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E-scooters – a cool, convenient and eco-friendly way to commute or a modern-day menace and fast-track to casualty? 

The evidence to support the latter is certainly gaining momentum, with the number of e-scooter patients on the rise at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), according to the latest study carried out by resident medical officer, Kyle Raubenheimer.

These statistics have since been underlined by the recent injuries suffered by privately-owned e-scooter riders experiencing injuries such as head injuries, internal organ damage or broken bones. Raubenheimer’s research shows that drugs, alcohol and helmets have played a major role. In a further study, drugs and alcohol have also contributed.

The most striking and shocking recent stories have been vehicle collisions and young children on e-scooters without any protection.

In Western Australia, it is a legal requirement for children and adults to wear a helmet when riding a scooter or bike powered by an electric motor and only people aged over the age of 16 are permitted to use eRideables. However, children under the age of 16 years can ride a low-powered electric scooter which does not exceed 200w or 10km/h.

With eRideables surpassing fad status, there is little sign of the brakes being applied to the acceleration in the numbers of e-scooters on the roads of towns and cities.

The laws in Western Australia over wearing helmets or maintaining proper control of an eRideable device at all times are clear, and eRiders are subject to the same drink and drug driving laws as motor vehicle drivers. Should an eRider have an accident on the road without adhering to these laws, it could affect their eligibility to make a claim.

Riders in the wrong – in respect of taking to public roads using their own scooter – who do find themselves hurt because of another’s actions should not, however, immediately dismiss the prospect of financial recompense.

While insurers will be quick to cite ex turpi causa – a doctrine dictating a claimant is unable to benefit through the courts for a legal action that arises from their own illegal act – as a rationale for not coughing up compensation, they will not always be right to do so.

Take, by way of an extreme example, a motorist behind the wheel of a car without a valid AIS Inspection Certificate or Form VL17 approved being hit head-on by a vehicle travelling on the wrong side of a carriageway. The missing documentation does not automatically rule out compensation or clear others of any wrongdoing.

Fortunately, such nuances are well-known to the team at Accident Claims Lawyers, who have a long track record of bringing clarity to complex cases and securing settlements for deserving clients.

For those whose lives are thrown off balance by the emergence of e-scooters, Accident Claims Lawyers will bring stability and peace of mind to their recovery journey.

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