Articles & Publications 07.24.23

Micromobility Can Lead To Macro Liability For Cities, Cos. Published in Law360

In an article published in Law360 on 7/21/23, Shareholder Arturo M. Aviles discusses the liability following an accident involving e-bikes and e-scooters. Arturo shares that in most cases, the “operator” of the electric vehicle will be held responsible for any resulting property damage and/or personal injuries suffered by a third party—especially if they are due specifically to the operator’s negligence.

“Frequently, the vehicle operators are uninsured or underinsured, compelling claimants to seek other sources of recovery,” writes Arturo. “The vehicle rental company may also be liable for damages to a third-party plaintiff or, in some instances, the operator of the e-bike or scooter.”

It is important to note, however, that the rental company will typically not be liable if the operator was the sole cause of the accident. The rental firm may be held liable, however, if it did not adequately warn the operator of the risks involved in operating the e-scooter or e-bike, negligently contributed to the accident, or perhaps breached its duty of care to a third party.

As the case law regarding e-bikes and e-scooters is still relatively new, Arturo warns that municipalities and even manufacturers of the devices may be prone to accident liability as well.

“Rental companies, cities and municipalities, and manufacturers of vehicles are unlikely liable for an e-bike or scooter accident—unless it can be shown that [they] contributed to the accident via its own acts or omissions,” writes Arturo. “Industry stakeholders should be aware of looming regulations and safety standards to assess the potential impact on the business.”

To read the story in full, click here.