Injured motorcyclists lack the protections afforded to drivers of passenger cars in terms of personal injury protection insurance. That means when a motorcyclist is severely injured as a result of a driver's negligence, they may incur more out-of-pocket costs. The best way to hold a reckless driver accountable and recover compensation for damages is to hire a motorcycle accident attorney.
Motorcyclists who have been injured in auto accidents often incur substantial financial and emotional costs in addition to their physical injuries. The motorcycle accident attorneys of Dolman Law Group regularly assist injured motorcyclists in maximizing their compensation in personal injury lawsuits. We understand that the odds may be stacked against you, and we are prepared to go above and beyond to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
Understanding the Limitations of PIP for Motorcyclists
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is required in Florida for drivers of any vehicle with four or more wheels. It provides coverage under the No-Fault insurance blanket for medical bills to be paid, regardless of whose fault the car accident was. As long as a claim is filed within 14 days of the car accident, the PIP will pay $2,500 of the medical expenses.
However, if the injured party is deemed by a medical professional to have an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC), the PIP will pay the full threshold of $10,000. This PIP coverage is not available to motorcycle riders, even if the motorcycle owner already has a PIP policy for a car. Considering that injuries to motorcycle riders in accidents are more likely to be of greater severity, this puts the rider at great risk of both financial and physical trauma in the event of a crash.
The driver of a car who is injured in a crash can sue for damages over and above the maximum on their PIP if medical bills exceed that amount. They may also sue for pain and suffering, but only if the injury was considered permanent. This permanency threshold rule does not apply to motorcycle riders. The bike rider may seek compensation from the other driver's insurance company without being required to pass any threshold.
Primary Causes of Florida Motorcycle Crashes
Florida motorcycle accident injuries and deaths are among the highest in the nation. This is due partially to helmet-wearing being optional and the fact that Florida is a year-round riding state. Also, more people use motorcycles as their main mode of transportation since the price of gas has risen to record highs. That placed more bikes on the road during peak traffic hours. Motorcyclists then have to contend with drivers who may be distracted or acting aggressively.
Contrary to what many drivers of automobiles will say, a study by the Florida Department of Transportation found that the majority of crashes involving cars or trucks and motorcycles were the fault of the driver of the larger vehicle. It was not due to the careless operation of the motorcycle. The main reasons for collisions between cars and bikes are:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to see the motorcycle in traffic
- Distracted driving due to texting, cell phone use or other reasons
- Making a left turn without seeing or underestimating the speed of an approaching motorcycle
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
- Reckless or careless driving
- Failure to obey a stop sign or signal
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The NHTSA estimates that 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injury or fatality. Motorcyclists have fewer protections from bodily injuries compared to the drivers of larger vehicles since they are more exposed leading to some unique injuries.
Injuries that are often incurred from a motorcycle crash include:
- Spinal injuries
- Fractures/broken bones
- Road rash/road burn
- Biker's arm
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crush injuries
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you are injured or someone you care about was injured, or killed in a motorcycle crash through the fault of another driver, an improperly maintained road, lack of proper warnings, or defective equipment it is important to seek the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney that has the resources to thoroughly investigate the cause of the crash.
The motorcycle accident attorney will speak to witnesses, look into the past driving record of the other driver and reconstruct the accident scene. They will determine exactly what occurred, not only at the time of the crash but the hours and minutes leading up to it. A motorcycle accident attorney will consider factors like the weather conditions, the amount of traffic, what witnesses were present, and whether or not the police report is accurate. These are just a few of the many questions to which the motorcycle accident attorney will obtain answers to help your case.
Recovering Damages in a Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
If you received serious injuries you could be facing a million dollars or more of lost income over your lifetime. Additionally, you may face a small fortune in medical bills both past and future, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and a severely diminished lifestyle.
Examples of Damages in a Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit:
- Medical bills
- Lab tests
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Home modifications
- Mobility aids
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Missed promotions
- Job retraining
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of services and support
- Loss of parental guidance and instruction
Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With your Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney knows the true lifetime cost of your accident and will fight hard to get the amount of settlement you deserve. Unlike some attorneys who easily settle out of court with only their own interest in mind, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will negotiate until you get the maximum amount possible.
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one as a result of a motorcycle accident, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA right away. As time passes, facts become cloudy, witnesses become less reliable and evidence gets swept away. Call today for a free evaluation.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765