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Who is Liable for Injuries in a Lime Scooter Accident in Ohio?

Post By Corey Heit

For the most part, the legal principles that apply to pedestrian and bicycle accidents also apply to crashes involving the e-scooters people rent from micromobility startups like Bird and Lime. A car or truck driver will be liable for settling injury claims when the driver caused the collision. In cases where the scooter rider is determined to be primarily responsible, the rider will need to rely on their own health insurance policy.

Very few people who use Bird or Lime scooter will find it possible to sue the company. More on that later.

Who’s Liable When a Driver Hits a Scooter Rider?

The answer will depend on how and where the collision occurred. Ohio courts recognize the concept of comparative negligence, which means that the person who is 51 percent responsible for causing a crash has a legal duty to compensate the individuals who suffer injuries from the collision. In real-world terms, a distracted or speeding driver who hits a scooter rider from behind while the rider is operating close to the curb in the right-hand lane will almost definitely be found at-fault and liable for scooter accident compensation in Ohio.

Another consideration, however, is that scooter riders must comply with local ordinances in order to succeed with personal injury claims. In Columbus, for instance, people who rent Bird or Lime scooters must stay on the road, in bike lanes or on designated shared-use paths. They must also ride one to a scooter, ride sober, stay off freeways, keep their speed below 20 mph, obey traffic signals, and yield right of way to pedestrians. A rider who violates any of those rules will probably not succeed in holding a driver liable even if the driver also committed traffic violations.

Who’s Liable When an e-Scooter Rider Crashes on Their Own?

The majority of Lime or Bird scooter accidents in Ohio will involve a rider falling from the device. The company will almost always be able to avoid liability.

The e-scooter rental terms of service that each person who uses a Lime or Bird app must accept places responsibility for safe operation on the rider. Riders are also encouraged to wear helmets. Just like a person who rents a car or truck will be held responsible for crashing, so will an e-scooter renter.

The limited circumstances under which a micro mobility company like Lime or Bird could be held liable would include knowingly renting devices with recognized defects and actively encouraging unsafe use. Civil lawsuits have been filed on such grounds, but none has so far succeeded in assigning liability to the companies.

What Happens When a Scooter Rider Gets injured by a Hit-and-Run Driver?

Lime and Bird users who carry uninsured motorist coverage through their own car insurance policy will be able to file personal injury claims with their insurance company. The coverage is not required in Ohio, but accepting the option can provide valuable protection against suffering financial difficulties after falling victim to a negligent or reckless driver who flees the scene of an accident.

If you need legal advice and representation following a Lime or Bird scooter accident in Ohio, consider reaching out to Corey Heit to schedule a free consultation. He schedules appointments online, and he takes cases in Columbus, Westerville, and across Franklin County. To speak with Corey directly, call (614) 898-5300.

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