Help for Scooter Riders Struck by Negligent Motorists
When the weather allows for it, riding a motor scooter is one of the best ways to get around Denver. Feeling the wind and enjoying the scenery without the exhaustion of pedaling a bike can be exhilarating. As long as you ride safely, you should feel confident taking a moped or motor scooter on the same roads as cars and trucks.
Unfortunately, other drivers are often reckless around mopeds and do not always consider the safety of the riders. The negligence of another driver can easily cause a collision, and since a person on a moped lacks the protection of an enclosed vehicle, he or she may suffer traumatic injuries.
If you have been struck by a motorist while operating your motor scooter around Denver, the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, wants to fight for you. With over 25 years of expertise under our belts, we can vigorously defend your right to compensation in an auto accident claim to ensure that your medical bills are covered. In addition, we can advocate for any other damages you have suffered due to a negligent driver, including lost wages, pain and suffering, disabilities, and the loss of a loved one. Call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC at (303) 502-5587 to take action against the negligent driver who harmed you. All initial consultations are free and we do not accept a single cent of your money unless we win your claim.
Common Moped Injuries
Moped riders are some of the most exposed demographics on the road alongside bicyclists and motorcyclists. All three groups exist at the whim of other drivers, whether they are operating a semi-truck or standard four-door sedan. If a driver speeds, drives while intoxicated, or ignores a moped rider’s right of way, the rider can suffer catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal trauma
- Skull fractures
- Severe lacerations and road rash
- Broken bones
The sad fact of the matter is that many moped riders do not survive a vehicle collision. Riders lack many of the major protections that car drivers take for granted and can die either during the collision or afterward due to their injuries. But even in these instances, the deceased rider’s loved ones can pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. In order to do so, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to review the accident and determine if driver negligence caused your loved one’s death.
What Is Negligence?
Drivers are considered negligent when they behave in a way that another reasonable person wouldn’t in the same situation. Typically, this is as simple as following local traffic laws and avoiding unsafe maneuvers. A driver who goes too fast and tailgates a moped would certainly be acting in a negligent manner. Similarly, a driver who fails to recognize the rights of a moped to be on the road and cuts it off, causing a single-vehicle crash, could also be considered negligent.
There are several ways a driver can act negligently and cause a moped accident, including:
- Not respecting a moped rider’s right of way
- Opening a door in front of a moped rider
- Swerving or dangerously changing lanes
- Breaking the speed limit
- Running a red light at an intersection
- Making dangerous turns
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while using a phone
- Failing to check blind spots
- Backing out of a driveway without checking mirrors
If a driver did any of this and hurt you or your loved one, you may be able to pursue compensation in an auto accident claim. However, it is important to note that moped riders can also act negligently, and riders should always obey state and local laws when on the road for the safety of themselves and others. Safe riding may even impact your ability to file a successful claim.
Moped Safety in Denver
In Colorado, a motor scooter is defined as any vehicle with no more than three wheels, which is self-propelled by a motor. To qualify as a moped, rather than a motorcycle, the vehicle’s engine cannot exceed 50cc (cubic centimeters) for traditional engines or exceed 4,476 watts if powered electrically. Motor scooters should not be confused with e-scooters, which are smaller vehicles similar to a foot-powered scooter but with a small engine attached.
Anyone operating a moped must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license and may be required to wear a helmet and eye protection if they are under the age of 18 years old. All such motor scooters must be registered with the state and covered by an appropriate insurance policy.
While the city of Denver does not have any specific moped laws, many of the city’s laws regarding electric scooters and bicycles apply to mopeds. Mopeds cannot be driven on interstate and major highways, nor are they allowed in certain restricted areas, such as the 16th Street Mall or on sidewalks. Otherwise, a moped can be driven on the street in the same lanes as a car, but can also use bicycle lanes when it is safe to do so.
Having obeyed all traffic laws in Denver is extremely important when filing a personal injury claim because the state of Colorado follows comparative negligence laws when determining compensation for accident victims. Based on these laws, each individual in an auto accident is assigned a certain amount of fault. If you are assigned 50% or more fault, then you can be barred from receiving compensation. Juries determine fault by looking at each person’s actions in an accident and, if you violated a traffic law, then you could receive some level of fault.
In addition, your own auto insurance policy may provide some compensation if you are injured while riding a moped. These policies can include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), which may apply if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or enough insurance to cover your injuries, as well as MedPay, which can provide immediate coverage for your injuries.
How to File a Moped Accident Claim
In order to file a moped accident claim, you will need to prove that the other driver caused your injuries. While you may assume this is as simple as stating that they hit you while running a red light or that they rear-ended you, the process is much more complicated.
After an accident, the other driver should provide you with their insurance information. You may try to contact their insurance company and file a claim directly with an insurance adjuster, but this can be a major mistake. While an insurance adjuster has to review your claim, they are often expected by their employers to minimize the amount of money they pay to accident victims. They may act friendly and seem genuinely concerned about you, but many are trained to look for weaknesses in your claim and find excuses to not pay you any money.
Instead of contacting the insurance company, reach out to a personal injury lawyer at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, instead. Our firm has handled numerous auto accident claims and understands the process thoroughly. Unlike insurance companies, whose primary concern is protecting their bottom line, we are interested in getting you the money you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. We can handle all of the legal burdens of dealing with the insurance company while you focus on recovering.
If allow us to handle your case, we can:
- Review all available insurance policies, including your own, to determine what compensation you can receive
- Investigate your accident to find proof that the other driver caused your injuries
- Get you in contact with experienced doctors and specialists so that you can receive the best care available
- Collect evidence, such as police reports, witness testimonies, accident photos, and surveillance footage
- Handle all communication with the insurance company
- Keep you up to date on all changes in your claim
- Negotiate with the insurance adjuster for full compensation
- Represent you in a lawsuit and jury trial, if necessary
The process of filing a moped accident claim can be incredibly difficult while you are recovering. That is why working with an attorney is your best option. Let us focus on getting you the compensation you need to heal comfortably while you focus on attending your doctor appointments and resting.
Call a Top Personal Injury Lawyer in Denver
If you or someone you love has been struck by another driver while riding on a moped, then you deserve compensation for your injuries. With over 25 years of experience, the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, can utilize all of our skills and knowledge to represent you in a personal injury claim. We also work on a contingency-fee basis and you do not have to pay us a dime unless we win your claim.
Do not go this alone. Let us handle your case and fight for your rights. Call our office at (303) 502-5587 to talk about your options with a Denver car accident attorney in a free consultation.