Motorcycle Accidents vs. Car Accidents in Gainesville, FL
Bill Allen | January 1, 2023 | Personal Injury
Motorcycle accidents and car accidents share many similarities. However, there are key differences that all riders need to know before they ride. Understanding the differences between motorcycle accidents vs. car accidents can help you as you file a personal injury claim after a motorcycle crash.
Passengers in Cars Have More Impact Protection
Unfortunately, motorcyclists receive the brunt of an impact with another vehicle or object. Motorcycles do not have airbags, seatbelts, or enclosed metal frames to protect riders. Even when wearing a motorcycle helmet and protective gear, a rider has a high risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries.
Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Significant scarring and disfigurement
- Multiple fractures and broken bones
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Crushing injuries
- Injury to internal organs
- Wrongful death
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
Car accident victims can also sustain traumatic injuries. However, a car’s safety features can significantly reduce the risk of death and injury for car accident victims.
Insurance Companies Blame Motorcyclists for Causing Accidents
Public prejudice and unfounded beliefs about motorcycle riders exist. These perceptions can negatively impact insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.
Stereotypes of motorcyclists being reckless drivers are common. Many people believe riders take chances, and those chances lead to traffic accidents.
Insurance companies use these unfair stereotypes. They often attempt to shift the blame for the accident to the motorcyclist. By doing so, the insurance company might avoid paying a claim or reduce the amount it must pay for damages.
Florida law requires that the motorcyclist prove the other driver caused the crash to recover money for their claim. If the rider is partially at fault, the amount they receive for damages can be reduced under Florida’s contributory fault law. Talk with a Gainesville motorcycle accident lawyer before discussing your claim with an insurance adjuster.
Florida Insurance Laws Are Different for Motorcycles
Florida is a no-fault insurance state for car accidents. Drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage for their automobiles. No-fault insurance reimburses you for a portion of your lost wages and medical bills, even if you caused a car accident.
However, PIP insurance does not apply to motorcycles. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident and have PIP coverage for a car you own, the coverage does not apply to your motorcycle accident. Liability insurance only pays damages to victims when you cause a crash.
Florida helmet laws require riders to wear a motorcycle helmet. They can ride without a helmet if they have at least $10,000 in medical benefits insurance. Failing to follow the law could result in:
- The loss of driving privileges
- And other penalties
A motorcyclist should consider purchasing optional insurance coverage for their motorcycle. The optional insurance coverage could help pay for damages caused by a motorcycle crash. Purchasing uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can also help pay for damages if another driver causes a motorcycle accident.
A motorcyclist might have the right to sue an at-fault driver for damages. However, the rider has the burden of proving the driver caused the crash.
Furthermore, many drivers do not have liability insurance. Florida does not require this type of car insurance coverage. Therefore uninsured motorist coverage can be essential for a motorcyclist.
Quick Facts Regarding Motorcycle Accidents and Car Accidents in Gainesville, FL
Even though both types of accidents involve motor vehicles, motorcycle accident claims are often more challenging. Reasons why motorcycle accident cases can be difficult to handle without the help of a lawyer include:
- Motorcyclists often sustain catastrophic injuries because of their vulnerability during a collision. Motorcyclists have a higher risk of sustaining an injury than car riders because of a lack of protection.
- Riders often sustain permanent impairments and disabilities, which can result in future damages. Proving a loss of earning capacity, diminished quality of life, and other future damages requires expert witnesses and additional evidence.
- Motorcyclists are often blamed for contributing to the cause of a motorcycle wreck, even though they were not at fault for the collision.
- Motorcycle accidents often involve wrongful death claims. Motorcycle fatalities occur about 28 times more frequently than fatalities for car occupants.
- Lower visibility of motorcycles can increase the risk of an accident for failing to yield the right of way.
- Motorcyclists have a greater risk of injury because of road hazards and conditions.
Motorcyclists deserve fair compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. However, it might be more difficult for them to receive a fair settlement offer from an insurance provider. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer understands the challenges faced by injured motorcyclists.
Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: