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How Safe Are Motor Scooters in New York City?

Posted in Car Accidents on June 29, 2021

How-Safe-Are-Motor-Scooters-in-New-York-City

Riding a motor scooter in New York City can be dangerous and may result in catastrophic injuries. As with a motorcycle accident, a motor scooter does not provide the rider with any protection from a collision with a vehicle or other object. Even though a rider may wear a motorcycle helmet and other protective gear, the risk of serious injuries in a motor scooter accident is high.

What are the Rules for Operating a Motor Scooter in New York City?

New York law defines a motor scooter or moped as a limited use vehicle with two or three wheels. Motor scooters must be registered with the state, and you must have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor scooter.

The state divides motor scooters into three categories based on how fast the scooter travels:

  • Class A – up to 40 mph
  • Class B – up to 30 mph
  • Class C – up to 20 mph

Class A motor scooters require a motorcycle license in addition to a regular driver’s license. It is the only class of motor scooters that can be operated on all lanes of traffic.

Class B and C motor scooters can only be ridden in the right lane or shoulder, except when making a left turn. In addition, no motor scooters are allowed to be operated on city sidewalks.

Riders on Class A and B motor scooters are required to wear a motorcycle helmet by law. However, it is recommended that riders on Class C motor scooters wear a motorcycle helmet also.

It should be noted that wearing a motorcycle helmet can significantly reduce the risk of death and injury in a motor scooter accident. Therefore, a helmet can directly impact whether it is safe to ride a motor scooter in New York City.

Liability insurance is required for Class A and B motor scooters, but it is only recommended for Class C motor scooters. Also, an inspection is required for Class motor scooters, but is only recommended for Class B and C motor scooters.

Injuries Sustained in Motor Scooter Accidents

As discussed above, motor scooters do not offer riders any protection from injuries in an accident. Because scooters are smaller than motorcycles, drivers may not see the scooter until it is too late to avoid a collision. The result can be catastrophic for the scooter rider, especially when the other vehicle is a large pickup truck, van, SUV, or commercial vehicle.

Common injuries sustained in a motor scooter crash include:

  • Multiple fractures and broken bones
  • Skull and brain injuries
  • Lacerations and abrasions
  • Facial injuries and disfigurement
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Internal organ failure and damage
  • Loss of limbs and amputations
  • Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
  • Crushing injuries

In many cases, the motor scooter rider is incapacitated from the injuries at the accident scene. Catastrophic injuries may result in permanent impairments and disabilities. Life-threatening injuries may result in death.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Damages Caused by a Motor Scooter Accident

Motor scooter riders are entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages if another person caused their scooter accident. For example, a driver may have caused a rear-end accident with the motor scooter because they were texting while driving. Another example would be a driver sideswiping a motor scooter because the driver was drowsy or under the influence of alcohol.

Proving that the other party was responsible for causing the motor scooter accident can be challenging.

A personal injury lawyer can help by:

  • Conducting a thorough accident investigation
  • Searching for videos of the accident, including traffic videos and surveillance videos
  • Taking statements from eyewitnesses
  • Gathering physical evidence from the accident scene and the vehicles
  • Working with accident reconstructionists and other experts to prove how the accident occurred and who was responsible

Your attorney also works with your physicians to determine the extent of your injuries and damages. Documenting injuries and damages increases the chance that you receive maximum compensation for injuries.

Compensation for Damages Caused by a Motor Scooter Accident

The damages caused by a motor scooter accident include economic and non-economic damages.

Damages a rider might recover by filing a personal injury claim include:

  • The cost of medical treatment and expenses, including the cost of personal care
  • Loss of income and benefits, including future lost wages and loss of earning potential
  • Permanent impairments and disabilities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or quality of life
  • Pain and suffering, including mental anguish, physical discomfort, and emotional distress

The value of your motor scooter accident claim depends on several factors. If you are unsure how much your damages are worth, you should discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer before attempting to settle an insurance claim. Signing a settlement agreement generally means you cannot recover any more money for your injury claim.