Who Pays for the Damage to Your Moped if a Driver Caused Your Accident in Florida?
You have two options to get the damage to your scooter paid for.
Collision insurance on your scooter
If you have collision insurance on the moped, you can make a claim through your insurance company. Collision coverage is not required in Florida.
Other Driver’s or Owner’s Property Damage Insurance
Florida law requires that a motor vehicle owner has at least $10,000 in property damage insurance.
The careless driver is liable in proportion to his or her negligence. So if someone was 75% at fault in causing the crash, expect their insurance company to pay for 75% of the damage to your scooter.
Who Pays Your Medical Bills if a Driver Causes Your Accident While You’re On a Moped in Florida?
In Florida, a moped is usually classified as a bicycle. It is normally not considered a “motor vehicle”. The case that said this was Velez v. Criterion Ins. Co., 461 So.2d 1348 (Fla. 1984).
An auto insurer is required to pay Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits only if the injury was sustained while he or she was “not an occupant of a self-propelled vehicle.” The key to determining whether you will get PIP benefits is to determine whether your moped is a “self-propelled vehicle.”
Car hit Moped Rider in Florida; Moped Rider got PIP benefits under his auto insurance policy (Velez)
Velez was hurt in a collision with an automobile while he was riding his moped in Florida. At the time of the accident on April 28, 1982, he was riding his two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum rating of 1.5 brake horsepower.
The automobile, which was his insured vehicle under his policy with his auto insurer, was not involved in the accident.
He filed for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under his automobile policy with his insurance company. The Florida Supreme Court said that he was entitled to PIP benefits because his moped was not a “self-propelled vehicle”.
Another Moped Case where rider got PIP benefits under his auto insurance (Link)
In State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Link, 416 So.2d 875 (Fla. 5th DCA 1982), Link was struck by an automobile while operating a moped and was injured in Florida.
State Farm had issued an insurance policy on Link’s automobile (not involved in this accident). It refused to pay him PIP benefits.
The moped involved in the Link case could be pedaled, but could also utilize a motor rated by the manufacturer as having a maximum rating of 1 1/2 brake horsepower.
The appeals court said that it did not believe, given the nature of the vehicle involved, a small, unlicensed low horsepower motorbike, that the legislature intended to exclude the occupants of such vehicles from PIP benefits when not operated on the public highways.
Florida’s 5th district court of appeal (DCA) decided this case.
Florida’s Fifth DCA is comprised of Hernando, Lake, Marion, Citrus and Sumter Counties, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia Counties, Orange and Osceola Counties, Brevard and Seminole Counties.
The Florida Supreme Court approved the appeals court’s ruling.
No PIP benefits for Yamaha 125 (Miami-Dade County, Florida Circuit Appeals Court case)
On the other hand, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida (located in Miami-Dade County), acting as an appeals court, said that it is clear that a Yamaha Elite 125 scooter is not a bicycle or a moped. Atlantic Employers Insurance Company v. Omayra Olivo 7 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 251a (Fla. 11th Jud. Cir. (Appeals) 2000).
In that case, Omayra Olivo was a passenger on a Yamaha Elite 125 scooter and was injured in a traffic accident in Florida. The scooter was struck by an automobile, owned and operated by an insured of Atlantic Employers Insurance Company.
The court said that the Yamaha 125 scooter is a “self-propelled” vehicle for the purposes of F.S. § 627.736(1). Since the claimant was a passenger on a self-propelled vehicle, within the meaning of the PIP statute, she was not entitled to PIP benefits.
Tip: If the court would have ruled that the Yamaha 125 was not a self-propelled vehicle, the passenger would have been able to get PIP benefits to a PIP policy to which she was covered.
Bicycle riders are entitled to PIP; motorcycles are not
If a motor vehicle hits you while you’re on a bike in Florida, you qualify for PIP. If a motor vehicle crashes into you while you’re an occupant of a motorcycle, you don’t get PIP.
How to you determine if a “moped” is considered a bicycle or a motorcycle?
There is no exact measurement. You should check out:
- The horsepower of the “moped” (Higher horsepower = less likely to get PIP)
- Whether it can be peddled (Get PIP)
Are battery-powered skateboard scooters considered “self-propelled vehicles”?
No, because they can be kicked and pushed similar to a skateboard. Therefore, it is more like a moped and less like a motorcycle.
So if a driver of a car caused your accident while you’re on a skateboard scooter, you qualify for PIP benefits.
If a motor vehicle hits a driver of a moped in Florida, can the moped driver get PIP?
Yes. The moped driver or passenger is considered a pedestrian under Florida law. Pedestrians struck by a motor vehicle are able to get PIP benefits. (Does a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in Florida Have a Case?)
If you are pedestrian and not a resident of Florida, you don’t get Florida PIP benefits. If a motor vehicle strikes a non-resident pedestrian in Florida, find out if he has a case.
In Florida, if a “motor vehicle” driver’s negligence caused your accident while you’re on “moped”, can you get compensation for pain and suffering?
Possibly. If the moped is not considered a self-propelled vehicle, then you would likely need to meet the tort threshold in order to recover pain, suffering and mental anguish damages. However, there are exceptions.
The tort threshold often consists of a doctor stating that you have a permanent injury. If the moped is considered a self-propelled vehicle, then you would not need to meet the tort threshold in order to be entitled to pain and suffering damages.
Whether you will actually get paid will likely depend on whether the responsible party has bodily injury (BI) liability insurance. Find out which vehicles must have BI liability insurance in Florida. Learn which trucks in Florida must have BI liability insurance.
If a moped driver’s negligence caused your accident while you’re a pedestrian in Florida, are you entitled to uninsured motorist (UM) benefits?
No. Uninsured motorist vehicle coverage applies to people who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles.
In Florida, since a moped is not a “motor vehicle”, a pedestrian struck by a moped can’t get UM benefits. Prinzo v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 465 So.2d 1364 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985). Florida’s 4th district court of appeal (DCA) decided this case.
Florida’s 4th DCA handles appeals from Palm Beach, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties. The 4th DCA is located in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Are motorcycle occupants eligible for P.I.P. in Florida?
No. This is why it is so important to determine whether the “scooter” or “moped” is classified as a bicycle or a motorcycle.
Learn how to get your medical bills paid if a motor vehicle hits you while you’re on a motorcycle in Florida. If a motor vehicle driver’s negligence caused your injury while you are a motorcycle occupant, you do not need to exceed the tort threshold in order to get non-economic damages (pain, suffering, mental anguish, etc.)
Where can you find actual settlements for moped riders who were hit by motor vehicles?
Check out some Florida moped and motorcycle accident settlements.
Allstate and its insured liable for over $11 million in a personal injury lawsuit from moped crash
This isn’t my case. Benjamin Edward Hintz was riding his scooter when he sustained head injuries as a result of an accident with Emily Boozer.
Boozer was driving her father Otto’s car at the time of the accident.
Tip: In Florida, a car owner is liable for damages caused by someone he lets drives his car.
Therefore, Otto was liable for Boozer’s (the driver) negligence.
Allstate insured Otto. Following the accident, Hintz was treated at Holmes Regional Medical Center (HRMC) in Melbourne, Florida.
According to Boozer and Allstate’s claims, his injuries were severely worsened there by medical negligence.
Soon thereafter, Douglas Stalley, as guardian of Hintz’s property, sued Emily and Otto Boozer for the damages resulting from the accident.
Tip: In severe head injury cases, a parent can hire an attorney before being appointed as guardian for the incapacitated adult by the court.
You must file documents in the guardianship court in order to get a guardian of the property appointed. This costs money. Florida attorneys can advance this cost. In a Florida personal injury case, there are no attorney’s fees or costs if you don’t get any money.
In that lawsuit, Stalley successfully argued that the law stated in Stuart v. Hertz Corp., 351 So. 2d 703 (Fla. 1977), prevented the Boozers from presenting evidence that medical negligence was a contributing cause of Hintz’s injuries.
Tip: In Florida, if a driver’s carelessness caused your injury and you are then the victim of medical malpractice, the at fault driver cannot argue that the medical malpractice was a contributing cause of your injuries. The at fault driver is 100% responsible for your injuries, including any injury that resulted from the medical malpractice.
The Boozers were ultimately held liable for all of Hintz’s damages—including those allegedly caused or aggravated by the Medical Providers’ negligence. The lawsuit resulted in a $14,905,585.29 verdict for Stalley, which was reduced by twenty-five percent, to $11,179.188.98, due to Hintz’s comparative negligence.
Judgment was entered in favor of Stalley and against the Boozers in August 2012.
Allstate then paid Stalley $1.1 million, its policy limit. The owner of the car (that hit the scooter rider) had $1.1 million dollars in bodily injury (BI) liability insurance.
Tip: Allstate only paid $1.1 million even though the judgment was for over 11 million dollars. This is because, generally speaking, an auto insurance company is only liable up to its insured’s policy limit.
This is a huge policy. In Florida, private passenger cars are not required to have any BI liability insurance. Learn about which vehicles may be required to have BI liability insurance in Florida.
The remainder of the judgment remains unpaid. After the personal injury verdict was rendered, but before final judgment was entered, Stalley filed a separate medical malpractice lawsuit against the Medical Providers.
He sought recovery for the same injuries involved in the initial lawsuit against the Boozers. Later, he also filed a bad-faith lawsuit against Allstate, which remains pending.
In a bad faith lawsuit, the injured person claims that the insurance company failed to protect his or her interest even though it should and could have settled the case.
There was an appeal arising from this case. The issue being appealed was not the amount of the verdict. The appeal is Allstate Insurance Company v. Theodotou, M.D. HEODOTOU, Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 5th Dist. 2015.
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in a Florida car crash or other type of accident?
See Our Settlements
I am a Miami pedestrian accident lawyer. I have settled many Florida personal injury cases. They include, but not limited to, car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bike accidents, pedestrian accidents, taxi accidents, drunk driving (DUI) accidents.
I want to represent you!
My Miami law firm represents people injured anywhere in Florida in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bike accidents, drunk driving crashes, pedestrian accidents, taxi accidents, accidents involving an Uber or Lyft driver, and many other types of accidents.
I want to represent you if you were hurt in an accident in Florida. If you were injured in another state but live in Florida, I may also be able to represent you.
Call Me Now!
Call me now at (888) 594-3577 to find out for FREE if we can represent you. We answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.