Pedestrians and e-scooters are clashing in the struggle for sidewalk space

"In some situations, multibillion-dollar scooter companies may be held liable, but in others, reckless scooter riders, local governments or their insurers could be forced to compensate injured pedestrians, according to Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of South Carolina who is teaching a technology law class next semester exploring ­e-scooter regulation.

The question for courts surrounding electric scooters will be whether someone — or something — behaved unreasonably, Smith said, whether that’s an e-scooter company, a local government or someone who left a scooter on a sidewalk.

“Was that person legally required to act and did their failure to reasonably act cause a pedestrian’s injury?” Smith added. “Pretty soon, judges will face injured people with limited options, and they will begin to answer that question by creatively shaping the law.”"