Florida law requires motorists to carry an adequate personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance policy in the event they are involved in a wreck. Unlike at-fault car insurance states, Florida is one of a handful of states that follow a no-fault car insurance arrangement wherein each injured party’s PIP policy pays for their insured’s injuries.
This no-fault arrangement works well when two cars collide, and both of the drivers have PIP coverage. In this case, each driver would submit a claim to their own insurer. That insurer would then pay their insured’s claim up to the applicable policy limit. Neither party would need to show fault or the absence of negligence to receive compensation.
However, recovering compensation following a bicycle accident is different, as you may not have a PIP policy in force. Additionally, some motorists operate their vehicles illegally without insurance. Exercising your rights to receive compensation after being injured in these circumstances can be more challenging and requires help from a bike accident lawyer.
When the Bicyclist Is Struck by an Uninsured Driver
Suppose that you have a PIP policy that is active, and you are struck by a negligent, uninsured motorist while you are riding your bike. You should be able to file a claim against your PIP policy, just as if you had been riding in a car. This may be the most effective way to receive prompt compensation for your injuries after the accident.
Bicycle accidents routinely result in serious injuries to the bicyclist. Concussions or other traumatic brain injuries are not uncommon, especially if you are not wearing a helmet. Treating these injuries can be expensive.
Additionally, PIP policies do not provide compensation for pain and suffering. As a result, simply filing a claim against your PIP policy may not fully compensate you for your bike accident injuries.
Any additional expenses not covered by your PIP benefits can be submitted to your health insurer for payment. Like your PIP policy, your insurer should pay your claim regardless of who was at fault in the crash.
Florida law permits you to bring a claim against the driver if that driver was primarily at fault in causing the accident. Such a claim can reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses or any expense not covered by your insurance.
However, if the driver is not insured, obtaining compensation might be challenging and would depend on the financial resources of the driver.
When the Bicyclist Is Uninsured
Some bicyclists rely on their bikes as their sole means of transportation. Florida law does not require bicyclists to carry a PIP policy in order to ride in the state legally. Since these policies can be expensive, some cyclists may choose not to purchase one. In that case, obtaining prompt and full compensation becomes more challenging.
In this situation, the bicyclist’s ability to receive compensation depends on filing a claim against the insured motorist’s auto insurance policy. Unlike a PIP policy claim, this claim would only be paid if the insured motorist was primarily at fault for causing the crash. To establish this, you will likely need evidence, such as the following:
- Witness statements from people who saw the crash happen
- Photographs and diagrams of the accident scene showing the location of the car and your bike pre- and post-crash
- Statements made by the motorist at the scene that admit fault
- Your statements or recollection of how the crash happened
If you were responsible for the accident or your injuries in any way, this could reduce the compensation you receive. For example, if you can secure $25,000 in compensation with the help of a bike accident lawyer, but you are found to be ten percent responsible for your injuries because you did not wear a helmet, the actual amount you receive would only be $22,500.
This discussion and procedure apply if the motorist is also uninsured. Again, you could pursue a claim against the driver individually. However, unless the driver has substantial assets, you may face practical challenges in recovering all the compensation you are due.
An Experienced Florida Bike Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you or a loved one find yourselves injured in a Florida bicycle accident, immediately contact a bike accident lawyer from Schrier Law Group. Having a bike accident lawyer can mean the difference between obtaining compensation quickly and struggling to get the compensation you need to pay for all your expenses and losses.