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Mobility Scooter Accidents – Where Do You Stand Legally?

Mobility scooters give their users an invaluable freedom they would otherwise find impossible. We would like to believe that the vast majority of pedestrians and road users understand this and give scooter users the space and respect they need to go about their business safely.

Unfortunately however, accidents do happen, no matter how hard we try to prevent them.

In a Government report at the start of this year it was found that 7% of the population had been injured or knew a family member, close friend or colleague that had been injured in an accident with a mobility scooter. That’s a staggering 3.3 million people. Now no one is blaming the scooter drivers for all these accidents, too many people walk around without paying attention to their surroundings, engrossed on their mobile phone, i-pod or some other trimming of 21st century life.

The question is then, how can a mobility scooter user protect themselves from any unpleasant ramifications after an accident? The simple answer is insurance. Although not compulsory from a legal perspective, it cannot be recommended enough.

There was a high profile case reported in many UK newspapers recently of a woman who was being forced to pay nearly £6,000 to a supermarket worker who she injured in a collision on a supermarket aisle. She argued it was not her fault, but the worker claimed she was not driving safely enough. Surprisingly, the scooter didn’t even hit the woman directly. She allegedly ran into a stock trolley, which in turn ran into the worker’s leg. The legal decision made her negligent and liable. In layman’s terms, it was her fault.

Now here’s the crucial point, in this particular case, the woman did not have insurance and in such cases the person is responsible for paying compensation themselves out of their own pocket.

We understand claiming compensation is an emotive issue that brings out strong responses in many people but the law is there to protect us all. It is everyone’s legal right to seek damages if they are injured by another. If for example, a mobility scooter user was driven into by a car driver and suffers serious injury then of course they should not suffer financially as well. This is why car insurance is compulsory. The expenses caused by the accident, such as specialist medical or rehabilitation costs are claimed back from the third party involved.

Most mobility scooter insurance policies cover personal injury claims against the holder. It is something we can’t recommend enough, as something that helps to protect yourself and others.

Guest post by Ashley Ainsworth, who have been dealing with accident compensation claims for over 12 years.

2 Responses

  1. Michel Descormiers
    Michel Descormiers at |

    Hi from Canada,

    I beleive mobility scooters do not belong in areas with pedestrians….due to their silence in operation. They should be equiped with a sounding device when used in public.

    The street is neither a good place and let alone in a store full of shoppers.

    If they are required then the shop owners should provide them and take full safety responsibility for their use on their premises.

    As an ex-road safety tech for Canada’s DOT I’m designing a small vehicle that will be safe to use on the street but not inside stores or pedestrian areas.

    Remember also…the vehicle is not the culprit….the idiots on them are.

    M Descormiers

    Reply

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