If a driver or someone’s negligence causes your injury while you are on a motorcycle in Florida, you may be entitled to be paid for the money you were not paid because you missing work.
This article does not apply to motorcycle accidents outside of Florida. If you are in a car that it is involved in an accident, you should check out 4 tips for getting paid for missing work after a car accident. So how do you get paid for the time that you could not work?
You may have heard ads on the radio or TV saying that you are entitled to $10,000 in benefits if you are in a car accident.
For purposes of this article and lost wages, these ads are saying that even if you caused an accident, your car insurance company will pay you up to $10,000 in lost wages.
These ads refer to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which is insurance in Florida that the owner of a motor vehicle is required by law to have.
Personal Injury Protection is not required, and does not cover, injuries that you may have while you are on a motorcycle and are injured. This is because motorcycles are not considered to be “motor vehicles” under Florida law.
Now, if you were riding a bicycle and you were hit by a car, you would be allowed to make a claim with the PIP insurance for your lost wages even if you were completely at fault. If you are on a motorcycle in Florida at the time of the crash, PIP insurance will not pay for your lost wages (money you were not paid for not being able to work).
Let’s assume that you were riding a motorcycle and you fell off, and then you were struck by a car. You would not be able to make a PIP claim for your lost wags with any insurance company because you would be considered to be occupying a self-propelled vehicle [the motorcycle] and not a motor vehicle. Dunlap v. United Services Auto. Assn., 470 So.2d 98 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985).
If you were pushing a motorcycle that does not work and you are hit by a car, then you will not be able to get your lost wages paid through PIP because you are not considered an occupant of the motorcycle. You are not considered a pedestrian if you are pushing a motorcycle.
Ok. Enough about why PIP won’t pay your lost wages if you are on a motorcycle. Let’s talk about how you may be able to get your lost wages paid.
1. Workers Compensation Insurance.
If you were working at the time of the accident, you may be able to get benefits through your employer.
2. Short term disability insurance.
If you have short term disability insurance (STD) – which most people don’t – make a claim with your STD insurance company as well as your car insurance company. Short term disability insurance is optional. It may be offered through your employer. It is also offered privately as well.
3. Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
In order for you to get paid for your lost wages from the owner – and/or driver – of the car that hit you, you need:
- To show that he or she was negligent (careless); and
- The injury that prevents you from working to be caused by the accident; and
- A doctor’s note saying that you are excused from work.
- He or she – or his or her employer – to have money to pay for your lost wages. This usually comes in the form of bodily injury liability insurance.
4. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance
If the driver (or owner) of the motor vehicle (car, truck, etc.) that caused your accident does not have – or have enough – bodily injury liability insurance, you can make a claim for your lost wages against uninsured motorist coverage if you are an insured under a policy that provides UM coverage.
Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist insurance pays for your lost wages and other damages if the driver – and/or owner – of a car that caused your accident does not have (or does not have enough) bodily injury liability insurance coverage to pay for your damages.
If you did not own a car at the time of the accident, if you live with a relative at the time of the accident, his or her uninsured motorist insurance may pay for your lost wages. The bad news is that Florida law does not require a car or motorcycle owner to have uninsured motorist insurance.
How would you qualify for uninsured motorist insurance? It would have purchased:
- As part of the motorcycle insurance policy; and/or
- As part of a car insurance policy purchased by you or relative that you live with
Let’s take a look a little more in depth look at Uninsured motorist coverage.
If you qualify for uninsured motorist insurance, and you were on a motorcycle at the time of the accident, it will pay for your lost wages and other damages if the driver – or owner – of a motor vehicle that caused the accident does not have enough bodily injury liability insurance to pay for your lost wages and other damages. F.S. 627.727(9)(e).
Nonstacking uninsured motorist car insurance will probably not pay for your lost wages and other damages if you were injured on a motorcycle that you or a resident relative owned at the time of the accident.
On the other hand, stacking uninsured motorist coverage in a Florida auto policy will pay – up to your limits – for your lost wages and other damages if you were injured on a motorcycle that you (or a resident relative) owned at the time of the accident, even if the motorcycle was uninsured.
5. Possibly easier to get money for pain and suffering.
If you are injured while occupying (on) a motorcycle in Florida you may have a big advantage – especially for someone with less severe injuries – over someone who is injured while occupying a motor vehicle.
If a driver’s negligence caused your injury while you were occupying a motorcycle in Florida, then you do not have to not have to exceed the tort threshold to recover for noneconomic damages (pain and suffering, etc.).
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