Moped & Scooter Accidents in the Florida Keys
Mopeds, including gas-powered or electric motorized bicycles, are a popular form of transportation in the Florida Keys. The Keys have likewise been no stranger to the boom in electric scooters (e-scooters) which have exploded around the country, in large part due to e-scooter rental companies like Bird and Lime that offer app-based technology for users to pick up, ride and drop off powered scooters anywhere they like.
Whether you are a Keys resident or a tourist, mopeds and scooters are convenient, fun ways to get around town and see the sights. These vehicles do carry risks, however, the most serious being the risk of serious injury or death if you get hit by a car or truck while riding your scooter or moped. Florida Keys Injury attorneys are here to help injured riders and families of fatal accident victims recover much-needed financial help after a devastating crash.
The hallmarks of Florida Keys Injury are that we listen, we care, we are accessible to our clients, and we aggressively go after negligent drivers and hold them accountable for the full amount of damage they have caused. Our team has helped many residents of The Keys recover significant compensation for injuries sustained in traffic accidents. We are your neighbor’s trusted injury attorney, and we can be yours too. Call today for a free consultation at 786-605-8500
Key West Moped Accident Attorneys
The Florida Keys are unique in America in many ways. One way we differ from the rest of the county is that many residents here own mopeds instead of cars, or if they own both, they choose the moped as their primary means of transportation whenever a car is not necessary. Tourists routinely rent mopeds to tour The Keys as well.
Long-time residents of The Keys are accustomed to sharing the road with mopeds, but many tourists who come down in their own vehicles or rent a car here are unfamiliar driving around mopeds, leading to an unfortunate and unnecessarily high number of moped accidents in Key West, Marathon and throughout The Keys.
Florida law defines a moped as a motor vehicle that has a seat or saddle and can be operated via pedals and human power but also contains an engine up to 50 cubic centimeters large. The top allowable speed for a moped is 30 miles per hour. Mopeds must carry plates, and their drivers must be licensed. However, drivers don’t have to carry insurance, and they aren’t required to wear helmets. Mopeds are street legal throughout The Keys except for on highways.
Marathon Scooter Accident Lawyers
Previously illegal in the state, electric scooters (e-scooters) have been legal throughout Florida since 2019. Florida cities, however, have the local authority to allow, regulate or ban scooters as they see fit. Cities could require riders to wear helmets, for instance, or limit scooters to either the sidewalk or the street. So far, no regulations have been passed for scooters in The Keys. It’s been said scooters are too slow for the street and too fast for the sidewalk, but for now, they can legally be ridden in either place in Key West, Marathon and throughout the Florida Keys.
Understanding laws applicable to scooters can be complicated. Florida law refers to both motorized scooters and motor scooters; although the two names sound similar, they are different conveyances. A motor scooter has a seat or saddle, like a Vespa, while motorized scooters or e-scooters do not. E-scooters are ridden by standing up on the “deck” while holding on to handlebars clamped to the deck through a vertical bar.
Scooters go about five times faster than walking speed (about 20 miles per hour), making them dangerous to ride on the sidewalk shared with pedestrians. At the same time, they are too slow to keep up with traffic on many city streets. Although Key West does have many 20mph posted limits, these speeds are easily attainable by motor vehicles but are the top reachable speed for most scooters, which are typically ridden more slowly.
The faster the scooter is ridden, the more likely the rider is to get into an accident, including falling off the scooter, tripping over an obstacle on the ground, hitting a fixed object, or getting hit by a car. Pedestrians have also suffered severe injuries after tripping over scooters carelessly lain in the sidewalk by riders who rent the scooter on the app and just leave them wherever they feel like when they are done with the trip. Scooters nationally have been responsible for thousands of injuries and dozens of deaths.
Can Moped and Scooter Riders Sue the Negligent Drivers Who Hit Them?
Not only can they, but it is in their best interest to do so. Moped and scooter riders don’t have the benefit of no-fault insurance, also known as Personal Injury Protection or PIP. Bicyclists and pedestrians who get hit by a car can get no-fault benefits through their PIP coverage or the coverage of a household member or even the other driver’s PIP. Mopeds and scooters, however, fall into the category of motorcycles when it comes to no-fault and can’t use anybody’s PIP coverage.
If you get hit by a negligent driver while riding a moped or scooter, you’ll need to sue the negligent driver or file a claim against their insurance company. You’ll need to be able to prove they were negligent and to blame for causing the crash, and you’ll need to be able to prove your injuries and other legal damages, such as pain and suffering. An experienced auto accident lawyer can be invaluable in this situation and help you get a larger recovery than you could get on your own.
The attorneys at Florida Keys Injury have helped many people get sizeable insurance settlements by presenting solid cases of the driver’s negligence while avoiding claims from the other side that the moped or scooter rider was partly to blame. These “comparative negligence” arguments can greatly reduce your settlement and are often thrown at moped and scooter riders. Our team is equally aggressive in pursuing compensation from the negligent driver and defending you against unwarranted claims of comparative fault.
Get Help After a Moped or Scooter Accident in the Florida Keys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a moped or scooter accident in Key West, Marathon or throughout the Florida Keys, call Florida Keys Injury at 786-605-8500 for a free consultation with an experienced and successful Florida Keys personal injury attorney.