Motorcycle accidents in Florida are prevalent and if you are a victim of this type of accident, you should know your rights, even if you were just a passenger. Thousands of motorcycle accidents are reported in Florida every year, and those injuries can greatly disrupt people’s lives. Whether you have major or minor injuries, you should know your rights as a motorcycle passenger.
Read below to learn your rights, the law, and what to do if you or someone you know was a passenger in a motorcycle accident in Florida.
What To Do After the Accident
Being in a motorcycle accident can be a traumatizing experience. Despite maybe never warning to think about it again, there are some steps you must take to ensure you receive proper care and compensation. First, get medical treatment. Even if you don’t think your injuries are that bad, the crash may cause underlying complications that you won’t recognize until later. Prompt receiving care will give you a better chance of receiving compensation for your injuries and any losses you might have incurred.
It is important to write down every detail about the accident. Record information like the names and insurance details of the people in the accident. Take pictures of the crash site. Call the local authorities right away so that they can properly handle the situation. The police report is very important for future legal action.
Make sure to gather evidence about the motorcycle that was used, especially if you find out that faulty equipment was one of the reasons for the accident. Have it investigated before fixing it to know whether or not the vehicle was properly functioning at the time of the accident.
Injured Motorcycle Passenger Rights
Under the State of Florida’s law, you can file a claim even if you are just an injured motorcycle passenger. Through the Personal Injury Protection or PIP, passengers can claim compensation for their losses and injuries. Even if you don’t have health insurance, the PIP will cover the medical expenditures of both the passenger and the policyholder.
Pursue a Claim
Even if your insurance can cover all the expenses, you can also file a claim against the insurance company of the motorcycle’s operator or the driver of the other vehicle that was involved in the collision.
You are still entitled to compensation under the driver’s insurance company if they have an uninsured motorist policy for a hit and run incident.
However, for roadway negligence or faulty equipment, you may need to hire an attorney to handle such a case. This type of case is more intricate and you’ll need expert advice if you ever need to file a lawsuit.
Can a Motorcycle Passenger Be Found Answerable?
There are very rare cases where a passenger can be found at fault in an accident. Some of the instances where a passenger can be at fault are as follows:
- Purposely distracting the driver
- Not wearing a helmet
- Falsely told the driver that the road was unobstructed when it was not clear
- Riding with the driver even though they were impaired or not feeling well
You would be charged as partially at fault if you were found guilty of any of the abovementioned actions. In these cases, you will get a minimum amount of compensation.
Even though passengers are more likely to have higher success rates of getting compensated, you may still want to hire an auto accident lawyer to ensure you’ll get the right amount of compensation. Hiring an attorney will give you fewer possibilities of being at fault for the mishap.
Limitation Laws on Florida Motorcycle Injury Cases
Every state has a different amount of time in which to file a lawsuit which is known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file a case within the time period, the court will just dismiss it and you will not be able to get an opportunity to be heard regardless of the severity of your injuries.
If you live in the state of Florida, you are required to file a lawsuit within four years of an accident. This time limit is applicable for compensation for injuries or property or vehicle damage.
However, if a passenger was killed in the accident, the family members can file a case within two years after the accident or the date of the passenger’s death.
Florida Motorcycle Passenger Laws
Learning the Florida Motorcycle Passenger Laws will help you avoid being at fault as a passenger if an accident were to occur. If you live in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, or other areas in Florida, below are some of the things passengers should know before riding on bikes or motorcycles:
- The law prohibits passengers on motorcycles or bikes that are meant for a single person.
- Helmets are not required to use if you are over 21 and have insurance worth at least $10,000. However, if you do not wear a helmet, the defense will most likely use that against you if you suffer head injuries in an accident.
- Minors are allowed to ride on motorcycles as long as they are wearing helmets.
- A two-person motorcycle should have footrests installed for passengers.
- Though there is no law prohibiting intoxicated persons from riding on a motorcycle as a passenger, one should not do so because it will be difficult for an injury lawyer to win the case if the passenger has contributed to the accident due to distraction to the driver.
Motorcycle accidents can happen anytime. Knowing motorcycle laws, your rights, and what to do as an injured motorcycle passenger are important so that you can get the right compensation for medical expenses or any inconveniences you underwent. Remember that you have the right to file a claim against any driver who caused the accident.
Do not hesitate to ask for legal advice when you are uncertain of what to do with your situation. A motorcycle injury lawyer in Florida will help you clearly understand your legal options. Hiring an expert will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.