Have you been in an accident while riding an electric scooter and are not at fault?
If you are a regular driver of one of these personal mobility vehicles (VMP), it is important that you know some aspects of the new Traffic Law (in force since March 2022) that may affect you.
Remember that using the scooter appropriately at all times can prevent many problems, especially when settling liability in the event of an accident and, consequently, to clarify whether or not you are entitled to compensation.
Let’s look at how you should ride with your electric scooter:
Within cities, they can only go down the road. This is important: they are prohibited from driving on pavements, as well as on motorways, highways or urban tunnels.
They can use the bike lane, provided that this is not prohibited by the applicable laws in the area.
Only one person can travel on any VMP, as they are equipped with a single place.
You must wear a helment in those municipalities where this is required and comply with the set rules as road users.
You must also follow the same rules regarding the consumption of alcohol and drugs as the rest of the drivers. BEWARE: the 0.0 alcohol rate for minors in any type of vehicle, scooters and bicycles has now come into force.
Headphones connected to receivers or music and sound players cannot be worn to prevent loss of perception in situations where your safety is at risk.
If it is determined that you have followed all these rules, if you suffer a collision while driving your electric scooter and you are not responsible for it, you have the right to claim compensation for the damages suffered.
What should you do if you have a collision while riding an electric scooter?
It is important to know that VMPs are not required to take out insurance (in some cities such as Barcelona this is now mandatory for VMPs belonging to rental companies), so if you are hit by another VMP or a bicycle, they may very well not have liability insurance to cover damages.
In this sense, some home insurance policies have included liability coverage that could cover these types of accidents. This is one of the things to find out in case of an accident.
We reiterate the recommendation to take out civil liability insurance if you use these vehicles regularly. Today you may be affected, but tomorrow you may be responsible for an accident.
If the collision was caused by a motorcycle or a car, their insurance must cover the damages by paying compensation.
In short, if you are involved in an accident in which you are hit while driving your scooter, there are a series of steps to take to request compensation for the damages suffered:
It is important to find out the personal details of the driver of the other vehicle, licence plate and insurance company, if any. In this sense, it is important to know if it is their own vehicle and has insurance, if it is a rented vehicle, etc.
We recommend notifying the local police so that they can write their statement and collect the version of those involved. Of course, if there is personal injury, it is just as important to notify emergency services or go to a facility so they can write up an injuries report.
It is also vital to take eyewitnesses’ details and take photographs of the place, damage to the scooter, of the injuries, etc.
If you have been hit by a car, you will have to deal with the issues through insurance. You can claim physical and material damages, the latter through expert opinion by the insurance.
While coming to an amicable agreement is always the best option in the event of an injury, in some cases you will be forced to make a claim, even going through judicial means. Having a lawyer specialising in these types of accidents can be the difference between receiving or not the compensation to which you are really entitled.
A specialised collision lawyer is the only person who will be able to properly counsel you and guide you through the steps to follow in the medical and legal proceedings so that you get the highest compensation.
The first thing you should do is call the police to prepare a certificate that will prove that the driver is at fault to give to your insurer.
If you are in a collision, it is also important to contact eyewitnesses since their statement is often key in determining who is at fault for the accident.
You can claim for personal injuries you have suffered, all other financial damages that the accident may have caused you and for personal objects or belongings damaged as a result of the accident, such as clothing, mobile phone, etc.
This will depend on whether it is clear who is at fault for the accident. If the perpetrator accepts responsibility, the insurer should not cause any problems and should pay the compensation within a maximum of 3 months as stipulated by law.
ONANDIA LAWYERS BARCELONA
Barcelona-based lawyers specialised in
traffic and occupational accidents
and medical malpractice. Civil liability.
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