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 an accident was. As long as a claim is filed within 14 days of the accident the PIP will pay $2500 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 his PIP if medical bills exceed that amount. He 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 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 rose to record highs. That placed more bikes on the rode during peak traffic hours with more drivers being distracted by cell phones and texting.
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 car and bike 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
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Reckless or careless driving or failure to obey a stop sign or signal
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 attorney will speak to witnesses, look into the past driving record of the other driver and reconstruct the accident scene. The attorney will determine exactly what occurred, not only at the time of the crash but the hours and minutes leading up to it. What were the weather conditions; the amount of traffic; were there other witnesses; is the police report accurate? These are just a few of the many questions to which the motorcycle accident attorney will obtain answers to help your case.
Injuries that are often incurred from a motorcycle crash include:
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you received serious injuries you could be facing a million dollars or more of lost income over your lifetime. Additionally you may face small fortune in medical bills both past and future, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and a severely diminished lifestyle. 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, Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will fight all the way until you get the maximum amount possible.
If you have been hurt or someone you know has been hurt of lost their life, contact Sibley Dolman Gipe 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.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765