Injured While Riding a Moped? Call (970) 212-4777 Today
Riding a moped is an excellent way to get around Fort Collins, whether you are heading down to old town or trying to get around Colorado State University. Ideal for casual, short rides and simple errands, mopeds are some of the most affordable and convenient modes of transport on the road.
Unfortunately, they are not designed to handle serious auto accidents, and very few drivers know how to drive around them. These two factors can make moped accidents absolutely devastating, often resulting in costly injuries and high fatality rates for moped riders.
If you or someone you love was injured in a moped accident that was not your fault, you should not hesitate to call the legal team the Tenge Law Firm, LLC. Working with a skilled and experienced Fort Collins moped accident attorney is key to securing proper compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. We can review all available insurance policies, including your own, to determine how you can receive compensation for your injuries. To discuss your case in further detail, contact our office at (970) 212-4777 to schedule a free consultation.
How Safe Are Mopeds?
While mopeds have excellent mobility and are perfect for short trips, they lack the majority of safety features that larger vehicles have and are more akin to electric bikes in an accident. If struck by another vehicle, a rider can be thrown over the handlebars or suffer severe trauma in the legs and hips if the moped collapses on top of them.
While you may assume that operating a moped is the same as a motorcycle, these smaller vehicles are even more exposed on the road. Motorcycles have larger tires that improve their stability, are more mobile, and can more easily respond to dangerous road conditions. Their riders are typically well-trained and experienced at handling their vehicles. Most motorcyclists are aware of the many safety features and gear that can protect them in a motorcycle accident, such as DOT-certified helmets, padded jackets, and thick clothing. Mopeds, in turn, are not designed to handle collisions, and riders are more likely to suffer catastrophic trauma.
In the majority of collisions between cars and mopeds, riders often endure serious injuries like:
- Trauma to the neck and back
- Broken bones
- Facial and skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash
The size and weight of mopeds also limit the amount of protection a rider has in a collision. As a result of this, riders can also die in an accident. While we cannot bring your loved one back, the team at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, can represent surviving family members in a wrongful death claim to hold the at-fault party accountable and secure compensation for your loss.
Who Is At Fault for Your Injuries?
Most collisions are the result of driver negligence. Car and truck drivers have a duty to respect everyone on the road and drive as safely as possible. Unfortunately, many neglect this duty, especially around smaller vehicles like mopeds, scooters, bicycles, and motorcycles.
With regard to moped accidents, drivers may not know how to handle themselves around these small vehicles and may make simple mistakes that horribly injure riders. But there is no excuse for driver negligence, and if a careless driver caused your injuries, you are well within your rights to file an auto accident claim against them.
Actions that may constitute negligence in a moped accident include:
- Driving while texting
- Driving while intoxicated
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Failing to check blind spots before merging lanes
- Driving over the speed limit
- Ignoring traffic signs, including red lights and stop signs
- Failing to check mirrors while reversing out of a driveway
Moped Laws in Fort Collins
Mopeds are “low-powered scooters” under Colorado state law and are considered separate vehicles when compared to motorcycles or electric scooters like Lyme or Bird. The official legal definition for a moped is a vehicle that utilizes no more than three wheels, is powered by either a maximum 50-cylinder capacity gasoline engine or an electric engine that does not exceed 4,476 wattage, and does not use a manual clutch.
While this may seem extremely specific, these requirements ensure that these vehicles can be safely operated on public roads and in Fort Collins’s bike lanes. If you are operating one of these vehicles in Colorado, you are required to have a driver’s license, wear a helmet if you are 17 or younger, have an insurance policy, and register the vehicle with the Colorado DMV.
Insurance policies for mopeds typically only include liability insurance, but riders can also add on uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), as well as medical coverage (MedPay). UM coverage can provide compensation when a rider is hit by a driver who does not have insurance or if the driver commits a hit-and-run. In turn, UIM coverage can provide additional compensation if the at-fault drier does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries. Lastly, MedPay can provide no-fault compensation for any medical injuries you suffer in an accident, and you do not have to file a claim to receive this compensation.
In addition to insurance requirements, moped riders are expected to obey all the same traffic laws as motorcycle riders and other vehicle operators and are awarded the same rights, according to Fort Collins Traffic Code 1501. Under Fort Collins traffic laws, moped riders:
- Cannot have passengers or ride in tandem unless the vehicle can carry more than one rider
- Must remain seated on the vehicle at all times
- Cannot carry any packages, bags, luggage, or bundles that may impede their vision or ability to ride safely
- Are entitled to a full lane of traffic and cannot be forced out of a lane by another vehicle
- Cannot lane-split or ride side-by-side with another vehicle
- Cannot operate a moped on a public or interstate highway or on a sidewalk
These laws were written to protect moped riders and ensure their vehicles are operated as safely as possible. Obeying these laws not only decreases the chances you will be involved in an accident, but it also ensures you will receive fair treatment in a personal injury trial.
Comparative Negligence and Mopeds
Personal injury trials in Colorado follow comparative negligence laws, meaning multiple parties can be found at fault in an accident. In a personal injury trial, the jury will review the legal arguments and evidence surrounding the accident to determine who is at fault. Juries have the option of assigning a certain percentage of fault to everyone involved in an accident, which includes injured moped riders. If a jury assigns 50% or more fault to a moped rider, then the rider is barred from receiving compensation.
However, if the jury applies 49% or less fault to the moped rider, then the rider can still receive compensation, but it will be reduced by the percentage of fault. For example, let us say you were side-swiped by a driver while lane-splitting. While the driver caused your injuries by making an illegal lane change and is assigned 70% of the fault, you receive 30% of the fault for lane-splitting. If the jury awards you $100,000 in compensation, then you will only receive $70,000.
However, if you work with an experienced personal injury attorney at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we can work to minimize the amount of fault the jury assigns to you and advocate for full compensation. It is also important to note that comparative negligence only applies to jury trials. If we can secure you proper compensation in an insurance negotiation, you may be able to cover all of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering without going to trial.
How a Fort Collins Attorney Can Help You
If you or your loved one was injured in a moped accident that was not your fault, you should pick up the phone and contact the Tenge Law Firm, LLC. Our Fort Collins car accident attorney can review your case in a free consultation and, if we take you on as a client, aggressively pursue compensation from the person who injured you. We can handle every aspect of your claim, from getting you in contact with skilled medical professionals to protecting your credit score from unpaid medical bills to handling all communications with the insurance company. To schedule a free consultation with a boutique personal injury firm, call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, at (970) 212-4777.