Why are motorcycle accidents considered catastrophic?
Motorcycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and deaths to motorcyclists. Injuries sustained in these accidents may include paralysis, limb loss, brain and organ damage, and shattered or fractured bones. When a motorcycle accident was caused by a defect in one of the vehicles involved or by driver negligence, the injured motorcyclist or deceased motorcyclist’s family may be entitled to compensation through legal action–and we have the most experience in South Florida to fight for you.
In general, road accidents are one of the leading cause of fatal injuries in the United States. Specifically, motorcycle accidents are among the most dangerous of all road-related injuries sustained by Americans every day, in large part because of the sudden damage to the brain caused by a blow to the skull, which is not protected by a vehicle when it comes in contact with the road.
What do Floridians need to protect themselves in the event of a motorcycle accident?
Standard coverage is exactly what it sounds like–standard, basic coverage. However, it doesn't protect the rider or any accident victims from everything, and for those who want peace of mind, it may be wise to add further coverage to any motorcycle you plan to ride.
Insurance companies offer several expanded policies based on the needs of the rider; we've outlined several of the most comprehensive options:
- Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability: this type of policy covers any damages caused to other vehicles and for their personal property damaged in an accident. It’s important to understand that this coverage also applies to bodily injuries sustained by other drivers in the event of an accident, as well as any passengers in separate vehicles (or on other motorcycles).
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM coverage): If a rider becomes injured in an accident such as a hit-and-run, or if the other party involved in the accident is at-fault and does not have proper insurance coverage, this is the policy a driver or motorcycle rider MUST purchase to keep themselves as safe as possible. It’s considered “standard”, only due to the fact it’s absolutely necessary to be covered by it. Its necessity derives from the increasing amount of South Florida drivers who are dramatically underinsured or lack any insurance coverage at all.
- Comprehensive/collision coverage: This type of coverage will pay to repair or even replace a motorcycle should it become the victim of theft or damage by no fault of the rider's own. This coverage offers what’s called known in the insurance industry as a “deductible”; that means a rider pays up to a certain amount, and the insurance policy pays the rest. Deductibles vary so we can’t accurately provide exact estimates, but each policy will have exact amounts in the fine print. The best thing to do is check with the chosen insurance company as to what the specifics on deductible are.
How do future motorcycle riders stay safe on Florida's busy roads?
Even a fully insured motorcycle rider cannot be considered a safe rider without being able to properly handle the bike. Riders who cannot successfully handle a motorcycle pose a serious and life-threatening risk not only to themselves, but to other drivers on the road. This is why the state of Florida requires specific motorcycle rider courses are completed and passed satisfactorily before issuing a license. A safe motorcycle rider is one who has taken and mastered the following courses:
- Basic RiderCourse (BRC)
- Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu)
- 3-Wheel Basic RiderCourse (3WBRC) or the Sidecar/Trike Education Program (S/TEP) for endorsement
An inexperienced rider who chooses to forgo these classes, that then causes an accident as a result of improper motorcycle handling, would be liable for any injuries sustained. On top of being liable for the accident, they may be also be responsible for any damage they cause to other drivers' vehicles as a result of the accident. That's why these classes aren't optional, but mandatory and required by law.
What's required for a "Motorcycle Only" license in Florida?
Florida offers a "Motorcycle Only" license for those with little or no interest in another mode of transportation. However, specific laws must be followed in order to obtain this specialized license. Remember, a motorcycle is a dangerous machine in the hands of the inexperienced rider. Read the requirements for safely obtaining a Motorcycle Only license below:
- A teenager must be at least 16 years of age and if they’re under 18 years of age, they must have held their Florida Learner License for at least one year with no traffic violations or criminal convictions on their record. This requirement is nonnegotiable and meant to keep new drivers and those around them on the road, safe.
- The same Class E operator’s driver’s license must be passed to the satisfaction of the state.
- The Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or the Basic RiderCourse update (BRCu) with an authorized sponsor must be completed.
- After the aforementioned courses are completed, proper documentation can be brought to a local driver licensure office or a tax collector office. Once proper identification is shown and any endorsement fees are paid in full, a Motorcycle Only license will be issued to the driver.
- The license will denote a “Motorcycles Only” restriction.
Who is entitled to compensation after a motorcycle accident?
Each claim is unique, but those who have been injured by a reckless motorcycle rider may be owed financial compensation for their pain and suffering. That's why after a motorcycle-related accident it's important to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer, once stabilizing medical treatment has been administered. Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can cause lifelong pain, traumatic brain injury, and lost wages. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to determine if a victim is entitled to compensation, and how much can be obtained on their behalf.
Contact our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers today for a free consultation; there's no obligation!