Mopeds typically operate at much slower speeds than motorcycles, cars, or other vehicles on South Carolina roads. But moped collisions can still seriously injure victims. Mopeds are smaller and don’t have the same safety features as automobiles and trucks. That means that when a moped is involved in an accident, the moped driver may suffer serious or catastrophic injuries.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a moped crash, the moped accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm are here to help you get on the road to recovery. With more than 50 years of experience fighting for injured victims in Columbia and across South Carolina, our respected moped accident lawyers have what it takes to tackle even the toughest cases.
Our team at Joye Law Firm is dedicated to doing all that we can to help victims of major accidents pursue justice and fair compensation. We care deeply about making our community the best place it can be for all residents. As demonstrated by our case results, professional honors, and reviews from our past clients, you can trust that our compassionate and skilled team will make every effort to help you.
If you’ve been injured in a moped accident, contact a moped accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm. Founded more than 50 years ago, Joye Law Firm has offices located in North Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Clinton, and our attorneys represent clients throughout South Carolina. To schedule a free case evaluation, call us today at (888) 324-3100 or contact us online.
What Are Moped Licensing Requirements?
Anyone driving a moped in South Carolina must have a valid moped or driver’s license, and they must also register the vehicle in the state. Under state laws updated in November 2018, moped operators do not need insurance or a title for the moped, plus mopeds are exempt from property taxes. South Carolina law requires anyone who is under the age of 21 to wear a helmet while they are either driving or riding on a moped.
Other relevant driving restrictions and the specific requirements for obtaining a license vary according to the driver’s age:
- Drivers between the ages of 15 and 16. Any person in South Carolina must be at least 15 to operate a moped. At this age, people may apply for a Class G or moped license at any DMV branch. Applicants are required to pass knowledge and vision tests, but they don’t have to take a skills test.
To obtain a license, the applicant must bring a social security card, original birth certificate, and two proof of address documents in South Carolina. Additionally, an adult who meets SC’s requirements to Consent for a Minor (SCDMV Form 447-CM) must accompany the applicant and sign their Moped License Application (SCDMV Form 447-NC).
Drivers who are younger than 16 are only allowed to operate the moped alone during daylight hours. At night, they must be accompanied or within safe viewing distance of a licensed driver, who is at least 21 and has one year or more of driving experience.
- Drivers between the ages of 16 and 18. Drivers in this age group must meet the same license requirements as moped applicants who are younger than 16. However, licensed drivers who are 16 or older may operate the moped by themselves at any time of the day or night.
- Drivers that are 18 or older. The primary difference is that drivers who are at least 18 may complete their own moped license application without needing to have a signature from another adult.
Common Injuries in Moped Accidents
Some of the most common types of moped accident injuries include:
- Cuts and abrasions
- Traumatic brain injury
- Organ damage
- Head injuries, skull fractures
- Spinal cord injury and other severe back or neck damage
- Hearing or vision loss
- Shoulder fracture, broken pelvis, arm, and leg injuries, and other broken bones
Causes of Moped Accidents
A person driving a moped on a multilane highway in South Carolina must drive in the farthest right lane except when making a left turn. However, mopeds are prohibited on highways with speed limits greater than 55 miles per hour.
Some behaviors and situations that often lead to moped accidents include:
- Driver inattention that causes the driver to overlook a moped on the road. Examples of driver distraction include texting, talking on the phone, eating, caring for children, changing the radio station, or engaging in other activities that take a driver’s eyes off the road
- Changing lanes before checking for vehicles or other obstacles
- Drowsy drivers
- Failing to yield the right of way to a moped
- Running stop signs or other traffic signals and signs
- Overlooking a moped in a driver’s blind spot
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unexpectedly turning left in front of a moped
- Unsafe road conditions
- Failure to follow traffic laws
Compensation in SC Moped Accidents
The level of compensation that you might be able to recover after a moped crash typically depends on who was liable, the severity of your injuries, and the limits of each party’s insurance coverage. Some types of compensation that moped accident victims may be entitled to include:
- Payment for wages lost during recovery and reduced earning capacity in the future
- Lost ability to participate in hobbies, sports, or other activities you used to enjoy
- Replacement or repair of your moped, helmet, protective gear, and other damaged property
- Disability or disfigurement
- Outstanding medical bills, such as expenses for ambulance transportation, diagnostic tests, hospitalization, treatment, splints, medication, doctor exams, and surgeries
- Pain and suffering
- Necessary accommodations to your home or car to make them accessible
- Walkers, wheelchairs, prosthetics, crutches, and other medical devices or specialized equipment
- Emotional distress
- Payment for future medical costs, such as long-term care, therapy, rehabilitation, follow-up visits, and medicines
Even if the accident was partially your fault, you may still be able to recover some compensation. Under South Carolina law, victims may pursue damages if they were 50 percent or less at fault for an accident. However, if you were partially responsible, any compensation you receive may be reduced by an amount reflecting your percentage of fault.
Additionally, if your loved one died in a moped crash, you may be eligible to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. While no amount of money will ever make up for the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death settlement may help you cover some of the financial impacts resulting from the tragic accident. For example, you may be able to recover the following types of damages:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Payments to help replace the loss of your loved one’s household support
- Lost companionship, consortium, or parental support
- Medical expenses
- Compensation to cover services that the deceased used to perform, such as yard work, childcare, cleaning, or other household tasks
How Do Mopeds and Motor Scooters Differ?
South Carolina law typically defines a moped as a two- or three-wheeled motorized cycle with an engine smaller than 50 cc. The state has specific requirements for mopeds that are different than the rules for motorcycles.
Moped drivers are not allowed to go over 35 miles per hour. Additionally, moped operators must keep their lights on whenever they are on a public street or highway, and they aren’t allowed to carry a passenger unless the vehicle was specifically designed for two people.
South Carolina laws specify that a moped has an engine of up to 50 cubic centimeters. Two-wheel cycles with engines larger than 50 cc are either motorcycles or motor scooters and must abide by the same rules and requirements as motorcycles. These vehicles typically require drivers to obtain a specialized license, in addition to state registration and specific insurance coverage.
Safety Tips for Moped Operators
There are several steps that that moped operators can take to help improve their safety on the road:
- Wear protective gear, such as a motorcycle helmet, goggles, gloves, pants, and a jacket.
- Always drive with two hands on the handlebars.
- Watch out for drivers who might suddenly enter the road.
- Check your vehicle before you get on the road to ensure all critical parts, such as the lights and brakes, are in good working order.
- Allow plenty of space between your moped and cars, so you can act quickly if a driver suddenly opens their door in your path or makes other unexpected movements.
- Look at your mirrors and check your blind spots before changing lanes or turning.
- Avoid driving when you’ve been drinking alcohol.
- Wear reflective slips, bright colors, or other clothing that can help motorists see you.
- Ride with the flow of traffic, don’t drive on highways with speed limits over 55 miles per hour, and obey all state and local traffic laws.
Contact a South Carolina Moped Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a moped car accident, don’t wait to talk to a moped accident lawyer. Call Joye Law Firm today at (888) 324-3100 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.