How Safe Are Motor Scooters in Ocala?
Bill Allen | October 8, 2020 | Motorcycle Accidents Near Gainesville Florida
Motor scooters have become more popular, especially in urban areas where traffic congestion and parking can be challenging. Motor scooters cost less to operate and maintain than a vehicle, and can be more convenient than public transportation. For longer trips, a motor scooter is more practical than walking.
However, are motor scooters safe? They are motorized vehicles that you drive in traffic. Scooters do not offer the rider any protection in the event of a car accident.
Therefore, should you opt to ride a motor scooter in Ocala, or are you safer driving a passenger vehicle?
What is a Motor Scooter?
Florida laws do not offer a specific definition for motor scooters. Therefore, motor scooters fall under the category of motorcycle.
An operator must have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor scooter. If the scooter’s motor is 50ccs or greater, the operator must have a valid motorcycle endorsement to operate the vehicle. Motor scooters must be titled and registered in Florida.
While Florida does not require automobile insurance for motor scooters, it is a wise idea to purchase insurance coverage. If you cause an accident while driving your motor scooter, you could be personally liable for the damages. Having insurance can help reduce the risk that a victim might seek a personal judgment for damages.
Also, having Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage for your motor scooter is helpful. If you are injured in a motor scooter accident, PIP pays your medical bills regardless of who caused the accident.
Are Motor Scooters Safe to Operate?
Motor scooters have many of the same risks associated with driving a motorcycle. Factors that can increase the chance of serious injuries because of a motor scooter accident include:
- Motor scooters are small, making them more difficult to see, especially in heavy traffic
- The vehicle does not offer any protection for the rider in a crash
- Motor scooter riders can be crushed between vehicles in a multi-vehicle accident
- Road hazards and poor weather conditions can increase the risk of a motor scooter crash
Even though a rider takes all precautions to prevent an accident, the risk of injury in a motor scooter accident remains high.
Common Causes of Motor Scooter Accidents in Ocala
Motor scooter riders need to remain alert and follow all traffic laws when riding their scooter. However, many motor scooter accidents are caused by other motorists and circumstances outside of the rider’s control. Common causes of motor scooter accidents include:
- Failing to follow traffic laws
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Reckless driving
If another motorist causes the motor scooter accident, the rider can recover compensation for damages and injuries. However, proving that the other driver caused the crash is essential. You can only recover full compensation for your damages if you can prove that you were not responsible for contributing to the cause of the crash.
Damages and Injuries Caused by Scooter Accidents
The victim of a motor scooter accident could sustain debilitating conditions that prevent the person from working or taking care of themselves. Common motor scooter injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Chest injuries
- Lacerations, scarring, and disfigurement
The amount of compensation you might receive for a motor scooter accident depends on the severity of your injuries and financial losses. It also depends on other factors, such as fault and the amount of available insurance.
A personal injury lawyer can investigate the accident to determine the cause of the crash. The lawyer gathers evidence to prove that the other driver caused the crash. Proving the other driver was at fault can help you recover compensation for your:
- Past and future cost of medical care and personal care
- Past and future loss of salaries, wages, benefits, and other income
- Reductions in your ability to earn income because of disabilities and impairments
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental trauma and anguish
Fighting to recover maximum compensation for your injuries is easier when you have an attorney fighting with you.
What Should You Do After a Motor Scooter Accident?
Call 911 to report the accident and request help. Always seek medical care for your injuries as soon as possible. Whenever possible, gather evidence from the accident scene, including witnesses’ names, photographs, and videos.
Do not discuss the accident online or with an insurance adjuster. It is generally in your best interest to meet with an accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer explains your legal rights and helps you take steps to hold a negligent driver accountable for your injuries.