Over the last few years, various vehicles under the micromobility umbrella have increased in popularity and become a common mode of transportation for millions of individuals in dozens of cities. 

Electric-assist bikes (e-bikes) and motor-powered scooters are two of the most popular micromobility options available in many cities, and riders with subscriptions to scooter-sharing companies like Lime and Bird, as well as individuals who have invested in their own scooters and e-bikes, have flocked to the nation’s roads in droves.

The state of New York, and New York City specifically, have been slow to adapt to the micromobility revolution, in part because of safety concerns. As of April 2020, however, legislation was passed that created three different classes of e-scooters and e-bikes with varying degrees of regulation for each class.

  • Class A: e-scooters and e-bikes that can reach speeds of between 30 and 40 miles per hour and require a license to operate.
  • Class B: e-scooters and e-bikes that can reach speeds between 20 and 30 mph and do not require a license
  • Class C: e-scooters and e-bikes with top speeds below 20 miles per hour and do not require a license

The most recent laws state that riders can operate e-scooters and e-bikes on roads with posted speed limits of less than 30 miles per hour, though cities have the right to further regulate the use of both types of vehicles.

What are the Risks of Using a Motor Scooter in New York City?

Knowing the current laws regarding e-scooters and e-bikes is extremely important. But even as these different forms of micromobility are becoming legal and more common all around the country, it doesn’t mean they are always going to be safe, especially in a place like New York City. 

With its dense traffic and crowded sidewalks, operating a motor scooter can actually be quite risky. There are a host of injuries that have become increasingly common in tandem with the micromobility trend including head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more. 

Unfortunately, motor scooters are not built to withstand a hit from the cars and trucks they share the road with. A motor scooter rider can sustain serious and even life-threatening injuries if such an accident occurs.

Collisions, however, are not the only way to incur an injury while using a motor scooter. Riders could also suffer an injury from:

Many different things can go wrong when using a motor scooter and it is advised to exercise extreme caution when doing so. Riders should be aware of their surroundings, follow the law, wear a helmet, and be alert to other vehicles around them.

What if You Suffer an Injury from a Motor Scooter Accident?

If you use a motor scooter regularly, there is a decent chance that at some point you could experience an accident. If this is the case, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention immediately. Even if it doesn’t appear that you have been seriously hurt, seeking medical care right away can help detect unseen, internal injuries, and can provide helpful documentation should you decide to take legal action later on.

If your injury is significant, it is also wise to begin documenting what happened and why. Pictures, witness statements, and official police reports are all crucial pieces of evidence if and when your situation becomes a personal injury case.

You should also know that even if you were fully or partially at fault for the accident, it is best not to admit fault initially or sign anything to that effect. 

Additionally, if an insurance agent of the at-fault party contacts you and wants to discuss the possibility of a settlement, you should know that whatever offer they make will be the minimum amount of money they are willing to spend to settle your claim.

To help you navigate what can be a complex situation, it can be helpful to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer who will be able to determine the validity of your claim and help you maximize the compensation you are due. Personal injury lawyers who specialize in handling accident cases will know what information is needed to help you with your case and can help you write a compelling demand letter in which you will express to the at-fault party and their insurance company how much in damages you feel you are due.