Last week two Tampa teenagers were struck from behind by a 23-year-old woman while riding on a moped and were killed. It is unclear if the moped they were riding was had an engine over 50 cc which is the basic cutoff point under Florida law for whether or not the driver needs a special license or if the moped is considered a passenger vehicle under Florida no-fault law.
Assuming that the moped the teens were riding was considered to be a passenger vehicle, it would have been required to be registered and insured with basic liability coverage. In Florida, any passenger vehicle must have this basic insurance on it in order to be operated on Florida roads and proof of insurance coverage must be carried with the vehicle at all times.
In a motorcycle accident under Florida no-fault law, the insurance covering the bike would be responsible for medical bills, lost wages and replacement services of the owner of the bike. If there is a passenger on the bike, as in this accident, the insurance company of the passenger’s car would cover the passenger, assuming they have insurance. Otherwise the passenger would also be covered by the bike’s insurance.
For other expenses, such as wrongful death expanses or pain and suffering damages, the driver of the car would be considered negligent in this case because she rear-ended the teens. Because of this, her insurance would be responsible for wrongful death and pain and suffering for the riders of the bike. If her insurance coverage ended up being low, which is likely in this case because this is a young person, either the extra damages wouldn’t be covered or would be covered by the bike passengers’ uninsured/underinsured coverage.
However, if the bike is under 50 cc it would not be required to have no-fault insurance under Florida law, which can change things somewhat. In the instance of the moped not being considered a motor vehicle that would not require separate coverage, the insurance of the teen’s vehicle, or possibly parent’s vehicle would be responsible for medical bills, lost wages and such. If the teens or their parents did not have coverage, then the insurance company for the driver would be responsible for medical bills and other such expenses, along with any pain and suffering and wrongful death claims.
If you have been involved in an accident when a rider on a motorcycle or moped and were injured, or if a family member died in a motorcycle accident, it is essential that you hire an attorney as quickly as possible to help sort out whose insurance is responsible for what expenses. There are important deadlines that must be met in every accident involving injury, which is why you need to call an attorney right away.
If you or a family member was involved in a motorcycle accident, call the Brooks Law Group right away at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT and schedule a free consultation before it is too late.