INJURIES AS A MOTORCYCLE PASSENGER
When we think of motorcycle injuries, our first thoughts go to injuries to the motorcycle driver. However, the actions of negligent drivers often cause injuries to motorcycle passengers as well. In case the motorcycle driver is at fault for the underlying accident, he or she will be the one to be liable to the passenger for their injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an entire website devoted to motorcycle safety.1 Among many different informational subjects, the NHTSA site states that among crash preventing measures, research indicates that education and proper training and licensing play a key role in keeping riders safe. It also states that trained riders tend to have fewer crashes, less severe crashes, and overall lower cost of damage resulting from crashes. This too is true for passenger safety.
Liability Requirement for Injuries
When faced with a possible liability for an accident, it is important to understand how liability is determined. In most states, a person does not need to intend to cause harm to another person. Instead, the standard for determining liability is negligence. Specifically, a person who did not willfully cause harm to another person can be found guilty of negligence as someone who knowingly did not take the necessary precautions to prevent harm to another person.
Recovering for Passenger’s Injuries
Whether and from whom a motorcycle passenger will be able to recover for his or her injuries depends on many factors, including the underlying cause of the collision and any insurance policies. Another issue that can arise that may present an issue with recovery is that the passenger may have been a relative or a close friend of the motorcycle driver. In such cases, the passenger may be dissuaded from pursuing a claim against the driver.
If the motorcyclist has liability insurance, his or her insurance will cover costs for the injuries up to the limits of that person’s coverage. In the case, those liability limits are not high enough, the injured person may also file a claim against his or her own insurance to cover the difference. Injured passengers who are relatives or friends of the at-fault motorcycle driver should not feel bad for filing a claim against that person’s insurance – this is why insurance coverage exists.
Preventing Injuries to Passengers
While riding on motorcycles is popular and can be a great experience, it is important to remember that they are dangerous. A person who decides to ride as a passenger should also be educated on safety. It is important to know the driver of the motorcycle and whether or not he or she is responsible and whether that person has a safe or an aggressive style of riding.
Passengers should also ask in advance whether the ride has coverage should anything happen and the passenger should also ensure that he or she has underinsured motorist coverage on his or her auto insurance policy in case the driver’s insurance limits are not high enough to cover their injuries. Taking these precautions and being proactive about choosing with whom to ride can mean the difference of being in an accident or not.
However, education is not the sole prevention when it comes to preventing injuries to passengers. The passenger should also ensure that he or she is safely positioned on the motorcycle, that the motorcycle has an actual passenger seat, and that the motorcycle also has footrests for the passenger. Not only does the safety of the passenger rest on the passenger himself or herself but the driver should also be mindful that another person is riding with him or her.
Call a Florida Motorcycle Crash Attorney Today
If you are a passenger who has been involved in a motorcycle accident and you are not clear as to what your rights are and how to recover for the injuries you sustained in the accident, please call one of our experienced attorneys today. During our free consultation, we will examine the circumstances of the accident, any other intervening circumstances that led to the accident and what your next steps should be. Please call the office of Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765