Motorcycle crashes occur more often than anyone would like and are always troubling to handle. You can take all the necessary safety precautions, but they can still have serious consequences. For example, those involved could suffer from catastrophic injuries, and their vehicles could cause significant damage.
Though commonly seen as single-person vehicles, motorcycles can travel with more than one person. As a passenger, you may find yourself the passenger in a motorcycle crash. If the motorcycle you’re riding on gets into an accident, you’re also an involved party, not just the driver. Online, you’ll see plenty of advice for motorcycle operators, but for passengers, it may be unclear what rights you have after a crash. As an involved party, you should be aware of what the law says about motorcycle passengers and what you can do if you’re in a crash.
Laws That Affect Motorcycle Passengers in Florida
Sometimes, passengers must uphold the same requirements as their drivers. For example, Florida Statute 316.21l states that “[a] person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear…” unless they are over 21 and covered by a particular insurance policy. The policy should provide at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred from a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
Also, according to Florida Statute 316.2085, operators can only carry passengers if their motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person. If so, the passenger may ride with the operator on the seat. The passenger could also ride alongside the operator in a seat firmly attached to the motorcycle. Per 316.2095, if the passenger isn’t in a sidecar or enclosed cab, the motorcycle should have footrests for the passenger.
Finally, motorcycle passengers are not explicitly prohibited from riding while intoxicated, though it is inadvisable. These laws say more about the motorcycle’s design than the responsibilities of the operator or passenger.
Liability in a Florida Motorcycle Crash with a Passenger
Whenever a crash occurs, an important question to answer is “Who is liable?” Passengers can suffer from injuries or even lose their lives, so it is essential to know who is at fault to pursue compensation. Whoever is at fault may be liable for the injuries, in which case passengers or their loved ones could recover damages from them should they file a claim.
Even in a single-vehicle motorcycle crash, more than one possible party can be assigned liability. Potential scenarios include:
- If the motorcycle, its parts, or the headgear is defective somehow, the manufacturers may be liable.
- If the motorcycle crashed with another vehicle, then the vehicle operators/vehicle could be deemed liable for damages.
- If the crash involved a drunk driver and the drunk party was under 21 or a known alcohol addict, the establishment that served the alcohol could be liable, according to Florida Statute 768.125.
Liability can be very complex whenever it comes to figuring out whether or not a manufacturer or establishment may be liable. It’s best to get the input of a motorcycle accident lawyer to look into your specific scenario.
What Motorcycle Passengers Can Do after a Crash
After a motorcycle crash, those involved should contact emergency services and get medical help. They should also attempt to gather evidence for their claims by documenting information like who’s involved, the state of the vehicles, the location, and witnesses.
Once emergency services arrive on the scene, don’t say more than what’s necessary. If you say more than what’s necessary, you could risk admitting fault, which could put you at risk of being liable for damages and hurt any potential claims you make. Also, seek legal advice.
Get Legal Advice from a Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Baker Legal Team can help you understand what rights motorcycle passengers have after a crash. Motorcycles are small vehicles, and those who ride on them are more vulnerable than those in a car or truck. Because of a crash, motorcycle passengers can suffer from severe and catastrophic injuries or even death. If you or a loved one was the passenger in a motorcycle crash, you might be able to pursue compensation.
Board-certified attorney Robert Baker is proud to provide clients with the award-winning representation they deserve. He has extensive experience helping clients with their personal injury and accident cases. No one affected by a crash should be left in the dark. Learn your rights to know what you can do to move forward. Protect your rights by hiring the best personal injury and accident lawyer you can find to represent you. To schedule a free consultation, fill out our contact form or call us at (561) 320-0000.