Florida Personal Injury – I was hit by a car while riding a bike, now what?
If you’re riding a bike and are hit by a car resulting in injuries, who is responsible for your medical bills? It depends on the situation, and details about your own life. This guide will explain what factors into an accident involving you as a pedestrian.
PIP ClassificationFlorida Statute ?627.736 gives benefits to people "while not an occupant of a self-propelled vehicle." Most insurance policies use the word "pedestrian" to refer to someone who is "not an occupant of a self-propelled vehicle." Bike riders are "pedestrians" under the PIP law. Therefore, if you are riding a bicycle, you qualify for PIP. If a vehicle hits you while you're on a bicycle in Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance may pay for some of your medical bills.
The most that PIP will pay your medical bills is $10,000. The first place to look is your own car insurance coverage.
What if I don't have insurance?In the event that you are uninsured, the at-fault car owner's PIP insurance will pay your medical bills (up to $10,000) if the driver is a Florida resident. If they are not, whether the at-fault motor vehicle owner's PIP pays will depend on whether his or her auto insurance policy "takes on" Florida's minimum PIP requirements when the vehicle is driven in Florida. If the motor vehicle owner's insurance policy "rolls over" to Florida, then his or her PIP will cover your medical bills. If it doesn't roll over, you won't get PIP to pay your medical expenses. However, if you can show that the driver was negligent, he or she has to pay your medical bills.
Resident-Relative CoverageIf you yourself are uninsured, but you live with a relative who owns an insured vehicle, you can be covered under their PIP policy, again, up to $10,000. It's important to remember that all of this discussion of PIP policy is entirely exclusive of making an injury claim against the at-fault driver for out of pocket medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, and past/future pain and suffering.
Representation is ImportantIf you've been injured by a vehicle as a pedestrian, whether while walking, running or biking, hiring a personal injury attorney is very important. The case will not be as cut and dry as a normal car accident and you may need a high level of legal expertise to make sure you are getting the proper compensation for your injuries. Getting coverage by a PIP policy is the right place to start, but it may not be enough. That is when you will have to file an injury claim against the driver's direct insurance, which can be a long and difficult process. Having a Board-Certified Trial Attorney on your side can be all the difference between a fully paid claim and getting stuck with the bill. Good luck!