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Motor scooter accidents are on the rise in cities throughout the country, and Raleigh is no exception. One reason for the increase is simply that there are now a lot more motorized scooters around, thanks to scooter rental companies who made hundreds of scooters available to users on the street without seeking approval from local or state officials.

Use of this unfamiliar form of transportation can result in serious injuries. So, if you are suffering injuries from a scooter accident, it is advisable to talk with a Raleigh motor scooter accident lawyer to learn your options for seeking compensation for the effects of the accident. A knowledgeable attorney could help determine who may be held liable and help you work toward the maximum available recovery.

The Laws Regarding Motor Scooters

In Raleigh, as in many other cities where ride-share e-scooters have been introduced, the laws regarding the operation of motor scooters are in flux. Under state law, motorized scooters are considered mopeds. Section 20-140.4 of the North Carolina code requires moped riders to wear helmets, while section 20-53.4 requires mopeds to be registered and tagged with license plates. However, riders are not required to have a driver’s license.

Raleigh law treats scooters somewhat differently. Because the ride-share e-scooters descended on the city without warning, lawmakers were divided over how to address regulation. If considered vehicles, they are not allowed to operate on sidewalks, greenways, or bicycle lanes.

Scooters often move at speeds up to 15 mph, which poses a danger to pedestrians. But because scooter riders are not easily visible to those operating cars and other motor vehicles on the roads, riding on the streets poses a hazard as well.

Determining Who May Be at Fault for Crash

With the laws somewhat unsettled, liability for motor scooter accidents in Raleigh may not be as clear-cut as it is in other types of accidents. If a pedestrian is struck by a scooter, a good argument could be made that the scooter operator is liable, particularly if the scooter is on the sidewalk and the pedestrian is walking in a predictable fashion. If a scooter rider suffers an injury in a collision with a car on the street, the liability of the driver may be less easy to prove, depending on where and how the scooter is operating.

It may also be possible to hold the companies who rent the scooters liable for accidents involving their vehicles. The companies providing the scooters are responsible for maintenance and repair, so they could possibly be held liable for the instructions they provide on vehicle operation.

However, in their user agreements, many of these companies require riders to agree to arbitration, and riders give up their right to sue in exchange for the opportunity to ride.

So, before a lawsuit could be brought by a rider, the attorney would need to successfully argue that the arbitration clause should be unenforceable. A non-rider who did not agree to arbitration may be able to sue the provider of the scooter if injured in a scooter accident. A Raleigh motor scooter accident lawyer could help with establishing liability after an accident.

Talk to a Raleigh Motor Scooter Accident Attorney

While the laws may be somewhat murky when it comes to the operation of motor scooters, it is clear that scooters can pose a danger on the streets of Raleigh, as evidenced by the increased number of accidents. So, if you suffered an injury in a scooter accident, it is worthwhile to consult a Raleigh motor scooter accident lawyer to learn about your options.

Even if you decide not to pursue a lawsuit, prompt action now can prove valuable later. The best time to collect evidence is right after an accident. An experienced personal injury attorney could evaluate your claim and assist if you decide to seek compensation. To learn more, call now.