Motorized scooters are becoming more popular in America for personal travel, especially in large cities. They operate similarly to motorcycles; they are much smaller in size than cars and are easier to maneuver in tight spaces. They also are highly fuel efficient.
Unfortunately, scooter accidents are occurring more as they rise in popularity. Scooter accidents can happen when they are struck by a car, a bike or another scooter. Some scooter accidents also involve pedestrians.
As with motorcycles, the injuries that happen from scooter accidents tend to be more serious than with cars. Scooter operators are completely exposed to the environment, and an accident can result in the following injuries:
- Broken bones: Hitting another vehicle, object or person can cause you to lose control of the scooter and hit the ground. Broken bones can include the leg, hand, arm, ribs and spine and more. A broken collar bone is one of the most common injuries on scooters, bikes and motorcycles.
- Head injuries: Injuries to the head can occur very easily if you lose control of the scooter. A head injury is usually serious. Even a mild concussion can cause serious problems, including headache, memory loss, light sensitivity and long-term motor skills problems. A more serious concussion can cause very serious long term health problems. If the head injury is serious enough, permanent brain damage can cause long term disability or even death. Wearing a helmet can reduce the chances of a head injury in a scooter accident.
- Cuts, scrapes and bruises: Contact with the ground or another vehicle can cause serious cuts, scrapes and bruises that can be very painful.
- Biker’s arm: This is a condition that can crop up after the initial impact in the scooter accident. A scooter operator can be thrown off the vehicle and fly several feet before hitting the ground. The natural instinct is to draw your arms in front of yourself to reduce the impact. But landing on your hands and arms can cause serious nerve damage. It also is possible for permanent nerve damage to be done to the upper body.
- Leg injury: Another common injury from scooter accidents is injury to the legs that can include the feet and knees. When this type of injury happens, it may not be fatal, but it can grow into something worse much worse over time. Injuries to the legs often include broken bones or knees. Legs and feet can be broken, and ankles can also be serious injured. You can reduce the chances of these types of serious lower leg injuries by wearing long pants and motorcycle boots.
If you are in a scooter accident, you should be seen by a doctor immediately. You may have injuries that do not become obvious until days have passed after the accident.
Causes of Scooter and Motorcycle Accidents
Recent statistics show there are approximately 67,000 motorcycle accidents per year in the United States. Many motorcycle and scooter accidents can be attributed to lack of experience in operating such vehicles. However, about 1/3 of collisions with motorcycles and scooters are because of drivers turning into their path. Motorcycles and scooters are harder to see than larger vehicles. Thus, it is incumbent upon the scooter or motorcycle operator to take precautions, including:
- Wearing bright colored clothing so that other drivers can see you.
- Ensure that the headlamp on the scooter is operational if it has one. It should be illuminated at all times so that other drivers can see you.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Use caution in intersections or if it appears that a vehicle is planning to turn in front of you. Many drivers do not look for scooter and motorcycle operators.
Every time you ride your scooter, you risk the chance of a serious injury. Remember that you can reduce the chances of being hurt on your scooter by being a defensive driver. Also, wear protective equipment, including knee pads, elbow pads, coat, long pants and a helmet. If you are in an accident with another motorist, biker or pedestrian, you will have a much better chance of minimizing injury.
If you believe the scooter accident was caused by the negligence of another person or driver, you have legal rights that should be explored. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The insurance company for the at-fault driver could be liable for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost earnings. Even if an insurance policy is not in effect for the accident, the negligent driver still could be responsible for paying for your damages.
For more information, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in your state. If you do not know who to turn to, use our website to help you find a personal injury attorney that you can count on.