Why Riders Should Consider Track Day Motorcycle Insurance

If you have lived in or around Clearwater, Florida for even a little while and you ride a motorcycle, then you have probably heard the name Attorney Fran Haasch of The Fran Haasch Law Group. Fran is not only a motorcycle accident attorney with a history of case results, but she is also an avid motorcyclist. She cares about her clients and her community dearly, which is why she has an important message to tell all motorcyclists around her hometown: get track day motorcycle insurance.

What is Track Day Motorcycle Insurance?

Most motorcyclists purchase a basic insurance policy, not really knowing what it covers. An inspection of an insurance policy will usually reveal that the coverage only applies to accidents on public streets, parking lots, and highways. What might surprise you is that your insurance policy probably does not cover any motorcycle accidents that happen on a racetrack or enclosed course.

If you ever go to the track to take your ride for a few laps, you need to talk to your insurance provider about getting track day insurance. This insurance add-on or upgrade will provide insurance coverage in case you crash while on a racetrack, excluding crashes that occur during a time trial or competition with other riders.

Most track day insurance policies will provide coverage for:

  • Motorcycle repairs
  • Riding accessory replacement
  • Safety gear replacement

The amount of coverage you are provided depends on the cap of your insurance policy. But, once again, you will not have this coverage unless you have a policy that includes track day insurance benefits. Without this specific coverage type, you could be left with no financial support at all from your insurance provider. 

Review Your Policy Often for Upgrades

Please keep in mind that many insurance companies do not even offer track day coverage for motorcyclists. We recommend that you speak with an insurance broken who can discuss multiple companies and options with you to find a policy that meets your specific insurance needs.

If you have not reviewed your insurance policy in a while, please take some time to do it again. You might need to make policy upgrades that will keep you covered in worst-case scenarios. If you ever need any help filing a claim or pursuing compensation after a motorcycle accident in Clearwater, please come to our law firm first for legal help.

Inquiring clients can dial (727) 784-8191 to schedule a free case evaluation. We answer the phone 24/7.

Florida PIP Insurance Limits Making a Claim to Only 14 Days

Florida is one of only a few states in the country that require motorists to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This unique type of auto insurance will pay damages to a claimant based on the limits of their own policy, even if they are found liable for their own car accident. While this policy seems like it should be a great benefit to the average driver, it does not come without its drawbacks.

You Have 14 Days to Act After a Crash

Florida drivers who want access to their PIP benefits only have 14 days after their accident to treat. Once that very-brief 14-day time limit is over, you will be ineligible for PIP, if you did not treat.

How to Overcome Your Claim Difficulties

After being in a car accident, one of the first things you should do is call a car accident attorney. With their guidance, you will have a better understanding of your rights and remedies. In case two weeks have already passed since your accident, your lawyer will be able to help you figure out the best next step.

The Fran Haasch Law Group and our personal injury attorneys are standing by to help car accident victims in Clearwater, Florida and the Greater Tampa Bay region. Our case results speak for themselves, but if you would like to know more about our legal services, please feel free to give us a call at (727) 784-8191. We offer free case evaluations to inquiring clients.

How to Prove You Weren’t At-Fault for Your Motorcycle Accident

Your top priority after being in a motorcycle accident will be to follow your doctor’s orders so you can heal and recuperate as best as possible. Your second priority will be to prove you did not cause your own crash so you can collect as much compensation as possible from the party that did.

Step 1: Be Aware of Motorcycle Bias

If you’ve been a motorcyclist for a while, then you probably already know about the motorcycle bias rooted in both societal and insurance company expectations. People wrongly assume that motorcyclists are reckless by nature, and that’s why they choose to ride a motorcycle in the first place. This subconscious bias creeps into how liability is evaluated by insurance adjusters, judges, police officers, and so forth.

To get a fuller idea of motorcycle bias and how it could affect your motorcycle accident claim, click here to view a previous blog post from The Fran Haasch Law Group in Clearwater, Florida.

Step 2: Proof is in the Evidence

After being in any sort of accident, including motorcycle accidents, you need to know where you can find proof of liability and how to use it. The more evidence you have that shows you were riding responsibly when you were hit by another driver, the better.

Common types of evidence used in motorcycle accident claims are:

  • Helmet cam footage: Every motorcyclist should invest in a helmet cam or headlight cam that constantly records while the motorcycle is in motion. The footage record on such cameras can be definitive, showing exactly what happened and who is to blame for the crash. Any dashboard cams owned by the other motorists in your crash can also be useful. It might be possible for your attorney to subpoena the footage to use to your benefit.
  • Surveillance footage: Cameras on surrounding buildings and businesses should also be checked to see if they have captured the event of the accident or the vehicles and events leading up to the crash. Surveillance footage can also give a different angle or perspective to better understand the crash.
  • Eyewitness testimony: Cameras are perfect to record exactly what happened, but peoples’ memories are the next best thing. Talk to eyewitnesses who stop to help after your crash. Ask any who have good information to provide a written statement, writing it then and there. If possible, they should create it on their smartphone and email or text it to you to create a timestamp that shows when they wrote it down.
  • Police statements: Any violent motor vehicle accident should be investigated by first responders, including the police. In a police statement, the officer will usually write one party down as “Party One,” which is typically who they think caused the accident. Ask for a copy of the statement to be sent to you and check it for accuracy. If it is inaccurate or does not list the other driver as Party One, then, with an attorney’s help, you may be able to request the statement be corrected.
  • Photographs: Don’t forget the importance of snapping photographs of the crash scene using your smartphone. Pictures really do say a thousand words. Get pictures using multiple angles to best recreate the entire scene.

Step 3: Find an Attorney Who Rides

To get reliable legal representation for your motorcycle accident case, you need to find a motorcycle accident attorney who genuinely understands what it means to be a motorcyclist on the road with negligent motorists in larger vehicles. You need to find a lawyer who is an avid motorcyclist just like you. With their insight and firsthand experience, they will not only be better prepared to handle the details of your case, but they will also be naturally more motivated to secure a victory on your behalf because they and their friends have also been in similar situations.

For the people in Clearwater, Florida, Attorney Fran M. Haasch of The Fran Haasch Law Group is exactly such a lawyer. She loves to ride her motorcycle whenever possible, interacts with her local community of riders, and focuses much of her practice specifically on motorcycle accident claims.

Need Fran’s representation for a motorcycle accident case of your own? Call (727) 784-8191 right now!

Ways You Can Minimize Your Own Liability in a Motorcycle Accident

motorcycle accident is assessed by insurance companies in terms of liability. The more a person did to cause the accident, the more liability they are assigned. Ideally, your own liability after a motorcycle accident will be as small as possible, hopefully down to 0%, meaning the other party is 100% liable for your damages.

The truth is that after an accident, any other motorist involved in the crash is more than likely going to try to blame you for what happened, even if you are certain they were the sole cause of your crash. If the picture of what happened isn’t clear, insurance companies may try to pin a percentage of the liability on you. You can help minimize your liability by planning ahead, respecting the law, and respecting common safety measures, though.

How to Reduce Your Liability as a Motorcyclist

When there is no clear evidence in a crash to pinpoint liability, insurance adjusters often try to determine which motorist or rider has a history of unsafe driving or irresponsibility. Using what they can learn about you, or about what you were doing immediately before the accident, they may estimate how much liability is fair to assign to you. To help prevent unfair liability being pinned to you, there are things you can do to show insurance companies and other parties that you are a responsible motorcyclist, potentially shrinking your liability in the event of a crash.

Five things you should always do to reduce your liability are:

  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) researches motorcycle helmets available to consumers. Helmets that effectively protect a rider’s head during violent crashes can earn a DOT seal of approval. You should wear a DOT-compliant helmet if you want to not only best protect yourself, but also minimize your liability.
  • Dress brightly and protectively: You should also be mindful of what you wear whenever you ride your motorcycle. Protective clothing like boots and gloves can save you from injury in a crash. Bright colors or reflectors also increase the chances of a motorist noticing you. If you are hit by a driver despite being extremely visible on the road, then that driver’s own liability will likely spike.
  • Stay sober: The fastest way to significantly increase your liability in an accident is to be intoxicated while riding your motorcycle. Even when it is known that the other motorist struck you, liability can be pinned on you for being drunk because it is suggested that you might have been able to avoid the crash if you were sober as legally required.
  • Invest in a helmet-cam: More and more riders are investing in helmet-cams, which affix to the top of their helmets and constantly record during each trip. A properly positioned helmet-cam can capture the moment an accident happens, which may definitively prove that you did not cause it.
  • Perform Pre-Ride Inspections: Before going for a ride, you should always do a quick inspection to ensure that your motorcycle is in good and working condition. Make sure to follow the T-CLOCS inspection checklist from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The condition of the bike including your tires, cables, lights, oil, chassis, and stand can have an impact on liability.

Need more help proving you weren’t liable for your motorcycle accident? Call our Florida motorcycle accident attorneys from The Fran Haasch Law Group at (727) 784-8191 for more information or to start a claim.

A Look at Recent Motorcycle Crash Data

As a motorcycle rider, you already understand that riding can be statistically more dangerous than driving, especially when negligent motorists are on the road. What are the odds of getting into a motorcycle accident, though? Are they as high as people seem to assume? Taking a look at some recent motorcycle crash data statistics can shed some light on the situation.

Recent Data from the NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a federal entity tasked with tracking and reporting yearly motor vehicle accident statistics. They are a reliable source for information regarding motorcycle accident trends and interpreting what they mean. Since it takes some time to collect data and analyze it accurately, 2018 is the most recent year available for motorcycle crash data from the NHTSA.

According to the NHTSA’s recent findings:

  • 4,985 motorcyclists lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in 2018.
  • Motorcyclist deaths declined almost 5% from 2017, which was 3% lower than in 2016. This is an encouraging trend.
  • Approximately 25% of motorcyclists who lost their lives in crashes were drunk while riding.
  • 29% of motorcycle riders who lost their lives in 2018 did not use a Department of Transportation compliant helmet while riding, which dramatically increased their risk of death in a crash.

The quick takeaway from the NHTSA data is that more riders need to wear approved helmets while riding. It also reveals that there is a significant problem with intoxicated riding that must be addressed. Please always wear your DOT-compliant helmet and never drink and ride.

Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles Crash Data

What does the data show for Florida specifically? The Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) department has recently published 2018 crash data about all accident types in the state. Looking through their findings, we can learn a little more about trends in Florida motorcycle accidents.

Key notes from the FHSMV 2018 statistics:

  • 531 fatal motorcycle accidents were reported throughout Florida.
  • 7,849 motorcyclists reported being seriously injured in crashes.
  • 25 motorcycle passengers lost their lives in reported crashes.
  • 621 motorcycle passengers were injured in serious motorcycle accidents.
  • Only 1,225 motorcycle riders in crashes reported no injuries.
  • Roughly 50% of motorcycle accidents involved a motorcyclist with a no helmet or a non-DOT-compliant helmet.
  • Volusia County reported some of the highest numbers of motorcycle crashes in Florida with 503 reports in 2018 or one motorcycle accident every 18 hours or so.

Additional Data from the III

The Insurance Information Institute (III) is an independent safety organization that uses insurance claim information to compile crash data each year. Without direct ties to the federal government, the III sometimes takes a little longer to research data and release their findings. Currently, most of their information is reliant on 2016 data, but it is still quite useful when getting an understanding of motorcycle crash statistics in the country.

According to information gathered by the III:

  • Proper motorcycle helmet usage has actually increased by about 15% in the last 10 years. The lowest point on their records is a concerning dip to just 48% in 2005.
  • In 2016, the motorcyclist fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 25.85, the highest it has ever been recorded by the III.
  • In 2015, approximately 88,000 motorcyclists were suffered nonfatal injuries in crashes. This amount is about 10% of all motorcycle riders with registered rides.
  • 21% of all fatal motorcycle accidents are reported between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Another 20% occur between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

From the III provided information, we can readily see a couple of important notes. Firstly, learning that 10% of all motorcyclists are injured in a crash each year is concerning. Every rider must always be cautious and aware of their surroundings to stay off this high statistic. Secondly, it is clear that traffic complications caused by rush hour and the sunset spike the chances of a motorcycle accident. If you need to ride during these hours, then you should pay even extra attention to the road.

From all of us at The Fran Haasch Law Group, we wish all motorcyclists safe rides each and every day. If you’re ever in an accident in or around Clearwater, we would like to see if we can help you pursue compensation. Call (727) 784-8191 to connect with our Florida motorcycle accident attorneys.

Useful Resources

What Is Motorcycle Bias & How Can I Avoid It?

Motorcyclists must often cope with the unfitting reputation of being wild and dangerous individuals simply for their choice of transportation. However, it can be argued motorcyclists are more hyperaware and concerned with their safety while on the road because the risks are so much higher. Despite this, public opinion continues to paint motorcyclists with a broad brush. Sadly, in case of an accident, law enforcement may fall into these assumptions before obtaining details of what actually occurred.

Motorcycle bias is the social stigma associated with riders and refers to the way accidents are framed or dealt with by the officers, medical staff, witnesses, etc. Examples of motorcycle bias include, but are not limited to:

  • Doctors or medical professionals may speculate about the cause of the accident before learning of all the details.
  • Police may assume the motorcyclist was reckless and thus at fault for the accident.
  • Insurance adjusters know a jury will blame the motorcyclist and may attempt to unfairly resolve your claim or completely undercut your settlement.
  • Witnesses may attest to incorrect assumptions regarding your speed, acceleration, etc.

What Can I Do?

An incorrect police report will set the stage for your case and make it incredibly difficult to ensure justice is served. If you are concerned about being misrepresented by a flagrant stereotype, you likely are. Combating this unfair circumstance is best done with the advocacy of a strategic attorney who can tactfully uncover the details of your case and prove your innocence.

Seeking a Lawyer You Can Trust? Contact Us Today

At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are passionate about providing comprehensive guidance and representation for those who feel their voice is going unheard. You deserve the aggressive and knowledgeable advocacy of Clearwater attorneys you can trust. Our legal team will explore every possible means of success on your behalf.

Allow us to fight for you today. Speak to a representative by calling (727) 784-8191 at your earliest convenience.

5 Tips for Taking Effective Photos of a Vehicle Accident

One of the most commonly recommended tips for what to do following a car accident (after any medical and safety concerns) is to make sure to take photos of the damage. Photos of an accident provide substantial evidence in your case, and can show attorneys and insurance companies exactly what took place.

What should be included in these photos, and how should the scene be photographed to ensure the pictures are effective in providing that evidence?

Below are some car accident photo tips to follow:

#1: Be comprehensive, with numerous photos showcasing the whole scene and close-up details. Include everything!

When photographing an accident scene, there’s no such thing as too many pictures or being over-detailed. Remember, you are trying to provide complete evidence of the incident and build your case. You should take wide shots of the entire area, along with close-up pictures of the damage to all vehicles, and any unsafe road conditions that contributed to the accident. Incorporating objects into your photos that can exhibit the size of any damage will be helpful.

#2: Photograph the people who were involved, and their injuries.

To establish a complete portrait of the accident, you should include photos of everyone who was present. If you are able to do so, take pictures of the police officers, emergency responders, and the other drivers and passengers, as well as their injuries.

#3: Photograph your own injuries as they progress.

If you were hurt in the accident, you should track the development of your injuries. Once you receive necessary medical attention and can safely take pictures, start documenting the healing process. Again, you can never be too detailed, so frequent, detailed photography of your injuries will help your case.

#4: Make sure the time stamps on your photos are accurate.

Timing is key in accident cases, so check that your camera is correctly time stamping your pictures.

#5: Go back to photograph anything you may have missed.

The aftermath of any motor vehicle accident is extremely chaotic, and it may be difficult to get the comprehensive photographic evidence you need immediately following the incident. By returning to the scene of the accident, you can capture contributing factors you may have missed. If your injuries prevent you from taking pictures after the accident, ask a friend or family member to help.Have you been injured in a car accident? Contact The Fran Haasch Law Groupthrough our message form, or call us at (727) 784-8191 24/7 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Motorcycle Insurance Policy Information You Need to Know

I recently renewed my motorcycle insurance policy and came across some significant changes and exclusions that the insurance company had made to my policy although I had not requested or changed the amount of insurance (at all) on my motorcycle.

Unless you carefully read your insurance policy, you may be unpleasantly surprised by exclusions which may not cover a particular set of circumstances. These exclusions help to limit an insurance company’s exposure to situations that the company would deem inappropriate for coverage.

Motorcycle Insurance Policy Details

Motorcycle policies generally have exclusions related to using your bike as a taxi, participating in organized racing, and committing criminal or intentionally harmful acts. However, there are other exclusions which may not seem so obvious. These exclusions may include not being covered while riding in an organized charity ride, your passenger not being protected by bodily injury coverage if you are at fault, no coverage for damaged or destroyed safety gear and helmets, and even no coverage if you fail to take all reasonable steps to prevent a claimed loss or damage. As you can see, there are a variety of exclusions that can easily fly under the radar due to the lack of attention they get in policies.

This is by no means of an exhaustive list of possible exclusions, nor do all insurance policies contain these particular exclusions. The easiest and safest way to prevent any unwelcome bombshells would be to conduct a thorough read of your insurance policy (there is generally a section set aside for exclusions). If you are still unsure of how the exclusions would affect you, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.

Contact Our Attorneys Today!

If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional information regarding a motorcycle accidentcar accidenttruck accident, or other areas including dog bitesslip and fall accidentswrongful death situations or even bicycle accidents, please contact our office at (727) 784-8191. We will be happy to answer your questions free of charge.

Dealing with Motorcycle Accidents

A common theme in the world of motorcycling is the plea to ride safely and defensively. However, that barely scratches the surface of what you must consider in order to protect yourself to the greatest extent. Safe riding and hoping that other cars see you can only get you so far. What happens if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of accident victim? If there is more than one vehicle, is the other driver sufficiently insured? Lastly, should you seek out the help of an attorney to help you navigate through what is likely to be a drawn out and complicated process?

The Facts About Motorcycle Accidents

The prospect of being in an accident is stomach turning to say the least. Considering that motorcycle riders are less protected and ultimately no match for a car or truck, serious injuries or even death are the not too uncommon result of such accidents. Even more sickening is the information recently released by the Insurance Research Council (“IRC”). According to the IRC, the recent economic downturn and rise in unemployment are having a drastic effect on the number of uninsured motorists. The study states that by the year 2010, approximately one in six drivers in the United States may be driving uninsured.

In 2007, Florida was among the top states in terms of uninsured motorists, and not in a good way. The study shows that almost a quarter of Florida drivers went uninsured in 2007. This does not even take into account, under-insured drivers. States with the lowest percentages of uninsured drivers include; Massachusetts, Maine, North Dakota, New York, and Vermont. This just reinforces the need for sufficient insurance coverage.

On top of having adequate insurance coverage already in place, in the event of an accident, you should also consider the services of an attorney in order to obtain the most complete relief possible. Having an attorney who is experienced with Florida’s traffic laws concerning motorcyclists can be vital in the post-accident process. An attorney can advise you of your rights, come up with a plan on how to proceed with your case, and properly determine the compensation to which you are entitled. Even though the daunting process of a lawsuit may require persistence and patience on your part, an attorney is your best advocate in the quest to make you as whole as possible.

Contact Your Clearwater Attorneys Today!

If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional information regarding a motorcycle accidentcar accidenttruck accident, or other areas including dog bitesslip and fall accidentswrongful death situations or even bicycle accidents, please contact our office at (727) 784-8191. We will be happy to answer your questions free of charge.

Property Damage to Your Motorcycle

It’s been great meeting so many of you (and seeing your beautiful bikes) at all the events we’ve recently attended. Over the last few months I have written articles dealing with insurance coverage that “protects” the injured driver. Generally speaking, when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, two things happen: the operator of the motorcycle is injured and the motorcycle is damaged. After seeing all of these beautiful and expensive bikes people are riding, I’ve realized I need to address another very important topic: property damage to the motorcycle.

Motorcycle Damage from an Accident

If you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, the insurance of the person that caused the accident may pay for the damage to your motorcycle. In the state of Florida, this type of insurance coverage is referred to as Property Damage Liability Coverage (PD). Florida state law requires that an insured driver of a motor vehicle carries a minimum of $10,000 PD to be considered fully insured; however, the majority of licensed, insured drivers only carry the minimum amount of PD ($10,000). At times, this might create a variety of problems for the victim of a motorcycle accident in regards to the damage to the motorcycle since many motorcycles are worth much more than $10,000. If the person that caused the accident hit multiple vehicles/motorcycles and only carried $10,000 of PD, that $10,000 would be the maximum amount of insurance available to repair all the vehicles/motorcycles involved in the accident.

The Need for Collision Coverage

So, what can you do to protect yourself in this situation? Collision Coverage. Collision coverage on your own insurance policy will pay for the damage to your motorcycle or vehicle. When you are purchasing this coverage please carefully consider the deductible that you choose they generally are in amounts of $250.00, $500.00 or $1,000.00. If you decide to use your own insurance for your Property Damage (PD), your deductible will be subtracted from a “reimbursement” check you are issued to cover the damages. Some insurance companies will subrogate against the at-fault insurance company, which means your insurance company will attempt to collect your deductible for you which can take up to several months. If you have custom parts on your motorcycle, i.e. pipes, chrome accessories or custom paint, you may want to purchase extra insurance coverage in addition to Collision. Custom Accessories or Optional Equipment coverage will cover these “extras”. As a rule of thumb, figure out how much you have invested in customization to your motorcycle, for instance, if you have $5,000.00 you would want to purchase $5,000.00 in custom coverage.

Contact Your Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today!

If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional information regarding a motorcycle accidentcar accidenttruck accident, or other areas including dog bitesslip and fall accidentswrongful death situations or even bicycle accidents, please contact our office at (727) 784-8191. We will be happy to answer your questions free of charge.