Florida Motorcycle Lighting Laws
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2016, there were 10,331 motorcycle accidents across the state, leading to 8,256 injuries and 515 fatalities. Motorcyclists are more prone to physical injuries than car drivers. Such accidents are often devastating and can cause minor to severe injuries, including spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs, traumatic head injuries, facial disfigurement, or road rash.
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are within your rights to hold the responsible party liable. The Hoag Law Firm is committed to providing comprehensive representation in personal injury and motorcycle accident cases. Attorney Brian M. Hoag can fight compassionately to protect your rights and pursue fair financial compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income, future medical treatment, and pain and suffering. He proudly serves clients throughout Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, and Clearwater, Florida.
Florida Motorcycle Laws
Unfortunately, motorcycles and their riders can be difficult for motorists to see. As such, in an effort to mitigate hazards, the State of Florida enforces motorcycle laws that every motorcyclist must follow:
Proper lighting is crucial to increase your visibility to oncoming traffic, improve safety, and prevent accidents. According to the Florida State Statute 316.405, any person operating a motorcycle on the public streets or highways shall have the motorcycle’s headlight turned on at any time during operation.
The purpose of daytime headlights (running lights) is to increase the visibility of your motorcycle to enable other drivers to see you on the road. Pursuant to the Florida State Statute 316.405, all Florida riders are required to use a daytime headlight. Thus, all persons operating a motorcycle must have the headlights turned on during daytime hours.
Use of the Road
According to the Florida State Statute 316.20:
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.
- A motorcycle operator shall not overtake a motor vehicle using the same lane.
- No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic
Pursuant to Florida State Law 316.211, a person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the person is properly wearing:
- A protective headgear (that meets Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard) securely fastened upon his or her head
- An eye-protective device over his or her eyes
Lane splitting is a traffic maneuver whereby a motorcyclist drives between two rows of motor vehicles moving in the same direction. According to the Florida State Statute 316.209, no person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
What to Do If You Were
In a Motorcycle Accident
The period after a motorcycle accident can be confusing to sort through. Where possible, you should take the following steps:
- Get to safety
- Seek medical help to receive immediate treatment for all your injuries
- Collect all relevant information, including the other driver’s license number, phone number, accident scene pictures, police report, and witness statements
- Document all of your personal accounts of the incident, medical costs, medical treatments, and doctor’s appointments
- Notify your insurance company or provider about the accident
- Hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you file a claim
Florida Insurance Requirements
Florida is a no-fault state. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, Florida auto insurance laws require every driver to file an injury claim with their own insurance provider after an accident. Also, motor vehicle operators and riders in the state are required to carry an automobile insurance policy, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
PIP is no-fault insurance coverage that covers medical bills, lost wages, and death benefits following a Florida accident. The PIP policy will pay for up to 80% of immediate medical costs or 60% of your lost wages, subject to a $10,000 limit. Also, you may be entitled to $2,500 worth of benefits for non-emergency injuries. However, if the costs of your injuries or damages exceed the coverage, you can sue the at-fault driver.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Furthermore, Florida follows the “pure comparative fault” system. In this system, your involvement in the accident doesn’t prevent you from recovering damages. However, the amount of damages you are able to recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Being involved in a motorcycle accident or losing a loved one can be an emotional experience with devastating, long-term ramifications. Consulting with a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney is important to protect your rights and help in pursuing fair financial compensation.
The Hoag Law Firm is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services and protecting the rights of motorcycle accident victims. As your legal counsel, attorney Brian M. Hoag will:
- Review every detail of your case and carry out a detailed, private investigation
- Collect all required evidence and documentation
- Prove fault and establish liability
- Determine and estimate case-value
- Help negotiate a settlement with the insurance provider
- File a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, where applicable
Contact the Hoag Law Firm today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. Brian will fight compassionately on your side and help you pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries, damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, or loss. He is proud to serve motorcycle accident victims throughout Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, and Clearwater, Florida.