Given that Florida is known as The Sunshine State, motorcycling is a popular means of travel. Nonetheless, the exhilaration riding a motorcycle is tempered by the fact that cars, trucks and other motor vehicles often place motorcycle riders in harm’s way. While motorists are protected by the structure of a vehicle and safety features (e.g. seat belts, air bags, collision avoidance systems), motorcyclists have no such protections. Ultimately, a collision can be catastrophic for motorcyclists, often resulting in life-altering injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is crucial to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.
At My.Attorney we believe that motorcyclists have the right to share the road with other drivers, despite the public bias against riders as being reckless thrill seekers. Knowing that being injured in a motorcycle accident can be an overwhelming physical, emotional and financial burden, we can help to lift that burden by providing you with the powerful representation you need and the personal attention you deserve. When you become our client, we will fight for your right to just compensation inside or outside of the courtroom.
Common Causes Of A Motorcycle Accident
Although motorcycle riding is inherently dangerous, most accidents involving other vehicles are caused by driver errors, including:
- Distracted driving
- Improper turning
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failing to yield
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
In particular, motorcycle accidents frequently occur when drivers make improper left-hand turns or fail to yield at intersections. Nonetheless, all Florida motorists have an obligation to be aware of their surroundings, to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, and to avoid causing injuries to others. If a driver breaches this duty, he or she can be held liable for a motorcycle accident that is the direct cause of a rider’s injury or death.
Additionally, single vehicle motorcycle accidents are often caused by road hazards (e.g. potholes, uneven pavement, gravel, oil spills). In this situation, an injured motorcycle rider may have a legal basis for a personal injury claim against the government agency responsible for maintaining Florida’s roads and highways. Regardless of the circumstances, it takes a skilled motorcycle accident attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because motorcyclists are exposed to the elements, riders can be thrown from or become trapped beneath the motorcycle when an accident occurs, resulting in a wide range of injuries, such as:
- Road rash
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Despite the fact that motorcyclists can minimize the risk of injury by wearing protective gear — helmets (mandatory), leather jackets, heavy pants, and boots — motorcycle accidents can still result in serious, life-threatening injuries. Some motorcycle accident victims may require ongoing medical and rehabilitative care, while others fare much worse and never return home to their families.
Motorcycle Insurance and Liability Rules in Florida
Florida law regarding motorcycle insurance is unlike laws in other states and also differs from motor vehicle insurance requirements for drivers of other vehicles. In fact, motorcycle owners are not required to purchase insurance to register a motorcycle. On the other hand, Florida law requires operators of motorcycles to have some proof of financial responsibility.
Moreover, motorcyclists are not required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their motorcycle insurance coverage. PIP is required in auto liability insurance to cover medical bills and lost wages under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws which covers all medical bills regardless of who is at fault for the accident. No-fault laws do not apply to motorcycles, however. Finally, insurance companies are not required to offer PIP for motorcycle insurance and usually do not include such coverage due to the risk of high payouts.
Requirements to Provide Proof of Financial Liability
As mentioned above, Florida law does not require motorcycle insurance for motorcycle owners and a motorcycle can be registered without providing proof of motorcycle insurance. On the other hand, motorcycle riders are required to provide proof of financial responsibility if/when they are involved in an accident. Failing to do so may result in penalties and fees, and revocation or suspension of the motorcycle license and registration.
Although motorcycle insurance is not required, the most common way to show proof of financial responsibility is to purchase motorcycle insurance. In that case, the insurance coverage requirements are as follows:
- $10,000 for single person bodily injury
- $20,000 for two or more persons bodily injury
- $10,000 per accident for property damage liability
Another option for financial responsibility is to obtain a self-insurance certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility which is based on the operator’s net worth. This means that the operator has the means to provide for injuries or property liability arising from a motorcycle accident. In any event, a rider must carry proof of financial responsibility at all times when operating a motorcycle and provide it at the scene of an accident. Ultimately, due to the lack of PIP protection, the only way a motorcycle rider can recover damages is to pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent driver and his/her insurance company.
Contact Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney
My.Attorney has a proven track record of holding negligent vehicle drivers accountable and helping our clients obtain meaningful compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to damages, which include lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In the event that a family member has been killed in a motorcycle accident, you may have a legal basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. While no amount of money can replace a life, you deserve to be compensated for the loss of care and services that your loved one provided as well as for the emotional harm you have endured. When you work with the legal team at My.Attorney, you can rest assured we will fight for every dollar you deserve. Download our app for a free case evaluation or contact us.