If you are a resident of West Palm Beach or a visitor to the area, you may have noticed the increase in the use of scooters in recent years.
With their low cost and ease of use, scooters have become a popular mode of transportation for many people. However, with this increase in usage, there has also been an increase in scooter accidents.
If you have been involved in a scooter accident in West Palm Beach, it is important to seek the help of an experienced scooter accident lawyer.
If you are injured in a scooter accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact our law firm for assistance. We offer a free consultation to potential clients, so call today.
West Palm Beach Scooter Accident Statistics
According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 214 scooter accidents in Palm Beach County in 2020.
Of those accidents, 17 were fatal, and 197 resulted in injuries. These statistics show just how dangerous scooter accidents can be and the importance of avoiding them.
Scooter Laws in Florida
Scooters are a popular mode of transportation in Florida, especially in urban areas like West Palm Beach. However, it is important to understand the laws governing the use of scooters to ensure that you are riding safely and legally. In this article, we will discuss the scooter laws in Florida.
Classification of Scooters
In Florida, scooters are classified as motorcycles. According to the Florida Statutes, a motorcycle is defined as any motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. This means that scooters must follow the same laws as motorcycles in Florida.
License and Registration
To ride a scooter in Florida, you must have a valid driver’s license. If your license has a motorcycle endorsement, you can ride any type of scooter. If you do not have a motorcycle endorsement, you can only ride a scooter with an engine displacement of 50cc or less and a top speed of 30 mph or less. These scooters do not require a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license.
If you are riding a scooter that does require a motorcycle endorsement, you must also register the vehicle with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and obtain a motorcycle license plate.
In Florida, riders and passengers on motorcycles and scooters must wear a helmet that meets the standards set by the DHSMV. The helmet must securely fasten to the rider’s head with a chin strap. Failure to wear a helmet can result in a fine.
Lane splitting, which is the practice of riding between lanes of traffic, is illegal in Florida. This means that scooter riders must stay in their designated travel lane and may not pass other vehicles by riding between them.
Scooters in Florida are only designed to carry one rider, so carrying passengers on a scooter is illegal. You could face a fine if you are caught carrying a passenger on your scooter.
Scooters in Florida must be equipped with the following:
- Headlight: Scooters must have a headlight that is always on while the vehicle is in operation.
- Taillight: Scooters must have a taillight visible from at least 500 feet away.
- Turn signals: Scooters must have turn signals visible from the vehicle’s front and rear.
- Brakes: Scooters must have brakes capable of bringing the vehicle to a stop within a certain distance.
- Rearview mirrors: Scooters must have at least one rearview mirror that gives the rider a view of at least 200 feet behind the vehicle.
- Horn: Scooters must have an audible horn from at least 200 feet away.
The speed limit for scooters in Florida depends on the classification of the scooter. If you are riding a scooter with an engine displacement of 50cc or less and a top speed of 30 mph or less, you must follow the posted speed limit for the road you are on.
If you are riding a scooter that requires a motorcycle endorsement, you must follow the same speed limits as motorcycles in Florida.
Scooters are a popular mode of transportation in Florida, but it is important to understand the laws governing their use to ensure that you are riding safely and legally.
Common Causes of Scooter Accidents
Various factors, including driver error, equipment malfunction, road hazards, and weather conditions, can cause scooter accidents.
Some of the most common causes of scooter accidents in West Palm Beach include:
- Distracted driving: Drivers distracted by their phones or other distractions are more likely to cause accidents.
- Speeding: Scooters can reach high speeds, and drivers who go too fast are likelier to lose control and crash.
- Failure to yield: Drivers who fail to yield to other vehicles or pedestrians can cause serious accidents.
- Equipment failure: Scooters can experience mechanical problems, such as brake failure or tire blowouts, which can cause accidents.
- Poor road conditions: Potholes, uneven pavement, and other hazards can cause scooter riders to lose control and crash.
Common Injuries Seen in Scooter Accidents
Scooter accidents can result in various injuries, ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to life-altering injuries. Some of the most common injuries seen in scooter accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Head injuries can occur when a rider is thrown from a scooter or hits their head on the pavement.
- Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord can result in paralysis or other serious conditions.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are a common injury in scooter accidents, especially in the arms, legs, and wrists.
- Road rash: When riders are thrown from a scooter, they can suffer scrapes and bruises from sliding along the pavement.
- Internal injuries: Scooter accidents can also result in internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding.
How to File a Scooter Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a scooter accident in West Palm Beach, it is important to take the following steps to file a claim:
Seek Medical Attention
The first step after a scooter accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, it is important to get checked out by a doctor to ensure that you have not suffered any injuries that may not be immediately apparent.
Document the Accident
Take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to your scooter and any injuries you have sustained. Get contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
Report the Accident
Report the accident to the police and your insurance company immediately. Provide them with any documentation you have gathered.
Contact a Scooter Accident Lawyer
Contact an experienced scooter accident lawyer to help you navigate the legal process of filing a claim and recovering damages.
Damages You Can Recover After a Scooter Accident
If you have been involved in a scooter accident in West Palm Beach, you may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries and other losses. The types of damages you can recover after a scooter accident include:
- Medical expenses: You can recover damages for the cost of medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can recover damages for the wages you would have earned if you had not been injured.
- Pain and suffering: You can recover damages for the physical pain and emotional distress you have experienced due to the accident.
- Property damage: You can recover damages by repairing or replacing your scooter.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If your injuries prevent you from participating in activities you once enjoyed, you can recover damages for the loss of enjoyment of life.
How Sternberg | Forsythe, PA Can Help with Your Scooter Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a scooter accident in West Palm Beach, the experienced attorneys here can help you navigate the complex legal process of pursuing a personal injury claim. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other losses.
At Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, we will begin by conducting a thorough investigation of your case. We will gather evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and accident reports, to build a strong case on your behalf. We will also negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Throughout the process, we will keep you informed and answer any questions you may have. We understand that scooter accidents can be overwhelming, and we are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Scooter Accident Lawyers for Assistance
Scooter accidents can be serious and result in life-altering injuries or even death. If you have been involved in a scooter accident in West Palm Beach, it is important to seek the help of an experienced scooter accident lawyer.
The attorneys at Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the legal process of pursuing a personal injury claim and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other losses.
Remember always to take precautions when riding a scooter, such as wearing a helmet and following traffic laws, to avoid accidents.