If you are a licensed motorcyclist in Florida, you have completed the safety course required to obtain a motorcycle endorsement for your Class E operator’s license or a motorcycle-only license. You’ve learned the basics of everyday handling and traffic laws, as well as emergency maneuvers such as when and how to stop or swerve to avoid an accident or road hazard. You have hopefully purchased a helmet and other safety equipment, and purchased insurance coverage.
Although proof of insurance is not required to register a motorcycle in Florida, in the case of an accident there are penalties for not carrying it, such as suspension of the license and registration, with hefty reinstatement costs. It is wise to review all the details of your insurance coverage with your agent to be sure you understand all the details of what is and is not covered. For example, PIP coverage is only available for 4-wheeled vehicles, not for motorcycles. An added perk to purchasing adequate insurance is that motorcycle operators who are over 21 may elect to ride without a helmet if they carry an insurance policy with a $10,000 minimum of medical insurance. Considering that the number of fatal motorcycle crashes increased by 21% since the repeal of the helmet law in 2000, we recommend helmets for all riders.
Even with the best preparation and combination of training, personal protection, and insurance, motorcycle accidents still happen, and they happen frequently. According to Ride Smart Florida, almost 19% of all traffic fatalities were motorcycle riders and their passengers. A good number of accidents are prevented by motorcyclists who realize that they are often difficult to see and thus drive defensively, signaling their turns, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, and looking ahead for possible conflicts. When accidents with motorcycles do occur, there are often more serious injuries because of the less-protected nature of a motorcycle rider compared to the driver of a car. A study of 2011 motorcycle accidents by the Governors Highway Safety Association determined that “motorcyclists were about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and nine times more likely to be injured.”
Victims of motorcycle accidents are often portrayed by insurance companies as reckless, but they have as much right to compensation as the driver of any type of vehicle who is involved in an accident. If you are injured in a collision while driving your motorcycle, don’t try to deal with insurance companies on your own and risk settling for less than you might deserve for injuries, lost wages, or damage to your motorcycle. Talk to an attorney who has experience litigating on behalf of motorcyclists and has the resources and know-how to advance the case to trial if necessary. The Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, located in Clearwater, Florida, regularly provides legal counsel for injured motorcyclists and has a reputation for providing aggressive and personal representation for their clients. To discuss your accident with a competent motorcycle injury attorney, call the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at 727-451-6900.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765