Not a month – or sometimes week – passes in Lee County where there isn’t a serious or fatal motorcycle accident. Florida in general has some of the most dangerous roads in the country – more than once noted by federal traffic safety regulators to have more deadly motorcycle crashes than anywhere else in the country.
Because of their vulnerability in being openly exposed to the roadway, fixed objects and other vehicles, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die when they’re involved in a crash than occupants of passenger vehicles, according to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association.
By their very nature, motorcycles are less crash-worthy than closed vehicles. They are also less visible to other motorists and offer less stability than four-wheeled passenger vehicles. Further, motorcyclists and any passengers they carry are more vulnerable and exposed to the elements and road conditions than the average driver. This is why operating a motorcycle needs some combination of both physical and mental skills – and special licensing.
Fort Myers Motorcycle Accidents Cause Death, Serious Injury
Recently, two separate motorcycle accidents in Lee County left one man dead and another seriously injured. A 48-year-old Cape Coral man was killed after reportedly crashing into a ditch on a dead-end road. Police said he’d been traveling too fast for conditions. It was the 65th traffic fatality in Lee County just this year.
The month before, a 63-year-old from Michigan was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash on I-75 when he was struck by a pickup truck after he’d lost control of his bike trying to pass another motorcyclist.
In July, two were killed in a Fort Myers motorcycle crash on U.S. 41 when the 26-year-old biker collided with a pickup truck. Both the rider and a 46-year-old passenger in the pickup truck died.
Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyers know the devastation these crashes leave in their wake. Even those who survive often endure a long road to recovery. The financial burdens are an added stress – particularly the medical bills and the lost time at work. When the crash is caused by other motorists – in whole or in part – our injury lawyers work with injured motorcyclists and the families of those killed to obtain just compensation.
Compensation After a Florida Motorcycle Accident
In some ways, securing compensation after a motorcycle accident is similar to recovering damages after any other crash. One difference, however, is that unlike all other motorists on Florida roads, motorcyclists are not required to be covered by personal injury protection (PIP). This is a type of auto insurance protection mandated for all registered vehicles in Florida under F.S. 627.736, in accordance with Florida’s no fault insurance law.
Normally, this would allow for up to $2,500 for any medical expense and up to $10,000 in medical expenses for an “emergency medical condition,” regardless of fault. However, motorcycles are not considered “vehicles” under the no-fault law, and thus are not extended to motorcyclists – even if the owner already has a PIP policy for a passenger car.
Motorcyclists also aren’t required to purchase bodily injury coverage – something that can be problematic for passengers if the motorcyclist was the operator at-fault.
Given that injuries to motorcyclists are likely to be severe, riders are at high risk of both financial and physical trauma in a crash.
Although the state does not require a helmet for qualified riders over the age of 21, any person who chooses to ride without a helmet must show proof that they’ve secured at least $10,000 in insurance coverage for their own injuries, as well a self-insurance certificate for bodily injury/property damage.
Motorcyclists should carefully explore their insurance options with a qualified insurance agent to be certain they’ll have adequate coverage in the event of a crash. This should include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, in case you are struck by another driver who doesn’t have insurance or lacks enough insurance to fully cover your damages.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, our dedicated Fort Myers injury lawyers can help you ascertain your legal options for financial recovery.
If you are injured in Fort Myers, contact our injury attorneys at The Garvin Firm at 800.977.7017 for a free initial consultation.
Cape Coral man killed, Michigan man injured in separate Lee motorcycle crashes since Saturday, Oct. 10, 2019, By Michael Braun, The News-Press