Sadly, motorcycle accidents happen frequently in the state of Florida. In fact, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) reports that there were nearly 10,000 motorcycle accidents in this state in 2018. Motorcyclists who are involved in accidents often suffer serious injuries, which is why it’s so important to understand how to obtain compensation after a crash.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. But does no-fault insurance cover motorcycle accidents? Will you need a Tampa personal injury attorney to help you seek justice? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
What is Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Policy?
Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, motorists are required to obtain at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This insurance policy will cover certain car accident damages, including a portion of medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the crash.
If you are injured in a car accident, you can file a claim with your PIP insurance provider, even if you were at fault for the crash, to obtain compensation for your injuries. If you suffer serious or permanent injuries and your damages exceed your PIP coverage limits, you may have the right to obtain additional compensation from the at-fault driver and their insurance company. This is the only scenario in which you are able to take legal action against the at-fault driver in order to recover compensation for your car accident injuries.
Does Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Cover Motorcycle Accidents?
Florida’s no-fault insurance policy does not cover motorcycle accidents. For example, say you own both an automobile and a motorcycle. You obtain PIP insurance coverage on your automobile in order to comply with the state’s minimum insurance requirements. But then, you are injured while riding your motorcycle in an accident caused by a negligent driver.
Many people who are in this situation assume that their automobile’s PIP insurance policy will cover their motorcycle accident damages, but that’s not the case. Your PIP insurance policy will not cover medical expenses, lost wages, or any other damages related to your motorcycle accident. This means you should not file an injury claim with your PIP insurance provider if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Florida.
How Can You Recover Compensation For Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
No-fault insurance will not cover your motorcycle accident injuries, but fortunately, there are other ways for injured motorcyclists to obtain the compensation they deserve.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you can recover compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The at-fault party’s insurance company is required to compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property repairs, and other damages sustained in the accident.
Remember, if you are in a car accident, you can only file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company if your injuries are serious and permanent. But you don’t have to prove that your injuries are serious enough to warrant filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company after a motorcycle accident. However, you will need to prove liability in order to recover compensation for your injuries.
How to Prove Liability For A Motorcycle Accident
The at-fault party’s insurance company will not compensate you for your motorcycle accident injuries unless you are able to prove that their policyholder is actually liable for your damages. In a personal injury claim, this means you must be able to prove the following elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care, which means the defendant had a legal obligation to drive safely and responsibly.
- The defendant breached the duty of care by operating their vehicle in a way that was not responsible or reasonable.
- The motorcycle accident occurred as a direct result of the defendant’s breach of their duty of care.
- You were injured in the motorcycle accident.
For instance, say you were hit by a driver who was texting instead of paying attention to the road. As a user of the road, the driver was legally obligated to drive safely and responsibly. Texting while driving is not safe or responsible, so the driver clearly breached their duty of care. The accident would not have happened if the driver was paying attention to the road, so there is a direct link between the accident and the driver’s negligent behavior. If you can prove these elements, you can win compensation for your injuries.
What Evidence Will You Need to Prove Liability For A Motorcycle Accident?
Your personal injury attorney will launch an investigation into the accident to gather the evidence that they need to prove liability.
Some of the various types of evidence that may be used to prove fault include:
- Statements from bystanders who witnessed the accident
- Surveillance footage showing the accident or the events leading up to the accident
- Photographs from the scene of the accident that show the positioning of the vehicles, property damage, and other important details
- The police report, which may include the officer’s opinion regarding how the accident occurred and who was at fault
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts who can recreate the events leading up to the accident to determine how it occurred
- Medical records that show the nature and severity of your injuries
Seek Legal Representation From A Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Tampa? If so, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from a skilled motorcycle accident attorney at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett as soon as possible. Focus on recovering from your injuries while our team puts their resources, experience, and skills to work for you. We’ve successfully won over $115 million in compensation for our clients. Now, let us win compensation on your behalf.
Call our law office now to schedule a free consultation with our team regarding your case.