Florida is famous as a destination for motorcycle enthusiasts. From the sands of Daytona Beach to the long stretches of interstate 75 that traverse the Big Cypress Swamp, the Sunshine State offers breathtaking riding experiences.
While riding a motorcycle can be a thrill, a motorcycle rider is extremely vulnerable to injury when his vehicle is involved in a collision. In 2017, Florida had 504 motorcycle related fatalities, the second highest of any state. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than people in passenger cars to die in a traffic crash.
A strange discrepancy in Florida law is the fact that Motorcyclists are not afforded general PIP Coverage and Benefits which insurers must provide automobile drivers.
Due to that fact, it is essential that you have adequate elected coverage to protect yourself in case of a motorcycle accident. Insurance companies offer different choices as to medical coverage for a motorcycle rider, and they are often very confusing. I offer a free consultation to review your policy and determine your policy and coverages.
Florida Does Not Have a Mandatory Helmet Law
Studies on motorcycle accident fatalities done by the NHTSA show that helmets are 37% effective in preventing death.
In spite of the safety enhancement afforded by helmets, the Florida legislature repealed the mandatory helmet law of 2000.
Florida Statutes section 316.211 provides that a motor cycle rider or driver may ride without a helmet provided he maintains an insurance policy that provides at least $10,000 of medical benefits for injuries sustained in a motor cycle accident.
Suing for Accident-Related Injuries
A plaintiff injured in a motor cycle accident has the burden to show by the greater weight of the evidence that the defendant was at fault in order to recover for his injuries.
Most motor vehicle accident cases are grounded in the negligence theory of liability. In order to prove his case, the negligence plaintiff must prove that:
A. The defendant driver owed him a duty of care.
B. The defendant driver breached this duty of care.
C. The defendant driver’s breach caused the plaintiff to suffer injury.
D. The plaintiff’s injuries resulted in compensable damages.
Florida law provides for the apportionment of damages between the defendant and plaintiff in a personal injury case based on the fault of each party. This means that if you sue another driver for your injuries and the court finds that you played some role in causing the accident, the court is required to determine the percentage of fault of each party. The court is also required to reduce the damages you recover from the defendant by the percentage of your fault.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, your rights as an injured party are immediately at stake. Do not speak with any insurance company until you have had an opportunity to speak with an attorney. Remember, our law firm offers extensive legal advice concerning your accident and your options.