Moped and Scooter Accidents in Miami
Mopeds and scooters are quickly becoming popular throughout Miami. The weather is perfect for exposed vehicles like motorcycles, but European style scooters are quickly gaining favor for their fuel efficiency, small size, and easy handling.
While heavier motorcycles offer more stability than a scooter and cars encase drivers in steel cages, these qualities are absent in mopeds and scooters. Tourists are also renting scooters in greater numbers, meaning that there are more inexperienced operators on roads they’re unfamiliar with navigating. This all increases the likelihood of a moped or scooter accident. If you’re injured in a moped accident, you need to hire a personal injury attorney who has specific knowledge of and experience with moped and scooter accident litigation.
Mopeds are small, lightweight, and easily maneuverable, which makes them an efficient transportation option. Operators can also fit them in spots where cars cannot fit, and that offers quicker travel during high traffic times. Unfortunately, a moped’s strengths can also be its weakness on the road.
Motorists are less likely to see mopeds. If a moped rider enters a car’s blind spot, the driver is not likely to realize that a moped of all things is in their blind spot. Mopeds are quieter than both motorcycles and cars, so they’re more vulnerable to being hit when a car driver is changing lanes because driver may not only fail to see them, but hear them. Smaller mopeds with motors less than two-horsepower travel at a maximum of 30 mph, making them vulnerable to tailgating and rear ending by impatient drivers. Riders on smaller mopeds also aren’t required to wear a helmet.
Additionally, while only those with a Class E (motorcycle) license can drive a moped on the street and they must be insured, mopeds operators aren’t required to have the same breadth of coverage as operators of cars and motorcycles.
Key West and Mopeds
Island communities are often perfect for using mopeds and scooters. Mopeds are especially popular in Key West. They’re highly desired by residents who want quick transportation and tourists who want a more affordable way to get around.
However, between 2014 and 2016, there were 54 crashes in Key West involving scooters or mopeds. While the data doesn’t include who’s at fault, one thing is apparent: scooter accident injuries are very serious. Injured operators suffered multiple fractures and back injuries, and in one case, a couple needed to be airlifted to the hospital for emergency treatment.
Establishing Liability for an Accident
Those who suffer injury and loss after a scooter or moped crash want compensation. However, to be compensated, one has to establish liability.
Liability is frequently in dispute in moped and scooter accident cases because scooter and moped riders are perceived as taking unnecessary risks and committing traffic violations.
That doesn’t mean that all moped operators are at fault for their injuries. There’s just a strong mindset with insurance companies and defense counsel that you are more likely to be at fault than not. Therefore, establishing liability against the other vehicle is imperative to winning a case involving a moped or scooter accident.
Failing to maintain a proper following distance and to check for obstacles are the most common cause of moped collisions. Motor vehicle operators may fail to check their blind spots for a moped rider or open their doors into traffic and block a moped. Other causes include traffic violations, such as passing cars on the right, using bicycle lanes, and over-correcting on turns.
Mopeds and scooters are different from the other vehicles on the road, so you need an attorney who understands moped and scooter accidents. It may be difficult to establish the other party’s liability because of a preconceived notion that moped and scooter drivers can be reckless. You need a legal team that understands that and can construct a claim to help you get the compensation due to you.
Kaire & Heffernan, LLC has represented many moped and motorcycle operators in their injury claims against other drivers. We handle all the details so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.