Riding a scooter can be a quick and inexpensive way to get from place to place throughout a city. However, scooter riding can also be dangerous—especially when riders do not wear helmets. One of the most dangerous aspects of scooter riding is how open and exposed a person is when riding a scooter. If a motor vehicle collides with a scooter rider and the rider falls to the ground, there is a good chance that the rider will suffer an extremely serious injury.
If you or a person you love has suffered an injury in a Gwinnett County scooter accident that someone else caused, you may be in a position to file a claim or lawsuit against the responsible individual for damages.
If you have a good case, a Gwinnett County personal injury lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can file a claim on your behalf. If the insurance company is not willing to offer you favorable monetary compensation for your injuries, your lawyer can then file a lawsuit against the at-fault person or persons, and litigate the case for you. If the case still does not settle, you have the option of taking your scooter accident case to trial and allowing a jury to decide what, if any, damages you should receive.
Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm has a track record of success that shows we know how to help injured victims. Call us today and let us see if we can help you.
What Happens Following a Gwinnett County Scooter Accident
If you or a loved one has recently suffered an injury in a scooter accident, you may be unsure as to what steps you should take next. If you have not already received medical treatment following your scooter accident, seek treatment from a healthcare professional as soon as you can. This is true even if you don’t believe yourself to have sustained an injury. A minor injury can very quickly develop into a more serious concern if you do not seek prompt medical treatment. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Failing to seek prompt medical treatment can also jeopardize your scooter accident case. Specifically, the insurance company may assume—rightly or wrongly—that because you did not seek prompt medical treatment following your scooter accident, your injuries could not be as serious as you claim they are. Once you have received medical attention, a Gwinnett County scooter accident lawyer can gather all of your related medical records and bills, as well as the police report if one was filed following the accident by an officer on the scene, and present them to the at-fault person’s insurance company.
At some point after your scooter accident, a representative of the at-fault insurance company may contact you and request a recorded statement concerning the accident. For the insurance company, your recorded statement is an opportunity to find reasons to limit the payout or deny your claim altogether. If the at-fault insurance company’s representative asks you to provide a recorded statement, you should decline. Never agree to provide such a statement without having experienced legal counsel present.
Laws Applicable to Mopeds and Motor Scooters in Georgia
In Georgia, several laws govern mopeds and motor scooters. For starters, for a vehicle to qualify as a moped in Georgia:
- It must have an engine no bigger than 50cc.
- It must not exceed 30 miles per hour.
- It must not require shifting gears or operating a clutch to maneuver.
Moreover, individuals who operate mopeds may not do so on roads that have speed limits greater than 35 miles per hour, including highways and other roadways with fast-moving vehicles. To operate a moped lawfully, the operator must have a valid Georgia driver’s license and must be at least 15 years of age. As an alternative to a driver’s license, the moped operator may have a limited permit or instructional limit. Finally, a moped operator must wear a helmet at all times when he or she is operating the moped.
Georgia classifies motor scooters as vehicles that are equipped with engines of greater than 50cc, that can ride on a highway, and can travel at speeds exceeding 30 miles per hour. Individuals who operate motor scooters are responsible for following the same regulations and laws that apply to motorcycles.
Typical Causes of Gwinnett County Scooter Accidents
As with bicycles and motorcycles, motor vehicle operators often complain that, just before a collision, they did not see the scooter operator. However, motor vehicle operators are responsible for seeing everything and everyone in their vicinity while driving. Failing to see a scooter operator is not an excuse.
Motor vehicle operator negligence is one of the primary causes of scooter accidents in Gwinnett County. This negligence can include:
- Drunk and drugged driving – Motor vehicle operators who drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol place all other vehicle operators on the road—including scooter operators—at grave risk. In addition to incurring criminal penalties for driving under the influence (DUI), these individuals can incur civil liability if they injure or kill a scooter operator in an accident.
- Inattentive driving – One reason why many motor vehicle drivers fail to notice scooter operators is because they are not paying attention to the road. Instead, these drivers may be making phone calls, or texting on a cell phone or tablet, while they are driving. Even when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road for a second or two, that can be enough time to strike a scooter and its rider. Listening to loud music and horseplaying in the car also constitute distracted driving if these activities divert a driver’s attention away from the road.
- Driving violations – Driving violations occur when a motor vehicle operator knowingly or unintentionally violates a rule of the road. For example, a driver may drive through a traffic intersection at a high rate of speed without stopping, leading to a collision with a scooter operator also at the intersection. A driver may weave in and out of traffic or unlawfully tailgate, and such reckless driving causes a scooter accident. Finally, a driver may unlawfully turn in front of a scooter and cut the scooter off, resulting in a serious collision. When a car or truck driver violates a Georgia rule of the road, that may be sufficient to establish negligence for the accident on the part of the driver.
In addition to motor vehicle driver negligence, scooter accidents can result from the negligence of others. Improperly maintained roadways, for example, present a serious hazard for scooter operators. Deep potholes and other significant road defects can cause a scooter operator to fall from the scooter and suffer serious injuries. If a road defect leads to a scooter accident in which a scooter rider suffers a serious injury, then the accident victim may bring a legal claim or file a lawsuit against the person or legal entity responsible for maintaining the roadway. In some cases, that may be a city, county, or municipality.
Finally, some scooter accidents occur because of something wrong on the scooter itself. For example, a part of the scooter (such as the brakes) may be defective, and that defect may cause an accident. If a defective scooter part led to an accident in which the scooter operator suffers an injury, then the operator may bring a legal cause of action against the product manufacturer or distributor for monetary compensation and damages.
Because scooter riders have little or no protection surrounding them, these individuals are very likely to suffer serious injuries when an accident occurs. If you or someone you love has sustained an injury in a scooter accident that a negligent motor vehicle driver caused, a knowledgeable Gwinnett County scooter accident lawyer can file a claim or lawsuit for damages on your behalf.
Common Injuries in Gwinnett County Scooter Accidents
Since scooter accident victims do not have an outer shell of steel surrounding and protecting them at the time of their accident, the injuries that they may sustain can be serious and sometimes deadly. The injuries that an individual suffers in a scooter accident often depends upon the force of the collision, as well as whether or not the impact knocked the scooter rider to the ground. In cases where such an occurrence took place, the accident victim is more likely to suffer a devastating or potentially deadly injury.
Common injuries include the following:
Proving Negligence in a Gwinnett County Scooter Accident Case
To prove negligence in a scooter accident case, you must show that the individual who was at fault either did something that they should not have done, or failed to do something that they should have done.
For example, if your scooter accident occurred because of a negligent motor vehicle operator, you must show how the motor vehicle operator behaved unreasonably. He or she may have violated a traffic law by speeding or running a stop sign.
If you can prove that the at-fault individual behaved unreasonably under the circumstances of the accident, then you may file a claim or pursue a lawsuit against that individual for monetary compensation. In the legal world, this monetary compensation is called damages.
The total amount of damages that you may recover in a scooter accident case depends upon a variety of factors. First of all, the more serious your injuries, the higher your damages will likely be. Moreover, if you received an extensive amount of medical treatment, and that medical treatment was necessary to your recovery from an injury or injuries sustained in the accident, then your claim may be highly compensable.
A potential recovery of damages means that you may pursue compensation for all of your medical bills, medical procedures, and the physical therapy that you endured as a result of your scooter accident. If you had to miss time from your work, you may file a claim for lost wages, both past and future.
In addition to these economic damages, you may file a claim for non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for your inconvenience, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of family support or spousal companionship that resulted from your injuries in the accident.
Wrongful Death Claims Arising From Gwinnett County Scooter Accidents
Some scooter accidents are so serious that the scooter rider dies as a result. If another person’s negligence results in a scooter rider’s death, then the accident victim’s family surviving members may pursue a wrongful death cause of action against the at-fault individual. Depending upon the jurisdiction, an estate may need to be opened before filing a wrongful death claim. Should opening an estate need to take place, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate would likely be the person who brings the claim.
As part of a wrongful death claim, the claimant may pursue compensation for medical treatment bills leading up to the decedent’s death, as well as for all of the pain and suffering that the decedent endured from the time of the accident up until his or her passing.
In addition, the wrongful death claimant may recover compensation for loss of companionship, due to the decedent’s death, as well as for a loss of earning capacity if the claimant depended on the decedent’s employment income.
Gwinnett County Scooter Accident FAQ
What are common precautions for safe scooter riding that should be taken in and around Gwinnett County?
Scooters offer many riders a quick and easy form of transportation to and from locations in and around Gwinnett County. Scooters by their very nature, however, present riders with many dangers and difficulties. If you choose to operate a scooter in Gwinnett County, you should always try and avoid areas with heavy traffic, and you should make sure that you are always following the speed limit, in addition to following other precautions.
Whenever you are operating a scooter in the area, you should always make sure that you are wearing the proper equipment, including a helmet. Although wearing a helmet does not make you invincible, it can help to soften the blow if you are involved in an accident that causes your head to strike the ground. Moreover, you should make sure that you follow all laws and regulations that apply to motorcycles in Georgia whenever you are operating a scooter on Gwinnett County roadways.
What action should you take if you are involved in a scooter accident in Gwinnett County?
No matter how safely you operate a scooter, a chance will always remain that you will become involved in an accident. Scooter accidents most often occur because another motor vehicle operator is negligent, distracted, or is otherwise not paying attention to the road.
Following a scooter accident, accident victims can feel very dazed, confused, and unsure of who they should turn to or what they should do next. To make matters worse, many victims have suffered an injury in the accident and may experience intense pain at the scene of the collision.
Assuming you can do so, the first thing that you should do following your scooter accident is to call the police and paramedics to the scene. You do this by dialing 911. When a police officer arrives at the scene, he or she will typically ask for your account of what happened. Tell the officer what you remember and what you observed immediately before the accident occurred.
You should also ask the officer to prepare a police report so that everything is in writing. The police officer will also typically note who was at fault for the accident in his or her police report—and whether he or she issued the at-fault individual a citation. This report can become an important piece of evidence if there is later a liability dispute in your case.
In addition, you should speak with any eyewitnesses who appear at the scene of the accident. These individuals can make assessments about how the accident likely occurred, how fast the vehicle or vehicles were traveling, and who was likely at fault for the accident. You should also obtain contact information from these individuals, including names, phone numbers, and email addresses, if they are willing to provide them.
Moreover, if you are feeling any kind of pain or believe that you have been injured in the accident, it is important that you immediately seek follow-up medical care and treatment. It is also a good idea to take an ambulance from the accident scene to an urgent care facility or hospital emergency room that is nearby.
As part of your initial medical treatment, healthcare providers will most likely administer imaging studies, such as MRIs and X-rays, to determine if you have any broken bones. They will also give you a complete physical examination and determine what, if any, other injuries you sustained in the accident. The emergency room doctor can also make recommendations for future treatment, including following up with a specialist or a primary care doctor in the coming days and weeks.
Always seek emergency medical treatment following your accident, no matter how well you feel. Failing to do so may allow the at-fault driver’s insurance company to insist that you must not have been as seriously injured as you claimed to be. It is equally important that you follow-up with a specialist or with your primary care doctor, if that is the emergency room doctor’s recommendation. This will be evidence that you are treating your injuries and medical treatment seriously following your accident.
Also, if the at-fault driver’s insurance company asks you for a recorded statement at some point following your scooter accident, you should politely decline. Even though insurance companies and their adjusters may seem empathetic and kind when speaking with you, the purpose of your recorded statement is to provide an opportunity for the insurance to deny your claim or otherwise prevent you from obtaining the compensation for your injuries that you deserve.
Therefore, you should never agree to provide a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company without having your own lawyer present on the call when you give the statement. Even though an insurance company adjuster may say something to the contrary, you are never required to provide a recorded statement to the at-fault individual’s insurance company.
As soon as possible after your scooter accident, you should speak with a knowledgeable Gwinnett County scooter accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm. Our legal team can investigate your case and gather the necessary legal and medical documentation to pursue a claim on your behalf. Moreover, we can do all of this while you are still being treated for your injuries.
What qualifies as a moped or scooter in Georgia?
For a vehicle to qualify as a moped or scooter in Georgia, the vehicle must meet certain qualifications. To be considered a moped, a vehicle must not be capable of traveling faster than 30 miles per hour. Moreover, it must be equipped with an engine that is not any larger than 50cc. Finally, the vehicle must not use a clutch or require shifting gears to operate it.
On the other hand, motor scooters are vehicles that are capable of moving faster than 30mph, possess engines that are greater than 50cc, and that may be used in highway traffic. Georgia laws that apply to motorcycles also apply to motor scooters that individuals operate within the state.
How do Gwinnett County drivers typically cause scooter accidents?
Gwinnett County scooter accidents can happen in a variety of situations and under a variety of circumstances. In many cases, these accidents occur due to a motor vehicle driver’s negligence. For example, when a motor vehicle operator disobeys a Georgia rule of the road, such as by speeding, tailgating, or unlawfully weaving in and out of traffic, the driver increases his or her chance of colliding with a scooter or some other vehicle.
When a driver violates a prevailing rule of the road that applies in Georgia, that is usually sufficient to establish negligence on the part of that driver for a scooter accident. In turn, the scooter accident victim can then file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Another common cause of scooter accidents is distracted driving. Some drivers are not actively looking for scooter operators, and so by taking their eyes off the road for a second or two, they could cause a collision. However, this is not a justification for distracted driving. In fact, when a motor vehicle driver engages in texting, phone conversations, and tablet use while operating his or her vehicle, the chances of colliding with a scooter operator or some other vehicle operator significantly increases.
Finally, when motor vehicle operators engage in intoxicated driving, meaning that they operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they exponentially increase their chances of causing a scooter accident or some other type of motor vehicle collision. If you suffer injuries in a scooter accident that an intoxicated driver caused, the mere fact that the driver was intoxicated is likely sufficient to assert a valid legal cause of action for damages arising out of your accident. An experienced Gwinnett County scooter accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with proving negligence and damages in your case.
What are other possible causes of Gwinnett County scooter accidents?
In addition to motor vehicle operator negligence, there are other common causes of scooter accidents in Gwinnett County. In some instances, these accidents occur because of potholes, cracks, and other serious defects in the roadway. If you can demonstrate that you suffered an injury because of a road defect, then you may file a claim or lawsuit against the individual or entity who is responsible for maintaining the road. In some cases, the defendant may be the city, county, or municipality. If you are planning on suing a municipality, however, you must first make sure that you comply with all statutory notice provisions.
Scooter accidents sometimes occur because of defective scooter parts, such as steering mechanisms or braking systems. If one of these mechanisms failed while you were operating your scooter, and you suffered an injury as a result, you may file a claim or lawsuit against the scooter parts manufacturer under a products liability theory of recovery.
An experienced scooter accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will be sure to cover all of the bases when pursuing monetary compensation on your behalf in a scooter accident case.
What are common injuries that scooter riders suffer in an accident?
There are a variety of injuries that accident victims may suffer in a scooter accident. Scooters present a serious danger to riders, because they do not afford their riders with any kind of protection. Scooter riders have no outer shell of steel surrounding and protecting them, simply their helmets. Therefore, if the scooter operator falls to the ground in a collision, he or she can suffer serious injuries.
Some of the most common injuries that scooter accident victims sustain include the following:
A knowledgeable Gwinnett County scooter accident lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you or your loved one recover the compensation that you need for injuries you suffered in a scooter accident that someone else caused.
How can I recover monetary compensation for the injuries that I sustained in my scooter accident?
There is no disputing that scooter accidents can result in extremely serious injuries and other damages. To recover monetary compensation for these injuries and damages, you must first prove negligence on the part of one or more individuals or entities. To prove negligence, you must show that the at-fault individual had a duty to behave reasonably, that he or she violated that duty, and that as a result of that breach, you suffered one or more injuries in your accident.
When a motor vehicle operator speeds, runs a red light, or violates some other rule of the road before causing the scooter accident, that amounts to a breach of the standard of care.
Moreover, to recover monetary compensation for your injuries, you must show that your injuries resulted directly from the scooter accident. In terms of monetary compensation, you can pursue damages for your medical treatment and expenses, along with any lost wages incurred from losing time at work due to your injuries.
In addition, you can pursue monetary compensation for mental anguish, emotional distress, inconvenience, pain and suffering, loss of spousal and family support, and loss of use of a body part that resulted from your scooter accident.
If the motor vehicle operator who caused your scooter accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol—or otherwise behaved in an extremely reckless or egregious manner—you may file a claim for punitive damages. Juries award punitive damages to punish a defendant and to deter others from committing similar negligent acts. A knowledgeable scooter accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will work hard to pursue the maximum amount of monetary compensation available to you in your scooter accident case.
Call Our Gwinnett County Scooter Accident Attorneys Today
Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm’s experienced Gwinnett County scooter accident attorneys are ready to assist you with pursuing monetary compensation against the individual or entity that caused the scooter accident in your case. Our lawyers will do everything possible to maximize the available monetary compensation available to you. You can call us at (404) 418-8244 or write to us online using our contact form. We’re standing by to hear from you.
Brauns Law, P.C.
3175 Satellite Boulevard, Bldg 600
Duluth, GA 30096
Phone: (404) 205-8614