What You Need To Know About Scooter Accidents

Go to most large urban areas and you will see various types of motor vehicles on the city streets, including passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks of all sizes, and scooters. Scooters, which can include mopeds, are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation for city dwellers and students. They are far less expensive than cars, are quick, easy to park, and can easily maneuver in and around traffic. However, these small vehicles pose significant risks to persons who ride them.

Like a motorcycle, riders have no protection or barrier between them and the roadway or another vehicle. In even a minor collision, a rider can be ejected from the seat and onto the pavement or into a tree, object or another vehicle, and sustain serious injuries. And if the rider is not wearing protective clothing as many do not, the injuries can be even more traumatic.

In an August 2018 accident on Forest Avenue in Brockton, Massachusetts involving an SUV and a scooter, the SUV driver failed to yield to the scooter that was lawfully entering an intersection. The collision severely injured the scooter rider’s leg, which was fortunately saved by paramedics who rushed to the scene and applied a tourniquet. This accident was in broad daylight, yet the driver failed to notice the scooter.

In crashes involving scooters, a study published in Trauma Journal identified several factors that increase the risk of injury among scooter riders:

  • Lack of helmet use—only 17% of scooter riders in the study were wearing DOT-approved helmets
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Riding on unpaved roads
  • Riding at speeds too high for road conditions
  • Poor visibility

If riding at night or in snowy weather, scooters can be difficult to see because of their small size. Their headlights are often smaller than those on a motorcycle so that a motorist might not even notice the vehicle. And if riding on a freeway, their slower speeds can frustrate other motorists who may tailgate or ride dangerously close to their side.

One other disturbing factor that researchers found about scooter riders—nearly 90% lacked liability insurance. The scooter driver in the Brockton accident described above was driving on a suspended license and was uninsured.

Categories of Scooters

If you ride a scooter, you need to be properly licensed and insured. There are also different categories of these vehicles that determine the conditions under which they can be operated:

Motorized scooters: These can have 2 or 3-wheels. These refer to Vespas and Hondas, which are popular brands. These vehicles may not drive over 20 mph, but riders do need a driver’s license or motorcycle license. They cannot be parked on sidewalks and may always only be operated on the right side of the roadway. Further, they are for daytime use only. This is significant because if you are injured while driving at night, you will likely be held comparatively negligent, even if the accident was clearly the other motorist’s fault. Your damages and compensation will be decreased by your degree of comparative negligence in such cases.

Mopeds: Mopeds are like motorized bicycles and can travel up to 30 mph. They have an automatic transmission and an engine no larger than 50cc. Riders must be at least 16 and possess a license or learner’s permit. You do need to show title and registration if requested. Mopeds that are not classified as limited use vehicles do not need to be insured. However, if you cause an accident with property or physical injury, you will be personally liable. Also, if you are uninsured and another vehicle causes you injuries and its driver is also uninsured, then you may not obtain any type of compensation.

Limited use vehicles: Such vehicles are like motorcycles and can have 2 or more wheels, but cannot exceed 40 mph, making them illegal on freeways. If you ride on a public roadway, the vehicle must be inspected, registered, titled, and insured.

If you were injured on any of these types of vehicles, then contact a car accident lawyer at the offices of Burns and Jain immediately. There are any number of legal options you may have in a car accident case that, if ignored, could cost you thousands of dollars in compensation that you might otherwise have been able to obtain.

Damages in Scooter Accidents

Damages in your case vary depending on the nature and extent of your injuries. Typical damages often include:

Damages in Car Accidents

Damages in car accidents vary considerably. They can include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future income loss
  • Decreased earning capacity
  • Permanent disability
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Cost of vocational rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Spousal claim for loss of consortium

Consult the Car Accident Lawyers at Burns and Jain

It is rarely a good idea for you to handle your own injury claim. Too many times, claimants have made seemingly minor errors such as ill-advised comments to insurance defense adjusters or investigators or failed to pursue certain options that significantly minimized the value of their claims or resulted in no compensation at all.  and focus on getting you the compensation you deserve. Call our offices today at (617) 227-7423 today for a free consultation about your personal injury claim.