For many people it is already their favourite means of transport in the city. However, for the vast majority of them, many doubts still arise when they face the situation of having to file a claim for compensation for an electric scooter accident. The reason is that until January 2021, when the regulation on personal mobility vehicles (VMP) came into force, there was no specific regulation in these cases, so it was necessary to resort to the different municipal ordinances and regulations of each city council.
In this article, we explain how to act if you suffer an accident on an electric scooter.
Accident as an electric scooter rider
As in any other traffic accident, if as the driver of an electric scooter you are hit by a motor vehicle and it is proven that you are not at fault, you have the right to claim compensation from your insurer for all the personal and material damages caused to you. On the other hand, if you are at fault, you cannot claim any amount.
Also in accidents involving an electric scooter, there is "contributory fault". In other words, when it is not clear who is solely liable, both the scooter driver and the driver of the motor vehicle can claim compensation from the insurance company. The amount they will receive will be proportional to the degree of fault they each have in the accident.
However, in the event that the other party involved is another vehicle which, like the electric scooter, is not obliged to have liability insurance, then a legal claim will have to be made against the other driver, who will be liable with his or her personal assets.
As in any accident, it is very important to clarify the circumstances and liability in order to know who to claim compensation from.
The way in which financial compensation is calculated is the same in an electric scooter accident as in any other traffic accident. It will be necessary to use the damage assessment system established by Law 35/2015, of 22nd September.
This system establishes the following items for which you can claim if you suffer a scooter accident.
Compensation for temporary injuries in scooter accidents
In this item, the victim of a scooter accident will be compensated for the days that pass since the accident occurred, until the date on which he/she finishes his/her rehabilitation treatment for the temporary injuries suffered or medical discharge.
According to the accident scale, each day will be valued with a different amount depending on the damage it entails for the injured party. For this purpose, the days are classified as follows:
- Days of very serious particular harm: when there is admission to the ICU.
- Days of serious particular harm: the days of hospital admission.
- Days of moderate particular harm: when the injured person is on sick leave.
- Days of basic personal injury: all other days.
In addition, the injured person will also be financially compensated for each of the surgical interventions that he/she needs.
Compensation for after-effects of a scooter accident
The compensation for after-effects or permanent disability will compensate the physical, aesthetic and psychological damages that remain after the healing or rehabilitation treatment has been completed.
The after-effects are assessed on the basis of a points system in the accident scale. This table is used by a doctor specialised in the valuation of the injury to draw up a report in which he assigns a determined score to each after-effect.
Based on this report and taking into account the age of the injured party, the amount to be claimed under this heading will be established. In addition, an additional amount can be claimed in case the victim's personal autonomy has been affected. This amount will depend on whether the loss of quality of life is very serious, serious, moderate or slight.
Compensation for patrimonial loss
Here, under this heading, the victim will be compensated for the financial loss suffered as a result of the scooter accident.
When claiming compensation for patrimonial injury, we have to take into account three types of damage:
- The material damage caused to the scooter or other personal belongings that the victim was carrying at the time of the accident and which were damaged.
- Emerging damage, which refers to all the health care expenses incurred by the injured party during the healing period, as well as those resulting from the after-effects.
- Loss of earnings. That is, the income that has ceased to be received after the traffic accident as a result of the injuries suffered.
Example of compensation
Here is an example of compensation for an electric scooter accident received in 2021. The schedule is updated every year, so this amount may vary at present.
While riding his scooter, J. S., who was 35 years old at the time, was hit by a car that ran a stop sign. As a result, J.S. suffered a series of injuries for which he received the following compensation:
- Moderate personal injury (days off work): 61 days x 54.78 €/day = 3,341.58 €.
- Basic personal injury (remaining days until rehabilitation is completed): 61 x 31.61 €/day = 1,928.21 €.
- Pain in shoulder (3 points) = 2.676,82 €.
- Slight aesthetic damage (4 points) = €3,647.05
- Patrimonial Injury:
- Repair of scooter and helmet = 300 €.
- Loss of earning = 500 €.
- Emerging damage (pharmacy expenses) = 120 €.
The total amount of compensation was €12,513.66.
How long does it take to receive compensation?
The time it takes for the victim to receive compensation for the electric scooter accident depends on two factors:
- How long it takes to recover or stabilise the temporary injuries sustained and therefore to obtain a medical discharge.
- The willingness of the insurance company.
Once the recovery treatment is completed, then the after-effects, if any, and the extent of the patrimonial injury must be quantified.
After submitting the claim for compensation to the insurer, the injured party will receive a reasoned offer from the insurer. Depending on whether or not the offer is accepted, the time to receive compensation will vary.
If the victim accepts the insurance company's offer, he will receive his compensation within 30 days maximum. If, on the other hand, the victim considers that the offer does not correspond to the damages suffered, he or she will have to claim through the courts. In that case, the recovery may be delayed for months or years depending on the court and whether the insurer wants to settle out of court.
Problems in electric scooter accidents
Following the boom of electric scooter in recent years and the consequent increase in the number of accidents involving electric scooters, a number of problems have been identified which are common in this type of accident and which have an impact on the claim for compensation:
- The injuries that victims often suffer are more similar to those of a motorcyclist than to those of a cyclist. This will therefore influence both the compensation for temporary injuries and the compensation for after-effects.
- Lack of knowledge of the rules applicable to electric scooters. Many scooter riders are minors who do not know the rules of the road. In these cases, it is their legal guardians who must take responsibility for any damage they cause.
- Speeding, riding without wearing a helmet, listening to music or without reflective or audible elements that warn other drivers of their presence. In the event that liability is attributable to negligence on the part of the scooter driver, he/she will lose the right to claim any type of compensation.
Advice after an electric scooter accident
We give you the following advice so that in the event of a electric scooter accident, you know what to do:
- No matter if you have not suffered serious injuries, call 112 or go to the hospital within 72 hours. Damage often appears within hours of the accident.
- Sometimes it is difficult to determine responsibility, so call the police or the Guardia Civil to draw up a report and clarify the causes and responsibility for the accident.
- It is advisable to have witnesses and collect their contact details in case their statement is necessary.
- If the driver of the accident tries to escape, try to memorise the number plate or the vehicle's characteristics.