Frequently Asked Questions

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  • I was Involved in an Accident When a Car Turned Left in Front of Me While I was Riding My Motorcycle in Florida. Who is at Fault?

    If you were involved in a accident when a car turned left in front of you while you were riding your motorcycle, then you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury claim. This is because a car making a left turn is almost always responsible for a collision with a vehicle coming in the other direction.

    The only exception to this rule may be if you were going over the speed limit at the time of the motorcycle accident, or if you ran a red light. Even if you did act negligently, you may be found only partially responsible. And if partially responsible, you may still be eligible for damages in a personal injury claim.

    This is because in Florida, the law of comparative negligence allows for a victim to collect damages even if they were partially responsible for an accident. Keep in mind that your total recovery may be reduced by your own percentage of negligence. In a Florida personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident, you may be compensated for your medical expenses, any pain or suffering, and any wages that you may have lost.

    To find out more about how to file a claim after an accident, contact us at 888-207-0905.  

  • I was in a Motorcycle Accident and Now My Knee is Painful. What Type of Knee Injury Could I Have?

    Your knee pain may be caused by damage to the medial meniscus or ligaments, including the medial collateral ligament or the anterior cruciate ligament. If arthroscopic surgery is required, it is commonly done with minor incisions using cannulas to view and repair the damage. Of course, an injury with more significant consequences would be a fracture of the patella and damage to the patellar tendon.

    A motorcycle crash in has the potential to leave you with serious injuries. An injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you need to heal. Your lawyer can gather evidence that supports your claim that the other driver is liable for your accident. He or she will also speak with the insurance company in order to maximize the settlement for your motorcycle collision.

    Because so much is at stake, you should contact an attorney who has experience with these types of cases, and a successful track record of winning his or her clients' cases. Contact us today for a free consultation at 888-207-0905.      

  • Is There a Minimum Age Requirement for Motorcycle Passengers in the State of Florida?

    Florida law does not address a minimum age for motorcycle passengers. However, other laws may apply, such as endangering a minor. (Dept. of Hwy. Safety and Motor Vehicles)

  • My Husband Insists on Buying a Motorcycle. What Insurance Should He have to Protect the Family if He is Injured in a Crash?

    The standard automobile No-Fault (PIP) does not apply to motorcycles. No proof of insurance is required to register a motorcycle. However, Florida's Financial Responsibility Law still applies if he is involved in an accident. He can face penalties and license revocation if he does not have proof of $10,000 in medical insurance coverage (health insurance qualifies.)

    Most motorcycle riders are under-insured. In addition to the required $10,000 in medical insurance, the best way to protect him and the family from the consequences of a serious injury is to have adequate uninsured motorist (UM) coverage which pays for his injury and losses if the car causing the accident is not insured or does not carry enough bodily injury insurance to pay all losses he might suffer. Keep in mind, uninsured motorist will pay medical, wage loss, pain & suffering and all damages the person who caused the accident should pay if they were adequately insured.

    It is unfortunate that most motorcycle riders I encounter in my practice have not obtained adequate UM coverage to protect themselves. In order to buy UM he will need bodily injury coverage. This protects him in the event he causes an accident injuring someone else. While it may not be required in Florida, for motorcycles, he will be unable to purchase UM in any greater amount than the bodily injury coverage on the bike. So, decide how much UM protection you feel you need and purchase BI at least in the same amount. Most people would say $100,000 is the least amount of BI or UM anyone should carry.

  • What are the Florida Requirements for Driving a Moped, Scooter, or Other 2-3 Wheel Vehicle?

    There are specific requirements for driving a moped, scooter or other 2-3 wheel vehicle in Florida. These are different than the rules governing the operation of other motorized vehicles, including motorcycles.

    These Florida moped requirements can most easily be explained when examining 3 key topics: Licensing, Protection, and Insurance.

    Licensing Requirements for Operating a Moped in Florida

    Licensing requirements for these smaller vehicles are incredibly simple, provided you are not driving on a public street or roadway. Since a moped or scooter is not considered a motorcycle by legal definition, no specific license is required to operate one away from public roadways.

    On public streets and roadways, you must be 16 years of age or older and hold a regular operator or "motorcycle only" license. This is because mopeds, scooters and other 2-3 wheel vehicles are considered "motor vehicles" on public roadways, and thus require a license.

    Protection Requirements for Operating a Moped in Florida

    As long as your vehicle has an engine of 50 cc or less, 2 brake horsepower or less, and cannot go more than 30 miles per hour on level ground, you do not need to wear a helmet. Any passengers younger than 16 years old are required to wear a helmet.

    Insurance Requirements for a Moped in Florida

    Insurance is not required for moped, scooter or other 2-3 wheel vehicle operators in the state of Florida. In some cases, you may be required to purchase insurance if you cause a collision on your moped.

    Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is highly advised if you intend to drive your 2-3 wheel vehicle on public roadways. PIP could help tremendously in the event you are involved in a collision.

    You may be required to register a moped (but not a scooter) with the county tax collector's office. You will be charged a registration fee and will have to renew on an annual basis. Contact your local department of motor vehicles to ensure that you are following the specific requirements for your particular make and model of scooter, moped or similar vehicle.

     

  • My Son is 14 Years Old and Received a Motorized Scooter for His Birthday. May He Ride it on the Sidewalk?

    Motorized scooters are small vehicles designed to be ridden standing or seated. Some have gas motors, some are electric. They are not licensed or registered with the state of Florida. Therefore, they are not permitted on the roadway or sidewalk, even if the operator has a driver's license. Although most parents are not aware of this, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, their use is restricted to private property.

  • How Do You Make an Injury Claim on a Golf Cart Accident?

    A golf cart accident doesn't just take place on the fairway. Golf cart use is becoming more common in subdivisions and retirement communities as well as short trip tours in apartment complexes and public areas like airports and malls.

    The injuries you can potentially suffer in a golf cart accident can be just as serious as those in a car accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim for damages when another person's negligence caused your injuries.

    The guidelines for holding another party liable are the same between a car accident and a golf cart accident. The other party must have acted in a negligent manner and through that negligent manner, caused you harm. Then, your personal injury lawyer will have to prove this through the use of evidence.

    Evidence Needed to Prove a Golf Accident Case

    • proof that you were operating the golf cart in a designated area under safe circumstances;
    • photographs of the accident scene and damage to you and the golf cart;
    • police report and witness statements; and
    • maintenance records for the golf cart.

    In a claim for a golf cart accident in you'll most likely be filing against another person or a manufacturer. If the accident was caused by another driver or pedestrian's negligence, it will be a claim against a person. If the accident was caused by a mechanical defect it may be against a golf cart manufacturer or maintenance company.

  • I was Hurt When Someone Drove Their Golf Cart Over Me. How Can I Get Compensated?

    Many people are seriously injured by the negligent operation of golf carts. All too often they cause serious lower extremity injuries, including leg fractures, ankle fractures, knee injuries as well as serious scarring and disfigurement.

    Florida has a Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine which provides the owner is liable for harm done to anyone by a dangerous instrumentality they own. A car is a dangerous instrumentality, as is a golf cart. As a result, the operator of the car may be liable for its negligent operation. The owner of the car remains liable as well because it is a dangerous instrumentality.

    You may seek compensation for your injuries from the operator of a golf cart through their home owners insurance if they own a home. You may also pursue recovery from the owner. In most situations the owner would be a golf course or golf resort, which covers its golf carts under a general liability insurance policy.

  • When a Car Crashes into the Back End of the Car Ahead, is that Driver Automatically at Fault?

    The driver of a car who rear ends the car ahead is presumed to be at fault in Florida. However, the presumption of negligence is rebuttable, and can be overcome if the driver has evidence they were not at fault.

    Five Reasons Why the Driver Hitting the Car Ahead May Not Be at Fault

    1. The car ahead made an abrupt and arbitrary stop where it would not be expected or made an unexpected lane change;
    2. Sudden brake failure made the rear car hit the lead car;
    3. The brake lights weren’t working on the lead car;
    4. The lead car was illegally and unexpectedly stopped; or
    5. The lead car turned out onto the road in front of the rear car.

    This list is not exhaustive. Every accident involves a unique set of circumstances which requires careful analysis by an experienced attorney. At Jim Dodson Law, we understand the importance of every detail. If you were injured or lost a loved one who was involved in a rear end collision, call us today. We look forward to helping you through your recovery.

  • Do I Have to Have a Light on My Bicycle if I Am Riding in Florida?

    If you are riding a bicycle in Florida between sunset and sunrise, then Florida bicycle regulations require you to have a light to maximize your safety as well as that of motorists.

    Florida Cyclists Must Do the Following When Riding at Night

    • be equipped with a lamp on the front of the bicycle that exhibits a white light that is visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front; and
    • be equipped with a lamp and a reflector on the rear of the bicycle that each exhibit a red light that is visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear.

    In Florida, a bicycle may be equipped with extra lights or reflectors in addition to those that are required.

    A failure to abide by these regulations may result in a Florida bicycle accident. If you are riding your bicycle between sunset and sunrise without the required lights or reflectors, motor vehicle drivers may not see you on your bike.

    If your bicycle is equipped with the necessary lights and reflectors and you are injured in a Florida bicycle accident because of the negligence of a motor vehicle driver, then you may be eligible to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. To learn more about how we can help with your claim, contact us at 888-207-0905.