September 17, 2021 | Posted by Rubenstein Law
Riding on the back of a bike or along the side as a motorcycle passenger is fun and exhilarating. You and the driver are probably as safe as possible, but there are negligent drivers out there, and despite your best efforts, there are dangers associated with riding without metal walls around you.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident as a passenger and suffer injuries as a result, you should know your rights and legal options. Call the motorcycle team at Rubenstein Law 24/7 at 800-FL-LEGAL or use our online form for a free consult.
No costs or fees unless or until you win money. Remote and virtual appointments are available.
Motorcycle Accident Claims for Passengers
Regardless of who caused the accident — the motorcycle driver, another vehicle, a manufacturer, or someone else — when you’ve been hurt through no fault of your own, you’re legally entitled to recover financial compensation.
This is usually accomplished through an insurance claim. And while the motorcycle operator may have passenger insurance, the coverage may not be enough to cover all your related bills, expenses, and losses. You should learn all you can about the claims process and explore your options with a lawyer.
Determine Who’s At Fault
Unless you somehow caused the accident through reckless behavior, as an innocent passenger, you are legally entitled to pursue a claim against one or more entities such as:
The Motorcycle Operator
Driver wipeouts, speeding, reckless driving, riding under the influence, and inexperience cause accidents. In such cases, the motorcycle driver is responsible for your injuries.
The Other Driver
The same as above applies to another motorcycle, car, or truck driver’s reckless and negligent operation of a vehicle.
Manufacturers, Distributors, & Retailers
When only the motorcycle you were a passenger on was in an accident, and it’s believed a defective part or negligence caused it, you may be able to pursue a product liability claim.
The Government’s Responsibility for Unsafe Roads
If you can prove that poor road conditions such as potholes, erosion, steep berm drop-off, or missing guardrails caused the accident, you may be able to sue the government for your injuries. The government is obligated to prevent hazardous roadways and protect motorists.
In Florida, you have protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows citizens to sue the government when they created dangerous conditions.
What About Multiple Parties?
If multiple parties caused an accident, you might be entitled to file numerous claims as an injured motorcycle passenger. One example would be if the motorcycle you were a passenger on and another vehicle were both at fault for the accident. Or, perhaps dangerous road conditions caused your injuries, but another driver’s negligence led to the accident in the first place.
In these situations, it’s best to secure legal assistance because there may be multiple insurance companies and other parties involved.
Passenger Injury Claims & Lawsuits
Once the liable party is identified, you can determine if you should file a claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance company or pursue a lawsuit. In most scenarios, you and your attorney will work with an insurance company and negotiate a settlement for what you are legally entitled to. However, if the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured, you may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Damages for Injured Motorcycle Passengers
As a motorcycle passenger hurt in an accident, your injuries may be life-changing. Your quality of life has undoubtedly been affected, and you’ve likely experienced significant financial hardship.
The precise value of your claims depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries. Typically, the more severe a passenger’s injuries, the higher the value.
Generally, an injured passenger would be entitled to recover their:
You Need Your Own Attorney
Even if the driver is a lifelong friend or family member, you still need your own attorney to represent you when you’ve been injured as a passenger in a motorcycle accident.
Recovery from serious injury is complicated, and insurance companies won’t usually care about your relationships. Their own financial interests drive them by reducing what they pay you.
As a passenger, what’s in your best interests may contradict the driver’s interests or their insurance company. When you have the same attorney, this can cause a conflict that may lead to a compromised, unfair settlement.
Contact Rubenstein Law: Free Consults & No Up-Front Cost
Once you get medical treatment, talk to an attorney as soon as possible. As an injured motorcycle passenger, you need to protect your rights. Don’t sign any agreements or waivers from the insurance company without getting legal advice.
Call Rubenstein Law right away. We have decades of legal experience in motorcycle accident claims that we will put to work for you. Call us at 800-FL-LEGAL or use our online contact form today.
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Remote and virtual appointments are available. We offer 100% free initial consults and no costs or fees unless you win money.