Being hit by a car while walking or riding a bike can lead to the need for medical care for injuries. However, who is responsible for payment of these medical bills?
Prior articles have discussed the fact that if you are injured in a car accident, your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will pay for your medical bills (and lost wages) up to $10,000.00 in most situations even if you are not in your own car at the time of the car accident. But, what if you are walking or riding a bike because you don’t own a vehicle and thus have no PIP coverage and you get hit by a car, who pays?
Florida’s Personal Injury Protection law states that if you do not own a vehicle but live with a relative that owns a vehicle, the relative’s PIP carrier is responsible for payment of your medical bills if you are hit by a car while walking or riding a bike. That does not make sense to many of my clients (and their relatives), but the purpose of Florida’s No-Fault law is to get injured persons medical care as soon as possible without the delay of litigation.
What if you don’t own a vehicle or live with a relative that owns a vehicle and you get hit by a car while walking or riding a bike, who pays the medical bills then? The law states that the PIP insurance of the person who hit you pays your medical bills up to the $10,000.00. The reasons why you were hit are not at issue at this stage because Florida is a No-Fault state.
So, if you or someone you know is hit by a car while walking or riding a bike, here is the “chain of command” for payment of medical expenses:
a. Your own automobile policy under your Personal Injury Protection coverage;
b. A resident relative’s automobile insurance policy under their PIP coverage;
c. The automobile insurance (PIP) carrier of the person who hit you.
In addition to payment of medical expenses under the driver’s PIP coverage, a person who is hit by a car while walking or riding a bike may be entitled to other damages if the driver was negligent. In accordance with Florida Statute 627.737(2), if you are hit by a car while walking or riding a bike, a pedestrian or bicyclist involved in a Florida pedestrian automobile accident may recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease provided such injury or disease consists in whole or in part of: (a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function; (b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement; (c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; and/or (d) Death. In these claims, liability (who is at fault for the accident) can be highly contested.
If you are injured while walking or riding a bike, talk to an attorney who understands the Florida law associated with who pays the medical bills and how to make a claim for other damages. Don’t allow yourself to be further injured financially because of the negligence of another.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.