Getting into any type of motor vehicle accident is always stressful. You have to deal with potential injuries, property damage, maybe missing days at work, having to pay for a car rental, and potentially deal with traffic citations or even a lawsuit.
Whether you were in a car or a motorcycle, there are similarities and differences that apply to each vehicle.
Similarities Between Car and Motorcycle Accidents
Despite their differences in sizes and safety capabilities, there are several common denominators between both types of motor vehicles:
- You need a license to drive either a car or a motorcycle
- Both types of vehicles need to be registered
- Both types of drivers are required to obey all traffic laws
- Both are required to have headlights
- Most accidents for both involve either speeding or alcohol consumption
- Aggressive driving comes into play with both cars and motorcycles
Differences Between Car and Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycles are more dangerous. Leading the cause for injuries is the fact that the motorist is fully exposed to impact and more likely to be ejected from their vehicle. In fact, brain damage, road rash, facial disfigurement, and permanent paralysis are often the result of being involved in a motorcycle accident.
- Motorcyclists face greater threats. In addition to being exposed to more injuries in the case of an accident, they are also more likely to get into an accident whenever there are slick roads, potholes, or other road hazards, due to their smaller size and instability.
- Lane Splitting. Lane splitting occurs when someone in a motorcycle drives between two lanes. They sometimes do it to pass vehicles or to maneuver through traffic. This is against the law and increases the likelihood of an accident, since it gives the motorist less space to maneuver.
What to Do If You Get into a Car Accident with a Motorcycle Rider
Florida is a “no-fault” jurisdiction when it comes to car accidents. What this means is that, regardless of who caused an accident, every car insurance policy is required to provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits to injured parties and their passengers. This type of protection covers 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages, up to $10,000. However, such insurance benefits are only required for any motor vehicle with four or more wheels. Therefore, motorcycle riders are not required to carry PIP insurance.
If you caused the accident and you were driving a car, your own PIP insurance can cover for your or their damages. If they caused the accident and you sustained injuries, you’ll have to file a lawsuit against the motorcycle driver to recover for medical bills, damage to your car, and any additional damages you’ve had arising out of the accident.
There are several ways a motorcycle rider can be held financially responsible for the damages they cause:
- By providing proof of self-insurance. This alternative is available for motorists who have enough net worth to cover a minimum of $10,000 of bodily injury damages in accidents involving one other person, or $20,000 in accidents involving two or more persons. This means that the motorist must have a net worth of at least $40,000.
- By obtaining motorcycle insurance. This type of insurance is available the same way regular car insurance is available for other motorists. The minimum requirements are the same as for self-insurance: Enough to cover $10,000 in damages to one person, or $20,000 for two or more injured individuals.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Florida is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. This means that if you get into a car accident with someone, and both of you were partly at fault for the accident, your percentage of liability will be deducted from whatever amount of damages you sustained. For example, if you end up with $10,000 in medical bills and you were found to be 50% at fault, you would only be able to recover $5,000 from the motorcycle driver.
Call Us at Clark Law for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. The longer you wait, the higher the chance of missing the opportunity to file for certain damages, or obtain reliable evidence for your case.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.