Motorcycles offer an appealing means of transportation in South Florida due to our scenic beaches and oceanfront views. Unfortunately, motorcyclists often fall victim to careless and negligent drivers who fail to safely share the road with motorcycles. The Governors Highway Safety Association reported that Florida ranked #1 in the United States for motorcycle fatalities back to back in 2016 and 2017.
* Reckless or careless driving
* Blind spots
* Drunk driving
* Road hazards
* Illegal lane changes
* Lane splitting
Motorcycles and the Law in Florida
In Florida, anyone over the age of 16 with a Class E license is eligible for a motorcycle endorsement, which is essentially a license to operate a motorcycle. Florida no longer mandates that helmets be worn when driving a motorcycle. Instead, generally only those under the age of 21 or those who do not carry at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries must wear a helmet.
Section 2(b) of Florida Statute § 316.211 states, “a person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head if such person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.”
Florida Statute § 316.211 does mandate, however, that all motorcyclists wear protective eye gear when operating the vehicle.
Other safety laws include:
* No lane splitting, though this is widely abused
* Use of mufflers
* Mandatory driver education classes
* Regulations on handlebar height
* Mandatory use of headlights during the day and night
Common Motorcycle Injuries
* Traumatic brain injury or brain damage
* Head injuries
* Spinal cord injuries
* Fractures and broken bones
How does motorcycle insurance work?
Florida motorcyclists are not required to carry insurance for their motorcycle, but the driver will be held financially responsible for the motor vehicle accident if he is charged in a motorcycle crash. A motorcyclist may choose from the following financial responsibility options:
* Liability insurance through a licensed Florida insurance carrier
* Financial Responsibility Certificate - Will require the driver to post a surety bond with a state licensed company and deposit cash/securities with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
* Self Insurance Certificate - Requires proof of net encumbered capital (free of creditor claims, liens, etc.)
Florida is a “no fault” state that requires automobile drivers with four or more wheels to have personal injury protection (PIP). However, PIP laws do not extend to motorcycles, nor will it attach to your motorcycle if you already have a car insured with PIP coverage. This means that the motorcyclist must obtain compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance company for any injuries or damages to the vehicle resulting from a crash.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Florida, don’t hesitate and speak with our experienced team of motorcycle accident attorneys. Jason Turchin has represented many victims of motorcycle crashes and wants to help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Call the Law Offices of Jason Turchin today at 1-800-337-7755 today for a free consultation.
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