Hit by a Store Supplied Motorized Shopping Scooter
I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today’s question comes from a listener who says “I was buying groceries and got hit by a shopper operating an e-scooter supplied by the store and ended up with serious injuries, what are my legal options?”
People using motorized equipment, whether it be an e-scooter, or a store supplied motorized electric scooter, can be held at fault and held legally responsible for striking someone.
If you are walking in a store and get hit by someone on a scooter, you should request help from store personnel and insist that they make an incident report.
The report must include the name and address of the scooter operator, as well as any and all other key information about how the incident happened.
If, for example, the scooter was supplied by the store, and the operator says the brakes didn’t work, this is a fact that should be noted in the incident report.
Remember, you need facts to build a case.
If you have no way to identify the person who struck you, it may well be the end of the road for you, as far as suing.
But, let’s assume you have the information to ID the driver of the scooter and have a strong case for careless operation, you still might be at a dead-end, as far as collecting compensation. Why? Because there may be no insurance to cover the incident.
Let’s say that instead of being backed into by a scooter inside the store, that person were to have backed into you in the parking lot, knocking you down and hurting you.
If the person was driving a car and struck you, the accident would fall within the scope of the insurance policy covering the car.
Whether an auto insurance policy would cover the operation of a scooter would depend on the language of the car insurance policy. If the car policy does not cover the incident, it is possible that a homeowner’s insurance policy might apply. But, it may be a long shot.
Assuming there is no insurance to cover the costs of the accident, the operator of the scooter would be personally liable. This means he or she would have to pay out of their own pocket. But, unless the scooter operator has deep pockets, it may be a wasted effort to sue.
Now here is an interesting question. Suppose the driver of the scooter says the brakes failed. Or, suppose the driver of the scooter was intoxicated. Could the store that supplied the scooter by held liable? Most likely yes.
Supplying defective equipment, or failing to screen the people the store lets operate the equipment, could expose the store to liability. So, too, could failing to instruct on the safe operation of the equipment. Consulting an attorney in order to carefully assess the facts of your case is an important step to determining the viability of your case.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.