Florida is a popular place for motorcycle enthusiasts. With its year-long temperate climate and various scenic highways, motorcyclists roam the Sunshine State – sometimes with disastrous consequences.
You don’t have to look far to find news of serious crashes between motorcycles and other motorists on Florida highways. In Boynton Beach, a high-speed crash killed one man on a motorcycle as a motorist was making a left turn into traffic.
In another instance, a pickup truck turned left at a light when it didn’t have the right of way and killed a motorcycle rider. In yet another tragedy, a man on a motorcycle was killed when he ran a red light and hit an SUV.
Riding a motorcycle feels free and exciting, but it’s also dangerous. Here’s what you need to know about the common reasons for motorcycle accidents and how injuries sustained are covered in a no-fault state like Florida.
How Frequent Motorcycle Accidents Happen
The truth of the matter is that motorcycle accidents happen quite frequently. According to Ride Smart Florida, motorcycle accidents have accounted for between two and four percent of all traffic accidents in the state since 2001. Between 2016 and 2018, motorcycle fatalities accounted for about 17 percent of all traffic accident deaths in Florida.
The Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles face many challenges on the road. Motorcycle accidents can result in significant injuries due to the nature of the vehicle. You simply don’t have the same outer protection as those traveling in automobiles.
The most common causes of motorcycles accidents are:
Speeding reduces the chance of seeing another driver as well as reaction time to prevent an accident. The higher the speed, whether on a motorcycle or in a car, the more severe the crash.
A driver makes unsafe lane changes when they don’t check their blind spot or signal a change. They risk colliding with a motorcyclist since they are smaller and more difficult to see.
Driving Under the Influence
Every driver who has consumed drugs or alcohol assumes a higher accident risk behind the wheel.
Left Turn Accidents
Misjudgments of distance or right of way can make a left turn quite dangerous. They are a common cause of death or serious injury to motorcyclists.
These are just a few of many factors that can cause a motorcycle accident. Everyone on the road should be diligent in order to avoid accidents.
Motorcycle Accident Insurance in Florida
Florida is a no-fault state. That means every driver in Florida must purchase personal injury protection, or PIP, a type of insurance that covers any damages sustained in the event of an accident.
However, the state of Florida does not allow motorcyclists to purchase personal injury protection. Instead, they must file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver in order to receive any type of compensation related to the accident, even medical expenses.
In Florida, motorcycle drivers are required to have property damage liability coverage for a minimum of $10,000. This type of coverage lends protection if you cause damage to property. Florida motorcycle insurance helps pay in the event of an accident.
You also need to explore bodily injury liability. This helps to protect those involved if you cause an accident that results in death or injury. To drive a motorcycle in Florida, you are required to carry a $10,000 minimum of bodily injury liability per person or $20,000 per accident.
What To Do When an Accident Happens
If you have an accident on a motorcycle, be aware of two scenarios:
Scenario 1: the Accident Was Caused by Someone Else
If the driver of the other vehicle is responsible for the accident, then you can file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Since you don’t have PIP coverage of your own, you can do so immediately. An experienced attorney can help you with this process to receive the compensation you need for your injuries.
Scenario 2: You Caused the Accident
If you were at fault for the accident, plus it resulted in death or serious injury, then those damaged in the accident can step outside of Florida’s no-fault system to file with your insurance company. Otherwise, they’ll only be eligible to receive compensation for any medical expenses with their own coverage.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.