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Motorcycle accidents

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The number of motorcyclists or bikers on our busy roads and highways in the greater Orlando area has been increasing each year as more people are driving motorcycles as a recreational pursuit or as their primary mode of transportation. We see motorcyclists ranging from young sport bikers who love zipping along the streets on their Japanese made motorcycles such as Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki or Honda, to the more seasoned bikers riding their cruisers, usually from Harley-Davidson or Japanese manufacturers. In addition our streets are flooded with bikers during the two weeks of Bike Week and Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach along with smaller motorcycle festivals in Orlando, Leesburg and other communities. Unfortunately, with all of these motorcyclists on our streets there is an increase in reported cases of motorcycle related injuries and fatalities.

Under Florida law there are differences in the law if you are injured while operating a motorcycle or while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle as opposed to if you are injured while operating an automobile or while a riding as a passenger in an automobile. For instance, if you are driving an automobile and are injured in an accident, you are entitled to 10,000 in PIP ( Personal Injury Protection ) coverage. PIP pays 80% of your accident related medical expenses and 60% of your gross wage loss for time missed from work as a result of your accident related injuries. However, if you are driving a motorcycle or are a passenger on a motorcycle you are not entitled to PIP benefits as Florida law does not allow PIP coverage for motorcyclists or their passengers. Under Florida law only vehicles that are defined as motor vehicles are entitled to PIP benefits and motorcycles do not meet the definition of a motor vehicle and thus are not entitled to PIP benefits. Fortunately, motorcyclists can purchase optional Medical Payment coverage which will cover motorcyclists accident related medical expenses up to their Medical Payment policy limits.

Another example of a difference under Florida law is if you are involved in an automobile accident with another automobile and both automobiles are properly insured under Florida law then the injured driver or passenger must prove they have sustained a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability in order to recover non-economic damages which are commonly referred to as pain and suffering damages from the at fault drivers BI ( Bodily Injury ) insurance coverage. However, if you are a motorcyclist or a passenger on a motorcycle you do not have to meet the burden of proving you have sustained a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability in order to recover for pain and suffering damages under the at fault drivers BI insurance coverage if you have sustained at least some minimal injuries. The general rule is if you do not receive the benefits of PIP while on a motorcycle you do not have the burden of proving the permanent injury threshold in order to recover pain and suffering damages.

If you are a motorcyclist or a passenger on a motorcycle who has been injured due to the negligence of an automobile driver, please call The Nuebel Law Firm today at 407-703-5999 so that we may help and assist you.

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