California Scooter Accident Lawyer

Stressed about Making Your Scooter Accident Claim?

Been in a scooter accident, but not sure what to do next, or if you even need a California scooter accident lawyer? Let's see if we can help.

Our scooter accident team at Sally Morin Law recognizes that scooters can be an economical way to get around and are certainly a lot of fun to ride. Unfortunately, scooters are frequently involved in serious traffic accidents that cause major injuries and occasionally death.

Obviously, busy cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles have a high traffic volume that is in itself dangerous. Also, many people driving cars and trucks can be oblivious or even aggressive toward you when you’re riding smaller vehicles like scooters, mopeds or Vespas. Needless to say, it can be very dangerous to hit the road on your little two-wheeler. This is why it is so important for you to know what you need to do to keep yourself from being involved in an accident.

And if you are in a scooter accident, you will need to know the first steps to take to protect your rights if the accident is the result of someone else’s negligence. 

A Scooter Accident Claim is the Best Way to Get Compensation for Your Injuries 

If you are injured in a California scooter accident by the negligence of another motorist, you could very well be entitled to financial compensation. The best way to go about getting proper compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering is to file a scooter accident claim with the proper insurance company(s) involved in your accident.

Read on to learn more about the scooter accident claims process. You can also contact us now to find out if you have a valid scooter accident claim and whether you need a scooter accident lawyer to assist you in getting maximum compensation for your accident.

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At Sally Morin Law, we successfully settle over 93% of our cases without having to file suit and litigate, and only 1% of our cases end up in trial. Of course when the insurance company is being unreasonable, we'll litigate and fight for what's fair for our client. The bottom line is we do what is best for our client!

Do the Benefits of Riding a Scooter Outweigh the Dangers?

Worldwide scooters represent 25% of all gas-powered two-wheeled vehicles on the road—outpacing motorcycle sales. That trend has found its way into the United States as well with the number of scooter owners increasing dramatically between 2013 and today.

Many people in California have turned to scooters as a more fuel-efficient and convenient way to commute. (Did someone say – easy parking!!?) Modern scooters may be the spiritual successors to the mopeds that were so popular in the seventies, but they're a completely different machine altogether. They’re bigger and faster, and many people still have a false impression about their safety. This misunderstanding about the dangers may, in turn, put you at greater risk of being involved in a scooter accident in California.

Most of these modern scooters are legally classified as motorcycles with engines large enough to propel them (and their riders) at highway speeds or faster. They’re marketed as lighter versions of motorcycles, more approachable to the public, which may entice those with no previous motorbike experience to grab the handlebars. With these high-powered scooters, you don’t even have to be able to operate a clutch... just hit the throttle and you are off!

But with speed and maneuverability comes risk. Each year there were 701 fatal motorcycle accidents (this includes scooters) in California--making it one of the deadliest states in the nation for riders. (Note that many states don’t even have helmet laws like California, but they have fewer deaths per year.) 

Why Are Scooters So Popular? ​

Fuel Efficiency

Of the top 250 brands of scooters in the United States, the least fuel-efficient models still get 50 miles per gallon or more. The most fuel-efficient models can go for up to 144 miles on a single gallon of gasoline. Compare that to a nationwide average of just 25 MPG for passenger cars (even less for SUVs, trucks, and vans) and you can see the potential for huge savings at the pump.

Smaller Carbon Footprint

That fuel efficiency also translates into a smaller carbon footprint. The average commuter car produces 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. An average scooter releases only a fraction of that.

Convenient Parking

In high-density areas like San Francisco and parts of Los Angeles, parking can be a real struggle. Scooters fit nearly anywhere and some are even small enough that they can even be brought inside (or up onto the curb) if there’s no parking available on the street.

Ease of Use

Though most scooters are classified as motor-driven cycles under California law and their operators must have a Class M1 license, these machines aren’t as complex as most motorcycles. Instead of a manual clutch and gears, scooters most often have automatic transmissions—you just turn them on and ride.

The Cost Savings

There are a lot of ways choosing a scooter over a car can save you money. Whereas a typical automobile can cost on average over $34,000 for new or $19,000 for used an average scooter runs around $2,000 to $4,000 (though high-end models can be considerably more). Scooters generally have a much shorter expected lifespan than a car but still, you’re still looking at a cost savings of at least 4 to 5 times that of buying a used car.

Legal Classifications of Scooters

In order to get a clearer picture of scooter accidents, it may help to clear up some confusion about classification. Legally speaking, a "scooter" is a two-wheeled vehicle (gas or electric) with a top speed of 20 MPH. That's not the type of vehicle we normally picture when we hear the word “scooter.” In fact, many people picture the sleek, high powered machines with 150—260cc engines—comparable to full-sized motorcycles. And, indeed, that’s exactly what they are—motorcycles with “step-through frames”.

Here are the Legal Classifications of Scooters:

  • Motorcycle - 150cc engine or bigger and no more than 3 wheels. Must be registered and driver must have motorcycle license.
  • Motor-Driven Cycles - 149cc or less. Has to be registered and operator must have motorcycle license.
  • Three-Wheeled Motorcycles - Includes trikes or Can-Am Spyders as well as motorcycles with sidecars. These only require Class C driver’s licenses, not specialized motorcycle licenses.
  • Motorcycle
    Mopeds - 2 or 3 wheeled device capable of no more than 30MPH with fully operative pedals for human propulsion.

Crash Data for Scooter Accidents

While crash data does not separate “scooters” from motorcycles, it does separate motorcycles involved in crashes by engine size. One might expect larger bikes to have higher accident rates. They go faster, are heavier (harder for inexperienced riders to control), and anecdotal reports link faster motorcycles with “extreme motorcycling.” 

However, actual crash data shows that the number and type of motorcycle accidents is spread nearly evenly across engines size—meaning any bike, including a scooter, poses an equal risk to drivers, riders, and pedestrians on the street. Clearly, it doesn’t take a fast scooter or motorcycle to get you into trouble.

What to Do after a Scooter Accident in California

Sometimes no amount of preparation or safe riding can keep you from getting into an accident—especially one that’s the fault of another driver. In cases like this, riders need to take certain steps to safeguard their legal rights to compensation.

Following a scooter accident, you should do basically the same things that you would do following any other traffic accident. However, the cards are stacked against you when you are in a scooter accident. Police officers, motorists and even witnesses can be biased against those of us traveling on two wheels. 

The bottom line is that protecting your rights comes down to doing the right things from the moment your scooter accident happens until you get your case to a qualified California scooter accident lawyer. You want to do everything you can to help protect your case. These first steps include the following: 

  • Immediately Contact the Police — One of the key components of demonstrating both liability and the fact that you were injured during a scooter crash is to immediately call the police to the scene of the accident. Never delay in doing this – even if the other party insists since it will make it more difficult for the police to fill out their accident report. Also, do not leave the scene of the accident until after the police have completed their investigation and documentation of the accident and you have gotten the police report number and the name of any police officers responding to the crash. Make sure that you provide a copy of the resulting accident report to any scooter accident attorney with whom you consult.
  • Take Lots of Photos — Photos can be of immense value as evidence of damages and liability. You will want to take photos of the property damage and any visible injuries that you might have received. But you need to go beyond this. You will also want photos of the road conditions and the weather conditions at the time. In addition to this, take photos of all of the vehicles involved, the intersection or location where the accident occurred, the signage in that location and any stoplights. Stoplights can be particularly useful, especially if they were not functioning properly. Obviously, if you are too seriously injured to run around snapping pics on your phone, enlist a witness or good Samaritan to do this for you.
  • Get the Driver's Information — If you were hit on your scooter by a negligent driver, make sure that you get that drivers name, phone number, insurance information and physical address. You will want to take photos of their license plate, insurance card and license. If the driver does not have any one of these three items, inform the police on the scene so they can make a record of it in their crash report. If you end up hiring a scooter accident lawyer, they will need this information to get you full value for your claim.
  • Get Witness Information — Make sure that you obtain and write down the names, phone numbers and email addresses of any potential witnesses to the accident. The information provided by these witnesses can be invaluable in your lawyer’s efforts to support your claim for damages. You can be certain that the other party will attempt to obtain witnesses to support his or her position regarding liability for the accident.
  • Seek Medical Attention — The expense of medical treatment should not be your primary concern. Head injuries are common in scooter crashes, even when riders wear helmets. Concussion and internal bleeding can take hours or even days to manifest. Your best bet is to accept medical treatment and visit a hospital if necessary. Waiting to do this is a mistake since it will make it more difficult to prove the connection between the accident and the resulting injury.

​Contact a Qualified Scooter Injury Attorney 

You should immediately contact a qualified California scooter accident attorney to learn if you have sufficient grounds to for a scooter accident claim. Sally Morin Law can handle the convoluted legal red tape involved in your claim so that you can put all of your focus and energy on recovering from your injuries. Once you get a trustworthy, experienced scooter crash lawyer on your side, there is no reason why you should have to think about or stress over the legal aspects of your case.

During your initial consultation with a top-rated California scooter accident lawyer at Sally Morin Law, we will discuss with you everything that is going to occur over the following weeks and months. This includes the potential outcome that you can expect from your case, as well as things that you might be able to do to strengthen your case. Next, we will investigate the crash itself, gathering the valuable evidence you will need for your case so that you will have the best possible chance of succeeding with your claim and getting you the settlement you deserve.

Motorcycle client review

Chris S.

"I highly recommend Sally Morin Law to anyone who's looking for professional, compassionate, competent, and reliable representation. I was involved in a motorcycle accident three years back, and it was thanks to their hard work that I was able to get some closure and the proper compensation to move on."

Mistakes to Avoid in Your Scooter Accident Claim

As pointed out above, there are a number of things that you can do to significantly enhance the likelihood of your claim succeeding. Here is a list of the mistakes you need to avoid making that could otherwise entirely derail your claim for damages.

  • Don’t Give Information to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company. Adjusters are trained to ask questions that may lead you into accepting some or all of the responsibility for the accident. Don’t fall into that trap. The only thing you should give away is your insurance information.
  • Along the same lines as the above, do not allow any conversation with the insurance adjuster for the motorist who caused your accident to be recorded, as this could be used against you later in court. 
  • Avoid announcing your accident or injuries on social media prior to the full resolution of your case.
  • Don't ignore the advice of your lawyer, since this will give you the best chance of success in your case.
  • In the same way, don't discount the treatment instructions provided by your doctor. This will help you build a solid case.
  • Never agree to any settlement that your lawyer has not approved, since it may be far less than you would otherwise receive.

Contact the Scooter Accident Legal Experts at Sally Morin Law Today

Now that you know how to find the best scooter accident lawyer to represent your case to insurance companies, defense attorneys, and in California courtrooms, it's time to get in touch with us. You can request a free case evaluation online or call 1-877-380-8852 right now.

Still not ready to contact us?

Learn More about the California Scooter Accident Team at Sally Morin Law

Hopefully, this information has been helpful in giving you a plan on how to find the best California scooter accident lawyer for you. But, since you want to find the best, you really need to check out Sally Morin Law.

Find out here if we are a good fit for you and your case.

Check out how the process works with us as your lawyers.

If you're someone who is considering an attorney for a personal accident, I highly recommend Sally Morin and her professional staff of attorneys. If you would like to know more details, feel free to contact me via Yelp and I would be happy to share more details. While I use Yelp quite often, I rarely post reviews... unless I'm truly blown away by great service (or angry with horrible service). If there were a sixth star, I would certainly give it to Rebecca and Sally!

Walt W.

Looking for A San Francisco Scooter Accident Lawyer?

San Francisco is the Perfect City for Scooters! The unique geography of San Francisco makes it a difficult place for large vehicles to get around. Lots of hills, narrow streets, an increasing number of automobiles on a finite amount of blacktop—it was a recipe for disaster. In fact, until the city adopted a more forward-thinking traffic plan it looked as if San Francisco was on its way toward critical mass. Scooters have helped lessen that congestion.

However, because the SFPD doesn’t differentiate between a scooter and motorcycle in crash reports it’s impossible to tell whether or not scooters are safer than motorcycles. It's a fact that motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die in a crash than a motorist. So if you’re planning on hitting San Francisco streets on a scooter, ride safely and ride smart. Learn how to use your machine safely and use a DOT approved helmet every time.

In a city that was voted one of the worst in the country for finding a parking spot, the size of your vehicle is an important consideration for San Franciscans. However, there has been a rise the number of San Francisco scooter accidents, so be careful! And, make sure to contact our San Francisco scooter accident lawyers at 415-413-0033 if you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a scooter accident in San Francisco. 

Need a Scooter Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles?

​There's been a recent boom in the use of scooters in Los Angeles, which has translated into an increase in the number of LA scooter accidents. Los Angeles Millennials and tourists alike are enjoying the freedom and independence riding a scooter provides. With California's liberal lane-splitting laws and Los Angeles' heavy traffic and the warm weather, riding a scooter in LA makes a lot of sense. You don't have to let rush hour traffic stop you or even slow you down. You can just zip through lanes of standstill traffic up to the front of the intersection and go on your merry way. 

However, when a distracted motorist doesn't see you on the road, accidents happen. If you've been seriously injured in an LA area scooter accident, you want the best scooter accident lawyer in Los Angeles that you can find.

Our Los Angeles scooter accident attorney team can let you know right away if you have a viable scooter accident case that warrants making an insurance claim to get the financial compensation you deserve. Click below to get help now, or call us at (323) 283-8211.

How to Avoid the Most Common Types of Scooter Accidents 

Chances are you've landed on this page because you have already suffered a scooter accident in California, so you don't want advice on how to avoid an accident that already happened. But, these tips will hopefully keep you safe so that you'll want to get back on your scooter after you recover from your injuries.

Motorcycle crash data can be used to interpret scooter accident data. Doing so lets us see the most common types of scooter accidents are:

  • Head On Collisions – Representing up to 56% of all motorcycle or scooter collisions with other vehicles.

  • Cars Turning Left – Representing up to 43% of all motorcycle or scooter accidents. (Motorists seem to have extreme difficulty seeing the “single headlight” of scooters and motorcycles coming straight from the opposite direction.)

  • Collisions with Stationary Objects – Accounting for 25% of motorcycle and scooter fatalities.

In order to avoid these types of crashes, scooter riders should:

  • Take approved safety courses—learn how to handle their machines
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Avoid speeding
  • Avoid “lane splitting” (although this is legal, it is risky business!)
  • Always watch for turning traffic (even when you clearly have the right of way)
  • Always assuming the motorists don't see you

Contact a Top-Rated California Scooter Accident Lawyer Before It's Too Late

Getting the financial compensation you deserve can be tricky. In order to do so, you may have to prove liability in a court of law. While the police accident report (if you have one that is in your favor) goes a long way toward aiding your case, it may not be enough. A lawyer specializing in scooter accidents in California knows what you need to get the compensation you deserve.

As a long-time rider, Sally Morin is very familiar with how scooter accidents occur, how motorists try to evade liability and the challenges faced by people who are seriously injured in scooter accidents. From the age of 15, Sally rode a moped (yes, it was yellow and had pedals ;), then a 50cc scooter, then a 150cc Honda Elite, then finally a motorcycle when she moved to San Francisco to study law. After seeing too many people close to her get injured on two-wheels, she became a personal injury attorney devoted to helping people injured in scooter accidents and motorcycle accidents in California.

If you or someone you care about may need to file a scooter accident claim, find out now if we can help by getting a FREE online case evaluation.

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