accidents:

4) Fractured lower leg, ankle, foot
5) Other (non-severe) head injury
6) Fractured arm, collarbone, hand
7) Deep cuts, lacerations
8) Severe head injury, unconscious
So who is responsible for an e-scooter accident? If one of the vehicles is involved in an accident while riding above the 15.5mph speed limit, the rider will be breaking the law and therefore culpable. If an e-scooter is being ridden irresponsibly in a public space, for example, on a pavement, going the wrong way up a one-way street or riding through a red light, the rider will usually be responsible in the event of an accident.

Motorists may crash into an e-scooter if the rider pulls out in front of them suddenly, and if the rider’s actions made the accident unavoidable, the motorist would not be to blame. For collisions involving cyclists and e-scooter riders, liability will depend on the specific circumstances; in the event of a collision between an e-scooter and a pedestrian, the e-scooter rider will normally always be held responsible.

E-scooter riders are expected to have the same road sense and situational awareness as all other road users, and if they ride dangerously they will be legally liable for the consequences of accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists or motorists. Failure to stop will also aggravate an e-scooter rider’s culpability in the event of an accident.
Only e-scooters that are rented in one of the government’s 30 trial areas can legally be used on public roads in the UK, and only riders renting an e-scooter from a registered provider will be covered by public liability insurance in the event of an accident and a personal injury claim being made against them. Private e-scooter riders are not allowed to use the vehicles on public roads or pavements, and are not required to hold third party insurance, making compensation claims against them more difficult, but not impossible, depending on the specific circumstances of an accident and the rider in question.

The government has recently confirmed that the current rental e-scooter trials taking place across England will now be extended until at least May 31, 2024. Launched in 2020, the trials have already been extended a number of times and were due to end in November 2022. Local authorities will now have the option to either end their trial in November or extend it until the end of May 2024.

It is likely that the use of private e-scooters on public roads will be legalised by that date, as the government has already gathered information on e-scooter safety, and plans to create a "low-speed, zero-emission vehicle category" as part of a new Transport Bill. The government’s Transport Committee is enthusiastic about legalising the public use of private e-scooters due to their eco-friendly credentials, sustainability, affordability, and positive impact on traffic congestion. Legalisation will mean that all e-scooter riders will need insurance when using their vehicles on public roads and in public places.
If you are a pedestrian, cyclist or motorist and have been injured in an accident involving an e-scooter, contact our firm for expert legal advice from solicitors who are themselves cyclists with experience of e-scooters and e-bikes, and who have recently handled e-scooter accident compensation claims.

Read a case study: Compensation for Pedestrian Hit by an E-Scooter.

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E-Scooter Accident Team:

Cycling Accident Solicitors
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