Motorcycle Accidents Are Deadlier Than Car Accidents
While there are far fewer motorcycles on Florida roads than there are automobiles, it is a truism that generally, motorcycle riders and passengers have a much higher rate of injury and fatality in accidents than those in automobiles. The National Highway Traffic & Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates that per vehicle miles traveled, in a road accident, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die than automobile drivers or passengers. If you have been injured in a crash with a car or truck, know that you may be able to seek monetary compensation from the driver if you believe they caused your injuries.
A Disproportionately Higher Rate
Motorcycling is a hobby that enjoys a huge presence in Florida, where the number of motorcycles registered is second only to California. It is not at all uncommon to see motorcycles on Florida roads, but this does mean that more motorcycle-involved accidents occur as well. In 2020, the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) registered approximately 8,000 motorcycle crashes, with over 500 fatalities. This may not seem like much, but given that only around 2 percent of all vehicles on the road are motorcycles, this is a much higher proportion of cycles (around 5 percent) involved in fatal crashes compared to the rate of cars and trucks.
In addition, common sense tells the average person that motorcycles are much smaller and offer much less protections for their riders than automobiles do in the event of an accident. Florida is also one of the states which does not mandate helmet usage for those over the age of 21 who carry valid insurance; this only adds to the danger. The most common types of accidents involving motorcycles are those that occur when a driver simply does not see a motorcyclist, either because of turning too fast, not observing a hidden driveway, or not properly checking mirrors upon lane changes.
If you have been injured in an accident with a car or truck while out riding your motorcycle, filing suit is usually possible, though the procedure to do so is slightly different than it is when seeking compensation after a car accident. In Florida, auto accidents are usually settled via claims with one’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurer, as Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that smaller claims are shunted toward insurers so as to keep court dockets more clear.
That said, Florida’s no-fault scheme only applies to four-wheeled vehicles – motorcyclists are not bound by its requirements in general, which also means that any PIP coverage you keep as an automobile driver will usually not protect you after a motorcycle crash. In most cases, your best option is generally to file suit in court, seeking damages for the harm you have suffered. Standard negligence law will apply, which means that you must show that the allegedly negligent driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care, and breached that duty with their actions, which led to your injuries.
Contact A Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney
There are so many motorcycle riders in Florida that the sheer law of averages unfortunately means accidents happen. However, if you are injured due to the negligence of another driver, you have the right to seek damages for what you have been through. The Tampa motorcycle accident attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group can offer dedicated and compassionate representation during what can be a scary time in your life. Call our offices today for a free consultation.