Insurance Coverage in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles can be incredibly dangerous for a rider hit in a collision, and accidents can be debilitating, if not fatal. Motorcycle accidents happen fast, but the follow-up processes to get compensated for property damage, medical bills, etc., can be slow and difficult. The rules and laws regarding motorcycle insurance are very different from those that apply to auto drivers in Florida, and the different rules can not only cause confusion but also may leave a motorcyclist without coverage following an accident.
The average estimated cost of a motorcycle fatality is $1.48 million. Motorcyclists must make sure that they are prepared for costs following an accident. If an accident has occurred, motorcycle riders should immediately seek the help of a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney to ensure that they and their families are properly compensated for any damages. The dedicated Vero Beach motorcycle accident lawyer Keith Bregoff can help you recover following a motorcycle crash involving you or a loved one.
Florida insurance laws apply differently to motorcyclists
Auto drivers in Florida are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in order to drive on Florida roadways. Car drivers are also subject to Florida’s rules concerning no-fault insurance coverage. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, do not need to carry PIP or other motorcycle insurance in order to obtain a license. If you have PIP coverage on your other vehicles, it will not apply to your motorcycle accident. Instead, motorcyclists must carry at least $10,000 in medical benefits coverage through some insurance policy, including their normal health insurance. Riders with that minimum health insurance who are over 21 do not even need to wear a helmet under Florida law. As a result, 20% of Florida motorcycle riders do not have motorcycle insurance, which may leave them exposed to huge medical bills and other costs following an accident.
Motorcycle riders should carry motorcycle insurance
Even though it is not required under law, it is a very good idea to carry motorcycle insurance covering property damage, injury, and casualties, in order to protect you and your family in the event of an accident. Motorcycle accidents are much more likely to involve severe or even fatal injury than other traffic accidents, and a serious injury can bankrupt the unwary in medical costs and lost wages. Motorcyclists can and should consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage as well for protection in the event that you are injured in a crash and the other driver either does not have bodily injury insurance or their policy is not sufficient to cover your medical expenses.
Florida’s no-fault insurance limitations do not apply to motorcyclists
Under Florida’s no-fault system, drivers must carry PIP insurance and motorcyclists must carry some form of medical insurance. Auto drivers are limited to no-fault insurance coverage. Each person involved will seek coverage from their own insurance company regardless of which driver (or rider) actually caused the accident. Car drivers can sue other at-fault drivers to cover medical bills that go beyond their policy limits, but only in limited situations. Drivers cannot sue for non-economic damages unless their injuries meet a certain minimum threshold of severity. Non-economic damages include those that are hard to quantify like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Motorcyclists, on the other hand, can sue an at-fault driver directly for non-economic damages following an accident without having to meet any injury threshold. A motorcyclist can sue the other driver for pain and suffering, disfigurement, inconvenience from loss of functionality, or other non-economic damages. Motorcyclists can also file a claim with the other party’s insurance company.
Get Help After a Serious Vero Beach Motorcycle Accident
If you need seasoned, professional, and knowledgeable legal help after a Florida motorcycle accident, contact the Vero Beach Personal Injury Law Offices of Keith Bregoff for a free case evaluation at 772-492-8967.