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E-scooter liability worth checking out before hopping on

Posted at 7:45 AM, Jul 24, 2019

MILWAUKEE — Electric scooters have returned to Milwaukee.

Lime launched its fleet of dockless, e-scooters Tuesday after being approved into the city's dockless scooter pilot program.

Under the new Dockless Scooter Pilot Study, companies like Lime who operate in the city must maintain a Commercial General Liability insurance policy of $7 million.

The city attorney's office said the purpose of that requirement is to protect third-parties. Milwaukee officials want to make sure someone injured by a scooter rider, or whose property is damaged by someone on a rented e-scooter, is protected.

Statistics show the hefty insurance coverage is a good idea, because the scooters have been linked with injuries in other city.

A national study by the CDC found the e-scooter injury rate is roughly 14.3 injuries per 100,000 trips. Head injuries topped the list, accounting for 45% of issues, followed by upper extremity fractures at 27% and lower extremity fractures at 12%.

In Chicago, reports indicated 10 people went to emergency rooms in the first six days of the city's dockless electric scooter pilot.

The CGL insurance would be most relevant in the case of a scooter malfunction.

However, the city attorney's office added it's important people renting and riding Lime scooters read the fine print and user agreement carefully.

Failing to properly use the scooter, and/or being negligent with it, would likely leave the rider on the hook for the costs of any damage or injuries caused.