If I do not own the motorcycle I was riding during a Florida motorcycle accident, then who is responsible for my medical bills and injuries?
Author: Attorney Daniel Villalobos
This is a very common question from a lot of motorcycle accident victims. The laws for motorcycle insurance are different than the laws for automobile insurance for cars and trucks. In Florida, most motorcycle insurance carriers will not cover drivers for personal injury protection (PIP). PIP covers 80% of your medical bills (with a maximum payout of $10,000) in the event of an accident. Anyone who is required by law to insure a car or truck must purchase this protection for themselves. However the law is not the same for motorcycle coverage. Motorcycle owners are not required to purchase PIP when they insure a motorcycle. In the event that a car or truck strikes a motorcyclist and the motorcyclist is not at-fault in the accident, because no PIP is required, the person who struck the motorcyclist is responsible for 100% of his injuries.
However it is important Florida law requires injured parties to mitigate their damages. This means that if a person is injured in a motorcycle accident, he or she may have to pay the hospital bills up front to avoid the bills going to collections if the insurance company for the at-fault party is not ready to pay all the bills.
A motorcycle accident victim may run into problems if the at-fault person who struck them was also riding a motorcycle and driving without any motorcycle insurance. This is because if someone does not have insurance to pay a claim then an injured party must sue the defendant directly, which is very costly and time consuming. Trying to collect a judgment from the defendant personally is also problematic and difficult. It could be years before a victim sees any compensation, if one can even be recovered at all.
So the simple and most basic answer to the question above is that the at-fault person is responsible to pay for 100% of the medical bills of the motorcyclist whether the driver of the motorcycle owns the motorcycle or does not own the motorcycle.