While much of the focus in a Miami motorcycle accident is on the effects upon the operator, it is important to recognize that there are substantial implications for the passenger. As a rider, your only source of stability comes from holding onto the motorcycle driver. Plus, other than leaning to distribute weight, you have no control over operating the vehicle. It is for these reasons that statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) are so disturbing: In the last two years, more than 1,300 passengers have been killed or injured in motorcycle collisions.
Though the relevant legal concepts and factors are slightly different, you do have legal options if you were hurt or lost a loved one who was riding as a passenger in a motorcycle crash. It is wise to work with a skilled Miami motorcycle accident lawyer to get the compensation you deserve, but some answers to common questions may be informative.
What are the Causes of Motorcycle Collisions in Florida?
Some of the factors that lead to motorcycle accidents are the same as those for other motor vehicle crashes. Examples include speeding, illegal passing, disobeying traffic signals, and related misconduct. Two-wheeled vehicles are very different from automobiles, so some causes are unique to motorcycle accidents, such as:
- Lane splitting;
- Car doors, such as getting “doored” by a driver getting out of a parked car;
- Unsafe lane changes; and,
- Hazardous road conditions.
How Does Liability Work in a Miami Motorcycle Crash?
Regardless of the specific causes, the underlying reason these incidents happen is negligence. To recover compensation, you need to prove that the accident occurred as a direct result of unsafe driving. As a passenger, the focus would not be on your actions, but on carelessness by other motorists.
Who is Responsible for My Compensation?
If the driver of a four-wheeled vehicle was negligent, you would seek monetary damages through that person’s insurance company. In some cases, you may be able to settle your claim; in others, you might need to file a lawsuit in court to recover compensation. Still, the at-fault driver might be the very person who was transporting you when the motorcycle collision occurred. The legal process is still the same, so – even though it might seem awkward to be on the opposite site of a friend or family member – you would file an insurance claim.
What Monetary Damages are Available for Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Whether through settlement or litigation, it is possible to recover a wide range of compensation, including:
- Medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering; and,
- Emotional anguish.
Our South Florida Motorcycle Collision Attorneys Will Assist With Your Remedies
Hopefully, these questions are a useful overview of how Florida law works when a passenger is hurt or killed in a motorcycle crash. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA will tackle the details, so please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.