All cautionary advice regarding motorcycle accidents applies to these cases. Additional issues arise when considering the special characteristics of mopeds and scooters. Under current North Carolina law, insurance and a driver’s license are not required to operate a motorized scooter or moped with an engine size smaller than 50cc. Maximum speed on these scooters is typically around thirty-five to forty miles per hour. Also, these vehicles can be more difficult to see. Expect the insurance company to argue that the scooter rider was partially at fault.
Scooter riders do have the same privilege to share the road as other drivers and bicyclists. However, if they are not reaching the minimum posted speed (for example, driving the scooter on a major highway), this would constitute contributory negligence barring the victim’s right of compensation. Another practical truth is many scooter riders choose this mode of transportation because they have lost their driver’s license privileges. Insurance carriers will investigate the status of the rider’s driver’s license and utilize any prior DWI convictions or other criminal history to their advantage.