Scooter or Moped Accident Lawyer
Riding a moped or scooter is a wonderful and cost efficient way of transportation, especially in college towns and cities where traffic jams and limited parking can extend travel time and be extremely frustrating and stressful. It can help reduce greenhouse gases and slow climate change. For students or commuters, having a scooter makes running errands or getting to work or school a quick and enjoyable and environmental way to travel.
A scooter is similar to a motorcycle and can reach speeds of 70 miles per hour so that travel on state roads and interstates is permitted. In Massachusetts, you must have a valid motorcycle license to operate a motorized scooter and comply with all other registration and licensing requirements pertaining to motorcycles.
On the other hand, mopeds are automatic transmission vehicles that may have a small engine. It cannot achieve a speed of over 30 miles per hour so that they are not legal on interstate, limited access or express state highways where posted signs exclude bicycles. They can use the bicycle lanes and like a bicyclist, must obey all traffic laws. You must be at least 16 years of age to ride a moped, have a valid permit or license, not travel over 25 miles per hour, have a moped sticker from the RMV affixed to the vehicle and wear a DOT approved helmet.
Unfortunately, riders of mopeds and scooters are involved in accidents resulting in severe injuries or death. Like a motorcycle, the riders are only protected by their helmet or leather clothing but are more prone to suffer catastrophic injuries in any kind of accident where a rider is thrown from the bike.
What Causes Scooter and Moped Accidents?
A drawback of a scooter and moped is that they are very quiet compared to a motorcycle so that regular motorists are often unaware of their presence on the roadway. Other causes of scooter and moped accidents include:
- Intoxicated drivers
- Distracted motorists
- Turning in front of a moped or scooter because of misjudgment in its speed and distance
- Excessive speed
- Cars turning into a bike lane without seeing the moped or scooter in the lane
- Rear-ending a moped or scooter since they tend to stop much more quickly than a passenger vehicle
- Failure to notice a moped or scooter in a blind spot
- Accidents from a roadway hazard such as potholes and uneven road surfaces
You can recover compensation in such accidents if another motorist’s negligence caused your accident. Consult with an experienced scooter accident lawyer regarding your legal rights in these situations. In some cases, a road defect may have caused your accident. In cases where the state or a city was responsible, there are strict rules and laws that require prompt notice to the municipality responsible for the roadway on which you were injured. If a faulty brake or steering system or other flaw in the vehicle led you to lose control, you may have a product liability suit against the bike manufacturer or designer.
Steps to Avoid Accidents
Scooter and moped riders should take particular caution when riding in traffic. These precautions include the following:
- Wear colorful clothing and a helmet
- Do not wear shorts or a t-shirt
- Avoid lane sharing and swerving in traffic
- Do not ride in rain or snow
- Avoid riding at night unless you are in a brightly lit area
- Do not speed
- Do not drink and drive
- Drive defensively and always assume other motorists do not see you
If you are in an accident, do not talk to anyone other than police about how the accident occurred and promptly receive medical attention even if your injuries may initially seem minor. Do not give a statement to anyone without having legal counsel present. Most importantly, contact an experienced moped accident lawyer to handle your injury claim, which may well include disputed liability.
Liability and Damages in a Moped or Scooter Accident
Law enforcement officers in some cases assume that the moped or scooter rider was responsible for the accident, especially if you are a teenager or young adult. A traffic accident report may conclude you were responsible despite evidence that indicates otherwise. It often takes a zealous moped accident attorney to investigate your case and to find evidence supporting your version.
Also, despite suffering severe damages, insurance adjusters will try to minimize the nature and extent of your injuries or challenge your assertion that your injury was caused by the accident, especially if you failed to receive treatment until weeks later or you have a preexisting medical condition. For these reasons, retaining a scooter accident lawyer is essential in obtaining the proof necessary to get you the compensation your case deserves.
Damages in these cases include:
- Lost earning capacity
- Delayed entry in the employment market if a student
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
Burns & Jain a Scooter Accident Law Firm
Scooter and moped accidents are just as tragic as any other accident and can result in life-altering changes. Trust your injury claim to Attorney’s Neil Burns & Roshan Jain, a Boston law firm experienced in moped law and the intricacies and complexities that these cases often present. Call our office today if you or a loved one was injured in a moped or scooter accident for a free analysis of your injury case.