Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Annual Report of 2019 describes mopeds as ‘a motor-powered cycle with a pedal-activated motor and a maximum of two brake horsepower.’
Mopeds and similar two-wheeled vehicles like scooters are increasingly gaining popularity in the United States. According to the 2018 Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Report, more than 716,000 registered scooters are in the United States alone. Therefore, it is safe to say that using two-wheeled vehicles like mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles is acceptable means of transportation and commuting among Americans. Like other modes of transportation, shuttling on a moped or scooter has its own risk. Accidents and collisions are possible risks. Mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles may look similar, but they are not the same according to the law in Florida.
The Difference Between Mopeds, Scooters, and Motorcycles
The word ‘moped’, coined by Harald Nielsen, a Swedish journalist, in 1952, is a combination of the two words: motor and pedaler. Mopeds have gained popularity within the United States as a means of commuting as an alternative to motor vehicles that consume more gas. They are usually smaller and less expensive than scooters. To operate legally, mopeds must be registered. In addition, as a risk factor, they are dangerous to drive on public roads because they can run more than 30 mph, making it difficult to regulate their speed in traffic.
A scooter is an umbrella name for a two-wheeled transport vehicle. There are motorized electric scooters, kick scooters, self-balancing scooters, space scooters, flicker/caster scooters, stunt/pro scooters, and big wheel scooters, three-wheel/trike scooters, and foldable scooters.
According to section 320.1(26) of the Florida Statutes, Motorcycle means
Any motor vehicle has a seat or saddle for the rider’s use and is designated
to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. This term
includes autocycles but excludes a tractor or a moped.
To operate within Florida, the operator should have a valid license. In addition to having a valid license, they should use a motorcycle endorsement. An endorsement is necessary to operate a two or three-wheeled vehicle having a 50cc engine or more.
Motorcycle accidents include collisions involving scooters and off-road motorbikes.
Moped Facts and Statistics
- Mopeds must be registered but not titled for them to operate on the roads in Florida.
- The Florida Traffic Crash Record Database (FTCRD) is a database maintained by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Office of Management Research and Development. The database identified all crashes between mopeds and scooters between the tear 2002 and 2008.
- According to the Database, between 2002 and 2008, there were 5,660 moped crashes in Florida.
- Of these crashes, 18% resulted in severe or fatal injury.
- Moped drivers predominantly possessed a noncommercial driver’s license; however, 30.8% of severe injury drivers and 23% of non-severe injury drivers were unlicensed.
Common Injuries from a Moped Accident
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Sprain and strains
- Bruises and abrasion
- Broken bones, joints, ribs
- Nervous system malfunctioning
Several serious injuries can arise in a moped accident. These kinds of injuries are not particular to moped accidents alone. It is also too common in crashes involving motorcycles. Head injuries cover brain injuries, brain damage, concussions, skull fracture, hemorrhage, edema, and intracranial hematoma (ICH).
A biker’s arm, also called a rider’s arm, is a common but severe injury in two-wheeled vehicle accidents, particularly motorbike accidents. The biker’s arm is nerve damage caused when the motorcycle lands on the biker’s arm. This nerve damage can result in complete or partial paralysis of the hand or arm. Biker’s arm or rider’s arm can also happen where the biker lands on their arm rather than prefer to land on the face or vital organs.
No matter how little, treat all injuries from a moped accident. Seek medical attention even if you think you have not sustained any physical damage or the injury you sustained is not significant. Minor injuries left untreated may become substantial, as many injuries may be internal.
Who Can be Held Liable for a Moped Accident?
Several persons can be held responsible for a moped accident. It is not only the moped driver that can be held liable. When another person’s wrong choice causes someone on a moped to suffer an injury, that person can also be held responsible for any injury sustained. An injured moped driver has the right to demand payment from a negligent defendant. Similarly, an injured pedestrian or other road user has the right to request compensation for his injury from a negligent moped driver or whoever is responsible for their accident in a moped crash. Several persons can be held accountable for your moped accident. Some of them are
- The moped driver
- Another motorist
- The moped manufacturer
- Owner of the public or private road
- Anyone responsible for the accident
Preventing Moped Accidents
It is challenging to prevent moped accidents. Two-wheeled vehicles are more vulnerable than four-wheeled vehicles. For example, mopeds and scooters do not have doors to protect the riders. They do not have windows or a windshield. It does not have a roof to protect them, and they are more prone to lose balance. These are some of the challenges in its engineering and assemblage. However, some measures can prevent a fatal moped collision. A few are:
When commuting on a moped, the driver and passenger can normalize wearing helmets. Wearing helmets helps cushion the impact a crash may have on the driver or passenger. A helmet in place can help prevent serious head injuries and loss of the victim’s cognitive ability.
Obeying Traffic Rules
Mopeds and other vehicles have to obey traffic rules, including following traffic lights, parking rules, or turning rules.
By law, mopeds shouldn’t exceed a speed limit of 30mph on public roads. Moped operators should avoid driving higher than the speed limit set by law to prevent a fatal crash
Minding other road users
All categories of motorists should mind fellow road users. This precautionary step applies to all road users to avoid driving negligently.
A person who has suffered significantly because of the negligence and poor decision of another can be compensated for the expenses, medical bills, loss of wages and opportunities, diminished quality of life, and even possible future costs.
Compensation in moped accidents and other personal injury claims is in the form of damages. Damages are financial reimbursements awarded to the plaintiff for the injury as compensation. To be awarded appropriate and adequate monetary compensation, a skilled moped accident lawyer is responsible for evaluating the worth of your moped accident claim. You can get compensation for
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost opportunities
- Future expenses
- Incidental costs
Deadline to File your Moped Accident Claim in Florida
The legal timeline to bring your moped accident claim to Florida is four years. You should file your matter within the first four years of your accident, or else your concern will not be heard and considered anymore because it has passed the timeline.
When you contact a skilled moped accident lawyer after your accident, they should ensure you do not miss the deadline set by law to file your lawsuit. This deadline in the Florida Statutes does not apply only to claims arising from moped accidents. Generally, personal injury claims have a four-year deadline to make a claim, which applies to claims arising from motorcycle and scooter accidents. The Florida Statute s95.11 contains this deadline.
The effect of not adhering to the Florida Statute and bringing your lawsuit after the deadline is that your action can become statute-barred. When your case is statute-barred, the dependant may dismiss the claim. When you miss the filing deadline to bring your moped accident claim, you should not be able to recover compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
Hire a Florida Accident Moped Lawyer
You deserve compensation when you suffer injury due to another person’s poor choice. Therefore, it is within the injured person’s right to seek compensation from the person or persons responsible for your moped accident injury.
You should contact a skilled moped accident lawyer. Contact us at the Coleman Law Group. We have a team of experienced and well-trained attorneys who have helped many accident victims receive their entitled financial injury compensation.