Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Cover Motorcyclists?

Motorcycle Accident Attorney St. Petersburg FL

In short, no. But see below for more information about PIP insurance coverage and what you can do to protect yourself in the event of a motorcycle accident.

What Is PIP Insurance?

First, let’s take a look at what PIP insurance is and what it isn’t. PIP insurance, which stands for Personal Injury Protection, is an extension of car insurance that covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages. It is often referred to as “no-fault” coverage because it pays out claims to the policyholder without regard to whom is at fault in the accident. This is in contrast to standard liability insurance, in which the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the costs of damages and injuries to the other motorists.

Florida is one of the 13 states plus the District of Columbia that requires drivers to carry PIP insurance by law. Florida law requires drivers to carry both:

  • $10,000 of no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance
  • $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) insurance

In addition to covering your part of any medical expenses and income lost from a car accident, PIP insurance will also cover:

  • Your child and other members of your household
  • Your child (when riding on a school bus)
  • You (when you are a pedestrian or bicyclist involved in a car accident)
  • Passengers in your car who do not have their own PIP insurance and do not own a car

Those in your car with PIP car insurance will receive coverage from their own policies if you get in a car accident. Likewise, your PIP car insurance will cover you while you are a passenger in someone else’s car.

Motorcyclists Are Not Covered by Standard Pip Insurance

You may have noticed that PIP coverage applies when you are driving or riding in a car or when your child rides on a school bus. This excludes motorcyclists. Although many drivers assume that their standard auto insurance policy will cover their injuries in the event of motorcycle accidents, this is not the case.

In many states, car insurance laws and motorcycle insurance laws are the same, but there are significant differences between the two in Florida. Most importantly, Florida PIP insurance laws do not apply to motorcycles. Some insurance companies may offer PIP insurance for motorcycles that is similar to PIP insurance for cars, but that insurance is not regulated by Florida law. Also, after a motorcycle accident, a person does not need to show a permanent injury to recover money for pain and suffering, unlike an injury resulting from a car accident.

Ways to Protect Motorcyclists in Florida

To protect yourself and others from injuries arising from motorcycle accidents in Florida, you have three options:

  1. Buy motorcycle insurance from an insurance carrier.
  2. Get a self-insured certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility after you present evidence of net unencumbered capital.
  3. Secure a financial responsibility certificate. This requires posting a surety bond with a state licensed company and depositing cash or securities with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

If you choose to obtain motorcycle insurance, it is recommended that you purchase enough coverage to comply with Florida’s minimum requirements for auto insurance policies.

Contact a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or simply have questions regarding your rights and responsibilities as a motorcyclist in Florida, contact the attorneys at Berkowitz & Myer. We can help you with an insurance claim with the liable driver’s policy or with a personal injury lawsuit when needed. Schedule a free consultation by calling (727) 344-0123 today.

 

The Dangers of Rear-end Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in FLThe Dangers of Rear-end Motorcycle Accidents

Florida has the second-highest number of registered motorcycles of any statesecond only to California. Motorcyclists are drawn to Florida for its miles of coastline, gorgeous scenery, and motorcycle-friendly weather all year-round. However, more motorcyclists on the road mean the potential for more motorcycle accidents.

Motorcyclists are already at a greater risk for injuries in crashes because they do not have all of the protections that motorists in cars do. However, certain types of collisions can be especially serious. For example, while a rear-end crash between two cars is commonly considered to be a minor accident (“fender bender”), rear-end accidents are some of the most dangerous for motorcyclists, whether the motorcyclist is the front or rear vehicle.

Motorcyclists do not have seat belts so they are very easily ejected from their bikes. If a motorcyclist hits the back of a car, the impact will suddenly stop the motorcycle and they will keep moving, often flying over the car they hit. Similarly, if they are hit by a car from behind, the impact will still likely eject them forward onto the pavement. Either way, chances are they will suffer severe trauma from hitting a car, the ground, or both. The injuries that result can be catastrophic.

Injuries to Motorcyclists

When a motorcyclist goes forward off their bike, they often try to catch themselves with their arms if they have time to react. However, the impact is often too great and they may end up with broken wrists, hands, or arms, as well as shoulder injuries. Unless they can successfully block their fall, motorcyclists often hit their faces on the pavement. Even if they are wearing a helmet with a face shield, their face can still hit the inside of the shield. In many cases, this can cause broken jaws or noses, fractured skulls, and damage to the teeth. Motorcyclists also can sustain injuries to the spine, head, back, neck, and other body parts in a rear-end crash.

Negligent Drivers can Cause Rear-end Crashes

Rear-end motorcycle accidents are often caused by other drivers who act in a negligent manner. This is often the case even if a motorcycle is the rear vehicle, as this does not automatically mean that the motorcyclist was at fault. Some examples of negligence that lead to this type of crash include:

  • Changing lanes directly in front of a motorcyclist
  • Tailgating
  • Excessive speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
If a driver was engaging in dangerous behavior and caused a motorcycle collision, the driver should be held fully liable for all costs and losses related to the injuries.

Consult with a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Free

A motorcycle accident can change your life and you may have to deal with the aftermath of your injuries for an extended period of time and maybe for the rest of your life. AT the law firm of Berkowitz & Myer, we represent injured accident victims in and around St. Petersburg. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer, call us today at 727-344-0123.

Florida Motorcycle Accident FAQs

Motorcycle Accident Attorney Florida

Florida Motorcycle Accident FAQs

Motorcycles provide very little protection to operators and riders, and a serious accident can produce catastrophic injuries. Motorcycle accident claims are also difficult to prove, and the insurance companies sometimes dispute fault in these cases.

The experienced St. Petersburg personal injury motorcycle accident lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer can evaluate your case and answer all of your legal question and concerns.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Many factors may cause motorcycle accidents, but one of the most common causes of these accidents is aggressive driving. Aggressive driving has, unfortunately, become all too common on Florida highways and roads. When negligent drivers collide with motorcycles at high rates of speed, the results can devastate motorcyclists. Examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Abrupt lane changes
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or impaired driving
  • Fatigued driving

How Do I Prove Fault in My Motorcycle Accident Case?

Drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers—and motorcyclists—to operate their vehicles in reasonable and safe ways. This means that they must drive carefully and obey all Florida traffic laws and rules of the road.

To recover damages for personal injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident that a careless or reckless driver caused, the injured motorcycle accident victim must prove that the at-fault driver breached the standard of care—usually by violating a traffic law—thereby causing the accident and bringing about the resulting injuries and damages.

In addition, an injured motorcycle passenger may have a legal cause of action against the motorcycle operator for negligent driving.

What Are the Most Common Types of Injuries Sustained in High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents?

Injuries sustained in high-speed Florida motorcycle accidents include:

  • Fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Cuts
  • Abrasions
  • Scarring
  • Paralysis
  • Death

What Monetary Damages Can I Recover in a Florida Motorcycle Accident Case?

Assuming that another driver was negligent for causing the accident, an injured motorcycle accident victim may recover some or all of the following damages, depending on the nature and circumstances of the accident and the extent of the injuries:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Physical therapy bills
  • Lost wages for time missed from work
  • Past, present, and future pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost spousal support or companionship

Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida, Personal Injury Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

If you or someone you love sustained serious injuries in a Florida motorcycle accident, the personal injury lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer can answer all of your questions and may provide you with legal representation throughout your personal injury case.

To schedule a free initial consultation or case evaluation with a St. Petersburg personal injury motorcycle accident lawyer, please call us today at (727) 344-0123 or contact us online.

no-cost consultation: (727) 344-0123
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