Learn how to get maximum compensation after a moped injury at work
Moped scooters are a type of transportation that is becoming increasingly popular with urban commuters. Mopeds are small, lightweight vehicles powered by a gasoline engine with a top speed of around 30 miles per hour. They’re often used for short-distance transportation and are prevalent in urban areas due to their maneuverability and ease of parking.
Mopeds have been around since the early 1900s and were used initially as work vehicles. They were commonly used to deliver newspapers and other small packages in urban areas. Nowadays, they’re commonly used by food delivery drivers, couriers and postal workers to make deliveries in densely populated areas because they’re cheaper to operate than larger vehicles.
Like all modes of transportation, riding a moped comes with some risks. Fortunately, most workers in Georgia qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages after an on-the-job injury.
If you’re injured in a moped accident at work, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can assess your eligibility for benefits and guide you through the process of submitting a workers’ comp claim.
What’s the difference between a moped, an e-scooter
and a motorcycle?
You may have heard these terms without knowing exactly what they mean. Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between these vehicles.
A moped is a motorized bicycle with pedals and a small gasoline engine. The engine is typically less powerful than a traditional motorcycle and is designed to assist the rider when pedaling. They have a maximum speed between 25-30 mph and a power output of 50cc or less.
A moped is equipped with an operator’s seat, pedals that allow you to propel the vehicle with your feet, 3 or fewer wheels, a motor with two brakes or less, and a power-drive system that operates automatically.
To operate a moped in Georgia, you must have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit. You are not required to register your bike, but you must always keep proof of ownership. You also need to have liability insurance for your scooter, which may require you to purchase a different policy than you have for your car. Additionally, headlights are required at night, and face protection is always required.
An e-scooter, also called an electric scooter, is a type of personal transportation powered by electricity. An e-scooter does not have pedals. It only has a throttle for acceleration and a brake for slowing down. They have a maximum speed of 15-20 mph and a range of 15-30 miles per charge. They require no driver’s license or insurance to operate on public roads.
E-scooters can be used for commuting to school or work or for transportation if you live in an area where there aren’t any buses or trains.
A motorcycle is a type of vehicle with two wheels that’s powered by an internal combustion engine. Motorcycles have more powerful engines than moped scooters and can reach higher speeds. They require a specific motorcycle driver’s license and insurance to operate on public roads.
Because they are able to travel at fast speeds for long distances, motorcycles are often used for recreation, such as riding to new places to sightsee or taking a thrilling ride on a sport bike or a leisurely cruise on a cruiser.
The worldwide market for electric scooters and motorcycles sales was estimated to be around 33.72 billion in 2022, and it is anticipated to hit 88.75 billion by 2032—that would be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 10% over 9 years.
Risks of moped scooter accidents in the workplace
While moped scooters represent a convenient and environment-friendly mode of transportation, they carry considerable injury risks due to their lack of stability and small frames, which often make them hard to see.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 58,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by motorized scooters in 2014 alone. This number has increased by 16 percent since 2012.
Moped and motorized scooter accidents can occur when the vehicle gets in a collision with another vehicle, hits another object or collides with a pedestrian.
Common injuries caused by moped accidents
Because mopeds don’t have a protective frame, airbags or seat belts, they leave riders unprotected in accidents, increasing the likelihood of being thrown from the scooters and sustaining serious injuries, including the following:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries. These are the most common types of injuries in a moped crash. Even though helmets decrease the chances of brain injuries during a crash, they’re still quite common, especially when riders are thrown from their scooters. Symptoms like headaches, confusion, nausea and vomiting need to be treated by a doctor immediately since they could be a sign of bleeding inside your skull, which can result in permanent brain injury or death.
- Arm injuries and leg injuries. The second most common injuries are arm and leg injuries, including broken bones. These typically occur when your body hits the pavement or gets stuck under your scooter during a collision.
- Nerve damage. Nerve damage is often caused when nerves are pinched or compressed during a collision. The worst part about this type of injury is that it can be difficult to detect. The pain might not occur until hours after the initial incident, and it could take weeks or months for the injury to heal completely.
- Spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord can result in partial or complete paralysis of the body and even death. They can also cause loss of sensation in the extremities and lead to bladder or bowel incontinence. These injuries can severely affect a person’s quality of life and ability to work.
- Internal injuries. Internal injuries include ruptured or damaged internal organs, such as a ruptured spleen or a collapsed lung. Injuries to the spleen can quickly become life-threatening due to the risk of heavy internal bleeding.
- Neck and back Injuries. These injuries can lead to neck stiffness, pain, and even long-term problems like cervical degeneration. Most neck injuries are strains or sprains and can be treated with rest and a brace for support and stability.
- Abrasions. If your skin rubs against the road during a crash, you may have severe abrasions known as “road rash” that need medical attention. These can vary from minor scrapes that heal independently to deep lacerations that require stitches or other invasive treatments. You may even experience nerve damage from an abrasion that could last for months or years.
It’s important to know that even seemingly minor injuries from moped accidents can be serious and even life-threatening. For instance, skin abrasions can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death if left untreated, and some fractures can lead to permanent disability over time if they don’t properly heal.
These catastrophic injuries are costly to treat, frequently leaving victims with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses and necessitating days or months in the hospital.
If you’ve sustained an injury from a scooter mishap while working, it’s important to know what legal options are available to help you get compensation.
Is a moped injury covered under workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance employers provide to protect employees from job-related injuries or illnesses. Workers’ comp benefits are paid directly from an employer’s insurance carrier and are not taxed or deducted from your paycheck.
If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident, it’s important to know your rights and how you can seek compensation for your injuries.
Did you know that not all accidents and injuries are covered under Georgia’s workers’ compensation? Learn when you can and can’t collect workers’ comp benefits after an on-the-job injury.
In Georgia, most employers with 3 or more workers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance system, which means that workers are typically eligible for benefits, regardless of who is at fault for their accident or injury, as long as the injury occurred during the course and scope of their work.
Here are some examples of when you should be eligible to receive workers’ compensation after a moped crash:
- You’re running an errand on behalf of your employer as part of your job duties
- You’re making deliveries related to your work
- You earn your living through driving as an employee
- Your travel is work-related, and your employer pays you for your travel time
Typically, accidents that happen while you’re traveling to or from work are not covered by workers’ compensation. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. For example, if you stopped on your way for an office chore and were involved in an accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Find out who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia and who is not (exceptions). What are the determining factors involved in eligibility?
What workers’ comp benefits am I entitled to after a moped accident?
In Georgia, injured workers may qualify for the following benefits:
- Medical expenses. All necessary medical costs are covered under workers’ comp, including medications, surgeries, doctor visits, hospitalizations, rehabilitation and medical equipment,
- Lost wages. Workers are typically entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly wage while they recover from their injuries.
- Death benefits. If a worker dies from a work-related injury or illness, their dependents are entitled to certain benefits that cover funeral expenses and lost wages.
Getting help from a workers’ compensation attorney
It’s very common for people not to know their rights after sustaining an injury at work. They may not realize they have access to workers’ compensation benefits or how to apply for them. Getting help from a workers’ compensation attorney can give you a much better chance of obtaining the benefits you deserve.
An attorney can help with the following:
- Guide you through the process. An attorney can educate you about your rights after an accident and gather evidence to support your claim.
- Manage and prepare your claim. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file all necessary paperwork on time so you remain eligible for benefits. If your employer denies your claim or if they’re dragging their feet in responding to it, hiring an attorney can also help speed up the process.
- Handle negotiations. An attorney can handle all negotiations with your employer and their insurance company to ensure you get a fair settlement offer.
Contact our Atlanta, Georgia, workers’ compensation attorney
Workers’ compensation claims for moped and work-related accidents can be complicated, especially if your injuries leave you fully or partially disabled. If you or your loved one was injured while riding a moped scooter on the job, contact the experienced attorneys at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys. We have years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims for injured employees throughout Georgia and will work hard to ensure you receive maximum benefits.