State Motorcycle Law
In 2012, over 9,000 people were hurt due to motorcycle collisions in Florida. These types of accidents can often lead to serious injuries for riders. The motor vehicle collision lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are experienced in helping victims throughout the Miami region assert their right to compensation. Our attorneys represent individuals in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, among other South Florida communities, providing seasoned and zealous legal advocacy.Motorcycle Law in Florida
All motorists must follow the same rules of the road in Florida, including obeying all traffic laws. In addition to these duties, motorcyclists have the same rights as all other drivers, such as occupying an entire lane on the road. However, people operating a motorcycle are subject to other requirements and restrictions. Florida law requires that they take the Basic Rider Course through the Florida Rider Training Program to acquire a motorcycle license or have a motorcycle endorsement added to an existing state driver’s license.
In addition to licensing requirements, Florida also does not allow motorcycles to split lanes, or ride between lanes of traffic. Helmets are not required for riders who are 21 years old with an insurance policy of at least $10,000 for medical coverage. However, eye protection is required by law when operating or riding a motorcycle in Florida. Motorcyclists are only allowed to carry passengers if their vehicle has a seat and footrest to accommodate another person. Motorcycles also must have their headlights on when driving in the daytime, as well as at night.Take Legal Action Against a Negligent Driver
Motorcycle accidents can lead to significant, life-altering injuries that may take not only a physical but also a financial toll on a victim. These serious accidents are often caused by another driver’s negligence, or carelessness, which may provide a basis for a personal injury lawsuit. To prove negligence, a victim needs to establish that:
- He or she was owed a duty of care by the defendant;
- The defendant breached that duty;
- The breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- It resulted in actual damages.
Everyone on the road has a duty to other motorists to act in a reasonable manner given the circumstances. Therefore, if a driver’s failure to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist results in an accident, for example, that individual could be liable for any damages that result. It will be necessary, however, to link the driver’s careless behavior to the collision. This usually means showing that the harm was a direct and foreseeable result of the breach.
Since riders owe the same duty of care as other drivers, a failure to follow state laws could be persuasive in making a determination of fault for a collision. For example, a motorcyclist traveling between lanes could be found partially at fault if his or her actions were found to be a contributing factor in the accident. However, since Florida follows a theory of pure comparative fault in determining damages, a rider’s own negligence does not necessarily bar his or her claim. In cases where more than one party is at fault for a collision, compensation is awarded in proportion to each individual’s degree of responsibility. Therefore, an injured motorcyclist found to be 60 percent at fault can still receive up to 40 percent of his or her damages from a driver who bore the remaining responsibility for the accident.Consult an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Lawyer After a Motorcycle Crash
Even when motorcyclists are following all the appropriate rules and laws, serious accidents can occur in Fort Lauderdale or other cities due to negligent actions by drivers. If you’ve been injured on the road, the motorcycle crash attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you determine the proper legal action to take in your situation. You can call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case.