The streets of Miami are often crowded with residents and tourists enjoying the beautiful weather and eclectic city. In recent years, this vibrant city has witnessed a surge in the popularity of scooters and mopeds as a fun and eco-friendly means of transportation. In rush hour, these scooters can often get riders to their location in a fraction of the time—no long waits in Ubers or taxis. Residents and tourists can get where they want to go with a scooter or moped and have fun doing it!
However, beneath the allure of carefree exploration lies an undeniable truth – the roads of Miami can be dangerous, and the rising popularity of scooters has brought a concerning increase in scooter-related accidents. These incidents have left many riders and pedestrians with devastating injuries, financial burdens, and emotional scars.
At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA, we understand the immense risks of riding a scooter through Miami. We know the long and uphill battle many of our injured clients face, so we work quickly to build their case. Our dedicated team of experienced injury attorneys has helped victims of scooter and moped accidents seek the justice and fair compensation they deserve.
Why Choose Our Miami Scooter Injury Lawyers?
Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA, is renowned for our unwavering advocacy for accident victims throughout Miami. Our team of highly skilled personal injury attorneys understands the intricacies surrounding scooter and moped accidents in Miami, and we know how to fight back for our clients. From reckless driving to faulty equipment, we have successfully navigated a myriad of cases, advocating tirelessly for the rights of our clients.
We firmly believe that no victim of a scooter accident should suffer alone. Our mission is to provide compassion and support to injured accident victims across Miami and the state of Florida. We’ve secured millions for our injured clients, and our track record of success sets us apart.
Call us today to come in for a FREE consultation and review. We can answer your questions after a Miami scooter accident and help you choose the legal path that is best for you.
Scooter Use in Miami
Over the past decade, Miami’s residents and tourists alike have embraced scooters and mopeds. This surge in popularity can be attributed to their low cost and convenience. This makes them an ideal choice for short-distance commutes and exploring vibrant cities like Miami.
Types of Scooters Commonly Used
- Electric Scooters: Electric scooters are becoming popular in cities all over Florida because they’re eco-friendly and quick to maneuver around traffic. App-based scooter-sharing services in Miami allow users to rent electric scooters for short trips around town. The most popular scooter rental companies in Miami include Lime, Bird, Spin, and Bolt.
- Mopeds: Mopeds are a combination of a bicycle and and a motorcycle and have become a popular option for those seeking a fuel-efficient mode of transportation. With lower engine capacity, mopeds offer a practical solution for city commuters, especially for navigating traffic-laden streets.
While scooters have undeniably enriched the transportation landscape of Florida, the rising numbers of scooter and moped accidents have raised significant safety concerns:
According to the latest reports, scooter and moped accidents in Miami have been on a distressing upward trend in recent years. The county’s dense traffic and bustling tourism make it a hotbed for potential collisions. Sadly, the consequences of these accidents extend beyond minor scrapes and bruises. Miami has witnessed an alarming rise in severe injuries and even fatalities resulting from scooter-related incidents, impacting riders and pedestrians.
Causes of Scooter Accidents
While electric scooters have undoubtedly transformed how we move around Miami, they have also brought about a concerning increase in scooter-related accidents. Some of the most common causes of scooter accidents include:
- Reckless Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Road Conditions, such as potholes and road debris
- Lack of Visibility
- Inexperienced Riders
- Alcohol and Substance Use
- Unsafe Riding Practices
- Lack of Awareness
It is essential for scooter riders and all road users to be conscious of these risk factors and take proactive measures to ensure safety. For scooter riders, following traffic rules, using helmets, staying focused, and respecting road conditions are crucial steps toward preventing accidents. Drivers must remain attentive and realize they share the road with scooter riders. This includes maintaining a safe following distance and checking blind spots can help prevent collisions with scooters.
Legal Requirements For Riding Scooters in Florida
As the popularity of scooters continues to soar in Florida, riders need to be aware of the laws in the state.
In Florida, riders must be 16 or older to ride an electric scooter. They must also have a valid driver’s license. If you’re under 16, you must have a parent with you before you can ride an electric scooter on the road. You must also wear a helmet. Riders over 16 do not have to wear a helmet when riding, although it is recommended to prevent devastating head injuries.
You must obey all traffic signals and speed limits when riding an electric scooter or moped. You must also yield to pedestrians and use turn signals when possible. If you’re riding at night, make sure the scooter has headlights and taillights. Riders should also wear reflective clothing to increase visibility to other road users.
You must park in a designated area or according to local parking regulations when parking your electric scooter. Do not leave your scooter parked in a way that obstructs pedestrians or creates additional road hazards.
Can I Ride on the Sidewalk or In a Bike Lane?
Many cities across Florida prohibit riding scooters on sidewalks; however, some do. Check with local authorities to determine where scooter riding is permitted and prohibited.
You can, however, ride your electric scooter in a bike lane as long as you yield to other bicyclists and follow all rules and regulations.
Types of Injuries in Scooter Accidents
Despite their seemingly lighthearted nature, scooter accidents can result in various injuries, varying from minor scrapes to severe and life-altering trauma. The vulnerability of scooter riders, coupled with the lack of protective barriers common in automobiles, can make these accidents particularly concerning.
Here are the types of injuries typically sustained in scooter accidents:
- Fractures and bone injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Road rash and abrasions
- Disfigurement and amputation
- Internal organ damage
Even seemingly minor injuries can significantly impact a person’s life, requiring medical treatment, recovery time and potentially resulting in lost wages and emotional distress. Severe injuries can lead to long-term medical expenses, ongoing rehabilitation, and changes in a person’s quality of life.
Wearing helmets and other protective gear, adhering to traffic laws, and practicing defensive driving can significantly reduce the risk of injuries in scooter accidents.
Liability in Miami Scooter Accidents
Scooter accidents in Miami can result in serious injuries and damages, leading to complex legal situations regarding liability. Determining who is at fault in these accidents is critical for ensuring the responsible party is held accountable for the injuries and losses you’ve suffered. Liability in scooter accidents is typically assessed based on various factors, and multiple parties may be held liable.
Some of the most common parties that can share liability after a Miami scooter accident include:
- Other motorists
- Scooter rental companies
- Government entities responsible for road maintenance
- Restaurants or bars that served intoxicated drivers
Liability in scooter accidents can be complex, and insurance companies may attempt to shift blame to reduce their liability. As such, having an experienced Miami Scooter and Moped Accident Lawyer in your corner is important. A skilled attorney can thoroughly investigate the accident, gather essential evidence, and build a strong case to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How To File a Scooter Accident Lawsuit in Miami
While it may seem tempting to sue the rental scooter company or manufacturer, these cases can often be challenging due to waivers and legal hurdles. However, if a negligent driver caused the accident, you can sue that driver for the injuries they inflicted upon you. Such accident cases can result in substantial compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering.
The car insurance system operates on a “no-fault” basis in Florida. But when it comes to scooter accidents, the rules are different. There is no expectation that you must have auto insurance for your scooter. Even if someone suggests filing your case through insurance, know that you typically have the option to take your case to court if your injuries exceed $10,000 or are severe.
To succeed in court, you must prove that the at-fault driver was responsible for causing the accident. This involves demonstrating traffic violations or other errors committed by the driver that led to the crash. For instance, if a driver ran a red light or failed to yield to a scooter rider, they will likely be held responsible for the accident.
Aside from proving the driver’s fault, you must also establish the damages you suffered. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial in any injury case. Scooter accidents can result in severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones, leading to significant medical expenses. Your medical records, bills, and financial records will be essential in proving the extent of these damages to the court.
Moreover, in addition to medical bills, you can typically claim damages for any other harm you endured due to the accident. This may include the cost of lost wages if your injuries forced you to miss work. Proving these damages can be aided by pay stubs and bank records. Your case may also involve claiming pain and suffering damages, which can be more complex to demonstrate, but your attorney will guide you through the process.
What If I Am Partly To Blame For My Scooter Accident?
If you are partly to blame for your scooter accident in Miami, the state’s modified comparative negligence laws come into play. These laws govern how compensation is awarded in cases where multiple parties share responsibility for an accident. They can directly impact your compensation and your ability to file a lawsuit.
Florida follows a “modified comparative negligence” system, which means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. This system allows for a fair allocation of responsibility, ensuring that each party involved in the accident is held accountable based on their level of negligence.
Under Florida’s modified comparative negligence law, you can only recover damages if your degree of fault is less than 50%. In other words, if you are determined to be 50% or more responsible for the accident, you will not be eligible to recover compensation from other at-fault parties.
Example of How Comparative Negligence Works
Suppose you were riding your scooter at a reasonable speed but failed to signal a turn before the accident. Meanwhile, a driver in a car was speeding and ran a red light, causing the collision. The court may determine that you are 20% at fault for the accident due to not signaling, and the driver is 80% at fault for running the red light.
If your total damages are calculated to be $10,000, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. In this scenario, you would be eligible to recover $8,000 (80% of $10,000) from the driver who ran the red light.
In comparative negligence cases, insurance companies and opposing parties may try to assign a higher percentage of fault to you to minimize their liability. To prevent this from happening, you need to have an experienced Miami scooter lawyer on your side from the start. Your attorney will protect your rights and ensure your fault degree is accurately assessed.
Steps to Take After a Scooter Accident
In the aftermath of the accident, it is essential to remain calm and take immediate steps to protect your well-being and legal rights. Knowing what to do in such circumstances can make a significant difference in ensuring that you receive the appropriate medical care, gather crucial evidence, and seek fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do if you are involved in a scooter accident in Florida:
- Contact Authorities: Call 911 or the local police immediately after the accident to report the incident and request medical assistance. Ensure that an official accident report is filed, which will be valuable for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if your injuries seem minor, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is crucial. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and prompt medical evaluation can prevent complications and document your injuries for future claims.
- Gather Evidence: If you are physically able, collect relevant evidence at the accident scene. Take photos of the accident scene, damages to the scooter, any road hazards, traffic signs, and the position of vehicles involved. Get contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident.
- Exchange Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident, including drivers and witnesses. Also, record the vehicle information, such as license plate numbers and makes and models.
- Report to Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the accident promptly, even if you were not at fault. Provide them with the necessary details about the incident and cooperate fully with their investigation.
- Preserve Evidence: Preserve any evidence related to the accident, such as medical records, repair estimates, and receipts for expenses incurred due to the accident.
- Consult with a Lawyer: Consult with a skilled Miami scooter and moped accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, and advocate for fair compensation.
How Can a Miami Scooter Accident Lawyer Help?
Hiring a lawyer after a scooter accident can make a significant difference in your ability to gather essential evidence and negotiate with insurance companies. A knowledgeable attorney can promptly launch an investigation into the accident, securing crucial evidence that may otherwise be lost or tampered with over time. They can collect witness statements, analyze accident reports, review medical records, and work with accident reconstruction experts if necessary to build a strong case.
Furthermore, dealing with insurance companies can be a challenging and time-consuming process, and they may attempt to minimize their liability or offer inadequate settlements. A skilled lawyer will handle all communication with insurance adjusters, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries, damages, and pain and suffering. By having a lawyer by your side, you can focus on your recovery and on rebuilding your life again.
Contact Our Miami Scooter Injury Lawyers Today
If you or your loved one has suffered an injury in a scooter or moped accident, know that you are not alone. Reach out to us today for a free consultation. We’ll meet with you and help you explore your legal options so that you can make the best choice for you and your future.
Let us fight on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve, allowing you to focus on your recovery. To learn more about our services and how we can assist, please don’t hesitate to contact our law offices today at (305) 694-2676.