Motorcycle Accidents and Florida’s PIP Exclusions
The number of new motorcyclists on roads and highways in Florida increases each year. Unfortunately, new motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in motorcycle accidents due to their inexperience on the road. Navigating the aftermath of a motorcycle accident is complex. This complexity becomes very clear when attempting to navigate insurance claims. Personal injury protection benefits, also known as “PIP”, a part of insurance policies, will not cover injuries that result from a motorcycle accident. While Florida law requires all motor vehicles have PIP, motorcycles are specifically excluded from Florida’s PIP statute.
Medical Payment Insurance can Cover Some Expenses
Fortunately, motorcyclists can purchase optional medical payment coverage, which will cover a motorcyclist’s accident-related medical expenses. Motorcyclists are required to have at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. Additionally, if a motorcyclist has private health insurance that will provide benefits for injuries from a motorcycle accident, then the health insurance can be used to meet the $10,000 requirement. A motorcyclist’s passengers are also excluded from using PIP and must have their own medical coverage insurance. Passengers are not required to have insurance if the person operating the motorcycle has coverage that provides medical coverage to passengers.
Motorcyclists Can File a Lawsuit Against the At Fault Driver
While motorcyclists are excluded from recovering losses from the at fault driver’s PIP, a motorcyclist may file a personal injury lawsuit for recovery against the at-fault driver. Filing a lawsuit may be the only way a motorcyclist will be able to obtain compensation required to fully recover from an accident. If an accident victim suffers from permanent injuries, scarring, disfigurement, or is killed, insurance typically will not provide enough coverage for current and future expenses. In the case of death, the motorcyclist’s surviving family should consider pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver.
Not Wearing a Helmet During an Accident
A motorcyclist may file a lawsuit even if the rider was not wearing a helmet. In Florida, motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet if they are over 20 years old. The law only requires motorcyclists to wear eye protection and have medical payment insurance coverage on their motorcycle. However, it is important to remember that not wearing a helmet can still be examined when a motorcyclist is injured in an accident. This is especially true if the motorcyclist suffers a head injury. In a lawsuit, the motorcyclist’s failure to wear a helmet could be used to calculate comparative fault resulting in reduced damages.
Motorcycle Accident Victims Deserve Compensation
Navigating Florida’s complex comparative fault and PIP rules can be exhausting for a motorcyclist injured in an accident. At the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A., our personal injury lawyers will help you navigate Florida’s complex laws and seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The Miami personal injury attorneys at our office can provide you with advice and counsel on your legal options after an accident. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with our office by calling (305)-371-3111.