What Happens After You Get Into A Florida Motorcycle Accident?
Florida leads the nation when it comes to motorcycle accidents. The latest statistics show 10,331 accident and 515 motorcycle rider fatalities. There are any number of factors for motorcycle accidents including wildlife drunk or distracted driving, and the reckless driving of either party in the accident. These accidents are devastating not just to the injured victim but the surviving family members as well.
Motorcycles and Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
In the state of Florida any driver of a vehicle with four or more wheels Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is required and provides coverage under the No Fault insurance that covers medical bills no matter who was at fault for the accident. Once the claim is filed the PIP will pay out $2,500 for medical expenses, If, however, the injured party has been diagnosed by a medical professional to have an “Emergency Medical Condition” (EMC), the PIP ill bay the maximum of $10,00. This PIP coverage is not available to motorcycle riders in the state of Florida and in most cases, the injuries sustained by the motorcycle rider are more severe and much more expensive than the maximum PIP payment, resulting in financial losses and trauma for the motorcycle rider in addition to their injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident
If you are injured in an accident in Florida, you may want to recover “damages”. These damages include all of your losses as a result of the other driver's carelessness. But first you must prove that the other driver was careless and at fault. This is known as negligence. Negligence in a motorcycle accident is similar to auto accidents. Here are some examples of how the other driver can be negligent:
● Failure to stop at a traffic signal
● Hit and run
● Improper lane change
● Driving under the influence
● Distracted driving
● Improper turn
● Failure to signal a turn
Proving any of these examples will not only rely on the police accident report but also those of witnesses, therefore if at all possible, obtain the names and phone numbers of any witnesses and take photos of not just the accident itself but the intersection, road, weather conditions, etc.
Who Can a Motorcyclist Sue After an Accident?
In the state of Florida there are multiple potentially liable parties when it comes to a motorcycle/auto crash.
• The Owner of the Vehicle: Florida is the only state that holds the vehicle owner liable. So if the driver that hit you was borrowing the car from his neighbor, they are both liable.
• More Than One Driver: If more than one driver got ticketed for a moving violation in your accident, each ticketed party is responsible and liable.
• The Drivers Employer: If at the time you were injured, an employee of a company was “in the course and scope of their employment”, the company is also liable.
• Rideshare Companies: Florida’s “rideshare driver’s negligence” allows the ride share companies such as Uber and Lyft to be liable. As a result, both companies carry high amounts of insurance coverage.
• Vehicle Manufacturer: While you can sue if the vehicle’s malfunction to blame for the accident, these cases are expensive, so the damages to you must be critical or life altering.
These are but a few of the potential defendants. Lastly, it is important that you know that in the state of Florida, a motorcyclist is entitled to damages even if they were more than 51% at fault. Florida is one of only 13 states to have this law.
With over 27 years of experience in the local area, the St. Pete’s Lawyer Michael Babboni understands the law and is committed to the highest standards of excellence. He and his team can go up against the insurance companies and fight for the compensation you deserve. You and your family deserve to be compensated for all the damage, pain and suffering you have endured after a motorcycle accident.