Who Is Liable in a Scooter Accident?

May 21, 2018

It's hard to go anywhere in the Gainesville this time of year and not see scooters on the road. After all, it is an economic way of getting around campus as well as around town.

Do you know Florida Laws for scooters being operated on city streets and roadways? First, your scooter must have a seat or saddle, put out at least 5 brake horsepower from the engine, and have the ability to reach a minimum top speed of 40 miles per hour. Plus, you must be at least 16 years of age and possess a valid driver's license to operate the vehicle on any highway.  

Scooters are small, quiet vehicles that are often hard for other drivers to see. Unfortunately, scooters offer little protection, which means minor collisions can result in serious or life-threatening injuries. Most scooter accidents involve being hit by a car or other vehicle. Other drivers often underestimate the speed and distance and may cut the scooter off at an intersection. Equally as bad is the driver that doesn't allow the scooter enough room when overtaking the slower vehicle. This often results in the scooter driver crashing on their own and the driver of the vehicle may not even stop.

In many states, two-wheel vehicles fall under the same insurance regulations as cars and trucks, but in Florida they don't. Florida motorcycle laws are unique. Although motor vehicle drivers of four or more wheels are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) as part of the state's "no fault" insurance coverage, PIP is not available to a scooter operator. However, due to the exposure of a scooter rider and potential for serious injury, it is a good idea to carry some basic bodily injury protection.

Negotiating a settlement for injuries in a scooter accident can be complicated. If you or a loved one was severely injured or sustained permanent damage in a scooter accident, you should seek legal counsel immediately. The personal injury attorneys at Schackow & Mercadante can help you determine whether you have a valid case.

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