If you have suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in Florida, you may be thinking about the financial resources that are available to recompense for your injuries. There may be physical pain, suffering, and emotional/psychological trauma. Then, there will be medical bills as well as costs for future treatment, along with a loss of income. In the event of a death, there may be a permanent loss of financial support to the surviving family members. For these reasons, automobile crashes and severe injuries to pedestrians often leave victims wondering how they would be paid.
If you or your loved one has suffered losses in a pedestrian injury case, you must understand what financial and insurance resources are available to you in order to cover your losses.
Pedestrian injury attorneys in Clermont, Florida at MANGAL, PLLC explore all legal and fiscal aspects of your case to help you obtain the maximum compensation possible. Besides dealing with the insurance company adjuster and other bill collection entities, they will help you navigate the complicated process of insurance claims.
Insurance Coverage & Financial Responsibility Available to Pedestrian Injury Victims
Some of the potential sources of insurance coverage and financial responsibility that may be available to harmed pedestrians in a crash are as follows:
- Florida no-fault benefits; also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Bodily injury liability insurance (from the driver at fault and/or employer and/or vehicle owner)
- Umbrella or excess insurance coverage
- Med pay
- Commercial insurance liability coverage
- UM/UIM (uninsured/underinsured) motorist coverage
- Workers’ compensation benefits (if you were on the job at the time of the mishap)
- Health insurance
- Personal assets from the negligent party.
Insurance Laws and Insurance Claims for Pedestrian Crash Cases in Florida
Florida is a no-fault state when it is to automobile accident injury cases and automobile insurance. This means, regardless of the party at fault, an injured victim in an automobile crash will initially use their own auto insurance benefits from their personal insurance coverage. This
only covers a fraction of income loss and medical expenses. The Florida law requires all registered vehicle owners in Florida to carry $10,000.00 of personal injury protection.
However, it does not mean that the insurance of the at-fault party will be overlooked. It simply means that there are several benefits under your very own insurance policy that you must use. Since you pay for it, you should definitely use it.
With that said, the state’s no-fault insurance benefits will likely pay a part of specific types of losses. If you want to understand how these benefits may apply to your injury case, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Clermont, Florida.
More About Insurance that May be Available to Injured Pedestrians in Florida
Personal injury protection (PIP) benefits are exclusive to accident victims in Florida. A few other states also use a similar system. PIP is usually available to recompense negligent sufferers for a percentage fraction of up to 80% of qualified medical costs and up to 60% of income loss.
Note that if the victim has an auto insurance policy from a different state or the at-fault party has a registered vehicle from a different state, PIP benefits may not be applicable.
As per the Chapter 324 of Florida Statutes, vehicle owners in the state are required to:
- Carry Personal Injury Protection (Up to $10,000 per individual, or $20,000 per crash)
- Get Property Damage Liability Protection (minimum $10,000)
- Leased automobiles are required to carry bodily insurance coverage ($100,000 per individual and $300,000 per crash)
- Rental Cars: Rental car agencies are required to carry $10,000 per crash. Rental car drivers can buy more coverage, but they aren’t legally bound to do so.
- After a Driving under the Influence (DUI) Conviction: After a DUI conviction, drivers may be required to carry $300,000 in per-accident bodily injury liability coverage for 3 years.
Another source of coverage benefits may involve UM/UIM motorist benefits that offer coverage when the other driver involved in the crash is uninsured, underinsured, or unknown (like in hit-and-run cases). UIM benefits provide coverage to an insured victim when the driver at fault is not insured enough to fully cover the losses.
In Florida, insurers are required by law to offer it to their customers. Note that UM benefits also protect injured pedestrians, their family members, and even bicycle accident, sufferers. It is therefore strongly recommended to purchase UM coverage.
Personal Injury Protection for Pedestrians
As per Florida Statute 627.736, personal injury protection benefits must offer at least $10,000 as medical and disability benefits, and $5,000 as death benefits too:
- Named insured individuals;
- Relatives living in the household of the insured;
- Passengers in the automobile if they are not the owner of the vehicle;
- Other persons (cyclists and pedestrians) were hit by a motor vehicle and sustained bodily injuries while not being an occupant of a self-propelled automobile.
Broadly, there are three ways a harmed Florida pedestrian may obtain PIP benefits:
- Access to PIP benefits, victims have in their own name, via their own auto insurance. These benefits may be paid even if they were not inside their vehicle at the time of the accident.
- Via a resident relative having PIP coverage as long as they do not own an automobile.
- A claim for PIP benefits via the insurance company of the driver at fault.
Remember that PIP benefits do not compensate for non-economic losses. For more clarity on PIP benefits, talk to your pedestrian injury attorney in Clermont, Florida.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Coverage for Pedestrians
Bodily injury coverage pays for death claims or severe injury to victims, caused by some other person involved in an automobile crash. A victim with bodily injury coverage may expect their insurance company to pay for the injuries, caused by the vehicle’s driver or owner, up to the policy’s limits, and might also offer legal representation if they are sued in Florida.
This coverage may also be applicable to other persons in a household, including “resident relatives,” even if they were driving the vehicle of someone else. Besides, bodily injury coverage may cover the negligent driver of the vehicle of an insured person if the vehicle was operated by the driver with the owner’s permission.
While bodily injury coverage is not required by Florida law, most standard auto insurance policies cover it. In cases wherein bodily injury coverage is not available after a pedestrian accident in Florida, the driver may be held responsible. This is based on the assumption that the negligent party owns personal assets worth pursuing.
UM/UIM Coverage for Pedestrians in Florida
Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage can possibly be available to severely injured pedestrians. Florida law requires UM/UIM coverage to be provided as part of automobile insurance in the state. It acts as an extra source of protection for people harmed due to negligent
drivers. Its purpose is to safeguard innocent sufferers from people who have no insurance or they don’t have enough coverage to recompense accident victims.
According to Florida Statute 627.727, all auto insurance policies, offering bodily injury liability coverage, must also offer an equal sum of uninsured motorist coverage, unless the consumer categorically denies UM coverage in writing.
UM, coverage is particularly important for pedestrians, who sustain huge losses in hit-and-run accident cases – which accounts for 1 in every 5 car accident victims nationwide as per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Underinsured motor vehicle coverage may be applicable in cases where a driver has some coverage but not enough to cover the serious injuries due to a pedestrian crash. For instance, if a victim claims $250,000 in damages, but the driver at fault has only $10,000 as bodily injury coverage, the victim may file a claim for UM/UIM benefits through their own insurance policy.
Why Should Pedestrian Accident Victims Hire a Lawyer?
After a pedestrian accident, figuring out all possible sources of financial responsibility and insurance coverage is just the beginning. Personal injury claims, involving severe injuries, often require going through a complicated maze of policy exclusions and hard-to-decipher policy language.
The Clermont pedestrian accident attorneys at MANGAL, PLLC in Florida have years of experience dealing with pedestrian injury cases and insurance coverage claims, successfully. Our qualified attorneys, who are familiar with the relevant Florida statutes and case law, can help you understand how the law is applicable to your case.