Personal Injury Attorney Tim David Weighs In On Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
Motorcycle accidents often result in very serious injuries due to the open nature of these vehicles. Motorcycle riders do not have the protection offered by an enclosed passenger vehicle, and they are often the victims of serious spinal cord or brain trauma as well as other types of injuries. When this occurs, the victims may be forced to file motorcycle accident lawsuits to collect compensation for their injuries, particularly if insurance companies deny their claims.
Motorcycle accident victims often find that they are blamed for their own injuries, even when the accident is not their fault. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include other drivers swerving or turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle, changing lanes and hitting a motorcycle rider or failure to yield the right-of-way to a cyclist. Nevertheless, even when an accident is clearly the other driver’s fault, many insurance companies fail to provide motorcycle accident victims with payment for their injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other costs.
How Does Florida Law Affect Motorcycle Injury Claims?
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that all passenger vehicle drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance. This coverage is the first line of defense to pay medical bills when someone is injured in a crash, no matter who is at fault.
PIP is required for vehicles with four or more wheels; motorcyclists, however, are exempt from this requirement. In fact, motorcyclists are not allowed to purchase PIP insurance solely for their bikes, and even if they have PIP on their personal vehicles, that coverage does not extend to any accidents involving the motorcycle.
Therefore, when a motorcycle rider is injured in an accident, he or she may not have insurance coverage to pay for medical costs. These victims may be forced to file motorcycle accident lawsuits in order to pay their hospital and doctor bills.
A motorcycle accident claim is usually based on the idea that the other driver was at fault. Although Florida is a no-fault state, there are exceptions to the no-fault rule, including situations in which the driver’s negligence results in injuries that exceed PIP coverage limits. Injured motorcycle riders are not prohibited from filing claims against drivers under Florida law as passenger vehicle victims may be.
In addition, motorcycle accident claims may be based on something other than negligence, such as product liability. If the motorcycle is manufactured or serviced improperly and a crash results, the victim may have a lawsuit against the party responsible for the defects.
How Can A Motorcycle Accident Victim File A Claim?
Those who must file motorcycle accident lawsuits may need the help of a personal injury attorney with experience in filing motorcycle-related claims. A large amount of information must be processed and gathered to support a motorcycle accident lawsuit, including police reports, witness statements, photographs, driver histories, accident scene reconstructions, medical records and expert witness statements. The complex nature of these cases often necessitate help from an experienced personal injury attorney.
A personal injury lawyer may be able to help an accident victim file and manage a claim against another driver or a third party. With the help of an attorney, many motorcycle accident victims stand a much better chance of collecting compensation than they do when they try to handle their cases alone.