Florida is a good location for riding a bike with its sunny weather and bike-friendly paths, but bicycle and pedestrian accidents can still happen in the state. If you are a cyclist in Florida, you are likely aware of the dangers that come with sharing the road with cars. Unfortunately, accidents happen all too often, and when they do, the injuries sustained can be quite serious. You may be asking yourself, after a Florida bicycle accident, who pays my medical bills?
In the event of an accident, most medical bills are typically covered by auto insurance or other types of coverage such as health insurance. However, there are some things you need to know about insurance coverage in order to make sure you are fully protected. It is highly recommended to consult with Jared Spingarn P.A., a personal injury attorney who can provide you with legal representation and help you recover compensation after the accident.
Florida Traffic Laws
How does the State of Florida view a bicycle accident? Are bicycles considered vehicles? Under Florida law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle, and bicycle riders are considered drivers. After a Florida bicycle accident, who pays my medical bills will depend on the type of insurance coverage of the parties involved in the accident.
As bicycles are considered vehicles, a bicycle rider is obligated to follow the same traffic rules as a motor vehicle driver. A bicycle accident often occurs when either the motor vehicle driver or the cyclist fails to abide by traffic laws.
What causes bicycle accidents?
Common causes of a bicycle accident include failure to yield at stop signs, running red lights, riding in the opposite direction as the oncoming traffic, and disregarding the right of way of all vehicles sharing the road. In Florida, the most common locations where bicycle accidents happen are Miami-Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach.
Most bicycle accidents happen due to the negligence of either the motor vehicle driver or the cyclist. In most cases, an automobile accident will result in personal injuries, a long list of medical bills, lost wages, and sometimes, permanent injury. Thus, it is the responsibility of both parties to share the road and follow the traffic laws.
Will my insurance policy pay for my medical bills?
A bike accident often occurs when the bicycle rider is hit by a car. After the accident, medical bills will start to pile up which can further add emotional distress to the injured person. The good news is that you can file a claim with your insurance company to recover an amount to pay medical bills caused by the accident.
In Florida, an auto insurance policy should cover your medical bills. But the extent of the insurance coverage will depend on the type of auto insurance policy that you have. There are also other types of insurance coverage that can help cover medical bills.
Florida Car Insurance
Owners of a motor vehicle in Florida are required to have auto insurance while operating their vehicle. This auto insurance has a mandatory minimum that you must follow. When you get into an accident, you can have your medical bills paid by your own auto insurance. The mandatory requirement for motor vehicle owners in Florida includes personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and property damage liability (PDL) coverage.
The most affordable auto insurance in Florida varies per car insurance company. But as it is a requirement, you must make sure that you have auto insurance coverage before driving on Florida roads. Failure to maintain your insurance coverage can result in penalties such as up to three years of suspension of your driver’s license and registration as well as a reinstatement fee.
The average cost of the most affordable auto insurance in Florida is around $590 per year. More expensive auto insurance policies can reach up to more than $1,000 per year.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) Coverage
In Florida, both PIP insurance and PDL coverage are required by law. The basic insurance policy that you can get from an auto insurance company contains these two types of coverage.
The mandatory minimum for PIP insurance and PDL coverage is $10,000 each. This is the type of coverage you will get if you purchase the minimum requirement. Some motor vehicle drivers prefer to get a higher coverage to pay for medical bills when they need to make personal injury claims.
What does PIP cover?
PIP insurance will cover medical bills that accumulated after an accident. This type of coverage falls under Florida’s no-fault laws, meaning you can file for insurance claims regardless of who was the at-fault driver in the accident.
Under your PIP coverage, the insurance company will pay for up to 80% of your medical bills and up to 60% of lost wages. Note that you must file a personal injury claim in a timely manner. Claims will only be honored if you file within 14 days from when the accident occurred.
It must be noted that PIP insurance is primary coverage. This means that it will cover your medical expenses when the accident happened. But your PIP benefits will not cover future medical bills, so you would need additional coverage like health insurance for that. Additionally, PIP benefits will not cover you if you were injured while riding public transportation or a ridesharing motor vehicle.
Another thing you must know about PIP is that it will not cover other losses such as permanent injuries, emotional distress, or pain and suffering. If you want to file a claim for these losses, it is best to consult with the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn P.A. as they are experienced in personal injury law.
What does PDL cover?
PDL will cover the expenses for any property damages that you caused due to the accident. If you are wondering what insurance covers a bike hitting a car, PDL is the answer. Even if someone else was driving your insured vehicle at the time of the accident, PDL will still cover the damages the accident caused.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
In Florida, bodily injury liability coverage is not a requirement in auto insurance. Bodily injury coverage is fault coverage, meaning the other party’s insurance company will pay the medical bills of the injured person if proven that they caused the accident. This coverage can also include future medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering – items that are not covered by basic PIP benefits.
Since it is a fault coverage, it must be proven that the other party was at-fault and thus required to pay for your medical expenses. In these cases, insurance adjusters will find ways to reduce the final settlement amount or avoid it altogether. An experienced bicycle accident attorney from the team of Jared Spingarn, P.A. can help ensure that you get fair compensation for your injuries.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is another type of insurance that you can secure to gain additional protection for yourself in case of an accident. This type of coverage can pay for your medical treatments if the driver that hit you does not have bodily injury liability coverage. UM coverage can also be used if the BIL coverage of the driver that hit you is not enough to cover all your medical bills.
Personal Health Insurance
When you get into an accident, paying medical bills is one of the first things you will worry about. Although PIP benefits can cover the medical care that you need, the amount of your coverage may not be enough to cover your entire medical bill, especially if you sustained a serious injury.
In this case, getting an additional health insurance policy will help cover the amount of your medical bill that was not covered by PIP. Health insurers offer different types of health insurance, but even the most basic health insurance policy can become a saving grace when your PIP benefits are not enough.
Who pays medical bills if I don’t have my own car insurance?
If you don’t have your own car insurance, who pays medical bills? In this case, you can file a claim if you live with a relative who owns a car and has their own car insurance. Under the Florida Statute 627.7407, a relative or family member who lives with a policyholder can file a claim using their PIP coverage. The same limits will apply in cases like this – 80% of the $10,000 minimum coverage.
If you don’t live with a relative who owns a motor vehicle, be sure to consult with personal injury attorneys from Jared Spingarn P.A.’s law firm for a review of your case. Filing a lawsuit may be the best course of action to take in this situation.
Can I take legal action after a bicycle accident?
Yes, you can. You can get your medical bills paid by the at-fault party even if you file an insurance claim. A legal case can help you recover compensation that is not covered under any of your insurance policies.
For instance, even if you file a claim under your UM coverage policy, you can take legal action and file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver that hit you. This will help you recover from the losses that you incurred due to the accident, especially since the other driver did not cover any of your expenses.
When filing a lawsuit, it is important that you have all the evidence to prove that you were hit by a car and that the at-fault driver was the one who hit you. Make sure that you have evidence from the accident such as photos of the location, your injuries, and any damages to your vehicle or equipment.
Contact Jared Spingarn, Bicycle Accident Attorney
After a Florida bicycle accident, who pays my medical bills? In case you are involved in an accident, you should have Jared Spingarn, P.A. by your side to help you choose the best course of action to take for your personal injury case.
Your lawyer can help you pay medical bills by filing a personal injury claim, a claim with your insurance company, or a bicycle accident claim. He can also advise you on how to seek compensation through legal action.
Make sure to get a free consultation with the reputable law firm of Jared Spingarn, P.A. Accident Attorneys to help you with your case. The personal injury attorneys at this law firm have tons of experience in handling personal injury cases and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
>> If you’re involved in a bike accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney at 1-954-781-2316 or drop a message on their Contact Us page.