Can You Sue if You Were the Passenger in a Motorcycle Accident in Florida?
If you have had the misfortune of being injured as a passenger in a motorcycle accident, you have several options in recovering damages through a personal injury lawsuit. As a passenger, you are entitled to file a claim against any driver who contributed to the accident. This includes the motorcycle operator of the bike you were on. Additionally, depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could pursue a personal injury claim against a third-party. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorney discusses the rights an injured passenger has after a motorcycle accident and what you can do to seek compensation.
Suing After a Motorcycle Accident as a Passenger vs. as a Driver
There is a distinction between a motorcycle driver and passenger injured in an accident in Florida. Passengers are typically absolved of any responsibility for a motorcycle crash. It is not uncommon for a motorcyclist to be at fault in an accident, which would mean they cannot collect damages. However, a passenger on their bike remains entitled to compensation, since they were not responsible for operating the bike. If you are a passenger, the motorcycle operator has a duty to operate the motorcycle in a manner that does not endanger you or anyone else. Passengers may have to help lean to steer a bike, but the duty to operate the bike safely lies with the driver.
Generally, no matter the circumstances surrounding an accident, an injured passenger has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against any motorist involved in the accident who might have contributed to the crash – including the driver of the motorcycle they were on. Drivers only have the right to sue if another driver contributed to causing the crash through their own negligence.
Suing for Injuries in Florida as a Passenger in a Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Crash
If the only vehicle involved in the accident is the one you were a passenger on, then your claim could be against the motorcyclist. To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, you would have to establish that the motorcycle operator acted negligently and that that negligence caused the accident. One of the most common causes of single motorcycle accidents in Florida is operator carelessness or inattention.
There are, however, cases where the motorcycle operator is not at fault. The motorcycle could have experienced a mechanical failure that caused the accident, or there could have been a dangerous defect in the road surface that resulted in a loss of control. Under these circumstances, both the passenger and the motorcyclist could have a claim against a third-party, including a manufacturer that used defective motorcycle parts, a negligent mechanic who improperly maintained the bike, or the municipality that failed to keep the roadway safe. It’s crucial to have our experienced Florida motorcycle accident attorney review your case to determine which parties could be held responsible.
Suing an At-Fault Driver for an Accident as an Injured Motorcycle Passenger in Florida
If you were injured as a passenger in an accident involving at least one other vehicle, then you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim against any of the motorists involved – especially if fault is not obvious. A car accident in Miami or anywhere else in Florida can happen between a motorcycle and another vehicle or multiple other vehicles. The court can hold any drivers whose negligence contributed to the crash responsible, dividing blame among the driver of your motorcycle and any other negligent drivers. Talk to a lawyer about whom to sue and which driver might be at fault in your motorcycle accident case.
Personal Injury Claims for Injured Motorcycle Passengers in Florida
Because passengers are rarely responsible for car accidents, personal injury claims are usually easier to prosecute than other lawsuits arising from crashes. However, there are situations where a passenger’s conduct could have caused the accident, such as when a passenger interferes with the operation of the motorcycle or keeps the operator driving safely.
A passenger’s personal injury lawsuit would proceed like any other injury claim filed after an accident. Our experienced Miami personal injury attorney will thoroughly analyze the facts of your case, including eyewitness testimony, medical records, and police reports, to determine what parties could be held liable.
What to Do if You Are a Passenger Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Florida
If you are ever in an accident, the first thing to do is tend to any injuries you might have and seek medical assistance. If you are able, there are some additional things you can do to help build your potential personal injury claim.
Understanding how the accident occurred is critical to proving negligence or determining fault. While your account will be helpful, testimony from other witnesses is also helpful. If possible, gather the names and contact information of anyone who saw the accident.
Next, document the scene of the accident. If you have access to a cellphone camera, take pictures of the vehicles, the road, and any debris at the scene. Also, be sure to photograph any injuries you received.
Do not forget to call 9-1-1. EMTs can help treat any injuries at the scene and take you to the hospital if you need further care. The police can also document what happened, making a report of who saw the crash, and who was involved in the accident. While a police report will not determine fault, it could provide valuable information you need to help establish responsibility.
If You Were a Passenger Injured in a Motorcycle Crash in Florida, Call our Miami Motorcycle Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you suffered an injury as a passenger in a motorcycle accident on the A1A or another main road in Florida, you have rights and legal options. Whether the accident involved a single motorcycle or multiple vehicles, you have the right to be compensated for the harm and damages you endured. Whether you file immediately or sue a year after a motorcycle accident, Prosper Shaked is an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer who has spent years vigorously fighting for people hurt in accidents across Florida. Our office will evaluate your case and work to negotiate with the various insurance providers or prepare your case for trial. We have the knowledge, resources, and access to expert witnesses necessary to develop a strong claim on your behalf. Call The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free, confidential appointment.