Motorcycle Accidents

It is easier for a person to be injured while riding a motorcycle than while riding in a car. This is due simply to the fact that the motorcycle rider is so open and exposed to the road and other vehicles. So an accident that might only cause a scratch on a car with no injury to anyone in the car, could result in a serious and even devastating injury to the rider of a motorcycle.

If you have been involved in a Florida motorcycle accident and sustained an injury of any kind, call us or fill out our Web Form for a free evaluation without obligation. We will fight for your right to receive full compensation for your injuries.

Today in Florida, motorcycle riders are at risk for serious and significant head injuries. In 2000, Florida repealed its mandatory helmet law which required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Motorcycle riders across the state rejoiced with the repeal of this law. Today, many motorcycle riders are taking advantage of the repealed law and not wearing helmets. For the exact wording of the Florida helmet law as it exists today, please see the section Florida's Motorcycle Helmet Law later on this page.

In simplified terms, a motorcycle rider does not have to wear a helmet if the rider can produce proof of insurance that provides at least $10,000 of medical benefits to cover injuries a rider may receive if injured on the motorcycle. In truth, there are a large number of motorcycle riders who do not have the required $10,000 in medical insurance. And in any event, many motorcycle accidents will result in injuries such as fractures, dislocations, spinal injuries or even head and brain injuries. For these and other serious injuries, $10,000 will be completely inadequate to cover all the medical bills. Today, a three day stay in the hospital today can easily result in a bill that exceeds $20,000. Further, medical insurance is just that, medical insurance. It will only cover medical bills, nothing else. It will not cover you for lost wages, or the inability to earn money in the future. It will not cover you for the pain and suffering you endure while your road rash is healing or you are recovering from major surgery. It will not cover you for the permanent scarring or disfigurement that results from the motorcycle accident.

So how do you protect yourself to the fullest? You need to make sure you have the proper insurance in place before the motorcycle accident happens. The sections below provide a brief and over-simplified summary of Florida Motorcycle Insurance. Our goal here is to give you enough information so you can make an informed decision on the type of insurance you need to fully and completely protect yourself and your family. You need to prepare now, before you have a serious motorcycle accident. Once a motorcycle accident happens, it will be too late to add or change any insurance coverage.

If you have been involved in a Florida motorcycle accident and sustained an injury of any kind, call us or fill out our Web Form for a free evaluation without obligation. We will fight for your right to receive full compensation for your injuries.

FLORIDA MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE

Motorcycle insurance law in Florida has many motorcycle owners believing that they are protected and covered by their automobile insurance. For the most part, unfortunately, this is not true. In Florida, insurance is not required for the owner and rider of a motorcycle (other than the insurance required by the helmet law mentioned above). Automobile insurance will not, in most cases, cover someone injured while riding a motorcycle. There are exceptions to this rule, so if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, please feel free to fill out our Web Form with any questions you may have. Below is a brief overview of the types of coverages found in Florida insurance policies.  



NO-FAULT OR PIP COVERAGE

As you may know, Personal Injury Protection coverage, commonly known as PIP coverage, is Florida's No-Fault automobile insurance that pays 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages if you are injured in a car accident. This insurance will cover your bills and lost wages no matter who is at fault. This coverage is required by law if you own a car, but is not required if you own a motorcycles. And even if you have PIP on your car, it will not cover you if you are injured in a motorcycle accident. Some insurance companies do offer special motorcycle PIP that is similar to the coverage offered for an automobile. We always recommend that our motorcycle friends look into buying special motorcycle insurance to make sure you are covered if you are in an accident. 


PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY COVERAGE

Anytime you see the word “Liability” next to a specific coverage in an insurance policy, that means the coverage is designed to protect you if you are at fault for, or are “liable” for causing an injury to or the damaging property of someone else. Therefore, property damage liability coverage will protect you if you are at fault for damaging another’s property. It will pay to repair or replace the property you damaged. This coverage only covers property, such as a car. It does not protect you if you injure someone in an accident. Also, it will not provide coverage for your motorcycle if it is damaged in an accident you cause.



COLLISION COVERAGE

Collision coverage provides coverage for damage to your motorcycle no matter how it is damaged. It can provide coverage if someone hits your motorcycle and they have no insurance. It can provide coverage if you back into a tree or if you come out of a store and find a dent in the gas tank. Collision coverage often has a deductible associated with it that must be paid by you personally if you use this coverage.

 

UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE

Uninsured motorist coverage is probably the most important insurance coverage you can buy. It provides coverage if you are injured by an uninsured driver. Normally, if you are injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s fault, their Bodily Injury (BI) liability coverage should eventually pay you for some or all of your medical bills, lost wages and pain & suffering.

However, what if the person who injures you has no Bodily Injury coverage or no insurance at all? Who is going to pay for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering? No one will if there is no insurance coverage. Unfortunately, there are many drivers on Florida roads these days with no insurance or inadequate insurance. How do you protect yourself in these situations? You need to have Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage is just what it sounds like it is; it covers you if you are injured by a driver who does not have Bodily Injury insurance. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it will take the place of what the other person should have had in the first place. It is your means of protecting yourself when another driver fails to have the proper insurance coverage. Maybe now you can see why this insurance is so valuable.

Often times, we hear from clients that the insurance agents who sold them the insurance policy said they did not need Uninsured Motorist Coverage because they had health insurance. This is completely false. Health insurance, while an important and desirable insurance to have, will only cover medical bills. It will not cover anything else. It will not cover lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, scarring or anything that is not a medical expense. Uninsured motorist coverage will cover all these and more. So why take a chance and hope that the person who injures you in a motorcycle accident has adequate insurance to protect your losses? Don’t hope. Purchase uninsured motorist coverage and make sure you are fully protected.

Uninsured motorist coverage will also provide another benefit. It will provide coverage to you if the person who causes the accident has Bodily Injury Liability coverage but does not have enough coverage. In some cases, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering damages can exceed the amount of coverage the other person has. If the person who causes the accident has $10,000 in Bodily Injury coverage, and you have $30,000 of medical bills, what happens? The $10,000 is clearly not enough to cover all your bills, let alone pay you for your lost wages and pain and suffering. As you may have already guessed, Uninsured Motorist Coverage will also protect you when the person who caused the accident does not have enough liability insurance. In this instance, Uninsured Motorist Coverage becomes Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Again as it sounds, this coverage will provide additional coverage to you if the other person does not have enough insurance coverage.

Since many motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries to the rider with significant medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, many Bodily Injury policies (often only $10,000) are not enough to cover all your damages. Again, you can see why Uninsured (and Underinsured) Motorist Coverage is such a valuable coverage to buy.

Check your policy today. See if you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you don’t, call your agent immediately to add it to your policy. Buy as much as you can afford. Do not let the agent talk you out of it for any reason. Insurance companies do not like to sell Uninsured Motorist Coverage because it increases their exposure in an accident. Insist on having this added to your policy. Immediately.  Do it today.

If you have been involved in a Florida motorcycle accident and sustained an injury of any kind, call us or fill out our Web Form for a free evaluation without obligation. We will fight for your right to full compensation for your injuries.

FLORIDA'S MOTORCYCLE HELMET LAW

316.211. Equipment for motorcycle and moped riders

(1) A person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head which complies with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall adopt this standard by agency rule.

 (2) A person may not operate a motorcycle unless the person is wearing an eye-protective device over his or her eyes of a type approved by the department.

 (3)(a) This section does not apply to persons riding within an enclosed cab or to any person 16 years of age or older who is operating or riding upon a motorcycle powered by a motor with a displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less or is rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and which is not capable of propelling such motorcycle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head if such person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.

 (4) A person under 16 years of age may not operate or ride upon a moped unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head which complies with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation.

 (5) The department shall make available a list of protective headgear approved in this section, and the list shall be provided on request.

 (6) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.


Amended by Laws 1995. c. 95-148. §, § 321, eff. July 10, 1995; Laws 1999, c. 99-248, §§ 4, 167, eff. June 8, 1999; Laws 2000, c. 2000-313, § 6, eff. July 1, 2000.


If you have been involved in a Florida motorcycle accident and sustained an injury of any kind, call us or fill out our Web Form
for a free evaluation without obligation. We will fight for your right to full compensation for your injuries.

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