The weather in Tampa Florida allows motorcycle riders to ride all year long, but they are at increased risk of injury and death in traffic situations because they are outsized by other vehicles and can fall in the blind spot for many other highway drivers. Traffic related to visiting tourists who are unfamiliar with the highways pose additional dangers to motorcycle riders. If you have been riding a motorcycle on the open road, you know that there is inexplicable freedom to it, but a situation can quickly change from a beautiful ride to a lifelong struggle robbing you of basic physical freedom of movement. If you do not follow the laws specific to riding a motorcycle, you increase your chance to fall in harms-way due to other drivers on the roadways. Motorcycle riders must always engage in defensive driving techniques since many cars and trucks do not see them.
Florida laws affecting motorcycle riders.
Headgear and eyewear. Florida State requires all motorcycle riders to wear protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head that complies with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 of the United States Department of Transportation. A person over 21 years of age may operate or ride a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely if they are covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of operating a motorcycle. Helmets will not protect from all injuries, but it will reduce the amount of head trauma sustained in a crash situation. Florida requires the use of protective eyewear while riding a motorcycle.
Lane Use. All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. Lane splitting or driving along the line between two vehicles is illegal. Lane sharing is legal when two motorcycles ride alongside each other.
No fault law. Florida is a no fault state and accident-related expenses will first go through the victim’s insurance company. Comparative negligence works by assigning responsibility in the form of a percentage to each party.
Headgear and eyewear can reduce a fraction of injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents but are often not enough protection to curb the amount of physical damage encountered in a crash situation, but if they are absent could result in driver negligence. Drivers must be defensive on the roadways because any part they play in the accident will affect compensation for necessary medical expenses in the event of an accident.
Seek legal counsel.
If you were in a motorcycle accident and have sustained injury to yourself or other riders, or damage to your motorcycle, you should speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The Statute of Limitations in Florida for personal injury claims is four years from the date of the accident, or when the injured party became aware of the injury (perhaps through a visit to a doctor). If a wrongful death occurred the statute of limitations is two years. Contact Larson Johnson Trial Attorneys for a consultation to see what legal action you can initiate to cover the injury and damages caused by your motorcycle accident.
Larson Johnson, P.L.
2011 West Cleveland Street
Tampa, Florida 33606