In order to promote financial responsibility for traffic accidents, both car owners and motorcyclists are required to purchase insurance under Florida law. While many states have established a unified legal regime to regulate cars and motorcycles, Florida has two distinct sets of rules that govern the insurance requirements for them.
Florida Law on Car Insurance
Insurance Requirements. Under Florida law, car owners are required to insure their liability for losses resulting from a traffic accident, but only for a minimal amount and not for every type of damage. The law requires you carry a minimum of $10,000 in PROPERTY DAMAGE coverage, which would cover the other party’s vehicle if you cause the accident. Demonstrating financial responsibility for such losses can only be accomplished by purchasing insurance. However, as for BODILY INJURY, the rules are slightly different. While Florida law still mandates that the party responsible for an accident is required to provide a minimum of $10,000 for injuries to another person, it DOES NOT require that you carry that coverage with an insurance company. If you don’t, the law considers you “self insured” which means you are certifying that you are fiscally capable of paying at least $10,000 if you should cause someone else bodily injuries.
Florida’s No-Fault Laws. Florida is one of the few states that implement a no-fault system regarding motor vehicle accidents. Accordingly, all Florida car insurance policies are required to provide “personal injury protection” (PIP) coverage. PIP insurance affords coverage for medical, funeral, and disability costs that result from a car accident without regard to who is at fault for causing the crash. PIP coverage provides a minimum of $2,500 for medical and disability benefits and $5,000 for death benefits. In the event the injured party’s PIP benefits are insufficient to cover the full amount of their medical expenses, they must make a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company if and only if that party carried the above referenced Bodily Injury Coverage.
Therefore, people who are injured in a car accident will receive PIP benefits without having to resort to lawsuits. As a result, the burden of compensating accident victims for their injuries shifts to insurance companies. The goal of PIP coverage is to lighten the load that accident lawsuits impose on Florida’s courts. PIP coverage is intended to allow for coverage and medical care to those that are perhaps less injured, and at the same time requiring that any claim made beyond PIP require a permanent, severe injury. While that does not always happen, it is the intent behind the law.
Florida Law on Motorcycle Insurance
In general, Florida law does NOT require motorcyclists carry any insurance on their motorcycles. However, if the motorcycle owner does not have personal health insurance, they will be required to carry Medical Payments coverage, to help cover the costs should they have an accident which causes them injuries. . Otherwise, just like an automobile, while Florida law still mandates that the party responsible for an accident is required to provide a minimum of $10,000 for injuries to another person, it DOES NOT require that you carry that coverage with an insurance company.
The difference makes sense given the unique risks associated with riding a motorcycle. Due to the exposed nature of motorcycle riding, the injuries tend to be more severe when caused by another car. Furthermore, claims for damages involving excess medical bills and pain and suffering, are not limited to permanent injuries.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Politis & Matovina, P.A.
Motorcycle accidents have the real potential to be very severe, sometimes leading to life-changing injuries. You shouldn’t have to simultaneously deal with recovering from such injuries and fighting for your right to a legal remedy for medical expenses. As a result, you should retain the professional services of an experienced Daytona Beach motorcycle injury attorney to discuss your rights. At Politis & Matovina, P.A., we provide quality legal advocacy for motorcyclists injured by another person’s negligence. You can count on our skill and sophisticated understanding of Florida laws to help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
To arrange a free initial consultation with one of our motorcycle injury lawyers, call Politis & Matovina, P.A. at (386) 333-6613 or contact us online today.