Lexington residents who commute to and from work by car, public transportation, bicycle, or on foot now have a new way to get around downtown Lexington. Starting October 22, Lime and Spin are launching electric scooters in the city. Initially, Lexington residents will see around 360 e-scooters around the city. While some say that electric scooters are a healthier, eco-friendlier, and more fun alternative to other means of transportation, others are worried about the risks associated with riding electric scooters. Since e-scooters are a rather new phenomenon in Kentucky and elsewhere in the U.S., filing a personal injury claim in the event of a motorist, pedestrian, or rider sustaining a brain injury in an accident involving an e-scooter can become a confusing process. Speak with a Lexington personal injury attorney from Roberts Law Office to determine liability in your e-scooter accident.
Rules for Riding E-Scooters in Lexington
This past summer, Lexington lawmakers approved an ordinance to promote safety and prevent accidents involving electric scooters. These rules include prohibiting e-scooter riders from operating on sidewalks, requiring them to obey traffic laws, and only ride on the streets, as well as park in designated areas. According to WKYT citing Lime’s Kentucky Operations Manager Adam Bolin, companies offering e-scooter rental services want to protect not only their riders but also the pedestrians and “everybody else in the city.” Lexington’s ordinance classifies electric rides as non-motorized vehicles, which is why the same traffic rules apply to riders of e-scooters. Meaning, you can still be arrested for driving under the influence, though an e-scooter DUI does not carry the same penalties as operating a motor vehicle under the influence.
Liability for E-Scooter Rider’s Injury
The most complicated aspect remains the question of liability in electric scooter accidents. First and foremost, in most collisions involving e-scooters, auto insurance will not cover any type of liability. Electric scooters are speed-limited in Lexington to 15 miles per hour. Luckily, the city has a good infrastructure and bike lanes that can be used by both bicycle and e-scooter riders. Electric scooters will only work inside New Circle Road initially. Lexington residents who want to find a ride in the city and rent an e-scooter will need to get the respective company’s app on their smartphone. Electric scooters have also been introduced to the University of Kentucky’s campus. However, school officials are urging students to be careful when getting on and off e-scooters as there are crowds of students on sidewalks in between classes.
Does a Waiver Limit a Rental Company’s Liability?
Since rental companies require riders to use their app to rent and pay for the e-scooter, many people are concerned about signing a waiver that could potentially help these companies escape liability. The waiver is supposed to warn and educate riders before allowing them to use a rental e-scooter in Lexington. However, some say these safety tutorials are over 200 pages long, which makes it unlikely that all riders will actually read these waivers. But does putting your e-signature on a waiver mean that the company such as Lime or Spin cannot be held liable for your back injury or broken bones? After all, reports of e-scooter riders getting injured are not uncommon, and in a large percentage of such accidents, the injury occurs due to defective or improperly maintained parts and components such as locked brakes, tire issues, collapsed handlebars, and others.
If your injury occurred while riding a rental e-scooter, you might want to speak with a Lexington personal injury attorney. Contact Roberts Law Office to discuss your particular case and determine whether the rental company can be held liable. Call at (859) 231-0202 for a free case evaluation.