Staten Island Scooter Accident Attorney
Riding a scooter is a convenient way to get around Staten Island. Scooters are comparatively small to passenger vehicles, making them easy to park. Scooters are also inexpensive, and the electric ones don’t contribute to air pollution. Even with their positives, scooters are dangerous for riders and others who share the road. Many scooter riders have little experience, so they are uncertain about how to react to a road hazard, pedestrians, cyclists, or dangerous situations. Similarly, drivers in passenger vehicles don’t watch for scooters and sometimes cause severe accidents.
If you have suffered injuries in a Staten Island scooter accident, the skilled legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, understands the challenges you face. You should not have to cope with the economic losses on top of the physical pain of injury when another driver or other party caused your scooter accident and injuries. We can guide you through the claims process and help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact our skilled Staten Island scooter accident attorneys today for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your Staten Island scooter accident.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, Advocates for Those Injured Due to Negligence
The knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have advocated for clients injured due to another party’s negligence, including those injured on scooters and other traffic accidents, since 1972. The firm has won thousands of cases for its clients over the decades. Our legal team is committed to client advocacy and seeking justice for our clients, which has led to the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlements over the years.
Examples of recent case results in traffic accident cases include:
$1,272,000 Settlement for the Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident
A drunk driver struck our client’s vehicle head-on causing multiple injuries. Our client suffered a fractured wrist and foot. His foot required corrective surgery with hardware, preventing him from working for almost one year. He also had to drop out of college and could not return until four years after his accident.
$1,100,000 Settlement After a Vehicle Struck a Pedestrian
Our elderly client was walking in a marked crosswalk when a vehicle struck her. After being rushed to the nearest hospital, she had to undergo surgery on one of her knees. She also suffered severe pain in one of her harms and had swelling on her head from the accident.
$740,000 Settlement for Rear-end Accident Injuries
After a driver rear-ended our client’s vehicle, he suffered severe soft tissue injuries to his neck, back, and shoulders. The accident was severe enough to total his vehicle, and our client had to have corrective surgery on his neck. After a few rounds of negotiations, we ultimately reached a favorable settlement.
$650,000 Settlement After an Inattentive Driver Caused a Crash
A negligent driver ignored a stop sign and crashed into our client’s vehicle. Our client suffered immediate pain from the accident but did not know the full scope of her accident injuries. As time went on, she experienced more pain. Ultimately, our client had to undergo three corrective surgeries within two years of the accident.
$536,000 Verdict for a Motorcyclist
A truck forced our client to quickly move to the right lane. He suffered injuries when a driver in a parked car opened the door into the motorcycle while it was moving. Our client broke both bones below the knee and several toes. During his first surgery, doctors inserted rods and pins into his right leg. He later had a second surgery for a bone graft. Our client still struggles to walk and stand and can no longer work as a furniture builder.
The settlements and verdicts listed above are a small sample of recent case results. They do not guarantee a specific financial outcome for your scooter accident injury claim. The experienced scooter accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have the knowledge and resources to build a case against the other side, giving clients the best chance to recover maximum compensation for their injuries.
Staten Island Scooter Laws
The word scooter gets thrown around a lot, and different people use it to describe different types of vehicles. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles divides scooters, which it refers to as limited use motorcycles, into three different classes. The differences in the classes of scooters, the requirements for those who ride, and the locations where they are allowed on Staten Island’s streets reveal some reasons why scooter accidents occur.
Here is a broad overview of each class of limited use motorcycles under New York law:
- Class A scooters refer to those that travel at speeds between 30 and 40 miles per hour. Riders can operate class A scooters on any of Staten Island’s roads and streets, but riders must have a motorcycle endorsement on their drivers’ license.
- Class B scooters travel between 20 and 30 miles per hour. Riders can only operate these scooters in the right-hand lane or shoulder of the road. Class B scooters do not require an additional endorsement; any licensed driver can legally ride a class B scooter.
- Class C scooters are the slowest of the three classes and do not go over 20 miles per hour. They include many electric scooters and bicycles with an electric assist. Riders must also operate class C scooters in the right-hand lane or on the shoulder of a road, and riders do not need a special endorsement.
Causes of Staten Island Scooter Accidents
A wide range of situations leads to scooter accidents, but by far the most common cause is human error. The same negligent behaviors drivers exhibit that lead to car crashes can also lead to a motorist striking a scooter.
Beyond this, scooters also suffer from the fact that they are substantially smaller than an automobile, and also afford less protection to the operator. This means that a careless driver is even more likely not to see a scooter in the roadway, and the injuries the scooter operator suffers are often substantially worse than those a car driver or passenger would face.
The fact is that Staten Island roadways are littered with drivers who simply don’t have the proper skills or training to drive safely around bicycles, pedestrians, or scooters. While they may have learned to always check their blind spots in driver’s ed so they don’t bump into a car, how often do drivers anticipate the appearance of a small vehicle like a cycle or scooter? How often do drivers parking their cars check before opening their door to prevent a dooring accident with a scooter operator? From what we’ve seen, not often enough.
Drivers Under the Influence
Unfortunately, intoxicated drivers are a constant threat on Staten Island roadways. This doesn’t always mean alcohol, either—drivers suffering the effects of prescription or recreational drugs, or even simple fatigue from a lack of rest, just can’t register or respond to other operators as quickly as a sober driver. When the victim on the other end of this is a scooter operator, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Sometimes, vehicle operators just drive like crazy. Whether it’s the adrenaline rush of cutting in and out of busy Staten Island traffic at high speeds, or malicious aggression caused by road rage, the truth is that many drivers feel invincible behind the wheel. This means they’ll follow too close, speed well over the limit, fail to signal, or cut off other vehicles. All of this is a recipe for disaster for everyone else sharing the road, and scooter operators are no exception.
Mopeds have been around for some time, but e-scooters are relatively new. Old and new products alike sometimes have defects. Defective scooters can cause dangerous accidents. In fact, Lime recalled its electric scooters across the world two times in 2018. One recall happened because handlebars broke during operating, and the other recall occurred because certain scooter models had fire risks. If defective scooters cause an accident, the manufacturer could face liability for damages in a New York court.
Scooter Accidents Lead to a Wide Range of Injuries
You can make careless choices on your scooter that lead to accidents, but you are also at risk for an accident from those in motor vehicles. Regardless, those who ride scooters do not enjoy the same protection as others on the road. If a vehicle strikes an individual on a scooter, injuries are often serious and can prove fatal.
Examples of injuries that scooter accident victims frequently suffer include:
- Multiple fractures, many of which require one or more surgeries
- Head trauma and brain injuries, especially when not wearing a helmet
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crushed limbs, which sometimes lead to amputation
Seeking Compensation for Staten Island Scooter Accident Injuries
If you have sustained injuries in a Staten Island scooter accident, New York law permits you to bring a lawsuit against the careless party responsible for the accident and your injuries. If you reach a settlement with the other side or a jury rules in your favor, you might receive compensation for some or all of the following economic and non-economic damages related to your injuries:
Medical Treatment Costs
Medical expenses add up quickly after suffering severe injuries in a scooter accident. These expenses may include a wide range of costs from ambulance service, emergency room treatment, and hospitalization to X-rays, medications, surgery, and follow-up doctor visits. Those who suffer the most severe injuries might need multiple surgeries, and some permanent injuries require ongoing care and treatment. In these situations, lawyers include future medical expenses in an accident injury lawsuit.
Rehabilitation is an essential part of any treatment that someone receives for accident injuries. The extent and types of rehabilitation vary widely among accident victims. Most need to spend time in physical therapy to regain their range of motion and/or lost muscle function. Those with permanent injuries need occupational therapy to learn how to accomplish day-to-day tasks in new ways.
Other specialized treatment that sometimes helps patients during recovery includes counseling to deal with the emotional trauma of an accident and injury and a speech/language specialist to help patients learn or relearn how to communicate. Some patients also need wheelchairs, artificial limbs, or other assistive devices temporarily or permanently after suffering injuries.
Scooter accident victims who work outside the home often miss work for weeks or months if they suffer severe injuries. Accident claims typically include compensation for lost wages and used paid time off due to hospitalization and recovery. If a scooter accident leads to a permanent injury that interferes with individuals’ ability to do their jobs, an accident claim might also include compensation for lost wages in the future, legally referred to as lost earning capacity.
Accident victims often receive compensation for non-economic damages, which encompass losses that lawyers cannot easily quantify with a bill or receipt. The exact type of non-economic damages someone receives after a scooter accident will depend on the nature and severity of the injuries.
Examples of common non-economic damages included in scooter accident claims include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering for the mental trauma of an accident and injuries
- Diminished quality of life for those who cannot do many of the things they could before the accident
- Loss of consortium with a spouse when injuries damage a marital relationship
- Scarring and disfigurement if a scooter accident leaves permanent scars or causes the loss of a limb
- Exemplary damages in rare cases involving intentional harm or egregious disregard for the safety of others
Common Questions Regarding Scooter Accidents in Staten Island
If you have recently suffered injuries in a scooter accident in Staten Island or the surrounding area, New York law permits you to sue the driver or another party responsible for your injuries. Your injuries have not only caused you physical pain, but medical bills are likely adding up, and you may have been out of work for some time. You shouldn’t have to deal with the added financial stress on top of the physical pain of injury and healing.
Severe accident injuries leave victims with various negative emotions, and many are unsure about what steps to take to recover compensation or if they should try to recover damages. If you are uncertain about the future and dealing with the economic burden of your injuries, it’s best to contact an experienced Staten Island scooter accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Until you have the opportunity to discuss the details of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim, the answers to the following frequently asked questions about scooter accidents in Staten Island offer preliminary information for your review.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a Staten Island scooter accident?
Each state legislates statutes of limitations, which are time limits for those who have suffered injuries to take legal action against those who harmed them. New York has a three-year statute of limitations for traffic accidents. You have three years from the date of your scooter accident to bring a lawsuit against another driver, scooter manufacturer, or another allegedly responsible party. Regardless of the strength of your claim, if you fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations period ends, a New York court will probably not hear your case.
The law does allow a court to pause, or toll, a statute of limitations under rare circumstances. For example, if the at-fault driver leaves the state and you cannot serve papers, you might have grounds for an extension. In any case, you should take action as soon as possible when facts are fresh and witnesses are available to testify.
Does auto insurance extend to my scooter accident injuries?
It depends on the type of scooter you were riding when you suffered injuries. New York requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage when they register a vehicle. That coverage extends to drivers when they are walking or riding a bicycle but does not extend to them if they are riding a motorcycle.
Those riding Class A scooters must have a motorcycle endorsement, so for all practical purposes, insurance companies consider those scooters as motorcycles. Your personal insurance policy will probably not kick in after such an accident.
However, Class B and C scooters operate at lower speeds and include electric scooters and electric-assisted bicycles. It’s likely that your PIP insurance will kick in after an accident with a Class B or C scooter; however, you should closely review your policy to make sure.
What should I do if a driver’s insurance company contacts me?
If a driver hit you while you were on your scooter, and you file a claim against the driver’s auto insurance policy, the insurance provider will want to talk with you at some point soon after the accident. Insurance adjusters typically want a recorded statement. Regardless of how kind and empathetic the adjuster may seem, any insurance adjuster who speaks to you is hoping that you say something that can be used to deny or devalue your claim.
Do not agree to let insurance companies record your statement. They will comb over the recording to look for anything they can twist and use against you. Let your attorney handle communications to protect the value of your claim. If you do have to speak with an adjuster, only answer questions with direct and short answers. Avoid offering any additional information.
Should I accept a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider?
If it’s clear that a policyholder is responsible for injuries from a scooter accident, the at-fault party’s auto insurance provider might contact you to make an early settlement offer. You should never accept an offer without first consulting with an attorney. These offers are often predatory and typically much lower than the value of a claim. Insurance companies want to tempt injured victims with some cash to get them to sign away their legal right to sue for damages.
Soon after your scooter accident, it’s unlikely that you know the full extent of your injuries. This makes it impossible to accurately know how much you should seek for damages. If you end up with a permanent injury, accepting an early settlement offer could mean that you won’t have money for ongoing treatment. Instead, consider an early offer as a starting point for negotiations. Let your attorney build a strong case and argue for a higher settlement amount.
What should I do if the driver who hit me doesn’t have insurance?
It depends on what kind of scooter you were riding during your accident and whether you have insurance. You have to carry insurance on Class A scooters, but not on Class B or C. If you have insurance and have uninsured motorist coverage, your policy will kick in to pay out benefits up to your policy limit. If you do not have insurance, you will have to directly sue the at-fault driver.
This still does not guarantee that you will receive any money, even if a jury rules in your favor. Generally, if the driver had the financial resources to cover court-ordered compensation, he or she would have had insurance. It’s doubtful an uninsured driver has the financial resources to pay a court judgment, so collecting could prove difficult. An experienced attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of action to recover damages.
Can I still receive compensation for my scooter accident injuries if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
New York City’s helmet laws vary based on whether someone is riding a moped or e-bike. All riders under age 18 must wear helmets. Adults only need to wear helmets when riding the fastest class 3 e-bikes and class A and B mopeds. Depending on what type of scooter you’re riding, you might be breaking the law by not wearing a helmet. This translates into negligence, but a legal defense team might win an argument that not wearing a helmet is negligent even when not breaking the law.
Fortunately, either situation does not necessarily disqualify you from receiving compensation for your Staten Island scooter accident injuries. Under New York law, you have the right to recover compensation for damages regardless of how much you contributed to the cause of the accident. However, the court will likely assess a percentage fault for your injuries and reduce any compensation that you receive by that percentage.
Will I have to go to court for my Staten Island scooter accident claim?
Going to trial is expensive for both sides. Trials drag out claims longer and cost more due to the extensive amount of trial preparation required. This gives both sides an incentive to reach a settlement agreement before going to court. Many traffic accident injury claims, including those involving scooter accidents, settle long before going to trial to avoid costly litigation. However, disputes over liability sometimes lead to failed settlement negotiations.
In these cases, you might have to go to court for your scooter accident claim. Although it’s doubtful that your case will make it all the way to trial, you should always prepare for that possibility. Your lawyer can review the facts of your case and give you a better idea of any obstacles that might force your case to go to trial.
Can I sue if another driver forced me off the road?
Yes, but you might face some challenges. You can only sue when you know who was driving the vehicle that forced you off-road. It’s likely the driver did not purposefully force your scooter off the street. The driver could have been distracted, drunk, or suffered from another impairment. If he or she didn’t see you and did not stop, you don’t have the information you need to bring a lawsuit.
If you saw the license plate and have a description of the vehicle, or if the NYPD can review traffic camera footage in the area of Staten Island where your scooter accident occurred, you have a good chance of identifying the negligent driver who ran you off the road. Once you identify the driver, you can bring a lawsuit against that party to seek compensation for damages related to your scooter accident injuries.
How long will it take to resolve my claim?
It’s impossible to predict a specific timeline for a case. Each scooter accident claim is different, and a wide range of factors can impact how long it takes to resolve a claim. If you suffered serious injuries that require extensive recovery, you will have to wait at least a year for a reliable long-term prognosis from your doctor.
Settlement negotiations can go quickly, but any disputes over liability and major disputes over the value of the claim can make negotiations drag on for months. In the most severe cases, your claim will have to go to trial, adding months to your timeline. Depending on the circumstances of your scooter accident, you could settle your claim in six months, but it could take more than two years, especially if you have to go to court.
How much money is my scooter accident claim worth?
Each accident injury claim has underlying facts and circumstances that impact its value, making it difficult to predict the exact value of your claim. When you meet with an attorney, he or she will review your claim and assess economic losses related to your injuries, such as medical expenses and lost wages, to place a value on your claim.
Your attorney will also estimate future economic losses, if applicable, and review losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and reduced quality of life. These non-economic losses speak to how your injuries have impacted your life physically, professionally, and socially. In many cases, our lawyers reach out to their network to help value more difficult aspects of a claim. Experts, such as life care planners and accident reconstruction specialists, help lawyers determine liability, show how injuries occurred, and determine the value of a claim.
Can I afford to hire a scooter accident attorney?
Yes, you can afford a lawyer to represent you in your Staten Island scooter accident claim. Those who hire our attorneys do not generally have to pay an upfront retainer or out-of-pocket fees. Instead, our law firm takes new cases on a contingent fee basis. Contingency agreements give your lawyer permission to deduct attorney fees and other costs of representation from any money you receive for your injuries, whether from an insurance settlement or court-awarded damages. This allows everyone to have access to legal counsel regardless of income and financial means.
How can a Staten Island scooter accident lawyer help me?
Some choose not to hire an attorney after suffering accident injuries because they do not understand how a lawyer can help. Accident injury lawyers do far more than file paperwork for insurance claims and lawsuits. These lawyers begin advocating for their clients from day one to help them recover damages after suffering injuries due to another party’s negligence.
Examples of the ways that the Staten Island scooter accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help include:
- Reviewing the facts of your case to ensure that you have a viable claim
- Investigating your scooter accident to build the strongest case possible against the other side
- Taking witness statements and depositions, if applicable
- Handling communication with insurance adjusters to protect the value of your claim
- Negotiating with insurance companies to pursue the maximum compensation possible for your scooter accident injuries
- Handling the bothersome details of your case so that you have time to focus on healing and rehabilitation
- Preparing your case for trial when settlement negotiations fail and your case must go to court
Injured in a Staten Island Scooter Accident? Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, Today!
Since New York City legalized scooter use on the city’s roads and streets, more scooters travel around the city’s streets. More scooters mean more scooter accidents in Staten Island and throughout the city. If you have suffered scooter accident injuries because of a careless driver or defective scooter, you should not have to cope with the financial aftermath of your injuries.
A skilled Staten Island motorcycle accident attorney from Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can investigate the circumstances of your accident, determine your eligibility for compensation, and handle the finer details of your case. Contact us today online for a free case evaluation, or call (877) 488-1707, to share your story and discuss how your injuries have impacted your job and day-to-day routine. We can advise you on the best path forward for your individual situation.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
26 Watchogue Rd Suite 1
Staten Island, NY 10314