The invasion of E-Scooters has begun in Portland, Oregon. As a personal injury firm, we anticipate starting fielding calls from people that were injured by a shared e-scooter rider on the sidewalk. Ross Law PDX also anticipates we will field calls from e-scooter riders that were struck by a vehicle. People are also likely to get injured by tripping over an e-scooter that is laying on the sidewalk. (The E-Scooters are called "litter bikes") Any of these scenarios can result in serious injuries and I hope they do not occur. When they do occur you should know what you need to do. If you are unable to do these task hopefully someone is there to do them for you. Here are a few tips:
- Call EMS if there is an Injury that warrants it.
- Take a Photo of the Driver's License of the Person that was Riding the E-Scooter: This will ensure you have their information to contact them later. The Rideshare E-Scooters Require riders to have a driver's license, so demand to see it.
- Get Witness Information: Use your phone to have witnesses input their name and number. This will allow you to contact them later if you need to.
- Take a Photo of the Electric Scooter Involved: Ensure to get multiple pictures. Include the control panel at the top of the scooter in between the handlebars.
- Take a Photo or short video of the area Surrounding the Scooter: This will help determine what caused the crash and the injury.
The goal is to document what occurred, when it occurred, and who was involved. Cell phones and mobile devices are the best ways to do this. This evidence will be needed to sort out the liability and insurance issues.
Liability and Insurance issues are going to be interesting. The electric scooter companies (Bird, Spin, Lime, etc) are all going to deny any liability and attempt to blame the rider involved in the crash. Their terms of service are drafted in an effort to shield themselves from any liability. However, the analysis is more complicated than that.
These companies flooded the streets with a dangerous product that is easily accessible to the public. They do not provide helmets, there are no training requirements, and they permit the scooters to be left anywhere on the sidewalks. This creates a major tripping hazard. It is anticipated that the courts will need to sort out who is liable in the various scenarios that occur.
Insurance for shared e-scooters is also going to become interesting. Who will pay the medical bills of a person injured in an incident with a shared e-scooter? Will the consumer's policies cover crashes under their auto policy? Will the companies step up and their insurance will cover them?
Time will tell how this plays out. In the meantime, Call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 if you have any legal issues involving an injury on a shared e-scooter in Portland Oregon. Jeremiah Ross is a Portland Personal Injury lawyer happy to offer free case evaluations for persons injured by the negligence of others. Please remember the tips above are not an exclusive list, and are not to be construed as legal advice.