Even if you ride a motorcycle and have never been in an accident, it is likely that you know someone who has. Motorcyclists often blame the growing number of accidents on car drivers distracted by their cell phones, while car drivers usually blame motorcyclists for weaving in and out of traffic.
Research conducted by the Florida Department for Transportation on motorcycle accident statistics reveals that car and truck drivers cause 60 percent of motorcycle accidents, although motorcyclists also have the highest percentage of single vehicle accidents ― significantly higher than other types of vehicles.
Florida no-fault laws
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. Under Florida law, each car driver is required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in insurance coverage for personal injury arising out of an accident, and coverage of $10,000 for property damage caused to vehicles or property belonging to another person. As a result, a driver involved in an accident can claim from their own insurance for the cost of their injuries, without needing to address the question of fault or sue another party. Motorcyclists, though, are not legally required to carry such insurance, though it is highly recommended.
Motorcycle damage or injuries in the no fault system
If your motorcycle is involved in a collision with a car, several factors determine who is responsible for the cost:
- Damage to your motorcycle. Although you are not required to carry insurance as a motorcyclist, if you do have collision insurance, you can claim through your own insurance for the cost of repair. If you do not have collision coverage, you can claim against the at-fault driver’s property damage liability coverage. In order to do this, you may have to sue to prove the driver was at fault.
- Personal injury. Due to the lack of protection, the injuries from motorcycle accidents are often severe and long-term. Since motorcyclists are not covered by the no-fault personal injury protection laws, your insurance company may refuse to pay for your medical expenses, unless you have a special personal injury protection policy. If you have health insurance, that insurance company will likely contribute towards the costs. Any expenses not covered by your vehicle insurance or health insurance are considered out-of-pocket expenses. You can sue the driver at fault for these.
The motorcycle accident laws in Florida are complex, and you should consult with an experienced Florida motorcycle accident attorney before making any decisions or speaking to any insurance companies.