Pursuing Damages After A Florida Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents are on the rise across the U.S. These types of collisions, however, should be of particular concern to riders in Florida, which, in recent years, has reported more motorcyclist fatalities than any other state. For survivors of these kinds of crashes, and their loved ones, having a handle on the basic steps of the claims process following an accident can give both peace of mind and a better understanding of their legal options.
Why Motorcycle Crashes are Different
Motorcycle crashes are different from collisions between passenger vehicles in a few important ways. The injuries in motorcycle accidents, for instance, tend to be much more severe, as riders don’t benefit from the same level of protection as drivers and passengers. With no access to seatbelts, airbags, and thousands of pounds of steel between themselves and the road, motorcyclists are much more likely to sustain severe and even catastrophic injuries. Common injuries include everything from crushed and broken bones and devastating lacerations to spinal cord injuries and head trauma. Because the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are so severe, victims are more likely to suffer from permanent disability and impairment, even after receiving treatment.
Recovering compensation after a motorcycle accident can also be more difficult, as riders cannot purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage in Florida. Rather, these policies are required for auto owners and cover up to $10,000 of a policyholder’s medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a car accident, regardless of fault. Without access to these policies, many motorcyclists are forced to rely heavily on their own health insurance and other plans to pay for treatment. Unfortunately, these policies don’t cover things like lost wages, placing riders in a tough spot while they recuperate from their injuries. In these cases, a motorcyclist may need to file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurer, providing evidence of the policyholder’s negligence in order to recover. If an insurer refuses to accept responsibility for the crash, a rider may have no choice but to step outside of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit in court.
Stepping Outside of the No-Fault System
Because they are not covered by PIP insurance, motorcyclists who are injured in crashes are often forced to step outside of the no-fault auto liability system in Florida and file a claim directly against an at-fault driver. To do so, accident victims must show that their injuries qualify as severe, which can be difficult for motorists. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, may find this standard easier to meet, as the injuries sustained in crashes are rarely minor. To be successful, injured riders will also need to prove that the defendant was at-fault for the accident and be able to provide proof of damages.
Seeking Recovery After a Motorcycle Accident
Call the dedicated Florida motorcycle accident lawyers at Boone & Davis to learn more about your legal options as a motorcyclist who was injured by a negligent driver. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so don’t hesitate to call our office at 954-566-9919, or to reach out to a member of our legal team online.