Who is Liable for Injuries From Rideshare Scooters?
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Who is Liable for Injuries From Rideshare Scooters?

Shared scooter riders in the U.S. took 38.5 million trips last year, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Most people never stopped to think, “If I cause a crash, I could be gravely injured and forced to pay thousands of dollars for the other party’s medical bills, lost wages, pain-and-suffering.” However, rideshare scooter drivers could be held liable for the accidents they cause.  

Does PIP coverage extend to my scooter rental? 

  • PIP coverage is liable if: you or someone in your household has car insurance and crash on a scooter. 

Automobile insurance companies generally do not cover vehicles with less than four wheels. If you are driving an e-scooter and get hit by a car — but you also happen to own a car at home — your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits will cover your injuries up to $15,000. Even if you don’t own a car, you may be able to obtain PIP benefits through a relative you lived with at the time the car struck you. 

Does homeowner’s or renter’s insurance cover scooter crashes? 

  • Homeowner’s/renter’s insurance is liable if: the other party has insurance and gets hit by your scooter. 

Bicyclists are often covered by renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policies. However, this coverage does not apply to motorized bike or scooter drivers. You may have to sue the driver of the vehicle that hit you for PIP. 

Who pays for the other party’s injuries if a car hits my scooter? 

  • The other driver’s auto policy is liable for paying on injuries to the other vehicle in the collision. 

California is a no-fault insurance state, but you may still feel worried if you got into an accident with a motor vehicle and you know the other driver or passengers were gravely injured. Will they turn around and sue you? The other driver and passengers will be covered by the other driver’s auto insurance policy.  

What if you are not from California, but get into a California scooter accident? 

  • You are liable for out-of-pocket payments if you hit a foreigner or out-of-state visitor with a scooter. 

If you are a foreigner or out-of-state visitor hit while driving a scooter, you may file a personal injury claim against the motorist’s insurance company. If you hit a foreigner or visitor on your scooter, they can turn around and sue you personally  

Will health insurance pay for injuries caused by a rideshare scooter? 

  • Health insurance is sometimes liable for paying “reasonable” injury costs, though they may balk at first. 

Health insurance may kick in, but as secondary coverage, only after other options have been exhausted.  

Does Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage apply?  

  • UIM coverage applies in cases of hit-and-run or auto drivers with no insurance. 

If you have a car insurance policy with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can obtain coverage for your injuries IF the other driver was careless, negligent, willful, or directly responsible for causing your injuries.  

Do you have umbrella insurance? 

  • One of the best ways to protect yourself on a scooter is to purchase extra umbrella insurance.  

Personal liability umbrella insurance is an extra insurance policy that covers injuries related to scooters, bicycles, and recreational vehicles.  

When can you be held liable for rideshare scooter injuries? 

Scooter riders can be held responsible for injuries when: 

  • The other party suffers severe catastrophic injury beyond what auto insurance will pay out. 
  • It is determined you were driving the scooter in a grossly negligent, reckless, or malicious manner. 
  • You signed a rental agreement stating you assume all liability for accidents. 

Will scooter companies pay for accidents? 

Many scooter companies require users to sign liability waivers. However, Bird says riders are fully insured for accidents pertaining to a “faulty” Bird scooter. Lime offers at least $1 million in liability coverage for approved claims. If you are injured in a scooter accident, you can sue the company for damages, though it could be an uphill legal battle if you have signed away your rights in the user agreement. 

Contact a California personal injury rideshare scooter attorney at Ellis Injury Law if you have any questions about who is liable for rideshare scooter injuries. The first consultation is always free and it costs nothing upfront to pursue a lawsuit.  

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