If you are hit and injured by a motorcycle in Florida you may be able to get money for:
- Any bills from the hospital, doctors, or other medical providers
- Your lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
This article is a little different from the articles that I wrote about how to get your medical bills paid or money for pain and suffering if you are injured in an accident while on a motorcycle in Florida.
If a motorcyclist hits you in Florida, then if you are an “insured” under a Florida automobile insurance policy, Personal Injury Protection (P.I.P.) may pay for some of your medical bills and lost wages. This is true even if you are completely or partially at fault.
In regards to being hit by a motorcycle, the law is basically the same in every city in Florida. So if a motorcycle driver in Miami, Florida hits you, the law would be the same as if a motorcycle in Coral Gables, Florida or Hialeah, Florida hit you.
If a motorcycle driver hits you in Florida, in order to qualify to get PIP, you would need to be in – or very close to – a car, truck or other motor vehicle at the time that you are hit by the motorcycle. If you are not in – or very close to – a motor vehicle and a motorcycle hits you, PIP will not pay for your medical bills and lost wages.
Your health insurance, if you have it, may also pay for some of your medical bills. PIP pays your medical bills before your health insurance pays your medical bills. But you should give both your PIP and health insurance information to all the medical providers from whom you receive treatment.
Medical Bills and Lost Wages
If you are an insured under a PIP policy, then PIP may pay for some of your medical bills and lost wages (money that you are not paid by your employer because you missed work). Your health insurance may pay for some of your medical bills.
You can also make a claim for the medical bills not covered by PIP, and your lost wages against the bodily injury (“BI”) liability insurance of the driver or owner of the motorcycle.
Certain vehicles, such as motorcycles may be excluded from the definition of “motor vehicle” for purposes of liability coverage. A motorcycle is not a motor vehicle under the statute. Scherzer v. Beron, 455 So.2d 441 (Fla. 5th DCA 1984).
Unfortunately for people injured by a motorcyclist in Florida, bodily injury liability insurance is not required on a motorcycle in Florida. The motorcycle driver and/or owner may be uninsured or underinsured. If the motorcyclist was working at the time of the accident, you can also make a claim against his or her employer.
If the driver or owner of the motorcycle does not have BI liability insurance, or his or her employer, you can make a claim through uninsured motorist (UM) auto insurance – if available – which covers you for the same damages that the motorcyclist’s liability insurance would have paid.
Pain and Suffering
If you are struck by a motorcyclist in Florida, you do not need to prove that you have a permanent injury in order to be able to get money for pain and suffering. You do need to prove that the motorcyclist that hit you is at fault.
If the motorcyclist received a moving violation, it is usually a good indicator that he or she is at fault. But sometimes the police officer (or person issuing a ticket/citation) is incorrect.
So how much can you get for your pain and suffering? There is no guarantee that you get paid any money for pain and suffering. This is because the motorcyclist may not have BI liability insurance or you do not have UM auto insurance.
The motorcyclist can argue that your injuries are preexisting or were not caused by the crash. In Florida, you can make a claim if an accident aggravated (worsened) your injuries.
Below are some links to some articles that I wrote on settlement ranges in Florida for pain and suffering for injuries that may be caused by a motorcycle accident:
In order to estimate the range of the value of your case, you have to reduce the full value of a case/injury by your comparative fault (your fault). So if you are 50% at fault because you were speeding in your car when a motorcycle driver hits you, your case may be worth 50% of what it would be worth if you are not at fault (e.g. in a car waiting at a red light and you are rear ended.)
Actual Case (not mine): $211,000 Verdict. A Lee County Sherriff Department employee was operating a motorcycle and was involved in a crash with Mr. Siergiej.
Mr. Siergiej sued the Lee County Sheriff’s Department (the Sheriff) and State Farm, his uninsured motorist insurer. State Farm disputed that the victim’s ankle and back injury were caused by the crash.
I do not know the specific neck and ankle injuries that he had. The verdict awarded him $211,000.
State Farm received a credit against Mr. Siergiej’s damages for the $26,780 in medical expenses and $20,000 in past lost wages paid by workers’ compensation, the $5000 in PIP benefits, and the $50,000 settlement from the Sheriff.
I assume that $159,220 was awarded for pain and suffering. I arrive at this amount by taking the $211,000 verdict and subtracting the economic damages, which the court mentioned.
The case is State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. SIERGIEJ, Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 2nd Dist. 2013.
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