Many people assume that motor scooters are safer than motorcycles or vehicles because the maximum speed is less than the average motor vehicle. However, motor scooters can be more dangerous in some cases than other vehicles. For example, a motor scooter does not provide any protection for a rider during a crash.

Operators of motor scooters in Baltimore need to be aware of the requirements for motor scooters in Maryland and the dangers of riding motor scooters. It is also helpful to understand what to do after a motor scooter accident in Baltimore.

What are the Requirements for Motor Scooters in Baltimore?

Motor scooter owners must register their vehicle with the Maryland Department of Motor Administration. The motor scooter must be titled and display a title decal at all times. Drivers must have a valid moped operator’s permit or driver’s license to operate a motor scooter.

Riders and drivers must wear protective headgear while riding a motor scooter. The driver must also wear eye protection if the scooter is not equipped with a windscreen.

Motor scooter owners must purchase and carry the same liability insurance coverage that applies to other motor vehicles. The Maryland liability insurance requirements for motor scooters are:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person;
  • $60,000 for bodily injury per incident; and,
  • $15,000 for property damage coverage.

Liability insurance does not protect the rider in a motor scooter accident. You may want to discuss optional insurance coverage with your insurance agent. Examples of insurance that motor scooter owners may want to explore include, but are not limited to:

  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Underinsured motorist coverage
  • Collision insurance
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Med-Pay coverage
  • Personal Injury Protection coverage

The injuries sustained in a motor scooter accident can be severe. Having sufficient insurance can minimize your personal losses for a motor scooter accident.

Causes of Motor Scooter Accidents in Baltimore

Motor scooters are smaller vehicles. They can be difficult to see in traffic. While this fact does not excuse motorist negligence or carelessness, it can be a factor in some motor scooter accidents.

Commons reasons for accidents involving motor scooters include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding and reckless driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Following too closely
  • Drowsy driving
  • Hazardous road conditions
  • Defective motor scooters
  • Poor weather conditions

The contributing factors of a motor scooter accident help determine who is liable for motor scooter injuries.

In addition to the factors that might contribute to the cause of a motor scooter crash, we also look at the type of motor scooter crash. Three basic types of motor scooter accidents are:

Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents often occur in heavy traffic when a driver does not see a motor scooter because the driver is distracted or fails to check the vehicle’s blind spots.

Dooring Accidents

Dooring accidents occur when a driver or passenger of a parked vehicle opens the vehicle’s door in the path of a motor scooter. The scooter hits the vehicle door or crashes because the rider swerves to miss the door.

Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end accidents involving scooters often occur at intersections or when the scooter is turning. The driver in the rear may be distracted, speeding, or following too closely.

Types of Injuries Caused by Motor Scooter Accidents

Motor scooter accident injuries can be severe for the rider. There is no protection for the rider during the collision. The rider may be crushed beneath a motor vehicle or thrown from the scooter.

Examples of motor scooter injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Crushing injuries, including internal organ injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Concussions
  • Skull fractures
  • Back injuries, including paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and fractured vertebrae
  • Neck and shoulder injuries
  • Lacerations and abrasions (road rash)
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of limbs or bodily functions

The severity and type of injuries can have a significant impact on the value of a motor scooter accident.

What Damages are Available in Motor Scooter Accident Claims?

Damages in a motor scooter accident can range from minor injuries to permanent disabilities. Damages also include financial losses and non-economic damages. The types of damages depend on the circumstances of the accident.

How much you receive for a motor scooter accident claim depends on several factors. Examples of damages in a motor scooter injury claim include, but are not limited to:

  • Doctor’s bills and hospital charges
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling
  • Medications and medical supplies
  • Cost of ongoing medical care
  • Loss of income, including a decrease in earning potential
  • Emotional distress, including depression and PTSD
  • Physical pain and sufferings
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Personal care costs and help with household chores
  • Disfigurement, impairments, disability, and scarring

What Should I Do After a Motor Scooter Accident?

After a motor scooter accident, your priority is your health. However, you must also take steps to protect your legal right to receive compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.

Steps you can take to protect your health and your legal rights after a motor scooter crash include:

  1. Call 911 to report motor scooter accidents in Baltimore or Maryland.
  2. Wait for the police and emergency medical services to arrive. Do not admit liability.
  3. Take pictures of the vehicles and the accident scene.
  4. Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
  5. See a doctor as soon as possible to document your injuries.
  6. Keep copies of all documents, including bills, receipts, and medical records.
  7. Avoid providing statements or talking to insurance claims adjusters until you speak with an attorney.

A personal injury attorney can help you develop a strategic plan for recovering maximum compensation or your motor scooter accident claim.