Electric scooter popularity has exploded. Electric scooters are also called e-scooters. And, unfortunately, accidents and injuries will soon follow.
Currently, there are 7 electric scooter rental companies in Florida. They are Bird, Lime, Lyft Scooters, Bolt, Spin, Uber Jump and Gotcha.
I’ve heard that in Brickell (near Downtown Miami), electric scooters are everywhere.
If car hits you while you’re on an e-scooter, you need to know how to handle your claim.
Whose insurance will pay your medical bills? Can you get paid for pain and suffering? I’ll answer these questions in a moment.
You also need to know the settlement value of your personal injury case.
Otherwise, you’ll be leaving money on the table. Don’t kid yourself. Many people leave lots of money on the table when settling a case.
In this article, I’ll discuss everything you need to know so that you don’t destroy your electric scooter accident case.
E-Scooter Companies Don’t Have Insurance
First off, don’t expect the electric scooter company to have insurance coverage.
If you’re a passenger in an Uber car, Uber gives you up to $1 million of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Lyft isn’t too far behind with $250,000 in UM coverage. This is nice. Real nice.
It’s one of the reasons that I like writing about Uber car accident settlements. It’s nice to write about claims where the injured person actually has insurance to make the claim against. Basically, there is money to pay the fair settlement value of the case.
However, if you rent an electric scooter with Uber JUMP, you get no insurance. At least not through Uber.
The same is true if you rent a Lyft scooter. This isn’t so nice.
There likely won’t be any PIP or uninsured motorist insurance on the e-scooter. Regardless of which company you rent the electric scooter from.
But you may still be entitled to this valuable coverage.
I’ll explain in a moment.
What Happens if a Car Hits You While You’re on an Electric Scooter?
If a car hits you while you’re on an e-scooter in Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance may pay you benefits.
In general, PIP will pay for up to $10,000 of your medical bills and lost wages. But this assumes that you qualify for PIP.
Not everyone who rides an electric scooter qualifies for PIP.
If you’re on an e-scooter, you’ll qualify for PIP if you meet one of a few scenarios.
If you own a car in Florida, your car’s PIP insurance will give you PIP benefits. You need to report the scooter accident to your auto insurer.
The police officer may have given you a copy of the driver exchange of information (or crash report). If so, give it to your car insurance company.
What happens if you’re hit while on a scooter but you don’t own a car?
If you don’t own a car, then you can get PIP benefits through a relative who you lived with at the time the car hit you.
If you didn’t own a car and didn’t live with a relative at the time of the accident, then the vehicle that struck you will give you PIP benefits.
Will the Car’s PIP Pay Benefits if You Were Visiting Florida from Another State (or Country)?
No. You only get PIP through the other car’s insurance company if you lived in Florida at the time of the accident.
Out of state residents who are hit while on a scooter in Florida can’t make a PIP claim with the car’s insurer. The same is true for foreigners.
However, both out of state visitors and foreigners can still make a personal injury claim against the car’s insurance company.
The good news for out of state visitors and foreigners?
They likely won’t need a permanent injury in order to get money for pain and suffering.
Florida residents may have a tougher case because they likely need to meet the tort threshold in order to get money for pain and suffering.
The tort threshold most commonly is met if the injured person has a permanent injury.
However, many Florida juries find that the injured person doesn’t have a permanent injury. This is because the at fault driver’s insurer gets to send you to a doctor of their choosing.
And you guessed it. Their doctor usually says that your injuries are not permanent.
Now, a scooter rider can make a personal injury claim against the car that hit him or her. This is true for Florida residents, out of state visitors and foreigners.
Overall, a scooter rider’s personal injury claim is most similar to a bicyclist’s claim. The rules of the road are similar for them.
Will Health Insurance Cover You If You’re Hit by a Car While on an Electric Scooter?
Yes. However, your health insurance company will first want to see if PIP insurance pays your medical bills.
When you get medical treatment, the doctor or hospital wants to get paid. In order to get paid, they need to complete a billing form. Every billing form (HCFA) has the question:
Were the injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident?
If the doctor checks the “Yes” box, your health insurer will likely deny payment until the PIP insurer accepts or rejects the bill.
Do You Have to Pay Back Your Health Insurer If You Settle a Scooter Case?
It will depend on the type of health insurance that you have.
For example, did you have private insurance or did you get your insurance through work?
If you got your insurance through your employer, is your employer a small company?
Or did you work for Walt Disney World, Walmart or Publix Supermarkets?
If you worked for one of these huge companies, you”ll likely have to pay them back dollar for dollar. Or at least they can require it.
If you worked for small company, they are required to reduce the payback amount by your attorney’s fees and costs. That’s just one advantage to hiring an injury lawyer. There are many other benefits.
Will a Car’s Insurance Pay You Money if a Car Hits You While You’re On an Electric Scooter?
Yes, if the driver of the car was careless and this caused your injury.
The bad news?
Unfortunately, bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance is not required on most cars in Florida. Yes, you heard that right.
And to top it off, many drivers in Florida are uninsured. In fact, I have to reject cases every week because there is no insurance coverage.
On the other hand, I’ve settled cases with large BIL insurance policies. I’ve seen several million dollar policies.
I usually see big BIL policies for large trucks (like 18 wheelers). Trucks that are owned by big corporations usually have big insurance policies.
Will Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover You If a Car Hits You While You’re on an Electric Scooter?
Yes, if you’re insured under a car insurance policy with uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This assumes that a driver of a vehicle was careless and caused your accident (and injuries).
Uninsured motorist insurance on you’re own car or a resident relative’s car will cover you while you’re on an electric scooter.
This is true regardless of whether you’re covered with non-stacking or stacked UM coverage.
However, with stacking UM coverage, you’ll likely be entitled to more uninsured motorist coverage. This assumes that there is more than one vehicle on the car insurance policy with stacking coverage.
With a stacking UM policy, the amount of UM coverage will be the number of vehicles on the stacking policies multiplied by the limits of UM coverage.
How Much is an Electric Scooter Accident Case Worth?
The biggest factor that affects case value if the severity of your injuries. In fact, a car insurance company assigns the case to a different level depending on how badly the scooter rider is hurt.
The first is that a broken bone can be seen on an x-ray. You can’t usually see a back injury on an x-ray.
And number two, a broken bone is always caused by an accident. Back pain could be old. Or perhaps the accident caused or worsened it.
But it’s not always a given that a scooter accident causes back pain. The same is true for neck, shoulder and knee pain.
On the other hand, if you’re diagnosed with a broken hand or leg at the hospital after a scooter accident, you can bet that the accident caused it. Or at least 99% of the time it did.
Injured in an Electric Scooter Accident in Florida?
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